Do you look at where you are and think, “How did I get here?” Do you dream of a better outcome? Do you often pray or wish your life could be different?
What if, you are completely capable of changing the direction of your life with one solid decision? Would you do it?
18 months ago, on a morning just like today, I pulled out my calendar. I flipped to one year from that date and wrote these life changing words, “Resume dating.” Many aspects of my life were good, but I was derailing my love life. I was a teenage girl in a 42 year old body trying to make grown-up decisions about who I should date. Full of shame and regret, I desperately needed to grow up.
Having the benefit of hindsight, I can confidently declare that one decision changed the course of my life. I became the woman God intended me to be from the very weaving of my soul . And it’s not just that I became her, I see her potential through God’s eyes. I shed the old, broken, dysfunctional, meek, rebellious teenage girl and became new.
I recently had an opportunity to talk about my dating sabbatical on the radio show Naked Grace. Since that time, 7 single women have made the solid decision to not date for one year. I’ve received calls and emails wanting to know more. I’m inspired by you!! What God has begun in me, I now have an opportunity to inspire what God can begin in you.
I had extraordinary learnings throughout my year and thus, my first blog series is born! Becoming, Still Becoming, Breaking Ties and Saying Goodbye, What I Learned About Love By Not Being In It, Back in the Saddle, and Ruined for the Ordinary.
So let’s begin with the overview; 3 things to know when you commit.
- Make it intentional. This is a dating Sabbatical implies you will be spending your time learning. Decide now what you need to learn, and areas you need to grow. God will be faithful in presenting the materials and tools along the way. My suggestion; get a “Life Application Study Bible” or a “Life Recovery Bible.” They are easy versions to read and they have notes that help you understand and apply the text. Find a bible reading plan, make time every day to spend with God and be consistent. Choose an amount of time that you can commit to daily.
- Take an inventory. God has created you with specific gifts and talents for specific purposes. Ask God to show you who he created you to be. Ask him to give you glimpses of his dreams for you. Make these prayers part of your daily prayer life. Sign up for a class, start a new hobby, plan activities with your kids, start an exercise routine, get busy! Put into action the things God has been teaching you about how he created you, what you love to do, what makes your heart beat fast.
- Surround yourself with safe friends (NOT drinking buddies). Get involved in a small group, start a dinner club, check out IF: Table Gatherings or The Brave Collective, set a regular movie night date. You NEED friends you can call when you get lonely or bored.
- Be prepared to be ruined for the ordinary! This is not a scary daunting journey! You will be amazed and delighted by God’s pursuit of you. He will reveal truths that will astound you. He will become your best friend and love of your life. He will give you a new name, a new vision and a new life! I’m so passionately excited about how God is going to show up for you in this season of your life.
A year is not forever, but it could have forever implications. I have two boys who look to me for guidance and direction. My number one motivation for committing to a year of no dating is my boys. For too many reasons to list here, I could not keep going in the direction I was going. It was imperative to the future of my family that I get on the right path.
This is it, your defining moment, you are on the edge of one solid decision. Take out your calendar, flip to one year from today and write the words, “Resume Dating.”