Finding Flynn – Part II

Campfire 2Sitting around the campfire, I was soon introduced to the young, curly haired girl who was so possessive of Flynn. Her name is Patricia, and she and Flynn have been dating for eight months. I’m not a boyfriend stealer, so I made a conscious decision to keep my distance from him, although that was difficult in a group of just twelve people sharing a common campsite.

As women, when we become jealous of other women, we have a tendency to dehumanize them so that we are better able to focus on their flaws. Beth Moore writes in her book “So Long, Insecurity” (which I highly recommend):

“In order to nurse a rival mentality, we… view our competitor through a one-dimensional lens. She is not a person. She is a contender… It’s easier to despise her that way. If she got the promotion we sought, she’s the embodiment of selfish ambition… If she’s more attractive than we feel, she’s only skin deep. We can’t fathom that she’s ever been betrayed or brokenhearted… When we go against the grain of our human nature and determine to personalize someone instead, rivalry loses its bedding ground.”

So I decided to try to get to know Patricia in order to personalize her and stop viewing her as a rival. After all, she already has the guy. But Patricia didn’t seem very interested in getting to know me. In fact, she acted standoffish toward everyone except Flynn. It would seem that Patricia was only there for her boyfriend; not to make other friends.

SurvivorFlynn had put together a Survivor role playing game where we were divided into three teams and each given different supplies. We had to make judgement calls as a team on whether we were going to stay at our crash site or try to walk to civilization. Flynn had planned for a real-world element as well, in which – for example – we had to shoot a tangible bow and arrow set to determine if we successfully hunted down food for that day.

I am not-so-secretly a sci-fi geek and lover of RPGs and strategy games in general (hello! INTJ = master strategist!), so I got really into the game. In fact, my team won. But 25-year-old Patricia spent the entire game sequence complaining about how boring her boyfriend’s game was and how unrealistic his survival scenarios were.

Later, when Flynn tried to stoke the campfire and stirred up mostly smoke due to the recent rain, Patricia criticized him, “Come on, I thought you were an Army ranger.” Watching them together was painful, not because of my attraction to Flynn, but primarily because of how uncomfortable is it to observe a woman publicly ridicule her man.

Over the next 48 hours of the camping trip, Patricia frequently made comments alluding to her desire for Flynn to propose. In one instance, Flynn joked that she is expensive to date because she is always hungry. Patricia retorted, “Yeah, you buy me lots of food, but what I’d really like is something sparkly.” She wiggled the fingers of her left hand.

Later, Flynn told the group about his family in Louisiana (why am I always attracted to Louisiana boys?!) and how he wished he had family locally. Patricia jumped in, “You could have a great set of in-laws in town any time you wanted to seal the deal.” Everyone around the campfire discretely raised their eyebrows at one another.

Still later, when the group was talking about what each person does for a living, Patricia admitted that she’s unemployed and living with her parents. But she also said unashamedly that she’s not in a hurry to get a job since she probably wouldn’t need it for long anyway. She smiled coyly at Flynn, her 34-year-old mechanical engineer and sugar daddy. Gag me.

How to Lose a Guy in One Week

Day 1: Pick a man 9 years older and far more mature than you are. Display your immaturity at every possible opportunity.

Day 2: Make no effort at all to build relationships with any of his friends. Be clingy and obsessed with him. Have no identity of your own.

Day 3: Complain constantly. The more whining, the better.

Day 4: Make fun of his interests and hobbies. Insist that he stops all of his lame hobbies and picks up yours instead. Don’t compromise.

Day 5: Drain his bank account by making no effort to get a job and insisting that your parents are letting you stay at home, so he needs to cover all the rest of your expenses. State openly that you have no intention of contributing financially to the relationship, either now or in the future; either in tangible dollars or sweat equity.

Day 6: Disrespect him publicly, questioning his masculinity and capability, especially in front of his friends.

Day 7: Make frequent mention of your family, specifically to cite them as his future in-laws. Be sure to couple this with pointed comments about wanting and expecting an engagement ring soon. The pushier, the better.

