Proper Motivation

Day 20I’m going to warn you. This post is all about singleness again, so if you’re tired of reading about it, you may skip this entry. :)

Saturday night found me at home after a long day at the Book Fair and my goddaughter’s birthday party. It was another Saturday night that I found myself home early, so I took advantage of it and picked my Bible up to prepare for the Sunday mass and listen to the Sunday Sunday Sunday podcast of I haven’t been very good with praying lately, but I’ve learned to take it a day/week at a time. Last week’s busy-ness made me choose other things over my prayer time so it was kind of a hard week again last week.

But I digress. I found myself asking God to talk to me through the readings, to give me something from the Bible that I could chew on and think of and even be hurt from, because I miss it. Because I was desperate to hear His word after all of the things that I’ve been thinking of/feeling the past few days/weeks.

And what do you know, He really doesn’t disappoint. The second reading brought me to James and these verses jumped out at me:

When you long for something you cannot have, you kill for it, and when you do not get what you desire, you squabble and fight. The fact is, you do not have what you want because you do not pray for it. You pray for something and you do not get it because you pray with the wrong motive of indulging your pleasures. (James 4:2-3)

Reading the verse all over again is making me laugh and smart all at the same time. Let me repeat the particular lines that got me good: The fact is, you do not have what you want because you do not pray for it. You pray for something and you do not get it because you pray with the wrong motive of indulging your pleasures.

Lord, You can be very funny when You answer prayers.

I realize that I’ve been ranting so much about this particular aspect of my lack of a love life. I mean, I am aware of it. And my singleness has always been a running joke, so I’m used to all of it. It’s even become a label, you know — Tina is single. It can be funny, yes, and I can always ride at jokes done at my expense (most of the time, anyway), so it’s okay with me.

Thinking about it now, though, I wonder if all this “Tina is single” jokes and all the times I rode on the jokes of other people about setting me up with other people is making me sound and look desperate. What if it’s actually driving him away, or something? What if what I think and what some other people think is funny is actually unappealing to whoever he is?

So maybe I need to take a step back, you know. Take a good look at my life right now and ask: why am I even ranting about my being single? Why do I want to go into a relationship? Why am I so excited to have someone in my life? Is it because I think I’m ready? Is it because I’m lonely? Is it because I want to get into a relationship for the sake of being in one, because I’m tired of being single? Is it because I’m tired of being a third wheel and spending my weekends alone? Is it because I’m tired of commuting in the rain and I want a boyfriend who can drive me around when it’s hard for me to go around?

Or is it because I want to be able to love someone the way God has loved me?

I have a feeling my answer to the last question is “No”. :(

Am I even ready to love the way I want to be loved? Am I ready to make the necessary sacrifices, to put someone else’s needs before mine? Or do I just want to be in a relationship because I want to feel special, I want to relate to my friends when they talk about surprises and monthly celebrations and all that?

Funny because when I ask those questions, I realize how selfish my motivations are. It’s all me, me, me. I want to be loved! I want to have a boyfriend! I want to have someone! I want to be in a relationship because I want to be happy!

No wonder I’m still where I am.

I’m not saying that my selfishness is the only one thing I need to get rid of and I’ll have an instant romantic relationship. No, no. I have a feeling there’s more, and I honestly have no idea what else God wants to refine in me and for how long He is still going to make me wait…but I get what He wanted to tell me yesterday. I get it. He showed me how selfish my motivations were, and why He’s not giving in to my demands even if I wail and rant and cry. I get it. I’m not sure if I have full understanding of all, but I get what He wanted to say.

And I’m glad He talked to me. Because I really, really missed hearing His voice. My deafness is usually my fault, of course (and it’s something that need to work on again).

I don’t know how long I’ll be waiting still, but I will wait on God. I will not lose hope. Like what they said in the last episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition I watched: Love always hopes. I’ll take comfort in my personal experience when I was looking for a new job: it may have been a long and sometimes excruciating wait, but victory was definitely very sweet in the end. :)

So. More patience? You bet. But this time, I’ll be smiling again as I wait. :)