I was able to meet a friend for lunch today. I love meeting people over food. It’s a time to be filled on so many levels.
I also love listening to people’s stories and I enjoy telling mine. Today, it was more me telling my story. I was able to share about my current thoughts and feelings and how I think they came to be and really diving in to what I see happening in me and around me; this kind of process has become precious to me and I am blessed to have people who want to hear and who will listen to what I say and, even more importantly, hear what I mean.
While processing all that life is- clearly, it was a long lunch- I shared how I am being effected by one of the studies I am involved in. I love studying. It seems a bit unfair that now that I am finished with school I have learned to love studying and learning. But I digress. I am learning a lot in this season and for good reason. I am open to learning. I have lost (almost) all pride in thinking I have anything in life figured out along with a loss of the need to control/defend what I (think I) have figured out. When you are at such a place, you can either get lost in the despair of feeling lost or you can take joy in the fact that there is much to discover. I have been blessed to have been funneled towards the latter move. Being in a place of open discovery, the Lord has been given access to much of myself. In these places, I am learning who he is and how he has made me as a woman and how he has made me uniquely as I am.
One of the ways he has designed women is to be a helpmate. I have never liked the idea of submission and often struggle to understand the balance of such a position. Through this wrestling, it has become a beautiful idea to me. Coming to this understanding involved a lot of struggling with what I want and what it would mean to ask for that. I want to be fought for. I want to be desired. I want to be delighted in. The Lord has created these desires. I have fought- hard- against them. Being in a place of wanting and waiting for something that does not happen makes me feel vulnerable. Feeling vulnerable makes me feel weak and silly. But I have discovered that being vulnerable is beautiful. It is the vulnerable people- those who have made peace with this struggle- who can live in a place of joy.
So, talking over lunch about this brought out the cliche: knight in shining armor…
I think we have romanticized so much of the dance of love. I think it can be romantic and should be fun, but there needs to be a balance of reality. Would I want a knight in shining armor to rescue me?
1. Rescue me from what?
I have a job that pays my bills. I have freedom over my schedule to devote however I like. I can eat all the vegetables and dark chocolate I want with no consideration of anyone else’s tastes. I can watch what I want on ESPN. There are no expectations to live up to. There are no misunderstandings to experience.
So again, what am I to be rescued from?
There are secret places in the hearts of women. In these secret places, we hide what we desire so we can push through on our own without having to feel like we are walking around vulnerable. We long to be protected from the opinions of others- and ourselves, from running ourselves ragged, from the weariness of the days. We actually do not want the job of being the leader at all times- it is exhausting. We crave to be taken care of. We want someone to rely on. We want companionship and someone who will balance us- are we too busy? Are we too lazy? Are we being too critical? Are we too free? Are we too serious?
To be rescued from the fight and struggles of life. To be wisked away from the wearing down of the days. There is much to be rescued from.
2. Do I want to be rescued from where I am?
My counselor gave me a nugget of wisdom one time (she has done much more, but this is what is applicable at present): when considering dating someone, the change should be worth exchanging what you have at the present time- what they are offering should be better than what I have. I happen to think my time is lovely. It’s a season of business and movement. It’s a time of devotion and growth. It’s a time of newness and excitement. I can do what I am doing because I am exactly where I am.
At present, there are no offers better than what I have. Which leads me to the last point.
3. Why would I want a knight in shining armor?
To me, shining armor presents an image of brightness, of cleanliness, of prestige. This shows me that this man has not fought, not battled, is inexperienced in how to struggle, and would rather be seen as put together than let others see his battle scars- that the fanfare is worth more than the action. What kind of resume is that for a knight? Why would I trust that kind of knight?
I have been fortunate enough to have been given the time and opportunity to learn how to invite the Lord into these places, to lean into him, to learn what it means to allow him into- to trust him- with these secret areas of my heart. It has been, and is still, an amazing experience and a wonderful relationship that I treasure. I am thankful for the path he has had me on and the path he is leading me on. There is no replacement of this relationship. There is no one who could do what he does. I am not looking for that. I am not looking for something I do not have. I lack nothing because he is good and he meets me in these places.
In conclusion, if we’re being honest, yes, I want to be rescued- by a knight in beat-up, dirty armor. But I do not depend on that. I am learning that it is ok to walk around vulnerable, to let the secret places of my heart be known. That airing out those places produces so much beauty and cultivates hope and invites the Lord to use me in ways I could never have imagined.