5 Lessons I Learned From Month Four of Not Dating

1. It sounds romantic, but is it responsible?

Meeting someone now and feeling that inexplicable and instant chemistry with a no-hassle decision to marry HAS happened to other people, to other couples. Just not to me. Hearing about other people’s stories can make me feel uneasy. Yet, I actually  admire how two people can KNOW that they want to spend the rest of their life together within a short period of time.

While that might sound romantic,  I learned that it might not be responsible. Proverbs 14:15 reads, “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” God showed me several areas of my life that need cleaning up, straightening out, and even eliminating altogether. He showed me that this is a great time for me to get to all those things that I told myself (and the Lord) that I would tend to when I had the time. Well, now here we are.

Here are a few projects that I can finally take on:

  • Eliminating debt and getting a clear, manageable system to kill it for good!
  • Developing the habit of saving money and not touching it.
  • Advance my fitness goals.
  • Cooking beyond just heating up stuff. (sad but true).
  • Redecorating my space.

2. If I’m not doing it now, I will not likely do it when I’m in a relationship.

A few of my girlfriends are dating guys they met online or they’re married for a few years and telling me that marriage isn’t “that big of a deal.”  I notice that they’re running into the same issues with money mismanagement, insecurity, problems at work as when they were single. I used to think marriage would change me. And I’m sure it will. But if I know there are things about me that can use fine-tuning, I can ask the Lord to help me dump that baggage. If marriage is in His plan for my life, I’d like to go into it knowing I did everything I could to prepare. I Corinthians 14:40 reads, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

3. Focus on the friendship first. 

God blessed me with godly men who have proven themselves to be good friends, to help and to pray for me and my family. The old way of thinking would be for me to suspiciously assess if that guy would fit into my idea of a good partner. But this decision to not date gives automatic relief from that pressure. Instead, I’ve learned how to cultivate genuine friendships with gentlemen who love the Lord and will be supportive without the ulterior motive of seduction. (Some of ya’ll ladies know what I’m talking about). I learned how to trust within safe boundaries and how to laugh without reservation. Proverbs 7:17 tells us, “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” God has shown me the precious gift and skill of friendship.

4. Don’t panic when I hit 40. 

I felt like my goals are going to take a long time. What if I’m not done by the time I’m 40? [panic]. God eased my heart. He will mold and care for me for as long as it takes, as often as it takes. The trap of a timeline can distract me from the important blessings and lessons along the way. Psalm 1:3 has always spoken to me about God’s timing, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

5. I could be wrong. 

At month one, I would not have taken this lesson very well. But the Holy Spirit has stepped in so many times to show me the benefits of my being wrong. And how wonderful that I am mistaken most of the time! My sin, my preoccupations, my worry, my past, PTSD, my limitations can cloud my perspective. I’m so thankful that the Lord is faithful in catching me when I jump from my own mistakes.

I can place my confidence in the Lord and His commandments. Psalm 19:7-9 reminds me, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” It’s been a blessing to see how God always wins and it’s in unexpected ways that I could not have imagined.

Thank you for sharing this journey and these lessons with me. As this comedy continues, stay tuned to more lessons along the way.

Have you been in season where you purposely didn’t date? Tell me about the lessons you learned.

Blessings,
Mahal

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The new way we celebrated new year’s eve.

2012 going into 2013: home. probably asleep before 11pm. I had just finished chemo/radiation treatments. I was back at work, thankfully working from home, but still struggling to get through the day without a nap.

2013 going into 2014: same thing. Sensitive to crowds and loud noises, feeling like I survived the first year of recovery and feeling too vulnerable to be out late at night.

So when I decided that we would go house-hopping for new year’s eve this year, my daughter was surprised. We hadn’t stayed up this late, other than our occasional movie nights at home. For me to have endurance with more than one audience in the same evening was a new experience for both of us.

We were able to enjoy family and friends and bring in the new year with lively energy. We arrived home safely, in the 40-degree version of a Los Angeles winter. Warmed with vanilla tea, homemade tamales and banana creme pie, we reminisced on the unexpected wow moments of this past year. We came home after 1am, with a new memory of how we celebrated new year’s eve.

This experience is a marker of healing. I really felt that the Lord turned around my previous holidays, as Proverbs 10:22 reads, “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and headdeth no sorrow with it.”

He showed me that He really walked with me through the new stages of healing this past year. Psalm 1:3 reminds me that the Lord gives me due seasons, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” The Lord gave me these memories right on time and when He provided us with opportunities to bond as a family, He didn’t hold back.

There were many times last year (ha, I can say that now) when I felt like I wasn’t enough and I felt like I was falling behind on too many things. Even with my episodes of doubt and discouragement, the Lord walked me through those moments and reassured me that I could trust Him. And tonight, I really saw the the reward of His grace. God gave us a rich life with simple things.

Thank you for helping me with my healing!

I am so thankful for how you have helped me in my healing. I can’t believe that I started this healing blog just six months ago and the love and lessons that you have shared with me on this journey has already been beyond amazing. Thank you to all of you who have taken the time to read, empathize, encourage, comment and share on this healing journal.

I pray that you will find newness and awe in your own experiences in 2015 and that you continue to walk and share this journey with me. Most of all, I am thankful that God has proven Himself faithful over and over again and proven that His grace is right on time. Happy New Year, Healing Family!

Praises to Him!

Blessings,

Mahal