Wow, interesting summer indeed.
…and it’s not over, yikes.
I’m just going to get right to it since it’s been a while since I’ve written here. Truth be told I won’t say I lost interest in this blog, but rather my self esteem was treading murky waters. I’m still not sure if I even have the right, insight or foresight to comment on this topic, but then again it wasn’t my idea to start it anyway, lol.
Back in June I met a guy. Or, rather, he met me. I was leaving the gym and walking my bike to the street when he walked over and started a conversation. He was very smart (in school studying mechanical engineering after spending time in the military), engaging, charming and not bad looking at all either.
My guard was (very reluctantly) up. I did give him my number though.
Now, because of my work schedule I can’t always communicate with people in a time frame that makes sense, unfortunately. I may every intention of responding to a text, email, phone call, ect…but I can get so weary the simple act of sitting down somewhere for too long can be ticket to the next day (i.e. I go to sleep quickly, haha!).
Anyway, this guy was very persistent with me, which I liked*. We never had a real date, but rather I responded to a text from him about where I was (downtown) and asked if he wanted to come for awhile too. I was planning on going on a bike run later that day and was in full gear, but was spending time at a fair/party on the square. When he arrived I knew I was in trouble…he was in summer date attire. The weather eventually took a turn for the worse–canceling my bike ride–and fast forwarding to a couple hours later, he finally got the (sort of) date he was looking for. I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it, but it also left me on edge*.
The most interesting part was learning a few things about myself: if given the chance, I will witness to just about anyone. During our conversation I learned he was a former Black Muslim* then a fundamental Muslim and while he really liked church, he wasn’t committed to any particular beliefs. I then spent about 20 minutes telling him about Jesus, and not on purpose. It’s not that I didn’t want to, but the way it just flowed out of me was a sign from the Holy Spirit I needed to focus.
After that day I still spoke to him a few times, but eventually kind of just stopped. It wasn’t that I didn’t like him, it was because I *DID* but he was demanding too much intimacy from me and had already proved he wasn’t who God wanted me to be with from previous conversations. Now, when I say intimacy I just don’t mean sex even though he did invite me over several times. That’s actually what scared me the most because I’m not used to being approached, and I don’t want to react like an idiot. Every so often a man will approach, be normal in most respects, allude to sexual intimacy way too often for my liking and then really does provide a way of escape for me. All I have to do is choose it even though as a fully functional 25-year-old woman, the general message of the masses is I should give in to sex and enjoy being young. I wish I could say I completely balk at an opportunity that comes my way to have sex, but unless it’s some random cat caller on the street I’ve never actually done that. I’ve always declined, but I don’t recall ever giving a flat out “no.” In fact, even though I’m a virgin I’ve been very disappointed in myself for getting dangerously close to a “yes” on several occasions.
And yes, you read that correctly: a 25-year-old virgin. I’m also African American and was born, raised and currently reside in the inner city.
I also have a pet unicorn named Mindy.
Just kidding. About the unicorn, that is.
