People who've met me in the past year & a half are often surprised to hear I was once boy-crazy.
But let me just tell you: oh yes! I most definitely was boy-crazy, idolizing love and looking to guys for fulfillment.
I guess it started when I was little. Growing up, my favorite dress-up costume was a white, fluffy dress I affectionately called my "marry dress" which I wore with frequency. I remember lying in bed and praying really quickly and getting my prayers "over with" so that I could tell myself stories of being in love until I fell asleep.
I loved reading any book I could get my hands on that had romance in it, even missionaries stories - I would check the chapter names of the autobiographies beforehand to make sure they got married, otherwise I'd go find another one to read! I loved the thrill that it gave me. The sense of fulfillment ("fulfillment") and gushy-ness it brought. As I got older, I started talking about guys a lot with my friends. If you asked any of them what I was like and what I was "passionate" about, they'd quickly tell you that the two topics I talked most about were food and BOYS.
I was obsessed. Obsessed with making guys like me and knowing who did and didn't. Obsessed with making sure the guys who did like me kept liking me. Obsessed with wanting to know what guys were attracted to - so much so, that I would spend time googling it and reading books on how guys worked and wanted to be treated and what hair length and types of personalities they liked best and whatnot.
Making guys like me - even if I wouldn't even consider dating them - was my main focus everywhere I went. What was that guy thinking of me? Did he see me? Does he think I'm cute? Even strangers who I'd never see again I wanted to impress! Everything I did - from dressing, to the way I acted and talked, to where I stood so a guy could see me stemmed from a cry deep in my heart to be loved and gain attention. And I chose to try to fill that with guys.
Funny thing is, once I knew a guy liked me, I would get all frustrated because I just wanted to be friends and I really didn't want to have to tell them I didn't like them back! But at the same time, I didn't want them to stop liking me, because I liked it. I liked the predictability of a guy who liked me. I liked knowing that if I asked them to do something, they would do it. And the pridefulness in my heart figured I'd "give" them a good day every now and then by pretending I liked them.
Ahhhh MAN it's hard and really humbling admitting some of this stuff!! How self-centered I was ahhhhhhhh :"(( A boy-obsession really is a me-obsession 🙊.
Usually people think of boy-craziness as dating around constantly and whatnot. That's not how my obsession revealed itself - I had a few flings, but I never dated. But mann, if you took a look inside my heart and saw all the idolatry brewing in there, it'd prolly be just the same as someone who was dating around! I wanted to date so badly, and in the waiting, I tried to make myself feel happy by going to the guys around me. And at the core, that's what it was - idolatry. I wanted this more than God. I didn't even want to get married, the wish in my heart was simply to DATE. I was looking everywhere for the fulfillment only God could give me, but I wasn't willing to go to Him for that.
Junior year, I started realizing how deeply I was ensnared. It was hard to focus on God or go anywhere without being hyper-aware of the guys there. There was one certain event that happened weekly, where I would chase after guys all day, trying to look pretty and available and get them to see me or maintain their crushes. Every time I returned home, I would be exhausted. Drained. Empty. And I couldn't figure out why. I had so much fun while I was there -- but then why would I feel so depressed when I got home?
I remember when it finally hit me as I was sitting in the kitchen: It was because all day long, my goal was to make myself happy THROUGH a guy, instead of by following God. And since I wasn't hitting that goal, it left me beat up and empty. I started praying for freedom from these chains of seeking a guys' approval on everything. I feel like I prayed for a longgg time before much changed!
At the start of 2020, I was still deeply struggling with putting God first. I secretly made a goal: I was going to have a boyfriend watching me play volleyball by the end of the year. I knew the obsession I had wasn't healthy, and that it was starting to take over my life, but I couldn't get out. I felt STUCK. I had been chasing guys all my life and I didn't know how to want something besides love from a guy. So I kept crying out to God and praying and asking Him to deliver me.
That's when God stepped in.
I remember distinctly the day I realized that the fact that "God has a plan for you" INCLUDED my love life. He had a plan for whether or not I would get married, and it was good, and that shook me. For some reason I had thought that that was an area that I had to take into my own hands - but don't we do this so often with many things? I learned that He cared MORE about my love life than I ever could! That was a big turn around for me.
I started surrendering my love life to Him and putting it at his feet. I prayed and asked God to make me at peace with singleness if that was what He wanted for my life. He started changing the way I thought, showing me that there was a calling on my life far greater than simply being liked. But it was still a very CONSTANT and fierce battle.
April 2020: We were in the midst of a full Covid lockdown. I had decided to take a full break from my phone Easter week and spend time with God. During that week, I remember looking for a book to read and seeing one called Before You Meet Prince Charming. And, of course, the still-boy-obsessed me got all excited. Here was another book I could read that was about romantic love! Here was a book that could better prepare me to date and get married!
But God had way more in store for me. In that one week, God wrecked the whole way I saw relationships and singleness and marriage and did a wholee 180 on me. I realized SO much. It was like my eyes were just completely opened and the light shone in. If the boy-craziness I was struggling with was like that raging storm in the Bible when Jesus was sleeping, the peace and freedom I felt after was like the whole ocean had been stilled. I realized, deep in my heart, that GOD was the one who I was really seeking. He was the One who fulfilled me (you can read my journal entry right after that week here). This season was actually useful!! Hehe. I can't wait to go more in depth and share about all the things that God revealed to me through that book and since that week!!
I think that what I didn't realize until after I was set free was that that obsession was keeping me from seeking God with all of my heart. It was competing for the throne of my heart, and it often won! I have grown sooo much in my relationship with God recently, and I can put my finger on the exact moment that it changed: that week I realized that I had an idol, and that there was SO much more God had in store for me now. Realizing that here is where God has me for a reason and that there is PURPOSE in my singleness changed the way I live.
Now -- oh man!! God is SO gracious. Sometimes I just can't help but fall to my knees in gratitude for how much God has transformed and freed me and just for how GOOD He is!! I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good! He has put more joy in my heart than when all their grain and wine (and relationships) abound! (Psalm 4:7) I see the beauty in singleness, and I thank God for this season often. I'm starting to see more of my purpose in it day by day by the grace of God, and it is SO fulfilling getting to seek first HIS Kingdom.
Does that mean I never struggle with wanting to date and get married? No way José! I feel like contentment is definitely a daily battle - I have to choose it every day, and I mess up a lot. I'm nowhere close to perfect at it! But the difference is that I've realized that when I do choose to be content and present in this season of singleness, it is SO much better. I'm understanding more and more and experiencing that singleness is a beautiful season in its own way, whereas before, all I could see was that I was NOT in a relationship, or happy, for that matter.
And one day, if getting married will help further His kingdom, so be it!! If not - so be it!! My life isn't about me, but about bringing HIM glory, and whatever that looks like, let it be so. For my goal in life is not to be married, but to love God with ALL my heart, soul, mind and strength.
Friends - God IS able. I'm a living testament of that. He can take a heart that if chasing after completely the wrong thing for fulfillment and turn it towards Himself. Maybe you're struggling with another kind of sin or struggle, or you're finding yourself wanting something else more than God. He can free you from that, too! Keep on asking Him. I pray that this encourages you to keep on praying -- He's not done with you yet! :)
See you in the next post :) Praying for you!!
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart;
see full list of posts here
"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."