With this winning combination, you too can Lose a Guy in One Week!

Authentically Aurora

Finding Flynn – Part I

I went on a camping trip this past weekend. The weather was perfect – 60s and 70s – and I went almost exclusively with complete strangers, which was also perfect (strangers have no expectations about who I am or how I should act, so I often – especially of late – feel freer to be myself with strangers than friends).

I ran into an old acquaintance at a ministry banquet last week, and he invited me to his church’s camping trip for their “Singles” Sunday school class. As a part of my self-imposed goal to attend at least one social event per week, I agreed to go. So on Friday I was assigned to a carpool group, showed up at the agreed-upon apartment at the agreed-upon time of 5:30 pm and was still standing in the parking lot at 6:30 pm (a display of the typical lack of punctuality demonstrated by singles of “Generation Me”). Nevertheless, we had an enjoyable drive into the countryside as I exchanged witty banter with the two nerds I found myself wedged between in the back seat of an ancient Toyota Corolla (and I use the term “nerds” affectionately).

Our carpool group eventually made it out to the campsite around 8:30 pm and found the rest of our group already gathered around a roaring campfire. Insight into my brain: I wish I didn’t do this, but if I’m honest with myself, in my singleness I tend to scan new groups of people for their most eligible bachelor. In this instance, he wasn’t hard to find.

Angular features highlighted by the flickering fire, his defined jawline was rimmed with a dark five o’clock shadow. His waterfall haircut grazed his forehead as he spoke with animation, and he radiated an aura of leadership. As conversaion progressed, I discovered that he was the group’s bible study leader and had a playful demeanor with a dry sense of humor.

Flynn RiderHe reminded me a lot of Flynn Rider, the male protagonist in “Tangled” and my favorite Disney prince. Flynn is a dashing, swashbuckling hero with a sense of adventure and flair for the sarcastic. Not everyone agrees with me, but I peg Flynn for an ENFP. For those of you not familiar with Myers Briggs, the ENFP is an extroverted, intuitive personality type who likes flexibility and makes decisions based on gut feelings or emotions. I personally am an INTJ. That means that I recharge by being alone, am intuitive, enjoy structure and am a rational decision maker.

The ENFP/INTJ combination is said to be one of the most perfect personality matches from a romantic standpoint. Some of the most legendary love stories are between an ENFP and INTJ because the playfulness of the ENFP balances the intensity of the INTJ. Think Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy of “Pride and Prejudice.” Epic.

In addition to being a ridiculously attractive leader of men, my real life Flynn is also a 34-year-old mechanical engineer and former Army Ranger who plays acoustic guitar. At first glance, he’s everything I’ve ever wanted. Unfortunately, just as I asked myself, “Is this guy for real?”, I discovered that yes, he is, but so was the young, curly haired girl who pranced out of her tent, plopped down in his lap and wrapped her arms possessively around his neck.

Figures.

Authentically Aurora

Prophetic Provision

Prophesy

Over the past six months, I have received unimaginable volumes of unsolicited post-breakup advice from well-meaning friends, family and even complete strangers. Some people have told me to “put myself out there” and date around. Others have chided me when I do go out on dates, claiming that it’s too soon after my relational train wreck of a summer.

How soon is too soon? How does someone “properly” move forward with life after a breakup, divorce or failed engagement? If there’s not a right answer – or even if there is a right answer, but it varies from situation to situation – then why do so many people have such vehement opinions about this very personal, very sensitive topic?

Here are things I know to be true:

  1. It’s probably not a great idea for me to sit at home alone every night, drinking multiple glasses of wine and singing parodies of Taylor Swift’s “22”.
  2. I am still healing, so getting into a serious relationship right now would probably be about as smart as playing Leap Frog with a unicorn.
  3. I typically date to marry, but I am also capable of going on casual dates without physical or emotional entanglement (as evidenced by about half of the posts on this blog so far).

Since I live to please God and not man (Gal. 1:10), I threw out the conflicting advice and did what I do anytime I need wisdom: I prayed about it. In the end, I felt convicted that I needed to get off of eHarmony, so I did, but I still felt I should keep myself open to going on casual dates to get myself out of the house and, if nothing else, make new friends. And this week, make a new friend, I did.

