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DISCLAIMER: This post includes complaint but not lament. It is a No Pity Zone. I’m just keeping it real and have a feeling a few in my tribe can relate. Are we clear? I love you people. Okay, now, read on…

I had this idea about life after divorce. I thought once the dust settles, the dating life would be fantastic. I thought if I could just get through this really crappy time, I just knew it would be awesome. There would be dates and trips and parties and fun! As soon as that Facebook status moved to Single, there would be no stopping me! I’d join That Online Dating Site and I’d be inundated with men wanting relationships with me! I’d better buy some cute outfits in advance because I will have places to go.

tweet this.

tweet this.

It’s not like that.

The reality is, for many of us, single life is just life. Simply put, there’s a lot of down time. A lot of time where our date is Charles Shaw (don’t judge) and we find ourselves flopped on the beige couch on a Saturday night binge-watching Sex And The City. Or worse: Wife Swap.

I know, I know. People say, “Give it time.”

“There’s someone out there for you.”

“I know this great guy you might like…”

And worst of all: “We pray every day for the right man to come along for you.” Please pray for the Ebola victims, not for this.

In my limited experience of dating at this time in my life, I can tell you this: it’s exhausting. The small talk, the telling the same stories, the having to be funny/charming/cute. The Spanx! Don’t get me started. The Spanx alone are enough to confirm one’s calling to a convent. (But may it be in Provence, please, dear Lord.)

Some people love the fun of dating. Of meeting lots of people. Of just getting out there to have fun. Turns out, my original Facebook fantasy doesn’t fit me to a T. I’m not like that. The thing I want, I think what a lot of us want, is companionship.

I like getting dressed up (read: Spanx) and going on fantastic dates. But I want to do it with Someone. Someone I know in the deepest places of his heart and mind and who knows me in the same way. Someone I’m not trying to impress. I don’t want to be on my best behavior. I want us to be comfortable enough to not be perfect or witty or clever or trying so dang hard. I want to watch a movie on the couch in drawstring pants and no mascara and make a run for French fries or another bottle of wine. I want to have conversations that matter and conversations that are ridiculous. I want to laugh with him at potty humor even though it’s not lady-like. I want to talk about the places we fall down and the ways we get back up again. I want to talk about how we can change the world and really mean it.

I know a lot of women in this space want that. So what do we do in the waiting? I don’t know. But what I do know is… who are we kidding, I got nothin’. I know nothing.

Those days that feel hopeless and lame and sad and you’re just trying to keep it together…

Then those days when you feel all SJP at her cool New York best and you’re awesome and really okay.

All those days are part of it, I guess. The “Where are you, Someone?” days and the “I’m crushing it!” days. All true.

I’m nothing if not a big hairy ball of contradictions and I’m in all of that. My thoughts swing from one extreme to the other through the course of 24 hours. And what I do know…okay, this time I really do know at least one thing… is that it’s all going to be fine. We are going to be fine. Better than fine. We may not figure it all out, but we will be wondrous in the confusion and beautiful in the trying. No matter what.

In fact, I’m pretty sure we already are.

-ld

I googled "corny love images" and got this.

PS: I searched “corny love images” and got this.

alabaster

There’s a story told in the gospel of Luke about a woman with a “sinful past” who came to Jesus while he was eating dinner at a Pharisee’s house. She brought with her an alabaster jar of perfume. She began to weep, kneeling, and wet Jesus’ feet with her tears. After drying them with her hair, she broke open the bottle of perfume and poured it out onto his feet.

The religious guys around the table were astonished at this display and thought for sure, if Jesus knew about this woman’s past, He would be as disgusted as they were.

But no.

He knew. He knows.

He told her, “Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

It doesn’t say in the passage, but I imagine it went something like this… A room-full of Really Good Men. They really do think they know what’s best and how to be good. Follow the rules. Check the boxes. Nothing wrong with that.

But in walks a woman, into this room of Really Good Men (Ballsy, no? Back in the day, women and dogs were pretty much on equal footing), and all she wants is to connect with Jesus. She wants to give him the most valuable thing she has. She knows who he is. She knows of his capacity to forgive, to restore, to love. Tears of relief fall, of gratitude, overwhelming tears of “I can’t believe you know me and still love me.”

And then she breaks open this alabaster jar. A tremendously valuable thing and once opened, is broken forever. She pours out precious perfume onto his feet, as if to say, “This is everything. This is all of me. Take it. Please. It’s yours.”

I imagine the room has gone silent. Some of the religious guys are shocked. Some are waiting indignantly for Jesus to respond as they would. Some are just hoping she’d hurry up and leave, cuz this is awwk-ward.

Here’s what I think: I think Jesus smiles when he sees this woman. I think maybe he gives her a look that says, “I’m so glad you’re here. It’s ok. Come close.”

And then perhaps, he lifts her to her feet, holds her face in his big Jesus hands and says, “Your sins are forgiven.” I want to think he even whispers in her ear, “Don’t worry about these dudes. I got this. Go in peace.”

Jesus doesn’t say, “Now, why exactly did you do the things you did? How did you get to this place?” No questions about her past. He already knows and it’s a non-issue. He offers her peace. Healing. Restoration. Grace. Dignity. Love.

This woman. This brave, brave woman. She has no fear. She’s so desperate, she doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. Yes, she’s lived a hard life, been around the block, all that. But what I love is that she comes to Jesus, in a room rife with judgement, with everything she has. Vulnerable, humble, broken, like that alabaster jar, she pours out the depths of her soul. She says, “This is it. This is all I got. And it’s all yours.”

We don’t know her name, but she made history. She’s a hot mess, but she’s in the freakin Bible.

I want to be like her. I want to courageously come to Jesus and say, “Here. Here’s everything. Will you please take it? Take me?” Complete surrender. And my hope, my prayer, is that he will smile and hold my face in his Jesus hands and say, “I’m so glad you’re here. Come close. Your sins are forgiven.”

And then he’ll say, “Go in peace. Peace to forgive yourself and forgive others. As I have forgiven you.”

I’m learning to walk in that peace and forgiveness, understanding my worth, even in my brokenness. It’s then, at my most vulnerable, when I most powerfully sense God’s gifts to me: his scandalous grace and outrageous love.