Tag Archives: love

God=Love=Risk=Eharmony?

19 Nov

I did not join eharmony as I had planned weeks ago. The special offer expired. I just wasn’t ready. But I promised myself, and God I think, that if I got another chance–if they made another special offer–that I would join immediately and not delay.

Of course, in the days following this commitment, eharmony extended another offer to me on the same terms: $30 for 3 months of service. The offer was emailed to me in the morning and knew that I had to join that day. I was committed. I felt reluctant to leave work that evening. Then on the way home, I felt the urge to stop to get a fancy dessert from the Grand Lux Cafe, which is kind of like the Cheesecake Factory. I hardly ever go to the Grand Lux. I talked myself out of the fancy dessert and in so doing realized that I was anxious. That I was fretting about the idea of joining eharmony. I very much did not want to do it. I drove around and around talking myself out of fancy desserts and oversized slices of pie. Finally (the price of gas being $3.09 a gallon), I decided that I had to go home. I decided that I would allow myself a small sweet something , an empanada from Taco Bell, and that I would then go home, and sign up. So I had the empanada (plus two 160-calorie tacos), and, being thus fortified, I signed up.

That was two and a half days ago.  I have been seeking fortification in food all day, every day, since. I cannot put into words how scared I am of being rejected and of being hurt. Again.

I am conscious of this fear, though. As I am conscious of the food that I have been eating to ease my discomfort–diet food, like Special K Bars and pita chips (thankfully not cheeseburgers and bread pudding). I long for the day when I won’t reach for a snack or an edible anything to quell my emotions. But for today I am satisfied enough that I am feeling the fear. That I am moving forward despite my fear.  That I am meeting men online. Like Keith…

Advertisements

Holiday Cheer?

15 Dec

The first week of November, after the election, hope had the audacity to rumble through my world like an earthquake, shaking everything up.

The second week of November I traveled to visit relatives.  My long time friend, and number one draft pick to marry, (and ex), lives twenty minutes from my relatives.  I debated letting him know I was in town–a) because I need to move on already, it’s been years; b) because back in June I promised myself that I would not call him, at least until the end of the year, because I need to move on already; and c) because if he cared at all he would call me, or email, or something, and he doesn’t.  I finally decided to split the baby and text him.  If he wanted to see me while I was in town, great.  If not, no biggie; my weekend was packed with family stuff anyway.

He did want to see me.  I invited him to meet my relatives and me at church.  After church he gave me a ride back to their house.  Then he stayed (without a hint of a suggestion from me).  He left when I left to return home.  He’d spent the entire afternoon in my aunt’s kitchen talking and laughing. 

Elation thy name is, I mean thy initials are, WB.   The time that he gave me felt loving.  And just knowing that he still has some kind of love for me, even if it’s not the go-to-Tiffany’s-today-and-buy-a-ring kind of love, comforted a part of my heart and helped me to let go of the idea of him just a little bit.

The following weekend I went to my friend’s baby shower.  At the shower I made a new friend, Pamela.  Pamela is Called to Singleness (more later).   She and I shared a solemn and prophetic moment at the shower that culminated with her looking me in the eye and saying to me, “You are getting married.”

Elation thy prophet is Pamela.  In the days that followed, one thought headlined all others in my  mind, “Who is he, Lord?  Who will I marry?”

The last weekend of November, six days after I met Pamela, Bronxman blindsided me by declaring to me, “We could have an epic love if only you would give us a chance.”   He, for the first time in the many, many months that I’ve known him, revealed his heart to me.  Bronxman was not even on my list of potential draft picks to marry.

Panic (“Not him, Lord!”) gave way to openness. 

 

My heart’s wings fluttered.

 

And then December came…

The Audacity of Hope

5 Nov

hope2

 African-American Barack Obama has won the Presidential election and will become the 44th President of the United States of America.  It is an historic moment.

 

On the news an email from an Italian national was read, “This means that anything is possible in America.  Welcome back American Dream!”

 

After his victory was announced, in my breast embers of hope that I believed long banked, glowed and became a burning flame.  And I want to cry.  Not because I am happy.  But because I did not ask to hope.  I did not call hope forth or seek it.  Hope, for me, really is the cruelest emotion of all.  It is the hardest to endure.  Such a great hope as this victory signifies terrifies me.

 

On Election Eve my dear friend DJ called me from Chicago.  We have not spoken in months.  Since she moved as a newlywed from New York, she and her husband have purchased a large, beautiful home and their family has grown to include four children.  Six or seven years ago we were prayer partners and would pray fervently for her family and for me.  That I would marry and become a mother.  Even when we stopped praying together, knowing how greatly I desire these things, DJ was a steady source of encouragement to me over the years. 

 

When we talked two days ago, she updated me on news about her and her family.  She told me of all the weddings that were taking place around her.  I updated her on what was going on for me, and told her of all our NY friends who have had babies.  At one point DJ mentioned something about a wedding and me and I did not engage her on the issue.  I distinctly recall stifling the part of me that tried to assert the thought, “Don’t patronize me with talk of my wedding.  We both know it’s not happening.  I’ll never have children like you and your husband.”  I made some pleasant, acceptable Christian responses to all she said, and ended the call.

