The Christmas I gave up on love OR the Hallmark Man Prayer
This month marks one year since I decided to give up on finding love and allowing it to find me. This was a pivotal moment for me in some significant ways. I was on the brink of giving up on love all together and committing to accepting a solitary life. And, honestly, I was fine with it. When I say I was on the brink, I really do mean I was standing on the line. It would have been just as easy to go one way or the other. When I started dating after divorce I wasn’t looking for a partner or a significant other. I was looking for proof that I was worthy of dating, that a decent man would think that I am beautiful. I needed the confidence boost. I needed to find approval outside of me at a time when I was not really loving myself. During this time I had a 3 month relationship and a series of one hit wonders that never panned out on his side or on mine. At the point where it became too much trouble for me to even message back, I quit, thank goodness. I know several wonderful women who are in long term relationships or marriages with good men they have met on an app; I couldn’t be happier for them. But, this is not for me. I have tried and I have met some very nice people. What I have learned, though, is that I am more of an organic gal, even if that means I end up alone forevermore. I also found my own confidence over these two years and I no longer needed to look for it from others. I am able to love me just fine again. This is something I think some of us struggle with after the ending of a toxic relationship. It is glorious to know I will be happy alone – or not – and that I don’t need anyone else to make happy happen.
As an alternative to dating men, I had chosen to “date” my house by concentrating on turning my house into a home that is an expression of me as well as spending significant time in my home art studio, creating. It seemed like a perfect alternative to spending the effort actually dating. I do adore my house and I have lots of projects planned for my house. I could see myself spending the rest of my life pouring myself into my art and into my home. I have wonderful friends whom I love to spend time with, my children are at a point in their lives where they are still in and out of my house all the time, and I have a great job that keeps me involved in the community. I do not need more. My life could be complete and FULL with just this.
So, how and why did I decide to choose to be open to love again? I loved my life, my home, my job, my kids, my community. I knew I didn’t NEED anyone. I would be perfectly fine on my own. But, the more I thought about it, the more I felt the need to pray. The more I prayed about God’s will for my life, the more I wasn’t so sure “alone” was His plan for me or even what I really, really wanted. This pivotal life moment brought me back to a life full of prayer. It began to heal the wounds I had self-inflicted into my relationship with God over the course of the slow fatal crash of my marriage. When I allowed myself the freedom to dream of a pie in the sky sort of second half of this life of mine, it included not only a deeper spiritual life, but a Clyde to my Bonnie (without any bloodshed, obviously).
So, I prayed the Hallmark Man Prayer with the encouragement of a close friend.
The Hallmark Man Prayer came after 1 year of dating via apps and 1 year of NOT dating because of the aforementioned. Don’t get me wrong. I met some wonderful men. I dated one or two that I will remember fondly and one I consider a friend. But, I didn’t meet or go out with anyone I had a connection with or had real sparks with. I was attracted to a couple of them but that is not what I mean. I did not go out with anyone over the course of that year that I would consider “best friend” or “up for adventure” partner material. I also know part of this is because I didn’t give them a really real chance, not really. Trust is hard.
I called it the Hallmark Man Prayer because it was conceived during the beginning of the Hallmark Christmas movie season of which I am an avid watcher. I love the predictability and the beauty of love that can happen seemingly overnight, even if it is fiction. I meet one of my closest friends for dinner at least once a month (she is GREAT about keeping us to a schedule so we don’t fall out of touch). She asked me, at one of our dinners, what sort of man I was looking for in a life partner. This was a good question. So, after I came up with my list I created a prayer to ask God for a very specific man I want to come to me and I asked her to pray for him too (though I am sure her prayers for this man for me were not as detailed as mine). Here is my prayer:
Thank you for the time you have given me to find my confidence and love for myself again. Thank you for my beautiful home and my children, my friends, my family, and the beautiful life you have gifted me. Lord, I want to share my life with a man worthy of sharing my life with, one you have created just for me. Please connect me with the man you wish for me to spend my life with, the one you have meant for me, the one who will be my soul’s companion. I would like for this man to be or have the following qualities:
- My best friend first
- A man of God
- Love to travel
- Accept me and my quirkiness, always see the best in me
- Support me in my creative endeavors
- Enjoy going to plays, at least tolerate Broadway type music
- Love live music
- Be someone it will be fun to create with
- A man who will love me, let me know I am special to him, always
- Have grown kids so he is free to travel and empty nest with me
- Be my age or close to it
- Come to me around Christmas and try to convince me he is the man for me
- Have his own hobbies
- Has a good job or is retired
- Has hair and is taller than me
- A man who gets along with my family and enjoys spending time with them
Please, Lord, show him his way to me. Give me the vulnerability to be open to him when he shows up.
Thank you. Amen.
Now, I know some of those things may seem petty to you. I guess they are. Why should it matter if he has hair or is taller than me? It doesn’t really, but if I was going to place an order with God, I thought I might as well ask for everything I thought it was impossible to actually fit into one man. God is in the business of miracles, so why not ask for my miracle? I prayed this prayer for a month or so and then I just trusted God to deliver. The main point in telling you all of this is I didn’t give up on love. I embraced the vulnerability that allowing the possibility of love to enter my life again would bring. I also trusted the Lord to deliver what he felt was best for me and I trusted that he would, in fact, deliver. (I also trusted he would take my list into consideration, lol.) This prayer marks the first time in years I was able to trust in Him fully. I prayed and I TRUSTED. This was significant.
This was the beginning of the repairing of my relationship with the Lord and my forgiveness of Him and of myself for the life choices and the consequences of those life choices I have made. God is good and I am thankful he chooses to forgive me and love me, his defiant daughter, and welcome me home to Him. My relationship with Him has grown significantly over this past year. All it took was the courage to be vulnerable.