Reflection 006

I haven’t written in awhile, and yet again, I apologize for the cyclical nature of my blogging habit. I appreciate your grace and your willingness to process life with me.

This time, it’s been 48 days since I last logged into my web account. On that day, I was toying with and writing about an introvert who finds himself living in the extrovert’s world. It may have gone somewhere, but it was likely something you’d already read elsewhere.

[Yeah, yeah: I realize I’m being negative and maybe a wee bit hard on myself.]

So, here I am today, logged into my web account. I’m surprised that there have actually been some views since I last posted. And you know what? It’s the dating posts that keep getting traction.

[ I use the word “traction” loosely — it’s a couple clicks here and a couple more there.]

As I process this and the life that’s been lived since I last sat down to write, a few statements come to mind. Some have been said by me, and others have been said to me. Nonetheless, I figured I’d unpack a few of them below.

“I feel lonely, but I know that it’s not true. There’s a thriving community around me, but I still find myself questioning, ‘Why do I feel lonely in this moment?’”

If you have the “helper/achiever” personality like I do, you probably find yourself uttering statements of vulnerability that are immediately followed up by statements of self-assurance or self-reflection, attempting to self-diagnose the problem with a laundry lists of “action items” or “to do’s.”

In these moments (and I’m speaking to myself here too), just say the vulnerable statement. If you feel lonely, just say it, and let whoever is receiving it actually receive it. As a Christian, I’m grateful for the way other people have pointed me towards Jesus and his love for me. When I actually stop after the first declarative sentence to listen to whatever the other person says next, I’m refreshed, and I feel cared for.

Honestly, though, I’m not lonely because of friends; I have amazing friends. I’m not lonely because of work of family; I have amazing coworkers and family members. I’m not lonely because of a lack of community; I have an amazing church family.

However, I am lonely because I don’t have a life partner. So with that, my prayer is “Lord, help me not to over prioritize this desire. Instead, help me to appreciate the season I’m in and seek you.”

“I feel numb.”

I realize this could be an alarming one, but don’t worry. Before I continue unpacking this one, though, I think the best way to initially explain it and add context is to link out to a song I really like. It’s “Psalm 62” by Aaron Keyes.

For me, this song fully encapsulates all of the tension I feel in this world and the eternal hope that can be found in Jesus. It’s a reminder to “praise him” because he is “my delight and my reward.” He’s “everlasting, never failing, my Redeemer, my God.”

It’s a wonderful reminder of God, who he is and what he offers us.

“Why don’t friends set up their friends?”

This question was posed by a friend at dinner the other night, and honestly, it’s one I’ve asked myself a time or two before.

Maybe there’s a fear. If someone suggests a prospect for a friend, would it reflect negatively on their bond if it doesn’t go well? Would it been seen as meddling? I honestly don’t know.

I do know, however, that I would be open to a friend setting me up. But, as I was processing during this particular conversation, I don’t want to sit on my hands, expecting a friend to do the work for me. In essence, I think there are roles both you and your friend can play in this:

  • Person A (who’s single) tells Friend A that (s)he is open to meeting someone.

  • Hopefully Friend A knows Person A well enough to know what (s)he would hope to find in a partner, but if not, Person A should give an overview of what (s)he seeks.

  • Friend A files this information away but also casually keeps it top of mind. Once there’s a prospect, Friend A should trust that Person A meant what (s)he said above and then proceed to suggest Prospect A to Person A.

  • Unless there’s some “out of left field” reason why not to proceed, Person A should be open to a first date with Prospect A, trusting that Friend A has consider this and wants the best for Person A and Prospect A.

  • Person A then goes on the date. If it goes well, great! If it doesn’t, then Person A should clearly communicate this and bow out, showing all grace and kindness to Prospect A — yes, even if it’s awkward.

[I haven’t done this, so this is just how I envision the scenario going if one of my friends were to do this for me.]

So that’s what I’ve been processing over the past 48 days. I’m writing this during a “introvert night” that I’m having. It wasn’t planned, but it’s something that I felt needed to happen.

I don’t always know how the Lord is going to use the words that come to my mind, but I trust that they come to mind for a reason. Occasionally, I put them here for you to process alongside me.

Thank you for journeying alongside me. I confess that I’m a sentimental twenty-something guy, who has a lot of feelings and doesn’t always know how to process them. So, thanks again for following along this creative outlet known as #drewinthecity!