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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Serial Flirt.

When I was a little girl, I was made fun of all the time by my classmates. Many times they targeted me because I was really loud and overly affectionate. But, as I've grown up, I've realized the root cause of all the teasing was because all I truly wanted was for them to like me, and I bent over backwards to get them to include me. I became their carpet to stomp all over, and I simply...let them. To them I was pathetic. To my Lord, I was desperately in love with humanity. I was innocent and had no idea that these kids weren’t as simply happy-go-lucky as I was. They made fun of me for my weight, my looks, my quirky personality, and my deep love of Christ, but in all the years that I was made fun of, I never found myself blaming them. In fact, I often found the more they hated me, the more I wanted to prove to them I was worth loving.

Fast forward through ten years of repression and blaming myself for not being good enough, add an outgoing personality and a deep-seated desire to simply be loved and fit in…and you’ve got the potential for a serial flirt on your hands.

What’s a good Christian girl to do to avoid being a terrible flirt? In eighth grade I often begged God to bring me my future husband in high school to be my best friend. I prayed and prayed and prayed that He’d have mercy on my poor little heart and let me have someone to love, who could show me my worth and love me with all of their being.

But God didn’t respond.

So, I would scream and throw temper tantrums. I would tell the Lord He was cruel and unforgiving [you’d never guess I was an actor, right?].  I would cry for hours on end, feeling broken and bruised. Asking why He wouldn’t allow me to have my first kiss or first date. Why He wouldn’t allow someone to ask me out.

But God would not respond.

And, as if purposefully trying to test God, I gave in and began to flirt.

Ooooh, was I the flirt queen my freshman year. I’d flirt with just about anything that moved. Men, women, cats [too far?]…I ate up all the attention that was thrown my way.

And when I started getting what I wanted.. [i.e. attention, flirting, men, popularity, etc. All fleeting, yet something I had craved and was now becoming addicted to]...

...I stopped praying.

I mean, it wasn't necessary anymore, right? It hadn’t served me in my romantic life prior to this point, so why continue? God obviously didn’t care about me, or what I wanted. He didn’t acknowledge or understand the pain and self-loathing that I had felt in my heart.

He had abandoned me.

So, I didn’t pray for God’s will. I didn’t pray for direction or strength and courage to be a strong woman of God. I didn’t think or pray about my husband or what he deserved anymore. I let my foundation in faith crumble as I sat and cheered. I stopped caring altogether about what the Lord had created me for and instead started [attempting] to fill the void in my heart, for the first time, with what society told me to do: chase a man till he realized he loved me.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Stupid.

I had cracked, and was in need of serious fixing…but I was far from ready to allow God to make this brokenness apparent to me. Far from ready to allow Him to take care of me. So I listened to society and got rid of what they said was holding me back [God] and placed my hope in the brokenness of humans.

At fourteen, I was sashaying my way through high school, as the textbook definition of an attention-whore; an extrovert using her God- given gifts to manipulate those around her into ‘Pizza-Love’ing her.

What? You don’t know pizza-love? Oh, come on! We’re all very familiar with pizza-love! Coined by Mary Beth Bonacci, Catholic writer and speaker on the ideals of love, pizza-love is that fake love that comes and goes in an instant. I ‘love’ pizza, but when I’m finished eating it, do I think about it? Pray for it? Adore it? Recognize it’s inner beauty? No. I wrap it in saran wrap, throw it in the back of the fridge and FORGET ABOUT IT.

But it tasted good. And when boys smiled at me, when boys laughed at my jokes or seemed the least bit interested…I felt good. I felt like I wasn’t invisible or fighting to exist. I felt… wanted.

But they never fought for me, liked me or pursued me. They acknowledged my overt pushiness, enjoyed it and then metaphorically ‘threw me in the back of the fridge’ when they got bored.

And this is what I had chosen over God.

Pathetic.

[I was a freshman in high school, give me a break.]

Let’s get this straight: All women want to be chased. All women deserve to be chased. Not because they are fond of playing games, or because they really, really love ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ and want to make sure the dress they dream about from season three is still around when they find the right guy—but because God created us perfectly, and within us placed the innate desire to be loved and adored, but by the right people. And with the chase, comes the proving of worth and intention. But the part of the equation we so often leave out, that we have replaced all together with this flimsy idea of romance, is that we were created to desire love and adoration, not just from our romantic partners, but more so from our Creator! 

God is SO in love with us.  If only we would have the courage to allow Him show us this. It’s as though we’ve become numb to the idea that He loves us after hearing it so often through our childhood that we can’t fathom the idea that He gets joy out of our existence! And until we realize this, until we see how He loves us, we will never know how to be loved by another.

It was hard to see this amid the chaos of high school. With the confusion of growing up, I was suffocating myself in hopes that a man would help fill me. Fill a void that I knew in the core of my being only God could fill.

It took my mother, one of the most beautifully devout women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, to drag me to the adoration chapel. Better yet, drag me mid-tears, drowning in my negative thoughts of how ugly and alone I was. 

But my mother took my hand, and sat me in front of the tabernacle…and let Him prove me wrong.

I felt Him there. I felt His arms wrap around me. And I wept…but not tears of anger or anxiety, but tears of complete and utter… joy. It’s amazing how just being in the presence of the Lord can inspire understanding and calm. 

He, my best friend, my spiritual husband, my love, my life, my God…had read my soul during all of this and knew that the fondness, peace-filled romance, that love-story that I had craved…  would not be satisfied in the relationships I was pursuing. So He did not let them grow.

Instead. He smiled, lovingly gazed at me and He said…let it be me.

It’s been hard, and I’ve struggled not to chase, but it has certainly opened my eyes to reality. It has allowed me to weed through those who are worthy of my time and allowed me to let go of those who just don’t get it, and most likely never will. And while there are moments when I find myself desiring that attention, drooling over the ‘pizza’, I have finally come to terms with the fact that the ‘pizza’ will never satisfy me.  

So I will wait. I will wait for the one that chases me, and more importantly, chases Him.

Until then, I’ll just flirt with God.

1 comment:

  1. This is so profound, Katey. I really connected to this. I know exactly what you mean and I'm proud to say that over the past few month's I've started to get to this point and make these realizations as well. Thank you for sharing this. I love you!

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