The One Year Challenge
Some people might agree that I am a serial dater. You know, one of those people who dates and dates and dates for fun and never quite makes any progress. After all, I have not involved myself in a committed relationship in what... 5 years or so? I know what you're silently thinking, ‘’commitment issues’’. Well guess what? You're absolutely right. It was a struggle for me to commit to T-Mobile for two years and it’s honestly the reason why I won’t use Dish Network as my cable provider. I simply do NOT fancy the idea of being committed to anyone or anything. I have always been a free spirited person and the thought of being “restricted,” “tied down,” or “handcuffed” scared me to no end. Go ahead, judge me if you will. I know that my thinking toward making commitments is quite skewed compared to the average woman who is knocking on 30, but I have my reasons.
I don’t remember the date, the time, or the place, but at some point the hope of finding “the one” completely vanished. Perhaps it was the overwhelming amount of disappointments I’d endured since my love life began. Whatever the reason, hope was gone and there weren’t any signs of it coming back. That is, until recently. A few months back I was listening to Andy Stanley’s relationship series titled The New Rules For Love, Sex, and Relationships. In this series he attempted to persuade singles to take The One Year Challenge. The challenge is quite simple, NO DATING for one entire year and no sex before marriage. The object of taking the challenge is to use an entire year to allow God to renew your thinking toward love and relationships. The more I heard Andy Stanley speak about The One Year Challenge throughout different sermons, the more convicted I was to take the challenge.
I am ashamed to admit that as a Christian woman I hadn’t hardly led a dating life that glorified God. If my love life were under a microscope I’m sure there wouldn’t be a difference between mine and an unbeliever. It was as if I welcomed God into every other aspect of my life except this one. How is it that I could ask God for advice on everything else I encountered in life except love? Such foolish thinking. At some points in my life I truly believe I was an idolater, because I’d placed so many people and things ahead of God that nothing about me resembled Him anymore. After being broken hearted so many times and being continuously disappointed I had turned into the woman that I never wanted to be…untrusting, extremely skeptical, and somewhat bitter.
In effort to be better rather than bitter, I regularly ask God to reveal to me what truly lies inside my heart. Needless to say, it is more than difficult to accept responsibility for the man or wo-man in the mirror. Just recently he magnified and illuminated a feeling of numbness. It seems that over the years my heart had literally becoming an icebox, shutting people out (men in particular). I’d developed an “I don’t care” attitude toward all things concerning love but what I quickly discovered is that, I do care. As strong, independent, and fearless as I am, I am yet a delicate woman with emotions who desires to be loved. I’ve discovered that I don’t want to be loved or pursued solely because of my looks or on the basis of lust as it is much better to be admired rather than desired.
So… today is Day One of the One Year Challenge. I am believing that God will strip away everything hindering me from letting love in and remove everything hindering me from letting love go out properly. I also have faith that God will strengthen me as I continue to maintain my purity and my integrity as a woman after His own heart and a minister of the gospel. Therefore, I have officially began my journey of becoming “the one” rather than just waiting on “the one.”
Who's coming with me???