I Aint Sorry Pt. 1

Another birthday recently passed-- 26 (sheesh). I was pretty sad about leaving 25, because it felt like the perfect age. I had so much fun, made so many "grown up" moves, and I learned so much about myself in that one year. It was a very trying year, but pretty amazing at the same time. Anyways, every time a birthday passes I usually take time to reflect on the experiences I had, and make note of the major lesson(s) I learned. One experience in particular made me realize that I am becoming more and more comfortable with who I am as a woman. I am at a place where I am more concerned with making sure my decisions align with God's perfect will for my life, and ensuring that my happiness, my joy, and my peace of mind are my priority. This experience was my first *adult* relationship.

God placed a very handsome, intelligent, ambitious and God-fearing man into my life at the perfect time. Right when I was considering going down an old, familiar path of dating someone who I knew wasn't exactly a good fit for me, He reconnected me with this brother. We instantly hit it off. His passion for God and ministry was so attractive. He was raised in the same faith tradition as me, but also had a more progressive faith perspective like I do. He  had a love for politics and reading just like me. He also went to the brother school to my all-girl-Catholic-high school, so we shared the whole Bronx-catholic school experience. We were super compatible. The only thing was....he lived in Arizona. Yes, Arizona. But we connected on such a deep level that I decided to give the long-distance thing a shot. 

I must say, me and (let's call him "W") were a very cute, Christian couple. We would text and chat on the phone all night, and break so we could have our devotions. We would have 3-hour long phone convos about faith and social justice. And we kept things 100% pure (aye!). It felt like God connected us for the right purpose and at the right time, so we both decided to pray for and about one another. I remember telling God that the relationship felt so right. The timing, the compatibility-- just perfect. But I found myself also telling God that if "W" wasn't who He wanted me to spend the rest of my life with, If it wasn't  the right relationship for me, then I really needed Him to make that clear, or let the relationship just end. Here I was with the type of man that's extremely hard to find, and I wasn't asking God to just make sure things worked out. I was asking Him to shut it down no matter how good it was, if it wasn't who He thought was best for me. Now, if that aint growth y'all, I don't know what is.

The relationship was going well,  until "W" explained that he felt God wanted Him to stay in Arizona for longer than a year, and he wanted me to be open to the idea of relocating.  I explained that it was way too early into the relationship for me to say I was willing to relocate for him. He also wanted to get married very very soon (like 4-5 months of dating then engagement soon). And don't get me wrong, I really want to be married soon too, but I need time to get to know someone, and vice versa. Less haste, more wisdom and discernment is my preferred romantic speed.  "W" explained to me that he felt God was calling him to stay in AZ for ministry purposes, and I was just kinda like ok...........well, I can't promise you two months into dating that I can definitely see myself marrying you and relocating within a year. I love God and all, and I did believe there was a calling on his life, but I told him if he felt like it could only be answered in AZ, then he might need to increase his faith and believe that the same God calling him to stay there would provide a wife for him right there. I actually said that to him, and about a week later we broke up (lol).

My thing was, you're not going to invoke God to manipulate me into making a decision that benefits you. And you also can't ask me to make life-changing decisions (like moving to the desert) without taking into account God's plans for my life. Nah, bruh. One thing I've realized and respect about men (and slightly resent them for), is they usually know what they want, and if you're not willing to give it to them, they're not afraid to keep it moving so they can find the person who is. So for "W" I wasn't the ring-giddy girl who was willing to  make up in her mind (after 2 months of dating) that she would sacrifice her entire life to marry, relocate, and support him with his aspirations. Had he given the relationship more time to grow, I may have gotten to a point where I'd be willing to say I'd relocate, but....he didn't, and that was a major red flag for me. I have a whole life in NYC: a job, my family, friends and church. I also have aspirations, and a calling on my life too. And as much as I want a relationship and marriage, I don't want it at the expense of forfeiting God's perfect will for my life. Marriage isn't my only life goal; It's a strong desire. And it's a desire that I know will have a significant impact on the other areas of my life, so I need to make sure I enter into it prayerfully and with someone who is equally concerned about God's will for my life, as I am concerned about His will for their's. 

Lessons I learned:

1) Don't Let anyone's haste become your haste. Trust God's timing for your  life. It's ok to acknowledge that you're not quite ready for something you really really want. It shows maturity. Knowing you aren't ready is the first step to getting ready. The right thing at the wrong time is still the wrong thing. 

2) Sometimes God brings people into our lives to remind us of His promise, but that doesn't necessarily mean *they're* the promise. "W" reminded me that there are attractive, God-fearing, intelligent men so there's no need to settle or compromise. His testimony and his life have impacted me significantly. His ability to know my flaws, shortcomings, mistakes and still see someone worthy of love, helped me heal some wounds I didn't realize I still had. His ability to hear my story, with all its complexities and still see and respect my deep, genuine love and passion for God and ministry was something I needed more than he'll probably ever fully understand. I'll forever be grateful to him for that.

3) Sometimes It's ok to choose your happiness/peace of mind over the thing you desire. I remember "W" telling me, " you women say you want to be married but you don't really mean it." And for a whole day I was bothered by his remark, because I realized I wasn't one of those super pressed women who would do whatever it takes to walk down the aisle in a white dress. And I had no desire to be one of them, but I was suddenly frightened by the realization that I wasn't. Here was an amazing guy telling me he had every intention of marrying me, and here I was, unwilling to make the sacrifices he wanted me to make in order for us to work. I laid in bed that night and asked God if something was wrong with me. Did I need therapy? Was I too hardened? Was I becoming "too independent"?  Was I being too calculated? Why wasn't I pressed?! Is something wrong with me?! God's response, "choose your peace." Simple as that. "Choose your peace." And at that time I simply wasn't at peace telling "W" what he wanted to hear...so I chose to stand in my truth. I chose my happiness and my peace of mind over my desire for a ring, and the prospect of marriage.

The bottom line is, I want God's perfect will. I want happiness. And I want the peace of mind knowing that I am walking in my calling and fulfilling my purpose. I want love. I want a man and marriage too, but I can not, and I will not let my desire for those things supersede my desire for God's perfect will for my life. I trust God's timing for my life, and for that, I aint sorry.