The Missionary Dater

I learned something about myself the other day.

Allow me to set the stage for you.

Thursday night aka Thirsty Thursday. I’m out with all my friends, because after a long week, who doesn’t love a good drink. With that being said, let me just say I’m not a drunk, but I am a social drinker, and I only have 3 drinks, whether its beer or a vodka/sprite. Because I know my limit…and well, I believe in maintaining my dignity.

As we are all enjoying our drinks, talking and laughing about the past week, I began discussing the guy I had met and gone out with within this past week. Of course, I thought this guy was pretty great. Except for the fact that he was not a Christian. But that was okay. I could help him find Jesus soon enough. Of course, as soon as I said this my good friends all look at me like I’m slightly off my rocker.

Then, one of my sweetest friends, announces that I’m a #missionarydater. I mean its even mentioned in our group text message. It’s become a running joke.

But anyway. I couldn’t believe I had said this. It was like uncontrollable word vomit. Word bullets as I call them. But why?

I had become one of those girls. You know the one. The girl who honestly believes that she can change a man.

Can I just say that once I made this realization, a facepalm moment occurred.

I mean seriously, Jayme. Like seriously.

And this thought has sat with me for a week now. The moment I became labeled as a #missionarydater has replayed like some horror movie in my head. Over and over.

It replayed in my head while I was sitting in church. Church, y’all! The time I should be paying attention to my Reverend and listening to the beautiful voices of the choir, I’m stuck in my own head listening to myself admit that I’m a missionary dater. Then, during the middle of the closing prayer, it dawned on me. Is this really what I want? That I want to date someone that is broken to fix them? 

And that afternoon, I spent a long afternoon taking a deep look at myself. Future spoiler alert: what I found was quite ugly.

I have always told myself that I do not deserve to be with anyone who is all “put together” because well, I’m simply not. I have no idea what I’ll being doing in a year. No idea where I’ll be living. No idea what kind of job I’ll be working. No idea if I’ll be in a Master’s Program at a university somewhere.

The uncertainty of all of this has made me question whether I should start a relationship with someone because who wants to start a relationship if I might have to move in a year?

But there’s a plot twist: I don’t want to be alone. I’ve always said I would be better off alone because if I fall in love with someone, and it all falls apart, I’m afraid I might not make it. It had nothing to do with my happiness. I just always thought it would be easier to be alone. (Yes, I can say that I sound so much like Meredith Grey it hurts sometimes. Meredith Grey= a fictional me.)

But that’s beside the point. I fed myself with these lies that love is something I cannot survive.  I also fed myself with the lie that I do not deserve someone who has it all together.

I learned that in order to stop the missionary dating and gain the love I deserve I have to stop feeding myself  these lies and replace them with the actual truth.

And of course everyone has a different truth, but my truth is simple: I deserve a “put together” guy who can love me for me, and that I can survive if things do not work out.

So let’s fast forward to Thursday, September 29, 2016, weeks later, and I’ve realized something- I’m a missionary dater because I do not believe that I deserve any better.

So, maybe its time for me to redefine my dating criteria. Maybe it’s time for me to stop settling.Or just maybe I need to realize that missionary dating will get you nowhere.

There are problems with missionary dating:

1) I cannot save people who do not want to be saved.

2) People will not change for you, they will only change for themselves.

Trying to convince someone to love Jesus just because they are in a relationship with me will never be okay. I know God said, “Go into the world and preach the gospel to all creation,” (Mark 16:15) but I don’t think he meant to do this by being a serial dater. And I’m not telling non-Christians that they can’t date Christians. All I mean by this is dating someone in order to make them one day love Jesus will not work. It just won’t. People have to want to know Jesus in order for that to happen. And no one can do that for another person. It just can’t happen.

So today, I choose to be honest with myself. Thanks to my good friends and the realization they have offered me, I have to end things with McCutie. Which is for the best.

Anyway…I hope you all enjoy Thirsty Thursday as much as I do.

