Over this past month, I have had some thoughts that I have wanted to turn into a blog post. Sometimes when I am thinking about my next post, I just wish I could grab the thoughts swirling around in my head and literally throw them on a computer screen and it actually make sense. Most likely, it would be a mess of words tangled up in contradictions, since that is usually what occurs in my head. And it is actually one of the reasons, I have put off writing this particular post.
In fact, I have sat down to write this at least half a dozen times and thought about it another dozen because I am about to be real and vulnerable. Although that is usually not uncommon in my writings. But there is something about this post that I am having a hard time navigating through.
The title is, “It’s not because you aren’t pretty enough,” but I would be lying if I hadn’t thought the opposite of that many times….too many times honestly. And I have this sneaky suspicion that you have too.
But when God reveals some truths to me, I must write it, because I know I will need to re-read these reminders next week, next month and probably even again years down the road….whether married or single.
So this is what I have to do. I have to take my thoughts and weed through them categorizing them into baskets of “truth” versus “lies.” And unfortunately I have a lot of both of those going on in my head.
This is one of my passions actually; teaching others how to recognize lies and change it into truth. The reason I teach this year after year in my middle school girls club is because everyone needs to know how to do this – and the earlier the age, the better. Everyone hears lies on a daily basis, whether from other people, or even worse, the lies that just appear in our own heads. Recently I heard that one of Satan’s most deceitful tricks is to put thoughts into our heads and make us think that they are actually ours. Dwell on that for a minute – that’s a heavy one.
And the lies of inadequecy are much louder when one is in a period of waiting, which often times is disguised as a period of rejection. For example when one is waiting on a job, I am sure there are several unanswered emails after a resume is sent out countless times. After interview phone calls occur with messages that they found someone else better suited. And there are countless nights spent scouring the internet at the latest job openings, wondering if you would meet the qualifications, wondering if you measure up.
I am sure the same feelings of rejection appears when one is waiting on a baby. I imagine they feel like their body is rejecting their desires. And it’s not hard to imagine the feelings of rejection that could take place when waiting on an adoption.
However, personally and thankfully, I cannot empathize with waiting on a job opportunity. I was blessed enough to receive a job right out of college and it’s where I remain today. And I am obviously not in the place of child bearing. But as you all know, I CAN speak about the desire and waiting for a marriage and a family of my own. I have experienced living life in the midst of unfilled desires. And I know what it’s like to live in the wake of rejection. And I will tell you that I believe one of the biggest lies that women will receive during this time is the lie of not being pretty enough.
Dating apps and online dating certainly do not help in fighting off this lie. Take the idea that we as humans are very visual creatures coupled with the reality that dating profiles mainly consist of pictures where one swipes right or left based on what is first shown on the screen.
I am in no way advocating for “no picture dating apps” nor do I think it is wrong to want to be physically attracted to your spouse, I am just explaining the very real fact of what it looks like to “shop for dates.”
A few months ago, I received a message on eHarmony from a man that was 7 or 8 years younger than me. I almost didn’t respond because of that very reason, but when I read his profile, from the little that I did know, I thought there was a chance we might be compatible. Plus, I wasn’t committed to marrying the man, just by responding to one email. So I replied dispite the age difference.
We messaged back and forth for a bit and there were a few times that I cringed at his responses. I don’t totally remember his exact comments, but I remember thinking that it almost seemed like he was trying too hard to make himself look good. I get the idea of trying to put your best foot foward when trying to get a date, but after awhile, I couldn’t help myself and asked, “Is there anything that you aren’t good at?”
His response was, “Yes, losing. I am not good at coming in second place because I usually always win.”
Insert eye roll here….(I can’t help it.)
He then asked me the same question in return and I told him that I wasn’t very good at playing sports.
He went on to tell me that he played baseball in college on a scholarship….you are all shocked, right?
Looking back on it now and typing out what transpired, I am not sure why I kept messaging him. But I did. I will honestly save you from the rest of our conversation, but a few more red flags arose.
I am not sure if I was sensing immaturity because of his age or if age didn’t have anything to do with it and this was just the type of guy he was.
The next day, I received an email from him asking if I had Facebook. At this point, I didn’t see us going out on a date, so it was a bit pointless to add him. Plus, I honestly don’t love the idea of becoming “Facebook friends” with guys that I haven’t met in person yet. Although, I have done it in the past, usually later regretting it, as I watch engagements of people that I don’t even know fill my Facebook wall.
So I explained to him that I did have Facebook, but that I didn’t really like the idea of adding people that I haven’t personally met.
“Well I am certainly not driving to meet anyone, unless I know what they look like. You look different in every single picture on here.”
Me: Oh my goodness. So you are saying depending on which picture I look more like in person, will depend on if you want to meet me?
Mr. Good At Everything: I’m saying I don’t know what you look like.
Me: So which one of my pictures do you not find attractive?
Mr. Good At Everything: I didn’t say any of them were bad. It looks like you have red hair in one picture, brunette hair in another, blonde in another, streaks in one and highlights in another.
Okay…so insert another eye roll here…
Sidenote: I had just recently added a few pink streaks in my hair. He would have probably ran for the hills if he met me unprepared for that one.
