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When I was 23 years old, the idea of being 28 and single was petrifying.
Now I am 28, and I am single, and I’m honestly doing alright. It is not the nightmare 23 year old me dreaded, but just an aspect of my life. I’m thankful for my single years thus far (though I definitely wouldn’t mind if they ended), and in retrospect I can see purpose in the pain, loneliness, and longing that I have felt, and sometimes still feel.
BUT I do very much want marriage, and all the things between it and where I am now.
Last year I realized that I had taken a very passive role in my dating life, and it wasn’t really getting me anywhere. You might recall a blog I wrote in 2016 about my stance to not make the first move – like ever. I took that post down about a year ago, when God challenged that stance and showed me that I’d actually made that vow out of fear of rejection, rather than wisdom.
So last June, when I started crushing on a friend, I told him that I liked him. Why not? I thought, I have a voice, I am not powerless in this situation.
“LeAnn, you are so great,” he said, “but you just don’t like sports enough.”
There were more words, but that pretty much sums it up haha. Even though it was hard being turned down, my most prominent emotion was relief. It was freeing to know that he wasn’t interested, instead of going on without clarity. For about a week, I felt like I was full of fire.
WOW I told a guy I liked him and he didn’t like me and WOW everything is okay and I am not crushed! Look at me, walking around all normal and happy!
Fear of rejection? “New number, who dis?”
Maybe I’ll call so and so, or maybe I’ll text whatshisname, we can just clear up all these questions from the past!
Pretty soon, I cooled my jets, and wisdom kept me from reaching out to any old flames (thank you Lord).
In August, I met a guy who caught my eye, told him that, and we started getting to know one another. He was full of kindness and joy, and our conversations brought me a lot of life. After a few phone calls, I could feel seeds of hope taking root in my heart. They scared me, but they taught me to trust God more deeply. I asked God to move things forward or close the door.
A couple nights later, I sat on my back porch sipping tea, on another phone call with Guy-Who-Caught-My-Eye, when he told me that he had decided to start dating another girl. I was stunned, hurt, and angry. But there was still relief. I thanked God that He had answered my prayer, and finished my tea while laughing with my roommate. I lit my fall-scented candle. The season had changed.
The next morning I cried in the car and forgave Guy-Who-Caught-My-Eye.
In December, I decided to give online dating a try. Coffee Meets Bagel came highly recommended from a few friends who met their significant others or spouses via the app, but came recommended with some caution from friends who had absolutely no luck. Why not? I asked myself, and created a profile at midnight in a moment of -to be painfully honest- slight desperation.
At first, it was fun seeing lots of guys like my profile, very affirming. But soon it became clear that finding an authentic Christian man wouldn’t be so easy. A few days in, I matched with someone. His leading line was “Liked your pics.” Wow, suave (insert eyeroll). He was quick to fade away when he found out that I am serious about my faith.
But I kept it up for a few more weeks, scrolling through profiles. It was very interesting from a social standpoint to see how people portrayed themselves, and even though I pumped as much Christianity as possible into my profile, I continued to be “liked” by Hindu, Muslim, and “spiritual but not religious” men, whom I had no interest in.
Side note: I found it creepy as all get out that so many men put “I like to try new things,” and/or “I appreciate when my date likes to try new things,” on their profiles. Like are you talking about sushi burritos or…?
Anyway, eventually I remembered that when I signed up, I knew God wasn’t blessing it. He gave me permission, but all along I knew that ultimately, I would not meet my husband through Coffee Meets Bagel. What am I even doing here??? I asked myself.
Wasting time and getting affirmation, myself and a couple close friends answered. So, I deactivated my account in early January. I have since deleted the app. I ain’t trying to waste my time nor the storage space on my phone.
With the arrival of 2018 came a new word from the Lord.
I knew this command applied specifically to my dating life, and I wrestled with it for a while.
If I’m not making moves, what if some other woman snatches up my husband?
Sounds crazy when I read it now, but that’s essentially what was going through my mind. Wild what’s in there sometimes, right? Through my distress, the Lord spoke:
“LeAnn, you will not have to point yourself out to the man I have in mind for you.”
I decided to believe Him, because He’s proven trustworthy so far.
It hasn’t been easy. I still have my moments (or sometimes days, tbh) that I perceive a need to manipulate situations and make something happen. After all, I thought I’d have children before I had gray hair (not the case apparently). But since I believe that God will do what He says he will do, I can do what He asks me to do, knowing that He is more than able and His plans for me are good.
I have chosen the path that God is blessing in my life. It’s covered in a canopy of peace.
I still think women can ask men on dates, if they want to, that’s just not what God wants for me. At least not in this season.
And homie, if you’re out there reading this, thinking “wow she a supa-fly woman of worship,” you’re right. Ask me on a date, if you want. I like tacos.
Much love, peace and blessins.
I’m currently support raising to squad lead in August, I would love it if you considered making a donation to send me to back to the field with J Squad!