Like a Child

So I made a big move last week.

I went on a date.

Considering my last blog post, it was a big deal.

But I have to go back. Back to the day before the date.

It started with a therapy session, like all good stories start with. I went in the intent to talk about my intimacy issues when my therapist stopped me.

I don’t think that’s your issue.

I was taken aback. Literally everyone had told me for years that was my issue.

You date men without ever actually dating them.

The ground shook underneath me. He was right. I thought back to the latest carnage. A friend turned love interest, long, intimate conversations late at night, coffee dates, texting conversations. Everything seemed like he was interested, until you threw in an ex-girlfriend he was desperately trying to get back together with.

Desperately. Did you hear that? He reeked of desperation…for another girl.

Dammit! I exclaimed. I freaking did it again!

How many times did I need to relive the same story before I finally stopped this pattern?

I stared at my counselor. That’s it! I’m done! This guy has to be the last guy I ever do this with! I have to stop.

My therapist smiled. I had achieved a breakthrough. We both knew it.

So, how do I stop? I asked eagerly.

You could start by asking a guy for coffee.

I must have had a shocked look on my face because he continued. Someone you click with, you connect with, you’re attracted to.

He sighed. At the very least, Emily, you need to learn how to define the relationship earlier than you have been. You wait at least a year and then you’re surprised when it doesn’t work out. That’s unreasonable.

He was right. I got attached to men I was friends with that I was also attracted to and kept getting hurt. Why couldn’t I ask out a guy friend I was attracted to before I got too attached?

I got asked out the next day. It was my first date in six years.

I realized I could do this thing. Date. I realized I was worth being asked out but I got the confidence to make a move if I felt the timing was right.

When I was sick, I thought I could tell the future. I rested my confidence in my assumption that I knew how the story was going to end. Now that I’m healthy, I’m realizing just how much I don’t know. I hear my friends lament over how they wish God would tell them what’s going to happen in their lives.

Why? Why do you need to know so bad?

There is joy in the journey, in not knowing how the story will end. Take hold of that child-like faith and just take the next step in front of you.

Life is so much more fun when you don’t know what the future holds. When you just know the God you serve. That’s all you need.

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