Me: No red hair….but even though my hair color changes, I am not sure why that matters.
Mr. Good At Everything: Because I said so.
And that folks…is when I stopped responding.
But then an hour later, he sent this:
“And if this is indicative of how future conversations will go, then I think this should be cut off rather quickly…agreed?
Me: Agreed 😉
He later sent me another message because I got an email that said so, but when I signed on to eHarmony to read it, he had blocked me. So I couldn’t have read the last message he sent, if I wanted to. Which I have a hunch, was a good thing.
Fast forward to about a month later and I was “swiping” (cringe) my way through profiles on the Bumble app and saw one that said he was a “follower of Christ.”
Of course that always stands out to me and we connected. I sent him a message and he didn’t respond. On Bumble, after the woman first messages the man, he has 24 hours to respond before you lose the connection. An hour before the 24 hours was up, I messaged him again. That is unlike me, but I just don’t see many “followers of Christ” on dating apps, so I wanted to try one more time.
This time he responded. He told me that it was rare to find another follower of Chirst and how refreshing it was because that was the most important quality he was looking for.
We messaged a bit about the distance between us (this unfortunately is a common thing for me…apparantly there are a lot of single men in a two hour radius from my house), with the conclusion that we wouldn’t let distance interfere with chemistry and compatibility.
Then he asked if I was on Facebook.
The circumstances with this man were different than with Mr. Good At Everything and from just a short bit of messaging, I could see potential with this guy. So I didn’t want to ruin it again (although I couldn’t have cared less that I ruined it with Mr. GAE).
I literally contemplated for an entire day how I should respond to that.
Knowing I really didn’t want to add “strangers” to Facebook, but also knowing that he may never message me again, if I didn’t, made me question what to do. And then there was the fact that he could very well see the links to these blog posts, if I added him. And I never know how a potential date would feel about this blog. So, I felt stuck.
I thought about explaining my dilemma to him, but in the end, every message that I concocted up in my head, I decided against.
So I responded with my last name and told him he could look me up on Facebook if he wanted to. He didn’t respond on the app, but sent me a friend request on Facebook within minutes and I accepted.
And…. I haven’t heard from him since.
So, my friends…can you imagine the thoughts swirling around in my head at this point???
I signed on to Facebook and started going through my pictures as if I was someone that didn’t know me yet.
And the conclusion I came to was – I must not be pretty enough for him.
Thankfully almost as quickly as the thought came into my head, I was able to recognize it as a lie. I have gotten way better at this over the years. However, although I recognized it as a lie, I had a hard time actually getting it out of my head.
So as I spent time with the Lord, my Heavenly Father gently reminded me of something.
How important the word “enough” really is.
See here is the thing….we will never be pretty enough to be fully satisfied. We will always want to learn how to better perfect our make-up, to shed a few more pounds, to gain more muscle tone on our arms, and to update our closet of the latest fashion trends to feel more beautiful.
I was also reminded that in addition to not being pretty enough, I am also not good enough, not kind enough, not patient enough and not joyful enough.
Not on my own anyway.
Nothing that I do, nor nothing that I am, will ever ever be … enough.
And that’s why The Gospel is the best news we could ever hear!!
Because while we are “not enough,” Jesus died for us anyway. He loves us despite our flaws and our imperfections.
And that my dear friends, is what makes us enough….it…makes…us…ENOUGH! And THAT is something I literally want to shout about.
I am crying as I type this, because what good news that Jesus IS enough. So when we invite Him to rule over our lives, then our “not enoughs” become washed away by HIS “enoughs.”
And because I have surrendered myself to the Lord and daily try to walk with Him, I know (I know, I know and I know) that He is directing my steps. He loves me so much, that I believe He is even directing the decisions that the guys that I communicate with make.
So while Mr. Facebook Requester and Mr. Good At Everything may very well have not found me pretty enough in their eyes, in God’s eyes, it was because He didn’t want them with me.
And whose eyes are more important in this situation?!?!
And do I really know that is why Mr. Facebook Requester didn’t reach back out to me…no.
But if it is, then it is a blessing. Because if God didn’t want Him for me, then neither do I. Because the reality is, if God DID want Him for me, then there would be absolutely no stopping it. No unattractive Facebook pictures, no links to blog posts and no changes in my hair color will stop God’s great plans for my life.
So my dear friends….it really is NOT because you aren’t pretty enough. It is because if you are a follower of Christ, then God is directing your life. And you are going to want to keep letting Him do that, trust me. And if you aren’t a follower of Christ, then I would love to tell you about the greatest news there ever was. Because you are going to want to know it, trust me.
You would think that allowing God to direct my life would be easy. But it is not. It requires me dying to myself daily. It requires lifting my eyes to the Lord and getting them off of myself. And in our selfish, human nature, that is not an easy task. There are many days that I fail. But then I try again the next day. And I will continue to try – through seasons of waiting, through seasons of rejection and through seasons of sadness.
So please please remember that it’s not because you aren’t pretty enough.
And…can I ask you for a favor?
Please remind me that after the next guy doesn’t respond to me either.