I Just Haven’t Met You Yet… Or Have I?

I have a confession to make: I really like Michael Buble’s song Haven’t Met You Yet. I think it’s something we all think about without even being aware that we’re thinking about it. We have all these ideas about our future husband and the life we are going to share with him, and we start dreaming about the day that we will meet him. We get this notion that we are somehow going to instantly know that he is the one. Perhaps the reason we set our minds on that man we’ve yet to meet is because it’s a little disconcerting to think that we may have, in fact, already met him.

What if I’ve shaken my husband’s hand at church on a Sunday morning? What if I cheered him on as he sang karaoke to Brittinay’s favorite song? What if I engage him in casual conversation on a regular basis and I don’t even realize he’s the one? I suppose that’s why we sing songs like Haven’t Met You Yet. Maybe that song could be more appropriately titled Haven’t Seen You Yet. What if I have met him, but I simply haven’t seen him for who he is?

Now, by all means, I am not trying to get you to take a closer look at all your guy friends, nor am I hoping that you’ll develop some kind of paranoia every time you so much as see a man. Is it him? Is he the one I’m meant to spend the rest of my life journeying alongside?

Hold your horses. Just calm down. There’s no rush to discover his true identity. If you’ve been engaging him in casual conversation, just remain casual about it. He may not be the one. And if he is, he will still be there when it’s time to do something about it. Personally, I’m not going to get all worked up about it. I’m simply going to trust that “wherever he is, whenever it’s right, he’ll walk out of nowhere and into my life.”

…I just haven’t met him yet.

The Next Best Thing

I was at one of the hardest points of my life. I’d lost someone I’d loved dearly, and found that I was struggling to regain the security that was lost with him being gone. While walking with my mom one day, I confessed my frustrations. What was wrong with me? And why was I having romantic feelings toward a friend who had long been like a brother to me?

“Honey,” my mom whispered sympathetically, “he’s the next best thing.”

Perhaps it stems from the contents of the novel I’m currently working on, but I’ve been thinking of “the next best thing” recently. It’s strange how quick we are to settle for it. What our hearts truly want is that best thing, but since it’s out of our reach for the time being, we attempt to appease that aching with “the next best thing” instead. Take it from a girl who has been there, it doesn’t work. It may distract for a time, but it never really fills the void in our hearts.

I feel that too many women are afraid that they will never find the man of their dreams. Through the fault of their impatience, and perhaps some discouragement from others, they convince themselves that the prince of their dreams only exists in their dreams. So they settle for “the next best thing.”

When I look at our world, I see the mess we’ve made of relationships. We don’t strive to develop good relationships anymore. We’re content to settle for the mediocre. We believe that love is for the fairytales, and greatness is nearly impossible to achieve. I think that the demand to “be realistic” has been taken to the extreme. We’ve forgotten how to hope. We’ve forgotten how to dream.

The man of your dreams is out there. It may be awhile before he comes into view, but he is there. So don’t settle for “the next best thing”, because the best thing is out there waiting.

Lord of the Dance

It all started when I read Shannon Kubiak’s The Divine Dance. This picture of dancing hand-in-hand with Jesus quickly worked its way into my heart, and my relationship with the Maker has never been the same.

Two years ago, I discovered “our song”. The first time I danced to the tune of Lord of the Dance, a picture formed in my mind. In the opening notes, I hear God calling me. As the tempo picks up, it’s like I’m coming alive. And before I know it, I’m spinning wildly in circles, giggling with delight. By the end of the dance, I’m completely out of breath and totally in awe of the greatness of my God.

The amazing thing is, when that song starts playing, I almost literally cannot keep from dancing. Last night, I was immersed in a project that required all of my focus. I had my iTunes playing in the background, but I hardly even heard it. That is… until our song came on.

My head jerked up, and my pencil fell from my hand. A smile crept across my face as I realized He was calling me. So I stepped into the empty kitchen and began to dance. With my heart racing and head spinning, I was caught in the glorious thrill of twirling in my Savior’s arms. When the music finally stopped, I fell back against the counter panting for breath. It was one of the most amazing moments I’ve had in far too long a time.

Jesus is real. Jesus is intimate. Jesus is extending His hand, inviting you into the dance of a lifetime. So what are you waiting for? Can’t you hear the song that plays in the deepest depths of your soul? I pray you won’t be able to deny His call… Arise, beloved, and dance.

I HATE Everything

A friend of mine was telling me about this book she read called I Hate Everything. Sounds like a depressing book, I know. Perhaps if the book cover weren’t decorated with rainbows, unicorns, and penguins, you might actually think the book is dark. In all actuality, Matthew DiBenedetti’s humorous “hatred” of everything brought a little light to my day. But while fun little phrases such as, “I hate that I’m going bald. I hate that I still make fun of bald people. I hate karma.” may be fun, there are a few things I seriously hate. Here are a few:

I HATE that an estimated 2.5 million children are trapped in sexual slavery. I HATE that there isn’t anything I can do about it. I HATE that I’m getting sick just thinking about it.

