Quit Hiding

I’m dating.

vulnerable, community, rooms, trust, God

Photo Credit: Ben White (CC)

Now that I’ve got your attention, this post isn’t an insider’s scoop of my love life, but about trusting in community. (Phew — I dodged a bullet!)

Ever read the book How to Get a Date Worth Keeping by Henry Cloud?

(For anyone wanting a practical Christ-based resource about dating either for themselves or someone else, this is the most relevant I’ve read.)

Well, this book bulldozed the tower of lies I had constructed about dating. One major lie? I must wait on God to bring my mate to my doorstep. (Okay, not literally, but he’d bring him into my life, without me searching for him.)

But Cloud said that unless you want to marry the FedEx man, you need to take ownership of your dating life.

Smash! One major level was destroyed.

More were destroyed through Cloud’s explication of why single Christians should date. He removed the walls of distrust and lies that kept me from dating.

Because often times the reasons why we’re avoiding dating are our fear of rejection and vulnerability (or other fears). It seems safer to hide behind a religious wall that says, “Don’t take responsibility for your dating life, but wait on God. He’ll make you vulnerable, shape you and your future spouse, and help you to trust automatically, all without your participation.” (That sounds like an assembly line for constructing robots.)

Before this book, when God didn’t seem to move on my behalf, I blamed him time and time again. After all, I didn’t believe I was a responsible party in seeing this come to pass. Despite him telling me three years ago, “You think you’re waiting on me, but I’m waiting on you.”

I wasn’t fully grasping what he meant. I thought he wanted me to work on areas like finances and communication (which he did also) that will affect a marriage.

So, I pursued learning about these areas. Yet, three years later, no mate. What’s up, God? What other hoop do I need to jump now?

Oops, he’s waiting on me to take ownership and become responsible. This step doesn’t exclude God or faith, rather I’ve drawn closer to Him because I’ve had to trust him when I’m most vulnerable and afraid. Trust him (and confide in others in my community) when issues come up that I don’t know where they came from or how to navigate them.

Before, I didn’t have to face these areas of my heart because I wasn’t exposed to them.

In the grand castles in England, the owners would often close off certain rooms and even wings when traveling or during certain seasons of the year. They’d cover the furniture like Edwardian side chairs, oak Pedestal desks, and Mahogany sofas with sheets so dust couldn’t collect on them. They’d close curtains, shutting the room off entirely. Dark, damp, and dusty.

That’s what I had done with certain rooms in my heart. I closed them off entirely unaware of the priceless treasures within. So the room was collecting dust and cobwebs.

Until now. The doors are opened, the sheets removed, and the rooms are getting cleaned. Meaning: I’m getting to know myself.

So, admitting I was hiding and needed to stop blaming God for my lack of results, opened my eyes. How can he bring a godly man into my life if I’m not willing to be vulnerable? What rooms in my heart are full of cobwebs and dust? Yeah, in hindsight, even if he had brought the man when I was hiding, I would’ve ran!

So, what happens when we join ourselves to community? I don’t mean just attending church once a week and greeting people. I’m talking about doing life with a group of people where they can see you, and not your church facade. Where they see your struggles. Where they know and help disciple your gifts. Where they see your uniqueness.

You’ll see those hidden rooms in your heart because our identity isn’t fully visible until we join ourselves in community within a Body. A Body under the leadership of Jesus.

For you will not mature beyond the level of intimacy to the Body–regardless of how intimate your relationship is with the Godhead.

How do I trust? What if I get hurt or rejected? What if I dislike some of the members?

Something God shared with me about dating: He will never leave me nor forsake me. No matter who slams the door on my heart, God is with me. After all, he’s the one who gives me value anyway, not a man. So, no matter what someone says about me, how they define me, or if they do or don’t value me, it doesn’t change who I am. I’m His and He is mine.

And if I get hurt, he’s there to heal my heart and mend my wounds. Then pick me up and led me back to the playground. And he’s equipping me with revelation that I wasn’t ready for until now. And he’s working through friends and family speaking into my life and reminding me of who I am.

So, my dating journey is a journey into his heart. I’m discovering more of who he is through this experience. And that’s the same dynamic with community. Until you join in community, you’ll be shut off from certain aspects of God’s nature simply because they can only be known through joining yourself with a community. Once you participate, layers of a veil are removed from your eyes so you can see clearer who he is and who you are as well.

How about you? What experience or resource has helped you to trust community? Please share in Comments below. Thank you.

 

 

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About the Author

sarahsoonwriter

Friend of God. Writer. Resting in His grace daily.