But anyway, back to the intimacy thing: I can’t simply let go what I work so very hard to not only keep safe, but obtain from God. I don’t mean this in some theological, super deep way either–I long for God. I also believe all humans long for God, as He created the idea of a “relationship” and we spent a great deal of time making lateral ones through boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, pets…whomever…rather than establishing a vertical, permanent one to Abba (God the Father aka Dad). I looove worship music, and if you do too you’ve probably noticed the trend that we’re always longing after God, chasing after God, welcoming God to the atmosphere and the like. Even though the veil in the temple was ripped when Jesus died, giving everyone direct access to Him, intimacy doesn’t just happen. We have to pursue it. With alllll that said, *our date left me on edge because I want my future husband, especially in our early stages, to push me toward our God. On our impromptu date no explicit conversation happened, but a few things caught my attention besides him not being a Christian. Don’t worry, there is a ginormous plank in my own eye and I have no qualms about going in on myself here, but I want to use an analogy a missionary friend of mine used to describe one of the prime difference between someone chasing after holiness and someone who isn’t:
Imagine a tunnel with two open ends, and you, a saved Christian and an unsaved person are standing in the middle holding a suspended rope. At one end is an endless pit of inky darkness, and on the other end is pure light. From where you are, both ends are not visible and you might as well be blind. Thankfully, your ears are working and you hear God calling from the lit end. And, unfortunately, since your ears are working, you also hear pleasurable yet superficial things on the other end. A Christian trying to walk in holiness will follow God’s voice, but will always feel the tug of the rope encouraging us to backtrack to the other end. Just like in a game of tug-o-war, you’ll lose ground and fall, but you still get up and walk steadily to the end with light, ultimately following God’s voice above all the other ones–we recognize our Father’s voice and settle for nothing less! The unsaved person does hear God’s voice, but the other sounds are deafening. They feel the tug of the rope, but because they don’t know the difference they head in the direction that’s both easiest and doesn’t sound all that bad. The great thing is, everyone has admired God’s handiwork even if they don’t want to admit it. An unsaved person may wake up extra early one morning and curse God, look out the window and see the magnificent colors the morning brings, have a fleeting thought that, “Wow…could the big bang really make something so beautiful?”, but again feel the tug of being inconvenienced and keep walking to the dark end of the tunnel. Now, I too get annoyed at waking too early on a day I really need it, but when I see the morning and hear the birds sing it just does something to my heart. It is these moments of reflection that makes no one a lost cause.
I love this analogy because it doesn’t paint a picture of a perfect Christian. Speaking for myself, if I’m not deliberate in my relationship with Christ I’m just one smooth talking guy away from heartache and maybe even a baby. It is this deliberateness that I not only find attractive in a Christian man, but will make my Father proud of me when I keep it at the forefront of my relationship with Him.
Did I mention all of this is hard?!?!
Yeah, cuz it is!
Wanting to do what’s right is difficult because our earthly bodies have yet to catch up with our new minds. Our bodies want to do things that our minds are utterly disgusted by, and we disciplining ourselves to not give into it can be a struggle.
On my impromptu date, I kept feeling a “tug” in the direction leading away from God. *It was just a subtle one, like when he apologized for using a curse word while getting very exciting story. I accepted the apology, actually wasn’t too offended but instead of seeing it as an opportunity to calm down, he saw it as a green light to insert a curse word into every other word in each sentence from there on out. I almost wanted to ask him if he was related to the late Richard Pryor! *I also felt a tug when he mentioned he used to be Muslim, because those guys tend to be extremely intelligent when it comes to knowing Islam and Christianity. I knew that if his heart truly did skew more so into the realm of being a non-committed Muslim rather than an agnostic (or theist) who like Christian church, I was really in for a mental battle. At this point I knew this date was fruitless and I was now concerned about the impact it may be having on well, my life in general. I was also torn because as I said before, I really liked him.
Long story short, as I said before I did have contact with him a few times afterward and he even tried meeting up with me again. Each time he asked me to come over, and each time I brushed him off. He eventually stopped contacting me. I don’t give myself any sort of applause though. I see experiences like these like hanging off the edge of a cliff and grabbing the hand of a rescuer just as before your last finger slips.
Before I finish (sorry for the length), I want to add that another things helped me tremendously was finally making my list of what I’d like in a husband about a year ago. When I began this blog, I was still uncomfortable with making one because I didn’t feel like I had any right to do so. I now know that the purpose of the list isn’t to hand it off to God like He’s some Santa Claus, but so I can stay focused. One of the things on my list is a man who’s really into health and wellness. If I meet someone who’d rather camp out on the couch all day and refuses to do otherwise, he’s probably not for me. In addition to my list, I’ve also made one for expectations for myself too. I’ll write about that too sometime.
‘Til next time!