I HATE that 22% of pregnancies in the U.S. end in abortion. I HATE that there are 22% less people in the world because of it. I HATE that unborn babies don’t have rights in this country.

I HATE that 50% of American marriages end in divorce. I HATE that I’ve had to suffer the consequences of many of those divorces. I HATE that wedding vows don’t mean anything anymore.

I HATE that people tend to get upset over bad haircuts and broken nails more often than the above statistics. I HATE how easy it is for these statistics to become a number rather than a living, breathing human being. I HATE that I’m not moved to mourn over injustice more often.

I HATE that you may have read this blog and not been moved to tears. I HATE that I’m not moved to tears right now. I HATE that our world has become such a dark place that statistics like these aren’t shocking.

But I LOVE that God is big enough to wipe all these tears and drown out all the hate in my life.

Five Years and Forever

Sometimes I think I’m the strangest young woman on the planet, or at least the most unusual. But here I am, nearly twenty years old, running from romantic relationships. Sometimes that fact makes me wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Even those women who have accepted their single status seem to yearn for that special someone. Don’t get me wrong. I do yearn for that special someone.  Someday. But for now I have embraced the fact that it isn’t time for him yet, and I refuse to let him be the focus of my thoughts. (Except for certain occasions, like as I write this now.)

My coworkers don’t believe me when I insist that, should Prince Charming walk through the doors of my office today, I’d send him right back out. Perhaps if they knew my reasons, they’d be the first to shut the door in his face. What my coworkers don’t realize is that I made a covenant with God several years ago. And a covenant with God is not something to be taken lightly.

It all started with my parents’ decision not to let me date until I was sixteen. Of course, by the time I actually turned sixteen, I had witnessed too many bad high school relationships. That wasn’t going to be my fate. I decided that my high school years must be meant for so much more than a dating relationship. With the encouragement of my mentor, I dedicated five years straight to seeking God alone. Five precious years to cultivate my relationship with Him without the distraction of any other.

Which is where I am today. I can’t believe how much time has passed, how much I’ve fallen in love with Jesus, and how much deeper I’m continuing to press into Him. It’s not like my time with Him is over. My five years are not yet up. But even when they end, though I will hopefully marry and raise a new generation of Jesus-lovers, I know that my covenant remains. I gave Jesus five years to prepare me to love Him forever.

It’s not because I’m unusual (though that’s up for debate); it’s because I’m called. Jesus has drawn me to Himself for such a time as this. For now He is my greatest love, and my greatest love He shall remain… Five years and forever.

Please Refrain From Throwing Popcorn

I received an invitation to the movies from a friend. Since the event was scheduled for Valentine’s Day, he attempted to make light of “Singles Awareness Day” (which is really interesting because, last time I checked, he wasn’t single). But there he was, encouraging us to invade the movie theaters instead of moping around.

Valentine’s Day has never been more than a Hallmark Holiday for me, so it was easy for me to laugh when my friend asked that our group try not to throw popcorn at the many couples who will be out and about on that day. I don’t think that will be a temptation. For me, anyway.

I know that some girls get borderline depressed on Valentine’s Day, but I personally don’t see the big deal. Valentine’s Day is just a day, same as any other. If you’re single, you’re single; if you’re not, you’re not. The same as you were yesterday. And the day before that. Valentine’s Day changes nothing. Yet so many women choose this day to dwell on their relationship status. They’re either mourning because they aren’t in a relationship, lamenting that they’re in a bad relationship, or shaking their head because their significant other doesn’t seem to realize that this is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year.

In other words… It’s Valentine’s Day. Nobody is happy. But you should be, because this day really isn’t any different from any other day of the year. So get up off the couch, stop listening to sappy love songs while eating the chocolate you had to buy for yourself. Get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Take a walk, go shopping, do something productive. And please refrain from throwing popcorn at the couples in the movie theater. There’s really no reason for you to believe they’re any happier than you are.

The Mediocre

I’ve been reading a novel called Giver of Roses. While I’m still not sure what I think of the book, I do know that this one quote jumped out and hit me square in the chest:

“Always live with a sense that you can be more than you ever thought you could be, for you’ve yet to tap your deepest potential.”

I certainly haven’t been living with that sense lately, and I know I haven’t tapped my deepest potential. In fact, I haven’t even tried.  I feel like I’ve slowly let my life slip back into mediocre – a place I never wanted to be. But here I am.

Sometimes I have to force myself back to the fairytales. Back to that place of wonder and magic, fairies and pirates, Princes and dragons and mermaids and dreams. Sometimes my mind must escape to that place far away from reality, because it is my mindset that is keeping me here in the mediocre.

