Tomorrow is my birthday. Tomorrow I begin (what I’ve decided is) my late twenties. Which is terrifying.
I never thought I would be where I am at this age. I never thought I’d be childless, single, working outside of the music industry. I just couldn’t have imagined it. In fact, if you hear weeping today it’s probably my 21 year old self. But what I’ve decided is that I would not trade this moment for anything else.
Because this year, especially the last 10 weeks, have made me into a better version of myself. A version that loves Papa more and trusts His heart and is settled.
This summer, one of the things the (ex) Boyfriend and I talked about was plans for my birthday. I was so excited, even then, to think about celebrating with him. For the first time in many years I couldn’t wait for my birthday. He let on that he had already been thinking about it and preparing for it. So as I’ve moved further away from that awful terrible day, I find my days are so much easier. Except when I bump into things we had planned. Like my birthday. Thankfully, there are only two other things we had planned other than this week. So even those begin to wrap up.
I’ve been aware of the space in my heart and waiting to see if sadness creeps in. But so far my heart continues to look forward with hope. And on that note, I want to share something with you all about my thoughts on future dating.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I have lots of thoughts on the notion of pursuit. Is it okay for a woman to pursue, why aren’t men pursuing, if he doesn’t pursue me but says he likes me is this a relationship… etc.
Pursuit is a tricky thing.
I think there is a fine line between letting a man pursue you and letting a man know you’re interested. And now I know there are even more rules for pursuit when you’re in a relationship. I think the majority of pursuit belongs to the man; but in relationships we women need to do our fair share of pursuing as well. It just looks very different.
That was one of my favorite things about the speed at getting into a relationship with The (ex) Boyfriend. He pursued me well and quickly and made it clear he wanted to date me and only me. I then felt safe to pursue him back. But he did the chasing in the beginning.
He did the texting and the calling and the date-planning. Eventually we settled into a rhythm and I began to pursue his heart as well. I wanted to know his favorite color and his hopes and dreams. I started to plan occasional dates and be the first to text. He still led, mostly because he’s a strong man who thrives in leading, but I felt like I got to come alongside of him and make it more of a partnership.
I understood what we were doing and I was happy to learn this new role. A role I had never gotten to play before. When we broke up I remember sobbing at the thought of starting the dating process all over again. Because the truth is that I’m fantastic at pursuing but terrible at being pursued. I like everything out on the table, knowing what I’m getting in to, not letting there be any room to wonder or assume. Which absolutely could be a control issue. I’ll own that.
But it makes me feel safe.
Being pursued is scary and not something I get to control and risky.
So you know what my counselor said when I told her I was excited to open my heart up to love again but had overwhelming anxiety at getting to know people and waiting to see if they picked me?
She said, “Hey. Guess what. It’s time to start acting like a Bride. It’s time to let HIM run down the aisle to YOU. Let his heart be so overcome and so drawn to Christ in you that He chases you down. Stop trying to prove to a man that you’re worthy of love. He needs to prove some things to you now.”
And guys, she’s 100% right.
Sometimes I forget that I am the beloved. I am precious. I am seen. I am known. I am loved beyond my wildest dreams. I am worthy of pursuit.
Now hear me out, there is a fine line, ladies, between knowing our worth and acting entitled. Being confident of these things does not allow us to walk around like we are God’s gift to men. But it does allow us to trust that Papa desires earthly pursuit for us the way He pursues us.
Sure, I have different fears now that I did before. I have a few more battle wounds and a couple of scars. But I also have a confidence in what I want and who I am. The thought of falling in love again doesn’t scare me. The waiting scares me. The potential rejection scares me. The starting over scares me. But once again my counselor reminded me that I am not who I was the last time I did this. Now I have the tools to face fear and anxiety and uncertainty.
And I also know what it feels like to be pursued.
And that makes it more than worth it. Because it’s a beautiful thing.
My prayer lately has been that a man would be so focused on Papa and hearing His voice that my name is whispered into his heart. I’ve got friends who want to set me up and online dating options and maybe even a friend or two as potential options. But what I want is the Ultimate Matchmaker to softly say my name to someone who wants to build the Kingdom with me and is crazy about Papa. The rest of it, well we can figure all of that out together.