Hey ladies! Do you remember the movie Runaway Bride? Maggie Carpenter is one of my favorite rom-com heroines. And this is my absolute favorite line. Possibly from any rom-com ever.
Why, you ask? Because I identify so much with it. Because I am sure that every single woman on the face of the earth ever has had this thought about herself. At least every woman I’ve ever talked to has made some variation of this statement. And although it sounds completely irrational coming out of someone else’s mouth, it doesn’t change the fact that…well…sometimes we can be irrational creatures.
And you know what? I love the beautiful mess that we are. The mind and the heart are much more connected in women than they are in men. And since the human hearts are utterly complicated beyond our understanding, this makes us ladies extremely complicated.
In the spiritual life, it is important that the head and the heart be integrated. Perhaps this is why, generally speaking, women are more inclined to be spiritual and prayerful than men. There is so much beauty in the struggle each of us have to love and be vulnerable, and at the same time to be discerning between emotions that are felt and the lasting peace that can only come from Christ.
But the key thing to note here is that there is a struggle.
In a fallen world, we do not naturally have a balance of head and heart, and an unguarded heart is susceptible to being guided by sentimentality, hasty feelings, and emotionalism. And this vulnerability causes us to over-analyze everything, especially when it comes to dating. This looking for and/or seeing things that are not there can lead to many women remaining in destructive and dead-end relationships.
My friend’s series on Catholic Dating makes for an interesting read, but I couldn’t help thinking that a lot of times, women focus way too much on what the guy thinks/feels and miss the point. We cannot always interpret what the other person is thinking, and we cannot strive to change a man or make him do things he is not inclined to do, for whatever reason. But what we can do is tend to our own hearts.
Maggie Carpenter in Runaway Bride sought to find herself in the men she was engaged to. How many times do we do that only to be utterly disappointed? In her fear, she even ran away from her leading man (sidenote: Isn’t it beautiful how Richard Gere’s character was the only groom who chased after her?? How is he so charming?).
We become so blind and lost that we run away from even the One who truly loves us – the Lord who gave His life for us. But here’s the good news – our fall is not irreversible.
Oftentimes we think we need to overcome our irrationality and moments of emotional instability before we can pray. Before we can come to Jesus at the altar. Just the opposite. Jesus wants to be invited into the crazy. Into the muck. Because he already knows. He knows our insecurities and vulnerabilities. Our mistakes. Our messes. And there he meets us, converses with us, and heals us. Isn’t that such a relief? To know that the Lord of Lords not only visits but wants to make a home in our imperfect hearts? And there he transforms the mess into something beautiful beyond words. He transforms our hearts into His own. Only in Him can we find our true selves.
We should prepare ourselves for what God wants to give us, rather than focusing on what God is preparing for us impatiently.
As for finding the right guy and interpreting what his actions/actions may or may not mean….well…it’s like what Maggie’s best friend said to her in the movie. You just got to get the rest of your ducks in a row. We should prepare ourselves for what God wants to give us, rather than focusing on what God is preparing for us impatiently.
When we can rest secure in our identities in Christ, we can trust the Holy Spirit to guide us in the little moments of the day to fulfill our unique vocations on earth.
P.S. I briefly mentioned above about the dangers of an unguarded heart. The next article will be on the difference between guarding our hearts and being too guarded. Hopefully I will be able to get all my disjointed thoughts together for a post by Sunday.