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Sunday, February 17, 2013

wear it like a ball gown

Welp.  I’m here again.

I only ever pick up the book
Captivating by Jon and Stasi Eldridge when I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  More specifically, a single girl nervous breakdown. 

What’s a single girl nervous breakdown, you ask?  Be honest, you already know.

It's a phenomenon evolving in front of thousands of television sets screening
Bridget Jones’ Diary and other delirious rom-coms every day.  It involves too much wine, fuzzy socks and 1000 piece puzzles featuring New York’s latest Broadway charms, large bowls of popcorn and a whole lot of feeling sorry for yourself.

Or, at least they do in my apartment.

But when I’m done with the single girl pity party (with all the “Why didn’t he call me after I made him that too-salty dinner that one time six months ago?” and the “If I just had a man to help me carry these ---- ---- groceries inside, maybe the bottom of the bag wouldn’t have fallen out and there wouldn’t be any wisps of Trader Joe’s carnage on the sidewalk by my car”) I pick up my frayed copy of
Captivating and read, read, read.

An even more enjoyable chore now that my brand, spankin’ new apartment has a flip switch fireplace (hooray!).  

I have completed this cycle twice, and am now entering it for the third time.  The phase begins with a truly hopeless attitude, full of negative thinking and a real lack of faith.

Because when you feel like God has promised you something, and that promise is in no way coming close to being guilty of transpiring, sometimes that turns your world on its end.  Then you start to think about all the areas in your life you are unsatisfied with.  You complain about your crummy job, your lack of time to spend with friends, how far your family seems from you, or how slowly your dreams are unraveling (or maybe even how your dreams aren’t unraveling at all).

Really, it seems, that if just one thing, one thing, in your life was going perfectly, perhaps you could have faith, be a blessing, be involved with your church, make a gourmet meal, have a good hair day and fit into a pant size smaller.  And usually (for me) that one thing that I most want to go well in my life is the romance thing. 

But, right now as I sit hulled in my apartment in my cheetah print pajamas and dirty dishes in the sink, I realize it's romance (its lack, its presence or even a hint of its promise) has caused the most destruction in my life for the last - oh - four years or so.

And before I know it, my scraggly, ungrateful finger is pointing at God.  Simultaneously blaming him and disbelieving him (my pointer finger is sort of talented in that capacity).

That, sweet sisters, is the single girl nervous breakdown.

So, I take my accusatory fingers out of God’s face, and let them flitter through the pages of this book again and again.

I try to fill my single girl negative thoughts with thoughts that are pure, noble, right, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8).  

I meet a girlfriend for coffee or try to teach myself a B7 chord on the guitar.  And it’s then that I carry a spirit of thankfulness.  I wear it like a ball gown.  And, in spite of everything, I feel beautiful.

Even in the midst of a single girl nervous breakdown. 

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