 

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Desires vs. Needs

I remember as a child my mother would always fix my plate for supper. It wasn’t because I couldn’t fix it myself, but it was because I couldn’t reach the dishes on the counter. She would always say, “Say When!” to tell her that we had enough. Of course, a child’s eyes are almost always bigger than their stomach, and we always got too much. My mother would aways say as I was getting ready to put my plate away, “Why didn’t you tell me when to stop. You knew you weren’t going to eat all that.” I got to thinking about this every single time mother asked, and I came up with this answer. I wouldn’t say when because they’re something about the possibility of more. We always want more. More tequila on Tuesday nights, more love, more anything. More has always been seen as better. More gives us hope for something better. More gives us faith to believe in something.

But what is the meaning of life if we are never content? What is the point of living if all we want to do is find more? I’ve been doing a lot of thinking here lately, and I’ve realized, I’m not content. I haven’t been content with myself and who I am for a long time. I keep finding myself looking for more. I want to be more than what I am now. I want to have more than what I have now. And in some areas in my life, I believe that is okay. But in others, well not so much. I’ve been studying into my Bible more and more here lately as I’ve found myself looking for some direction to help find my way. I came across Proverbs 14:30 which says, “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots to the bones.” This verse has resonated with me for a couple of days now, and I believe that I can not be content in my life with who I am if I continue to envy other people. Yes, I have a dream of being a wife, mother, amazing officer, teacher, Ph.D. holder, but I cannot get there if I continue to be jealous of others and what they have.

I cannot be another person. I cannot live through another person. I mean, I guess I could try, but it would not be nearly as satisfying. The Lord gives us enough. It is hard for me to see right now, I will not lie about that, but I have to understand that right now I am enough. I have enough. I cannot find “the one my soul loves,” if I cannot learn to be content with myself and what God has provided for me right here, right now.

So I guess there is something to be said about the glass being half full. There is something about knowing when to say when. We have to know that our wants and desires may not be the things we NEED right now. Sometimes, what’s being poured is something that you need a taste of right now, maybe it is something that you need to enjoy a bottomless bottle of, or maybe, just maybe that bottle isn’t meant to be opened yet. All I know is that once we stop desiring more, we may learn to enjoy what’s in our glass now. And who knows, maybe the wine in the bottle is the best thing you’ve ever tasted.

Coming from a Broken Home

I was told when I was younger I came from a broken home. That what they used to call it when you had divorced parents, even though their divorce was the least broken thing they ever did for themselves and for their children. When I heard this as a seven-year-old, I wondered if a broken home was where broken people lived. I know it was a silly thought, after all, I was seven. But as I’ve grown, I can’t help but wonder.

What constitutes a home? I grew up with the misconception that a home and a house were the exact same thing, and by all definition, they both represent where a person lives. But a house, well that can be made out of anything. You can make it out of brick, logs, even mud if you want. You can make it as strong or weak as you want. Now a home, a home is much more fragile. A home is not some structure that keeps you safe at night. It’s so much bigger than that. A home is made by the people you feel it with. Of course, people can be broken, but any college student knows that what’s broken can be mended, I mean just look at my GPA. What’s hurt can be healed. It is not impossible, it just takes time.

Time…there’s that word again. I hear this word over and over, that my time to meet my soulmate is coming, that God’s timing is much better than my own, and I won’t deny that. I can’t deny that. I’ve seen God’s timing work wonders. I believe my mother knows exactly what I’m talking about as she met my J-Daddy in a Lowes while looking at lawn mowers. But time. Time heals almost any wound. Time helps mend the broken and heal the hurting. Time causes “broken homes” to become so much more than broken.

I’ve learned to resent that term, “broken home.” Adults used to apologize to me when I was younger when they realized I had divorced parents. But what about that is broken? Why is divorce seen as a dirty little word that no person should even think about? Why is divorce seen as the worst thing to ever happen in a child’s early life? I can honestly say that divorce is not some dirty word. Divorce is seen as a good decision and the start of the healing process in my family’s situation. I say this because my home was “broken” before the divorce process even started. Divorce helped my family heal.

So if a home is made by the people you feel it with, I can say my home is definitely not broken. My home is filled with 4 wonderful parents, 4 great siblings, a sister-in-law, and 2 beautiful little nieces. So I ask again, how is my home broken?

I won’t lie to you and say my home has always been peachy, but I’ve learned that no matter how dark a home gets, the sun is going to rise again. My home may not be conventional, heck, it’s probably 100 shades of weird, but the sun’s shining bright, and I know I am enjoying this sunlight.