Time for some back story. I know, I know… my role model Flynn Rider doesn’t do back story, but in this case, it’s necessary. So here we go:

The biblical Old Testament is written in Hebrew, which does not have a grammatical way to express the comparative or superlative (e.g. better, best). The way Hebrew emphasizes something is through repetition, like small children at grandpa’s house telling their mother that they are “very, Very, VERY” bored (hypothetically speaking, of course)! This style of emphasis is why God is frequently described throughout the bible as “holy, holy, holy,” underscoring his utter purity.

Similarly, I believe that when God is trying to tell me something, He emphasizes it through repetition. And three times in as many days, three different people have spoken to me about the gift of prophesy. The bible lists many “spiritual gifts”, some of which (like teaching and encouragement) are widely accepted throughout the church, but others (like healing and prophesy) create more apprehension and division among Christians. I have grown in an appreciation for spiritual gifts like prophesy as I have witnessed them in my father and, later, experienced them myself.

I remember as a kid, my dad often knew things before they happened – little things, like one time at a country fair, he entered his name in a raffle drawing. Right as the woman drawing the name out of the bowl touched the paper with the winner’s name, my dad turned to my mom and said calmly, “She’s about to say my name.” A few seconds later, my mom gasped, astonished, while my dad – completely unfazed – walked up to the stage to retrieve his prize. My ten-year-old self thought it was completely normal for daddies to have premonitions. After all, my dad was my hero; my role model; my seemingly infallible Gandalf-like figure.

But then I went off to college and realized that not not everyone’s daddy woke up from prophetic dreams to inform the family that a tsunami was about to hit Indonesia. And about that time, I started to experience prophetic visions for myself. For example, this summer, my friend Jill gave birth to her first child. Everyone knew she and her husband were having a boy, but the couple kept the name a secret. The plan was to reveal their son’s name after it was on the birth certificate. But two weeks before Jill gave birth, she and I went out to dinner, and as I sat talking and laughing with her about her soon-to-be-born son, I suddenly KNEW the baby’s name: Elijah. I didn’t tell Jill at that very moment, but I knew with such certainty that when she later sent out the text that her water had broken, I wrote back: “Say hi to baby Elijah for me!” She was as shocked as I had been when God revealed the baby’s name to me.

I’ve often asked why things like that are revealed to me. Knowing Elijah’s name before he was born didn’t change anything. It was a powerful revelation that seemingly had no impact. Why, then, did God choose to reveal it to me? I have come to the conclusion that it was for my encouragement, and for the encouragement of his mother, Jill, that God still speaks. It was a reminder to me of God’s omniscience and omnipotence. It reminded me who God is, and who I am in relation to Him.

With all that as background, last night I went on a date with Jonathan, an eHarmony match I’d connected with before I got off the site. Jonathan is a welding engineer and clearly a godly man, but he’s 9 years older than me and has a melancholy personality. I knew within the first five minutes that I respected him, but he wasn’t for me (there’s enough melancholy in me to go around)! Fortunately, the feeling was mutual, so I asked Jonathan how he felt about being set up with one of my friends. I strongly sensed that they would be a good match – she’s a godly engineer who does triathlons and, like Jonathan, is passionate about the End It movement.

Jonathan looked at me for a moment with a puzzled look on his face. Then he asked, slowly and cautiously, what I think about prophesy. I was immediately overcome with a Presence; a sense of knowing that the words he was about to say were Divine. God had been preparing me for this moment through my repeated encounters with prophetic conversations over the past few days.

And then Jonathan told me that he’d had a dream about me last week. In the dream, he walked into a coffee shop and saw me sitting at a table, laughing and talking with another man. On the morning of our date, Jonathan shared the dream with a friend of his, discouraged. But his friend’s reply was, “In your dream, she may be with another man, but perhaps it’s because she has a friend to introduce you to.”

So far, half of Jonathan’s premonition has come true. I’m praying that the other half comes to full fruition in due time.

Authentically Aurora