So, I wrote a dating piece. Only, I don't think it's your typical dating piece.
As most of you know, I recently traveled the world. Well, six different countries in eight months, to be exact (which can feel like the. entire. world. Trust me.) My journey began after six years of slaving miserably in a career I thought I wanted (tell me how easy it is to choose and stick to what you want to do for life as a newbie college student? At that age, I could barely choose what to wear on Friday night).
After a week long cruise to Alaska during a much-needed break, I stood in a way-too-tiny cabin shower as the bold-yet-fearful little girl within bargained with God about whether a “I need more in my life” was a crazy quarter-life crisis, or if something could actually come out of this Alaskan breakdown.
What does this have to do with dating, you ask?
Well, prior to my Alaskan endeavor, I was a few dates (or, relationships) away from crazy-cat-lady. I’ll admit, I spent most of my life on the hunt to fill the serious void in my soul—and I was seeking to fill it with anyone who was willing to take the (er, His) throne.
A few weeks prior to my glacier-side meltdown, I was having my very own emotional catastrophe, asking myself the all-too familiar question, “Will I ever find true love?” I was, well, suffering from the loneliness fever—thinking that another human could cure the sickness. Ever experienced it?
Spending most of my time with life-long marriage prospects led me to adapt a few bad habits. Sprinkle in poor examples I would pick up from not-so-great friends with good intentions, and ba-boom, a desperate and insecure girl was brought into fruition without a clear sense of who she was, what she genuinely wanted or even liked.
Sure, I would spend time with myself…showering, uh, grocery shopping, and well…you know…sleeping. Besides that, I was constantly attached to whoever let me latch on. I became a messy conglomeration of way too many different people—unfamiliar with, well, me.
As God began to heal my needy little heart, and replace the emptiness with His awesomeness, I began to realize how little I knew of myself—the very girl who was created in His image. Now, the whole idea of getting to know yourself seems whimsical: “Of course I know myself, c’mon, I’ve been living with her for, like, ever!” And this is true…except how often do you take the time to treat your inner-gal with some love? Not just in a “let me get my nails done” and call it a day, but spend some time hanging out with her—putting as much effort into a relationship with yourself and God, as you did with Mr. Wasn’t-The-One (whatever that means)?
Worse than obsessing, it’s just as easy to settle for someone who isn’t right for you. How do you make that mistake? Well, by not knowing who IS right for you. How do you expect to know who you’re compatible with if you haven’t spent enough time getting to know yourself?
Well, back to my Alaskan meltdown. That day I chose to take an ever-too-bold step of faith. I quit my job and spent 8 straight months with myself—and God. We toured museums in Rome, hiked mountains in Peru, and enjoyed horse-back rides in the Dominican Republic. I learned a whole lot of what I like, what ticks me off, how I really react to certain situations, who I’m not, and ultimately, who God is (most of which came as a surprise).
Dear single-and-fabulous gal (who’s created in God’s very own likeness), don’t settle for “lonely”. Remind yourself of Who’s you are. Put on your best pair of running shoes and go take a walk in your favorite park, spending time with yourself…and with your Creator in His beautiful creation. Or spend the day at the beach, admiring the vastness of the incredible ocean. Pack your favorite meal, lay on a blanket, and treat yourself to a picnic. Feel the breeze through your hair, the heat on your skin, and watch the clouds drift by.
Take the time to date yourself—because, well, when you’re on that date, you’ll not only be getting to spend some quality time with you, but you’ll start to realize that you’re not really alone. God is everywhere. Yep, He’s just that awesome.
And as you take the time to get to know yourself, you’ll get to know Him all the more. After all, He is the one who put all the handiwork into making you so incredibly wonderful!
Like David put it so perfectly when singing to Him in Psalm 139:
“I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born."