I find it strange that, as a child, all one longs to do is grow up and make your own rules; but once you reach that grown-up world, your heart wishes to escape to the simplicity of childhood. To return to Neverland. If only to escape the mediocre.

I firmly believe that there must be a balance somewhere, though few ever seem to find it. Few live with that sense that we could be more than we ever thought we could be. Few have tapped their deepest potential. I feel as if there is part of my dream that I’ve not even begun to dream. But I want to.

May we always live with the sense that we can be more than we ever dreamed we could be. May we live something far greater than the mediocre.

And how do we get beyond the mediocre, you ask? Well, I can’t be sure, but I’ve heard it’s the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.

My Little Phalanx

My dad has a name for my mom. He calls her his little phalanx. Now if you’re unschooled in the battle formations of ancient Greece, that may sound a little strange. In fact, even if you are schooled in Greek battle formations, that may sound like a pretty unusual thing for a man to call his wife. Nonetheless, it is my mother’s name and she loves it.

A phalanx is a tight battle formation that would prevent attacks from behind, allowing the warriors to focus all their energies on what lay directly ahead. They didn’t have to worry about who might be sneaking up from behind because they knew their fellow warriors had their back.

For those of you who are still wondering where I find romance in that statement, allow me to remind you that love is more than that “can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, world series kind of stuff.” Love is standing in the gap for someone when all your heart feels like doing is retreating. Life is a battle that we must fight to win, and when I think of spending that battle with someone at my side, I want him to be the kind of person who covers my back.

Who named Prince Charming? And what kind of knight can go through battle and emerge with shining armor? I’m telling you to give me a pirate, give me Rambo, give me the little boy who can’t seem to stay out of the mud. I’m looking for the guy in that famous Teddy Roosevelt quote – the one who strives valiantly in the arena, his face marred with dust and sweat and blood. I’m looking for the guy who knows what it is to sacrifice… and is still willing to sacrifice. I want to marry the kind of man who will call me his little phalanx.

He doesn’t have to be charming, and his armor doesn’t have to shine; he simply has to be the kind of man I can happily dedicate the rest of my life to fighting alongside.

I’m Not Really Single

I’ve been reading Ali Smith’s Entrusting the Key, and found something in there that really touched me. She ended one of her chapters with the words, “If only they knew… I’m not really single.”

I giggled. What a beautifully conveyed truth. It’s like my little secret, just between me and Jesus. To the world, I am a single young woman; but God and I know that I’m His beloved. The Prince of the fairytales and Fulfiller of dreams is mine.

Perhaps I’m simply in a fairytale mood, but I don’t care if the critics say that God is not a substitute for a romantic relationship. Maybe He’s not. And perhaps He wasn’t meant to be. But He is enough.

I realize that today marks six months from the day I began my Beyond Waiting blogging journey. Which means it’s been about eight months since Jesus invited me into this dance (though I feel that I was dancing to this music long before I knew its name). How freeing it is to be Beyond Waiting for Prince Charming, satisfied that Jesus is all I need. Forever. And ever. Like a true fairytale.

Just like in the fairytales, I’ve been enchanted by a Prince who is out of this world. And when my coworkers start talking to me about men and dating, I simply smile because I know something they don’t know…

I’m not really single.

Matchmaker, matchmaker, please go away!

I was sitting at the lunch table when one of my coworkers voiced, “I know this guy…”

Sometimes I really tire of working at Advancing Native “Marriages.” Strike one. It’s a set-up.

“He’s from Missouri,” my coworker explained.

Strike two. 450 miles from home is far enough, thank you very much.

“He’s a youth pastor, and he needs a wife to straighten him out.”

Strike three, and you’re out! Sorry, slugger, but it appears that baseball is not your sport.

As much as I like the musical Guys and Dolls, I’m not a fan of “marrying the man today and changing his ways tomorrow.” I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work like that. So if you tell me that this potential match needs “straightened out”… See ya. (Oh, and P.S… If the only kind of guy you can come up with needs that much work, please keep your suggestions to yourself.)

People don’t fix people; only God can do that. Even if I was remotely interested in meeting this guy, there is no way I would be able to “straighten him out.” And my guess is that trying to do so would probably result in a pretty miserable relationship.

I’m fully convinced that a woman’s single years are not meant to be spent looking for a man to complete her; they are meant for her to take the time to realize how whole and alive she can be in Jesus. I believe that God gives us these years to learn to depend on Him alone so we can lean on Him throughout the rest of our lives.

I’ll leave it up to God to straighten out my coworker’s young friend. And since He is the only One who can fix the messes we’ve made of our lives, I’ll leave Him to be the only Matchmaker in my love life.