I love it! Looking across my desk on the other side of the room are 3 pictures from days of old with Knights, Kings and Queens holding court, and princesses watching Warriors ride off into battle with all authority and honor. For real my friends, that is what we MUST live spiritually for victory…authority! Remember me telling you of my Knight statue that I carried home in my car? He was a reflection to me of the spiritual authority that Jesus released to me, first because I believed Him to HAVE all authority for what happens on Heaven and Earth, and secondly because I experienced firsthand victories as He trained me with His Spirit to win wars and battles in MY life in areas the devil had previously claimed. We took my land…my life back so-to-speak!
Isn’t that what happens when wars are won? Winners mark their territory as the land is claimed for the victor! The people are claimed, renamed and redefined who live under their rule. In days of old, everyone in the land stepped under the authority of the new owner. Now THAT’s what I’m talking about!
Don’t competition winners in our day today get trophies, medals, and awards? Why? Why do they get something in their hand? It is so they will remember not just the victory…but the battle and the strategy that got them there…so they never forget HOW to win! It is so they remember forever their claim of authority over that territory. It is so they can teach others how to go out and win for themselves…and remove the enemy from the territories in their lives.
I remember well the battles and victories in my Christian life…my healing, my deliverance, and my freedom. I can assure you that I have a “spiritual” weapon’s trophy locker that I can open and pull from anytime I need too. They are powerful truths and they are always accessible when battles rise up. But what I MUST say now is to REMEMBER to access it! A weapon of war is only good in the hand of the warrior…not forgotten on a shelf. And a warrior must ALWAYS know his strong points and weak areas. I promise you…the enemy knows! If you leave yourself vulnerable…the enemy is coming. He just needs a second to slip in an unguarded area.
And here my friend is where I start my story tonight.
It wasn’t that I didn’t have a fabulous passionate relationship with Jesus Christ…real and vibrant and powerful. It wasn’t that I didn’t know He adored me and wooed me at all times. I saw His hand of favor on me. I felt His wind of love around me. It wasn’t that at all. But for some reason in this season, I let a lonely desire for a MAN to love me sneak out of my past into my life.
Just a little less than four years ago I decided I would help God open the door to romance so I could find my soul mate. And no, I didn’t ask God about it. I just assumed He wouldn’t mind, which makes no sense whatsoever. But the truth is that I was tired of waiting and wanted someone in my life…my new home was so empty with just me. I wanted THE man…to call and say, “Good morning”…or us meet for coffee…or meet and cook dinner or watch a movie. I wanted us to dance to love songs and walk along the water. I wanted our eyes to meet and talk without saying a single word at all. Truly I wanted a Knight that was all things in all ways…filled with the Holy Ghost, afraid of nothing and protecting me from everything. I wanted to be God’s best for him and him to be God’s best for me. My heart’s desire seemed harmless.
I thought it would be safe enough to go online…giving no one access to me till I chose…getting to connect and know people and learn to trust them…share….listen…dream…and then enjoy the anticipation of meeting and watching love explode.
I thought that filling out the Christian online personality profile was fun – setting up my pictures – and going through all the men’s profiles discovering who all was doing the same thing I was doing.
For the first three months I just played with connecting in online chat rooms, seeing what it was all about, and just learning what singles around the country were saying and thinking. It seemed like lonely singles just looking for someone to reach out to…thinking someone out there might be THE ONE. After all, that was what I was doing.
Then I began to focus on a few guys that seemed to have the most integrity and seemed interesting and we began to visit away from the chat rooms….on the phone, text, and email. It was all pretty fun, very time consuming and addictive…my friends and family picked at me a good bit. Two of my close confidants were not happy about it…but I was on a roll…enjoying being a woman and excited about what was around the corner. Feeling safe that it was a Christian dating service, I felt like my bases were covered. Finally it was time to meet one that lived a few towns away.
We met in a public place and I couldn’t have been more surprised that he was nothing like I perceived from our communications. He was a very sweet guy, but not THE ONE nor would he ever be….it was painful to begin a relationship with someone and then just let it disappear. When you visit for a long time before you ever meet, you share things about each other. It IS personal and you can’t help but have expectations for the future. And hurting someone is always personal. I was not proud of myself.
Hoping to never experience that again, I kept visiting with my chat room buddies. It was playful and I looked forward to it. All I did was work and go home so this was an enjoyable evening event!
In just a couple of weeks, one of my chat room buddies wanted to come and meet me. He lived a couple of states over and I couldn’t imagine him driving all the way over! We kept visiting and I said sure, that would be fine to meet. I was pretty nervous about it especially in lieu of the guy I had just recently hurt.
It isn’t like I was some wild dater…I hadn’t even kissed a man since I had left my husband five years before. I lived a very protected life and this was something totally new to me. Living Godly wasn’t just something I said.
Well, I took a day off work and we arranged to meet when he got into town. It was all pretty exciting. We met in a public place and had a good time. There was a lot of things I liked about him…and some I didn’t. We enjoyed our time together and decided to see if a relationship would develop.
It did develop. Too fast. He would drive in ever few weeks and I would go stay at my sister’s house and he would stay at mine. But it began to consume my life. I already worked many, many hours and I was trying to juggle his trips into town on top of it. We texted on the phone half the night and talked on the phone for hours. My loss of sleep was tremendous. My work load was still tremendous. My family and friends complained about me staying occupied with him for hours each day even when he wasn’t in town. It was a very hard relationship to make workable.
It continued for a couple of months and I was exhausted. Isn’t it amazing how hard we work to make something out of nothing? After a good argument it ended. We tried to keep in touch for awhile but I had “red flags” everywhere in the relationship. It was over.
And I got sleep again thank you God!
I learned a lot of things in seeking and dating Christian single men from online. You just can’t know someone based on email, text, chat rooms or telephone. Face to face in the long run is the only true communication to meet and get to know someone. The other stuff…well it should be only to keep in touch…not the main means to learn each other. And even then, if they don’t live local to where you see their life and their faith…they can create an identity of any kind. That is scary.
I know God protected me during that season of …doing what I wanted to do. Jesus take stubbornness from me Lord! I thank Him that the two guys were gentle men and that my lessons didn’t leave me damaged…but wiser.
Speaking of wiser, my next journey was in getting a 38 special from my son and taking self defense classes at the shooting range. Have I mentioned that I am a good shot, lol?
God keeps us…truly! And my story continues…see you tomorrow night.
Patti Corbello Archer
Life After Divorce – Online Dating