14 December… Dear Jesus, Now I don’t know if it’s just people like myself who have had a rough background with men or if women with normal backgrounds go through this too, but I have realised that there is one last area I need to deal with in order to be truly free and to truly love myself! The area of course is men! This journey has been amazing, You have been so faithful and have been so gracious and I am already so much freer than I was when I started this journey. Recently though, I have realised, that there is still a big part of me that needs male attention and approval. I still need to be noticed and need to be liked by men. Although I am more mature now than when I was a teenager and don’t run around wearing the shortest possible skirts to gain male attention, I do still have exactly the same need as when I was a teenager - the need for male love and attention. I’m sure a large degree of this is normal, we were created to grow up and pair off, most of us were made with the desire to be married and to have a family. I say most of us because some men and woman of God have chosen to remain single and seemed to be quite content doing so.
I am writing this section from my heart, from the place that needs your work God, from the place that is still a little bit messed up from my past life. It’s easy to have a warped perception of men when your dad has abused you. It’s easy to feel insecure in relationships when you’ve experienced divorce, either by your parents’ marriage breaking up or your own. It’s even easier to use all of that as an excuse and spend your life with a victim mentality. The hard part is picking up the pieces and putting them all back together again and asking You, God, to show me the truth about men. I have had a wonderful year where you have showed me what it’s like to have a real father and a real husband. You have filled the gap in my life where I have in the past, relied on a man. You have provided for the girls and I in so many ways, and as I write this now, I still feel totally and utterly bowled over by Your goodness.
But unfortunately it’s not all material and financial provision; there is also the heart factor, the emotional aspect of men that I need to deal with. I have come to the place where I don’t need a man to take care of me financially, where I don’t need a man to make me feel secure and I don’t need a man to make me feel safe. You have taken me down a road where You have completely revealed Yourself to me, and I am so very grateful!
Now back to the main point. You have been faithful, You have helped me build an awesome life as a single mom and I haven’t suffered one bit financially or materially due to the lack of a man in my life. I am, however, struggling with the emotional and physical need for a man in my life.
As I said previously God, I am not sure of how much of what I am going through is normal and how much is a result of my past. I realise that there are many girls out there that are balanced and whole beings, who are single and long for a man to be at their side. It’s normal for a girl to want a guy to put his arm around her in the movies, to call her up just to say goodnight, to kiss her and love her. I think that is normal and all of us who are single would like that from a man from time to time.
The part that I want to get rid of is the intense desire to have a man’s approval. I have in the past become a completely different person just so that I can become who I think a particular man would want me to be so that I can have his approval, love and acceptance. This is unacceptable and quite frankly, it looks desperate. I don’t want to be desperate, I want to be complete and whole and NOT LOOK for any man that will have me. I know I have to get to the place where I realise who I am. That if the man in my life doesn’t like me, then he’s not the man for me and I’m not the girl for him. That should be the first and most important part of choosing a partner. If I have to change any part of the core of who I am to get love and acceptance, then I am going to lose my identity and potentially lose who I am. I would then end up being an emotional wreck with a major identity crisis! I know this to be true because I have ‘been there’ and ‘done that’ enough times, haven’t I God? Not a pretty picture :( The other thing that I am realising and learning about men and woman, is that we need to appreciate each other’s differences, and embrace the fact that we are all unique in our way, instead of trying to change to be just like him.
The food illustration is a little area that perhaps we are willing to change (although totally unnecessary, differences are good, healthy and keep life interesting) but what other areas do I compromise in? The way I dress. He doesn’t like skirts, so I stop wearing skirts. He doesn’t like red, so I chuck out all my red clothes, before he discovers that I own red clothing. He likes an ambitious woman who knows what she wants and goes for it. I suddenly focus on my career. Life takes a whole new turn as before I would have been focused on being a mom, but now that’s not going to get me any approval, so the kids take a back seat and the career comes first.
This works both ways. I had a male friend who gave up his best friends, stopped leading a house church group and hurt many people, just because he wanted a particular woman in his life. He too had a rough start in life - his mom and dad divorced when he was young and then his mom died while he was in his teens. Things were tough and were affected how he related to women and made him desperate for a woman’s approval and love.
I desperately don’t want to be desperate Lord, please help me rebuild my soul.