 

That I don’t want to talk about getting married with DJ, my friend, who only wants to continue to believe God for my future, is a very bad sign.  After that call I faced the truth of my waning hope; my diminished faith in God to ever bring my desire for marriage to fruition. 

 

I used to hope.  There were years of hope, with nothing but disappointment following.  Hope deferred has made my heart sick unto death it seems.

 

Many will say that being single and over thirty is good.  It’s Oh.Kay.  They will say that they are content and that they enjoy their lives.  I say, being single and over thirty is like being in the school yard and never being picked to play on anybody’s team.  It’s knowing the game is challenging fun and wanting to play; gathering with all the other kids on the field where the captains will choose their teams.  It’s recess after recess after recess of being passed over while watching other kids get chosen. It’s watching the others run, and catch, and get tagged out, while sitting on the sidelines knowing you would play just as well as they if only you were given a chance.  After a while the ones who are never picked stop gathering with the other kids.  We pretend that we don’t really want to play anyway.

 

Because I am still single, and for dozens of other reasons, I have urged hope to die.  But with this election victory, instead of dying, hope has unilaterally determined that it will live and grow.  It urges me to live and grow.  It dares me to believe that anything is possible.  Even marriage.

 

Is There More to Sex and the City than Sex?

19 Aug

A month before the movie came out, one close friend expressed that she would not see this movie, as the ‘R’ rating offended her Christian sensibilities.  A week after the movie came out, over brunch, a different close friend, with embarrassment and ample qualifications, confessed that she had seen the movie.

Sex and the City seems to be one more dividing line on the holiness specturm.  Selah.

I have loved SATC since the time when I alone among my Jesus-loving peers dated, and I had no one to relate to about relationships.  I was forced to seek, and happily found, commiseration and comraderie in the dating trenches through the lives of the four heroines of SATC.   Sexual or non-sexual, sixth grade or nursing home, the dance of love has the same steps.  Since the SATC four and I were learning these steps, and my real life friends were not, these four became like friends to me.

So I waited with great anticipation to see this movie.  On opening night my wait was rewarded with more utterly enthralling tales from the trenches of love.   The movie was for mature audiences only, certainly, but more than that, it was for women who love.  For women who have been hurt, ravaged even, by love, and who dare to keep on loving nonetheless.   This was not fairytale romance, but love spelled p-a-i-n.   These ladies were not in a waltz, but a tango.

For the uninitiated the story revolves around the love lives of friends Samantha (the uber-vixen), Miranda (the career woman), Charlotte (the innocent), and Carrie (the everywoman).   Archetypes that we all know well.  I have a “Charlotte” and a “Miranda” in my circle of friends.  At the same time, I am the “Charlotte” and the “Miranda” in other circles.    I couldn’t say that I had any “Samanthas” in my life, until, mystically, when I watched the movie, I myself morphed into the character of Samantha, the almost-slut. 

How could this be??  

I related to her fabulousness.  I related to her lament over the sex that she is not having, but could be having; that it seems others are having. I related to her integrity over the sex issue.  I related to her turning to food to distract herself from love problems she did not want to face.  I related to her being unwilling to commit to the good man in her life, whom, she felt, was simply not the right man for her for now.  I related to her being alone in the end. 

There was a point in the movie when the other three friends see Samantha and observe for the first time that she has gained a significant amount of weight.  Carrie asks her, trying to get to the bottom of the weight gain, “Are you happy?”  In my seat in the theater, with my heart relating to Samantha in a way that my mind did not recognize immediately, I began to cry.  “No,” my heart spoke to me, “no, I’m not happy.  This singleness of ours is not working.  I want, I need, more.” 

I am not the only one who cried.

At another point in the movie my friend L, who was jilted by her fiancee a week before their elaborately planned wedding, cried as she watched.

My friend Amanda, whose divorce was finalized two years ago, was moved to tears at yet a different moment as she watched.  “How does love just fall apart?  So quickly, and over so little?,” her heart wanted to know.

It is a fierce, formidable, and frightening thing to be a woman who loves.  But watching this movie I realized that, like the fabulous SATC four, there is no way to live but to love, and no way to love but all-out.  I  watched four women get through their personal travails on-screen and I was encouraged that I, too, could endure the travail.  After all, the travail of living and of loving, is only part of the story.  I reflect on SATC and remind myself, as often as is needed (which is to say, very often), that this labor of loving brings with it a harvest of joy, and is well worth the trouble.

Also, I think of the four friends and their commitment to one another.   I recognize through them the equally great truth that we women cannot do love alone.  Maybe those of us who make it, who press through the introductory single-and-dating lessons, and the advanced married-with-children lessons, and the masters level betrayal-child burial-insolvency lessons,  and who still dare to love and love again, maybe we make it because we have friends who are commited to us.  Friends who kvetched with us while single, and prayed with us while mothering, and cried with us while grieving.  Maybe our strength to keep loving the men in our lives is directly related to the strength we receive from being loved by the women in our lives.

There is so much more than sex to be found in Sex and the City.