By Elise Lockamy
Dedicated to the single Christians out there, and those yearning for more intimacy with the Father
We had spent many nights Skyping and talking on the phone but still no clarity. I was disappointed when I asked him to let me know where this was going and he said that he just wanted to be friends. I woke up later that night telling myself to cry, to just let it out. As I stood on my balcony, the tears did not come. The only thing I felt was relief.
A week prior to confronting my “friend”, I watched a sermon series by Andy Stanley entitled “The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating”. In the final part, Andy encouraged listeners to take a year off from dating to “become the person you’re looking for is looking for”. So the day after my balcony moment, I started my year off. The year is currently in progress. Here are a few vignettes that I hope you can relate to. I must admit, this year is becoming less about transforming into wife-material and more about intimacy with God. Welcome to my journey.
The Kite Story
“Daddy, is this a set-up?” My friends and I had reached the top of Stone Mountain in Georgia. There were kites flying way up high. It suddenly occurred to me that I had never flown a kite before. Sarah said that I should put it on my list of things to do during my year off. Yes! The very next day, my coworker, who was moving to a new city, was downsizing from her trunk. She handed me a pair of shoes and (coincidentally) three kites!
I realized that God was not only concerned with my “ministry-centered” development but also with my fun adventures. Maybe I did miss tithe payments and did not volunteer to help out with children’s ministry when I was definitely available. Maybe I did not spend enough time reading the Word last week. Yet, he did not hide from me. He showed up in a happy coincidence that spoke to my nerdy heart. The kites were better than flowers on Valentine’s Day. He heard and he responded. And not just with one kite but with three. Talk about abundance! (John 10:10)
“Daddy, I hurt.” I was lying down on my living room floor with my eyes closed and arms straight up in the air. In my mind, I was sitting in God’s lap. We were chest to chest so that our hearts were near each other. I imagined hearing his heart beat in sync with mine. I began to whisper in his ear. I told him that I was disappointed that my parents divorced. I revealed my fear that I would never get married. It seemed that no Christian man would ever take the time to get to know me, want to have fun (rollercoasters and mini-golf), and initiate righteousness in a relationship. Sigh. I told him that I had no idea what my next career move would be or how I would ever finish paying back my student loans. I told him that I wanted to live free and be whole. I told him that I loved him with my whole heart and that I would never stop chasing him.
He told me that I was his. And that his thoughts towards me were those of peace, love, and prosperity. I learned that I was a woman of joy and that my gifts included teaching and healing. He told me that I was not lost in the crowd but that he has had his eye on me since I was in the womb. I actually caught a glimpse of him looking down at me when I was a little girl with big hair puffs. He told me that when I was lonely, there was a place for me in heaven to come and play.
Since then, I have imagined walking down the beach with Jesus, enjoying a swing in a park with God, and sitting atop the Great Sphinx of Giza with Jesus in a beach chair beside me. My imagination led me right into fellowship with God. (And let me tell you this, the more I use it for intimacy with the Father, the less room there is to entertain past regrets and sexual fantasy.)
This Is On Purpose
“Lord, I want to have sex!” I am in my mid-twenties, and yes I am a virgin. Some out there may be applauding. But seriously, hormones do not dissipate, no matter how hard I try to pray them away. How can I wait? How come nobody wants to have sex with me? What is wrong with me? Elise, this is on purpose. Huh Lord? I had come close to having sex once. I was in grad school and in the throes of one of the lowest points of my life. I said no and then for weeks thereafter, I could barely look myself in the mirror. I was ashamed of the woman who had come so close to giving her body away, disobeying the edict to honor God with her body (1 Corinthians 6: 18-20). In my recovery period, a friend I confided in said she was proud that in the moment I was sensitive to the grieving of the Holy Spirit. Hmmmm. So why does God not want me to enjoy what everyone else (siblings, godparents, friends, media) thinks I should be doing at least once a day?
He told me that he wants me in this condition in order to accomplish what he wants me to do. My virginity is not a default. It is on purpose. I now believe that the outpouring of my gifts and talents would not be possible if I had joined myself to another through sex. Even in the context of marriage, my priorities would be different and probably would not include sitting down to write an essay about my experiences (for instance). This is on purpose. My whole being is on purpose. And guess what, I like it. I like being available to Daddy and sharing his truth with others. Thank you for my virginity!
As God showed me purpose, I experienced healing from the shame I was carrying around. I suddenly remembered a line from a sermon I heard. The speaker said that “with God’s restoration, even a prostitute can reclaim her virginity”. Whoa! I envisioned myself weighted down by a heavy coat. It was shame and embarrassment. God took the coat off, and replaced it with a glowing white cloak of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). And as he made the exchange, I was no longer weighted down but rather floating in front of him. My pink princess crown was intact. I can start again.
In The End…
There is so much more to tell. But I am sure your own journey will bring much revelation. So go fly a kite… and hike a mountain, and forgive those who have hurt you. Explore the depths of Daddy’s love through quiet time. Use your imagination to sit right in his presence and let him lavish you with healing and spiritual gifts. Allow God to break things off of your heart. Ask him about your identity. Let him reveal to you the secrets related to your purpose. Observe nature and people, and listen intently for the Holy Spirit to share valuable insights. Get to know him as Father, Friend, and Lover. Rest. Play. Love-bathe. Enjoy this romance that you and Daddy are invested in.
As you delight in your fulfilling romance with God, you will begin to trust him with the desires of heart. You will trust that he will bring you and your partner together in his time. And you will know the contentment that Paul describes (Philippians 4: 11-12) – and dare I say happiness and joy too – as you wait. Make a move toward his heart. It is accessible and he does not disappoint.
“Go Fly a Kite” was originally published on December 4, 2012 in Warrior Lessons.