So I just signed up for a 21-day “dating challenge” and I texted my friend about it. She got really excited b/c I’m known for NOT dating in this season and I think she thought this challenge was me diving back into the dating pool. I couldn’t help but smile at her excited text back.
Me: “Did I tell you I’m doing a 21-day dating challenge?” Her: “No! What’s that?!” I could feel her interest peeked through my iphone 6. She probably thought it meant I would be dating 21 guys in a month or go on 21 dates in a year. But then I gave her the details, “The focus is becoming a healthier person to attract healthier people and develop healthy relationships”. I think her little balloon deflated. “But you’ve been doing that!” she responded.
She’s right, God has had me focusing on my own issues and working through them. He has shown me how poorly my choice has been in men because of my own neediness, codependency, lack of guidance, poor teaching and various fears and insecurities. Still, there are some new revelations I’m having about my relationship with Him and how I have functioned dysfunctionally even in my perception of Him. I have carried with me a “works-based” faith in the subconscious of my being and therefore have been unable to receive His love in areas that so desperately need to be loved (and are already loved). This has distorted my idea of who He is. He has been so merciful and gracious to continue in this relationship with me even through the dysfunction which says so much about His own humility and love. I realize when people are needy they easily abuse, use and neglect their relationships (usually they have no idea they are functioning this way). I think we can do this with God as well. How often have I used and abused Him? How often have I tried to manipulate Him and get Him to do what I wanted? And yet He has waited for such a time as this for me to finally have the needed self-awareness for Our relationship to be better.
So the 21 day dating challenge isn’t just for me to get a date (though that would be great) but also for me to have a healthier relationship with the Lord. Part of the challenge focuses on working through family and personal issues, then spiritual stuff, then relationships with others. I actually would not have even signed up for the challenge had a good friend not explained its purpose more to me. I assumed it was for those whose sole interest was in meeting others and dating but she explained it was more about getting healthy. There are several of us taking this challenge to not date but to be adequately prepared to date well. There is surely a grand difference as I am learning. Even though my friend was probably disappointed the challenge wasn’t what she thought it would be, I really appreciated her response. She saw that I had been practicing “getting healthy” and it’s very encouraging when others see the hard work you are doing on yourself.
Just this past week I was on an emotional rollercoaster ride. I seriously considered falling back into old, unhealthy behaviors. I felt lost and very disconnected from the Father. It was a scary place to be in but I have learned some things from it. I’ve learned how fear and doubt can easily separate us from experiencing the manifest presence of the Father’s love. I learned that even when I can’t see His love with my heart, I can hear it in the voices of my loved ones and that He has put these people in my life to keep me moving forward into my destiny. I learned that once again it is by His GRACE I have gained the ground I have gained in this season and it is only His grace to keep me moving forward. So even as I allowed discouragement to lead me into negative thinking and I toyed with the idea of going back, b/c doing the hard work has really been hard, and sometimes it seems I’ll never get to that place I want to be…I was reminded by my good friend that I am already there. Christ has set me free. And I am simply on this ride to manifest what He already did on the cross.
Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Gal 5:1.
P.S, if you’re interested you can check out the dating challenge on this website: http://www.truelovedates.com.