Monday, August 31, 2009

I'm Not That Girl

I know that sometimes I put on this totally cool girl vibe. Like, nothing ever bothers me, I’m just a California beach girl, cool, calm, mellow. Like totally. Sometimes I take pride in that – in the fact that nothing really ever gets to me and I can roll with all the punches and have a smile at the end of the day. But when something does get under my skin, boy does it ever. GET. UNDER. MY. SKIN. The things that get me fired up, the things I’m passionate about, on those issues and in those moments, you’ll see me come out dukes up, ready to take on the world. And I want, more than I think I ever give myself credit for, to make a fighting difference in the world. I think Brad Paisley put it prettiest when he said “She's a fighter when she's mad, and she's a lover when she's loving.” Oh yes I am.

So, that being said, in the last few weeks I’ve been positively steaming about a few things and have been losing my temper about them. I’ve found that God is teaching me that being that cool is something I try to do apart from Him and I’m starting to fail at it. Some of the things that have me steaming are pretty valid though, and some of them are just irritants to me. An example of something valid is the passion I have for imparting a message of overwhelming love to young women, AND THEN telling them about abstinence. Abstinence is the natural byproduct of a heart sold out to God, and living for Him. Girls these days are hearing all the time not to have sex, but for all the wrong reasons. Yeah, there’s STD’s and unwanted teenage pregnancies, and some guy’s gonna break your heart out. But the fact is, kids have sex. Lots of sex. Sex, sex, sex. And the fact is, till it starts being about their hearts, and their souls, and their eternities, it’s never going to be about their penises and vaginas. I’m sorry, that’s just what I think, and like I said, I’m passionate about it. And I’m not afraid to say those words.

But last week, there was also some issues I was frustrated with in more of an irritated sort of way. They were nowhere near as life altering or important as all that, but just enough to get under my skin and make me want to throw my hands up in the air and scream. Like the Princess and the Pea, they were small things that only I could feel, but for a few days it was enough to keep me up at night. I’ve been trying to think how to phrase the issue without sending a warped picture of what’s going on in my life, or without sounding completely full of myself - and I’m at a loss for words. But basically it boils down to having met two guys, and being asked out by both, for dinner by one and drinks by another, politely and tactfully turning them both down on the basis of strong spiritual incompatability and then receiving grossly disproportionate and rude responses by both of them. I’m talking grossly rude and disrespectful, even downright hurtful responses that detailed why I was such a bitch or had issues of my own that were keeping me from whatever, etc. Yikes!

Now here’s the thing – I’m not bragging about this (so, JJ, don’t even go there!). I never get asked out. I just don’t. I’m not that girl. You know, the cute, petite, flirty, blonde adorable type that all the guys gravitate towards and want to date because she’s just so vulnerable and apple pie sweet and little. I’m ok with that, because I love who God made me and embrace who I am as His creation – if all He made is good, then there’s gotta be something good about being quirky, strong-willed, razor-witted, independent, intelligent, German farm stock brunette me. But if I’m not “that girl” then who am I – relationally? It seems like who I am is a total freak, creep magnet. True story. I’ve had more bad date encounters than I can count on both hands. And in a fit of cosmic hilarity, every time I do meet a guy who is interested in me, he’s got some serious spiritual issues going down, and we’re not just talking your run of the mill struggles here. I’m talking hard core, freaky creeper stuff. Like the guy I met who admitted on a second date that he had been previously possessed by an evil spirit who caused him to hit his wife, and that’s why he’s divorced now, but it’s ok because after he was excorcised he went to work for the Catholic church as a “Ghost Hunter” and what do you mean you don’t want a third date??? Or the pastor that admitted a month into dating that he was married, but it’s ok because his congregation was in full support of him finding a woman who would really love him, “not like his current wife.” Or the guy who asked me out last week, who, even though I asked him to please not get into any more detail about his warped “send your prayers up to the universe” theological beliefs, proceeded to admit to me that his mom, a “really good therapist”, hypnotized him and he found out through it that he was molested as a baby by his pastor, and that’s why he used to want to molest little kids. Or how about the guy who …. Well you get the point.

Now what is it about me that draws in the weird, the creepy, the freaky, the spiritually unstable or misled? Do I send out the vibe of being uber-sympathetic? Or worse yet, is there something in me that draws out the worst in these men? Or sends the message that we actually might have something in common? More so than the responses I received after turning down the romantic advances of the spiritually dysfunctional online-dating crowd, what worries me most is the thought that maybe there is something about me that only attracts these bad guys. I’m not a bad girl, in the leather wearing, motorcycle riding, rebellious definition of that phrase. Nor am I the kind of woman who has let her heart get misled by waves of doctrine and teachings of man that are in direct contradiction to the ultimate source of truth and stability, God’s word. So what gives here?

As frustration from my interactions with these guys was just coming to a simmer in my head, something happened this weekend, and I did it again – I lost my patience and my California cool. It was in the middle of a conversation a bunch of us single girls were having, wherein a few of them were complaining about not finding the “right guy”. They were talking all hypotheticals, such as “What if I date someone, and the whole time we’re dating, I’m thinking there’s “someone better” out there?” and “What if I marry the wrong person?”. Lots and lots of “wrong person” , “wrong guy”, “someone better” talk. And I was losing my temper about it pretty quick. That’s definitely something I need to work on. But the subject matter was getting under my skin like a mite, due to the fact that I realized that none of them had even come close to meeting Mr. Wrong Guy. Trust me, I have! From what I knew of this awesome, godly group of women, none of them had been on a date with a guy only to find out he was previously possessed or a potential child molester, and really, that’s the strongest definition of “the wrong guy” I could think of. As we were sitting there, and I was trying to hold back my tongue, the Lord reminded me of the words of my old pastor - that we need to not worry so much about dating the right person as just being the right person. The same pastor, in a sermon series on dating and marriage, had also once made the conjecture that any two people, with hearts completely sold out to the Lord, following after Him and willing to put some hard work, sacrifice and compromise into a relationship, could make a go at it, and develop love and affection in a mutually respectful relationship. In this day and age of “Mr. Right” and “That Girl”, it’s a revolutionary concept that seems a little archaic and primitive, but that I truly believe might work.

So, today, as I meditate on who God has called me to be, and try to just be the right person, not for any one guy out there, but because I believe it’s part of God’s call in my life to exemplify Christ and just rock at being awesome, I realize, I’m not that girl. I’m not the girl who is going to worry about finding Mr. Right, and I’m not the girl who can avoid the creepers, but maybe I can reflect Christ to them, and I’m learning I’m definitely not the girl who’s as cool, calm and collected as she seems to think she is. I’m just me. I’m just Trinette. And no one else can be that girl.

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