Thursday, October 2, 2008

Frustrated and Confused

As my birthday looms on the horizon, I find myself in a pessimistic state about being single... and about the process of dating, whatever that means anymore... At 25(26) I feel myself growing more weary every year, not because I am getting old, not even necessarily because I am not married yet... it has to do more with feeling like I have been cut-off from even truly beginning the process.

Whenever I express my concern and doubt, everyone says that when that special person comes along I will just know, that God will tell me or something magical will happen and fairy dust will twinkle in her eyes and I will now it was meant to be, that it was God's will all along. Lately though, I have found it harder to see, much less understand God. It is not just that God is so complex and infinite but that I am so finite in comparison. Have I lost my "magic" spiritual-card that tells me where to go or what to do next… or is there a time in life when faith-and-trust seem to become harder than, or more intertwined with, the following-and-obedience aspect of being a Christian? Sure, one can know God's will after the fact and say in retrospect it was God's plan all along, but before one gets there... the truth is that tension, anguish, and confusion set in, which is where I have felt myself since this summer began (on more than just one issue).

So many questions about me, God, our ability to understand God, and exactly what God is saying to us have cropped up in my life recently. Do I miss things because of my sin? Maybe merely because of my fallen nature? Am I supposed to be waiting or moving forward? If I knew the future then faith and trust would be pointless; however, sometimes I seriously wonder what God is doing? Why does it have to be so hard and confusing? Sometimes it feels like I do not get a fair chance to explore aspects of my life.

... And I suppose what bums me the most is the thought that I never will. I do not feel God calling me to be single my whole life... but is that really what I feel God telling me or what I want and desire? To be alone, to never get to express myself as a husband or father, the thought actually saddens me. Yet, I know I cannot just try to date every female within reaching distance… it is just so very impersonal and against how I feel things should go. I find myself beginning to be pessimistic that building a relationship on friendship is the way to go but feel a pull away from what I see in the world and culture, especially in regards to chick-flick-dramatic versions of dating and attraction and romance found in television and movies. It seems to me that any relationship worth having must be built first on friendship. Now, this doesn’t mean that anytime I talk or contact a female there is more behind that than the obvious. But doesn’t it all seem like an ironic catch-22? Friendship should be the foundation, yet it is the place I find myself caught... Like a fish struggling to get out of a net.

I want answers but maybe I am not ready for them. I do not find myself desiring to be single for my whole life, nor do I find myself wanting to wait longer. I find myself questioning God about a great many things when it comes to life... and one of them the last few years has been this realm in my life left mostly unexplored.

For Example: Two people pray about a relationship and find themselves at conflicting answers. Are both not hearing God? Is one hearing God and not the other? Are both not ready to hear God? Who is right and who is wrong? It is a theological conundrum that I simply cannot understand.

...Yet in the background of all my confusion I hear Christ calling my name, that this is only one issue in my life in a greater plan about His Kingdom. Though I may have confusion and doubt, the fog slightly lifts and I hear Jesus saying, "Come and follow me." "To where Lord", I reply. "Come follow me" He says again... "But I cannot see through the fog all around me Lord." "Come follow me. Stop doubting and start trusting. I AM here with you"... I step forward and take His hand, those hands that were pierced for me. There I find a deeper meaning and calling that draws me from my worry and anxiety. There is something calming and peaceful in those hands, something about letting go that helps me to find what I was looking for all along. So, I follow, not knowing where I am going, many times unable to see the road before me. But I know one day that fog will lift and I will be able to see and know the bigger picture somehow. Until then I suppose I take my journey one step at a time with my eyes focused firmly on Christ, instead of my doubts and insecurities. It doesn’t mean I won’t loose focus or never stumble, but it means I have a deeper reason for being, for becoming, becoming transformed into the likeness of Christ Jesus.

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the LORD;
Be strong and take heart
And wait for the LORD.

1 Corinthians 13:11-13
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

~ Daniel

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Merely Single or Dating Deficient?

[Rant On]

Personally, I find dating a horrible idea. ha ha. Why are we made to feel so awkward about getting to know another person? Why does dating or simply becoming friends seem more like an interrogation than beginning a meaningful relationship? Why does it feel like we have the right to be judgmental towards another instead of trying to understand anothers journey?

Now I am 25 and officially irritated at life, myself, and to be honest; sometimes I am even irritated at God. Ministry in the Protestant, especially Baptist, Church is not conducive to single ministers. In fact, I have heard it preached from Genesis once before that our purpose is to become man and wife. Thus, I am not fulfilling my purpose as a Christian, as a member of my church or in the Kingdom because I am single. (???) While this fact has disturbed me since I started college... What I find even more disturbing is that fact that I am still very single.

A long time ago, God laid it on my heart to wait... for dating or marriage or whatever. I knew and became convicted that dating someone meant that I saw potential in them for marriage and that that was something serious and not something to be so fickle and spontaneous about. Plus, to most females, it would likely make them run the other way. lol. Still, I have believed and still believe that the right way is to become friends with someone, to actually… I don’t know… maybe know something about a person before you start dating them. Learning some of their likes and dislikes, seeing if they have a sense of humor, and most importantly knowing if they have a similar commitment to Christ as I do. Not that we have to agree on everything of course, but that there are some issues going into a dating relationship and even later in perhaps marriage that would seem to be vital to a long-lasting and committed relationship.

What I have found out is that in the graduate-age level (Ages 22-30ish) there is not only a lack of knowing those around you who have crazy schedules to keep up with class and work; but to actually get to know almost anyone is tough in the first place.. and trying to get a group of friends together is almost impossible unless planned a month or more in advance.

None of this helps in making friends much less in seeking out possibilities of people to date. Actually, most of the time dating is not my concern at all, because I just do not have time for it nor do I feel as a Christian that my primary concern should be dating but seeking Christ in the first place. However, it feels like every two or three years there is another female who sparks my interest. Usually it ends quickly with "I just want to be friends"... the six words that tear into anyone’s heart like a cold knife (not that I know what that feels like but it sounds like a good expression to use here... ha ha). And like I would say no to be friends? But those six words are usually only a passive-aggressive attempt to get you off their back, out of their life, and tell you underneath that the both of you will no longer associate with each other because now things have gotten "weird" or "odd" or "different" or “whatever”.

Which brings me to my last paragraph (I promise). Finally, I bring to the forefront the concept of the rules or game of dating. The whole concept that dating or getting to know anyone should have a set or rules or should be played like a game of chess is not only irritating but I think provides us to promote false front around the person we are potentially going to date, but also toward those around us. Basically, it makes us into hypocrites and two-faced people; which I believe we should never be as Christians. I am just irritated at my whole situation currently. I find myself inside a box alone, a closed box, a box I have not defined but seems to define me. A box I feel I live in and yet cannot escape from. This box is called single and I am the only one inside.
[Rant Off]

Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD. (Psalm 27:14)

~ Daniel

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