a test, no booty, and a great prize after

Posted: February 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

It was Friday night.  My friend had asked me to meet him for coffee.  He peered at me over his cup.  “You know I love you, right?”

You gotta know, when a conversation starts that way, you’re about to hear something you don’t want to hear.

“Yeah, I know,” I grimaced.  “What?”

And gently, as only a very good friend will do, he spent some time helping me see how crazy I was acting.

It was about a man. And he was right.  I was acting crazy.

Why was this so hard?!

I had met the guy we were discussing at, of all places, a gas station.  Standing there on my lunch break, pumping gas, I suddenly realized he was talking to me from the other side.  Not like a hey baby, you wanna wanna thing but just a bit of humor and conversation.  Genuine, focused interest.  It was clear he was interested, and I’ve never in life been accustomed to anyone trying to pick me up, so this was kind of an out-of-body experience. 

Afterward I drove away wondering if all that had really happened.  He had skillfully asked enough questions to draw more information out of me in 5 minutes than I had maybe ever experienced before.  Had worked in compliments that were enough to feel good but not so much as to feel hit-on in a yucky way.  And in the end, he had simply asked me to put his phone number in my phone and maybe give him a call sometime, and had not asked for my number or even my last name.  All very non-threatening.  One of the strangest, most unexpected conversations I had ever experienced.

I left it alone for awhile.  But..he had been so friendly and easygoing, respectably dressed, etc.  I guessed him as middle management somewhere, by his outfit and the vehicle he drove.  Didn’t seem like some player trying to find a woman to carry him or whatever. 

And I was so tired of being alone.

So I took a chance and called him.  There was a phone call or two.  Which led to meeting for coffee a few times. 

Really, he told me everything I needed to know at our first coffee.  Amidst a lot of fun talk about interesting things from God to church to photography to family and more, he wove way too much about sex.  I just retreated verbally, each time he made that conversational approach.

But I was so busy being glad someone was interested in me (and seemed about ready to write a poem or something about the shape of my butt) that I missed those cues, there in the restaurant.  I let them slide right by me.

Thinking it through later, I determined to set a boundary.  To say whatever I needed to say to get him OFF the subject of sex.  To remind him that we were not anywhere near any point of readiness for that conversation.  I wasn’t thinking about walking away.  Just making a course correction.  I was too busy being excited about all the fun dates we might go on that he had described with such enthusiasm (he was even going to let me ride his Harley with him!) to even think about walking away.

My attempts to set that boundary failed.  To his credit, he was not pawing away at me to get his way, as will sometimes happen.  But he was not backing down on this subject as a conversation.  He needed to know, right up front, that I would make myself sexually available to him.  He had tried the “waiting for marriage” route and had gotten burned that way, discovering the disaster on his wedding night.  He wasn’t going to put himself in that situation again. 

But this wasn’t the ONLY thing we talked about.  It was just one little bit in a sea of other, better conversations.  So I held onto my hope…maybe I was finally going to get to be in a relationship!  Finally, finally I wouldn’t be alone.  I downplayed our difference on that one oh-so-important-to-me topic, and focused on the fun stuff.  I just wanted to be happy!

So he pushed and pushed in the conversation re; sex, and I held my ground, despite seeing within myself the wish that I wasn’t in covenant agreement with my accountability group not to drink.  If I could have gotten drunk, I could have given myself an excuse to “slip” – this thought had actually crossed my mind.  (That’s not a PROUD admission – just the truth as it stood, and if you don’t understand that, maybe you never lived out long-term celibacy, eh?)

I waited more and more anxiously for those dates he kept promising to start, but he always seemed to have plans when it seemed like we ought to be going out.  Which made me crazier each time it happened.  When was he going to take me out??!  I was a toxic soup of excitement and frustration and expectation.

Hence the conversation with my friend.  I didn’t come to my senses that night as we talked it out, but it wasn’t a whole lot longer after that.  I found the words to make it clear that he didn’t need to keep asking about sex, as there was zero chance I’d be sleeping with anyone whose wedding ring I wasn’t wearing.  That was enough to end what had been nothing more than a fumbling, stumbling, awkward thing not grown enough to be deemed “a relationship.” 

You’d think it would be easy to walk away from something like that.

It wasn’t.

I was a mess.  I cried several times, alone with God, asking Him why this one point had to be a breaking point.  It felt like I was dying as I chose obedience to my convictions rather than grabbing hold of what I thought I wanted.  I was mad at God.  Why tease me?  Why let me think there might be someone for me, if that someone clearly couldn’t be for me at all?  This obedience was too expensive!

Disclosure:  unlike many of the blogs I post here, this is not a story about long ago and far away.  This is a bit from 2012.  These things don’t only happen to us when we’re brand new babies in the faith.  Sometimes we struggle and flail even when we thought we had come a pretty good piece down the road, in faith terms. 

Here’s the happy ending:  I really feel like God allowed this whole story to happen as a one last test for me…what ended up being about five minutes before my REAL “Mr. Right” appeared on the scene.  Once He had let me prove to Him and, more importantly maybe, to MYSELF that I was finally ready to walk a relationship out HIS way or no way at all, the door opened and in walked my guy.  Someone I had been admiring for all the right reasons for way over a year.  Someone who fit the list of things I’d been asking of God for my own Mr. Right.  Someone whom I had so passionately hoped might someday be mine, and then had mostly given up on when God called me away from the community we shared.  A story I thought had been closed to me, opened up. 

It only cost me almost 15 years alone.  It only cost me a few failed attempts at relationships.  It only cost me sticking to what I knew He wanted from me, when all I REALLY wanted was to get something for ME.  It only cost me feeling like I was dying as I surrendered, on more than one occasion.  It only cost me that.

Truth:  for what I’m getting in the trade-off, I’ll call that a BARGAIN.  And I’ve spent the last month or so thanking God over and over again for carrying me through, for saving me from settling for less.  I had such an opportunity to settle for less.  I could have gone for booty now, company now, and chaos later, and…truth:  it was NOT EASY, not settling for less.

But He carried me.  He met me in my willingness.  I won’t go on and list here the big long bunch of ways that my guy fits the description of “hand-picked by God for me,” cuz I’d get downright obnoxious.  I’m not sharing tonight to be obnoxious (so if you read it that way, please forgive me.)

I’m sharing tonight because someone out there is being presented with ample opportunity, right this minute, to settle for less than God’s best for them.  Not just ONE someone.  A bunch of someones.

I’m not saying it’s a fast or easy plan, holding out. 

But as of today, I’m counting it worth the cost, and then some.  It’s looking like the prize He’s handing me for being faithful is exceedingly abundantly better than I might have guessed it would be. 

Hang in there.  Don’t settle for less.  You can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you. 




  1. […] I really enjoyed seeing him.  And I really didn’t entertain thoughts about it much beyond that.  God sent me back for a reason.  My job was to embrace where He sent me, not sabotage myself with wishful thinking.  While my heart was still in Chicago and my hope was still that somehow, someday, it might work out that we could be together…that didn’t look to be the case.  I was moving on.  I was kind of all business on this point.  I was even checking out another possibility (and if you’ve been around a bit, you already read about that here.)  […]

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