I had a revelation – mid-falling-for-the-sweet-man – when I went away to Michigan on my freak-out last month. Hopefully you can track with me on this because it’s a bit complicated.
I am an introvert. I love my kids, my family, my friends but I love spending time alone. I hate talking on the phone. My ideal day is when I don’t have to go anywhere and my house is quiet.
But despite this, I have a few deep friendships and we pour into each other. But if I don’t hear from a friend for a little while, I don’t panic. I just figure she’s living her life as I’m living mine.
I don’t have to know my friends’ daily lives with a play-by-play. Or my family’s. Or my children’s. Or even, when I was married, my husband’s.
However, I do seem to have to be in somewhat constant communication with one particular type of person/relationship:
A man, when there is some kind of romantic interest, pre-wedding day/pre-eternal-commitment.
(I know, with each confession, I am scarily narrowing down my potential future dating pool. A chance I’m willing to take to bring resonance or empathy to even one of you today.)
I had been under the mistaken impression that this was a character flaw in my teens and early 20s, but it turns out I’ve still got it. I have now been in this situation with four men in the past twenty-four years: I can’t get enough.
I don’t feel this way with guy friends. I didn’t feel this way once the security of a marriage commitment was in place. But in the in-between time, I seem to become slightly obsessy.
I was given ample – and I mean generously ample – access to this most recent kind man and yet, still I would think, it’s been six hours since he texted me…has something changed? For the love.
Yes, me, a fully-actualized grown woman. Acting like an insecure fifteen-year-old with her first boyfriend. My mentor would remind me that my wounds were deep and that healing will take a lifetime. But then she would point out that it wasn’t normal. (Bless her, she loves me enough to say the hard things.)
It was to the point where I could track my emotions with the level of communication for the day. Lots of connection: happy happy. Little connection: deep sigh and swirly panic. #notnormal
The interesting thing was that regardless of my emotional mindset, I was still, thankfully, getting much work done every day, still taking care of my home, still keeping my kids and dog alive, still leading small groups, still having my quiet times and in communion with Jesus.
But my inner world was a roller coaster. It was unhealthy and I kinda knew it. I was craving the contact, his good words. (If when I were younger, I had to be in constant contact with one particular boyfriend who I argued with all the time, I would liken that to an addiction to crack. But this…this was more like a pull to have a smoothie continually being pumped into my body.) (And yes, I know, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.)
And I didn’t know how to stop it other than to ask Jesus pretty constantly to steady my emotions. I was living my full life on the outside but I was all over the place on the inside. Not good.
And so again, no answers today. Just a confession, an observation, an awareness. Maybe this will make at least one of you feel not so alone in whatever un-wholeness you’re working through today.
I’m in this interesting place: I want to be the woman God created me to be, which comes with every emotion sometimes all within one day, and I want to celebrate that, and yet, I want to live in integrity and a calm that reverberates in my soul that no matter what, Christ is with me and is holding me and I don’t have to cling and claw and hyperventilate and overanalyze and wonder. I can just live. I can just feel. I can just be. It’s all going to be okay. Hopefully one day.
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. –Philippians 4:11–