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Can I Just Skip Dating... Please?

photo credit: Brandon Christopher Warren via photopin cc
photo credit: Brandon Christopher Warren via photopin cc

As a little girl I dreamed of my fairytale wedding. All girls do, right? Secretly, I think all guys do too, even if it was Star Wars themed and the wedding rings were replaced with matching light sabers. Classy guys, real classy.

In my dream I would walk down the long, red aisle. In my dream I was wearing my big, white princess dress with a train as long as an actual train. In my dream the wedding took place in an old, but beautifully restored, church by the sea. In my dream I had my bridesmaids by my side as I married my best friend.

In my dream, it was perfect.

There was just one thing in my dream that wasn’t in your wedding dream, and I’d be prepared to bet money on it. In my dream I was walking down the aisle singing a duet with the groom. Live. Madonna microphones and all.

Way too many Disney movies Elyse, wayyy too many!

You’ll be happy to know I’ve grown out of the duet idea (only recently). But I haven’t grown out of the dream of marrying the man that will make my heart skip a beat. In my dream-land marriage seemed so easy. But now? Now I’m starting to realise it's a little more complicated.

Maybe it's not as simple as just deciding to “get married.”

Have I just been expecting that one day I’ll decide it’s time to get married and nek-minit the man of my dreams will show-up, with his sleeve tattoo, guitar, and bad boy attitude (whilst still being a spiritual supergiant)?I thought I would be one of those people who just knew.

I dreamed it would be a romantic-comedy moment (of course I'm played by Kate Hudson) where we would lock eyes in a room full of people, he would walk over to me and introduce himself. (I'm about to get all Taylor Swift on you, you've been warned).

The playful conversation starts, I counter all his quick remarks, like passing notes in secrecy. 

And just like that, he would hand me the final rose, and we would be engaged. Because that's totally how it happens, right? Wrong. I know, I'm devastated.

There’s that thing we've been talking about calledprocess. That awkward, disappointing, make-me-want-to-vomit, process. Blehhck (yes it's a word).

I’m starting to wonder whether I’ll ever get past my fear of the process long enough to actually marry someone, long enough to actually date someone, or even hold the fear off long enough to go to a theme park with someone (because dinner is overrated, duh).

Confession: I’m so scared of making the wrong decision that I’m scared to make any decision.

It's true. I worry that I’ll marry someone, and realise it was the wrong one. Is there a right one? I just don’t want to settle. I know God has promised me a husband to do life with, someone who will lead me and look after me and someone who will be so in love with Jesus that it will cause me to grow closer to Jesus myself.  And I know he will be hilarious and driven and flirty. And a babe. A total babe.

So if I feel like God has promised me this, where is he? Is God still working on him or is he right in front of me? Have I missed him because I’m expecting the “ready-made-package” when God is offering him to me in “just-go-on-a-flipping-date” form?

But as I think about it, deeper than just the surface thoughts, I realise, it’s fear. This whole issue is just another expression of the spirit of fear. And I’ve battled with it my whole life.

I had nightmares when I was a little girl, and when I prayed that God would replace my fear with peace, He did. In high school I was petrified of what my friends thought of me so I acted different around them. One day I prayed for God to give me courage to be who He wanted me to be, and He did. And now, I’m afraid of choosing the wrong person.

Different stages of life. Different manifestations. Same fear.

But here's the thing, God has proved Himself faithful in getting rid of my fear before. I know He will prove Himself faithful again.

So before I give up on dating and demand an arranged marriage from my parents, I think I just need to chill. I definitely need to chill.

Maybe today you have resonated with my honesty. You might be single and questioning where your husband/wife (just choose one) is. You might have a million and one questions on this subject. Can I suggest, like me, you relax and enjoy the season you’re in?

I’ve come to realise that being open to love is very different to being obsessed with finding it. It’ll come when God wants it too. In His timing.

Maybe today you’re nursing a broken heart and wondering whether you’ll ever be able to piece it together again. I’ve been there and I get it. It hurts. It sucks. For a while life doesn’t feel fun anymore. The fear of getting hurt again clouds the excitement of the possibility of love.  Take the time you need, stay close to Jesus and ask Him to heal the areas that feel shattered. Let Him do His thing. It might not be long before you meet someone that gives you butterflies again.

Maybe today you’re reading this and are petrified to give someone a shot because you’re scared of making the wrong decision. I have a question for your fear. What’s the worst that could happen?

Yeah Elyse. What’s the worst that could happen?

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