“You’re exactly the kind of girl I’ve been looking for!”
“You lead worship? I lead worship too. I’ve always wanted to lead worship with my wife.”“You know, I always hoped God would give me a blonde-haired, blue eyed girl.”“You had a crush on Aladdin? No way!! I had a crush on Jasmine.”“I always knew I would need a girl who could meet me on an intellectual level. You do that for me!”“I’m all in, whatever it takes.”“You’re the only one who gets me.”“I’ve always wanted a girl who could enter into my world.”“We were meant to be.”“Can I say I love you? … Please?”
You know, I never wanted to be that girl who’s dated a lot. Maybe in comparison, I haven’t dated too much. But I think I may have given my heart away too quickly in the past. Can you relate?
Don’t worry, I promise I’m not like that today and maybe neither are you anymore either. Experience does that for folks. In fact, maybe you would even agree that it’s almost impossible to give it away now.
Then again, maybe it's a good thing. I know it is for me. It means it’s not in my hands to give. Some of you might disagree. But that’s my choice, not yours.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and maybe there are a few people out there who can connect with this. For the men (or women) who read this, maybe you’re one of those guys (or girls) who have said similar things to the comments I I've just quoted.
Maybe you’re not.
But if you are, maybe you need to be reading this.
I’m your average girl. I’m 5 ft 2 (eyes of blue, have you seen my girl?) with a little room to spare.
I can sing, I can play a few instruments and I’ve led worship for over 7 years now.
I try to be presentable and I’ve been taught to be gracious and well mannered (for the most part…).
I’m friendly and outgoing. I’m not afraid to say hello to the newcomers in the places where I lead… or even don’t lead.
I tend to attract others who are either like me or think they want someone like me.
Naturally I would, too. I fit their bill. Or so they say.
People say a lot of things, don't they?
But something changes somewhere down the line.
Counteracting all those sweet little nothings listed in the beginning of the post,
I hear something a bit different right before one of us initiates a break-up...
“You’re not what I thought…”
“We lead worship differently… we just don’t jive.”
“You’re actually not as fun as I thought you were.”
“You’re too narrow-minded. Maybe in the future you’d consider college?”
“You’re a little deeper than I want.”
“You’re a little too serious, I think.”
“You’re a little too mystical for me.”
“I believe there are lots of people who are meant to be for each other. I guess this isn’t it though.”
“You’re asking too much of me.”
“No, I’ll never be able to just share my heart with you.”
“I was never comfortable with this to begin with.”
I was perfect for you one minute and now I’m totally wrong for you the next?
Now don’t get me wrong! I’m not angry with the guys I’ve dated in the past.
I’ve learned a lot from working through each relationship, no matter how long or short each was. Thank God for His grace in that. But we’re talking – drastic changes in what is being said.
“You’re not hard to figure out, Sarah. You just have lots and lots of layers.”
The people who know me best have said this time and time again.
I’m not a complicated person. Maybe you are. I would probably find you intriguing.
But I’m not. I just have layers.
I AM friendly. But I’m the oldest of ten kids. I had to be. And I like to be.
But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m an introvert.
You just don’t know that right off the bat, that’s all.
I AM a worship leader (well I was… I’ve downscaled a lot recently) but I don’t just lead songs.
I believe a true worshipper is a closet worshipper. I’m always looking for ways to be a worshipper –whether it’s going to the gym, whether it’s thanking God for loneliness and the things I don’t understand.
So hey: if you’re only a musician with a voice who sings Chris Tomlin songs on stage with lights, cameras and stage smoke – we’re definitely not going to jive. You’ll more likely find me in a coffee shop leading unsuspecting coffee buffs into the presence of God by a hymn I added a chorus to in my quiet time.
So what’s the issue?
Firstly, I think I should state: I’m not perfect by a long shot. I’ve made mistakes in my relationships and I’ve clamored to keep what I never had. I’ve played the savior and believed that “this time, it would be different. I’m different than the other girls.”
I’ve tried to control situations so my heart wouldn’t get hurt.
I’ve let people tell me what was really going on instead of listening to God about the matters.
That is all stuff God has convicted me about.
It is possible that these things are all playing variables in the problems I seem to have. So I take responsibility for those.
But that doesn’t change the guy’s part, whoever he might be.
And you know what?
I’m sick of guys acting like I’m their dream girl paper doll.
Like they can take what they think they want and put it on me as though one size fits all.
You know what that makes me to them?
So when I AM real in front of them, they’re in for a rude awakening.
What? She’s not as fun as I thought she was?
What? She isn’t the next Brook Fraiser?
What? She doesn’t think I’m the next Matt Redman?
It’s been frustrating for me. I feel like sometimes, Christian guys are more interested in finding the perfect addition to their life than being the kind of man that would deserve a girl like the one in his dreams.
But FYI, I’m not that girl.
Those girls you’re dating? They’re them.
We’re us. We have special little quirks and funny little snorts and bizarre senses of humor.
We do pass gas and we do swea… shimmer….Some of us don’t like to cook, some of us talk too much and sometimes we’re a lot less talkative than you think.
We’re freaking normal human beings too.
I’ve heard my guy friends complain about Christian girls they like, “She wants to date Jesus! I can only try, but I’m not Him…”
Isn’t it profound? When we’re not satisfying our hearts’ desires for perfect holiness in Jesus, we try to put that on others instead.
You want to marry a perfect girl?
You’d better be a saint. Otherwise, I think maybe you should realize that you’re missing out on real friendship and deep communion with raw human beings.
Look. I’m guilty of treating guys like paper dolls. I’ve placed my “Jesus” expectations on guys who never should have carried that responsibility.
I know what it’s like. They broke my heart. They had to. It was the only way to walk away.
And you’re perfect girl needs to never have kissed anyone else and she needs to be writing letters to you and be thinking about you day and night.
Except you get to go out and put the moves on other women who you KNOW you won’t end up with!
We're not your paper dolls.
You’re not ours.
Our other-worldy expectations need to be placed on the right thing or we’re going to be very discouraged and feel hopeless in the long run. Plus, we’ll hurt others in the process.
It’s time to grow up and focus on Jesus, single brothers and sisters.
Marriage won’t fix your need for greater things. I promise. But Jesus satisfies our hearts. When you let go of what you think you’re looking for, you’re letting Him have room to redefine a few things for you. Let Him do that. I am. Isn’t this what true communion is about? What real ministry is? Reconciling our hearts to the Father and to each other?