Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Merit System

My girlfriend was waiting to hear the details about the guy who inspired the text: "I really like him."

Grinning broadly, I spilled. "I do. I really like him. He's a good man. I'm giddy!"

We talked about a few specifics before she looked at me through her eyelashes, saying, "If you end up in a relationship with him, I'm going to go jump off a building."

She hasn't been in a relationship in three years, and apparently the brief month between my final breakup with Mr. Burns and taking up with McTwitchy offended her sense of fairness.


We don't know that this will be anything. This may be God's way of softening the sting of being alone before I'm really all alone once again. Although, I secretly hope that I can fulfill that urban legend of the woman who gets out of a long relationship and immediately finds the guy she'll marry. But I am also prepared for that not to happen.

When we think about happy endings - it's hard not to think of them as a reward.

When Mr. Burns and I broke up for the second and final time - I felt again, the frustration that I just don't get to have what God gives everyone else.
No husband. No job. No babies.

Where did I go wrong? What have I done so wrong? What did I do that was so bad that I am not worthy of marriage and children, when I can point out people who, according to my logic - have that and don't deserve it. (yikes. Self-righteous much?)

It took someone to point out to me... "God doesn't work on a merit system."
That's an eyeopener. Although sometimes I wish He would.

It's really hard to think that perhaps marriage isn't a reward for good behavior. Having a teammate for life... someone to come home to... someone to share meals with... someone to share the power of touch.
It certainly seems like being without those things is a punishment. The gift of children is indeed a gift, not a bonus plan. (spare me the 'Marriage is Hard' lecture --- that's another post -- and my response is ... Anything worth having is hard. Duh. Being single is hard too.)

I know that my friend doesn't begrudge me finding a worthy man less than two months after ending a relationship. She just also wants that for herself. Even seeing all the difficulties Mr. Burns and I had, she still wanted that too... because struggling together is more appealing than struggling alone.

She's wondering what is wrong with her. Why, perhaps, she is not worthy.
The answer is Nothing. and She is.
The fact is, it's not that she hasn't earned it... but maybe she's just not ready. Or the man for her isn't ready yet. And that stinks. It really freaking stinks.

But I do know, God is preparing something for all of us. When it comes, the wait will have been worth it.


Heidi said...

Stuff like this (the guilt and self-doubt that we feel when we don't get what everyone else has) always makes me think of John chapter 9 verse 2: "Who did sin, this man or his parents...?"

I hope I'm living in such a way that "the works of God are made manifest" in me, regardless of what other people think about what I do or do not deserve based on my choices.

KristyWes said...

Love this post! You are soo right! Relationships are not a meritocracy. I spent most of 2009 trying to internalize that message, especially after receiving well-intentioned advice from (non-single) friends who suggested that there must be things I need to work on first in order to merit a marriage. (Which isn't to say I don't have things I need to work on. I do. We *all* do - single and married, alike.) We're all messy, at our core. And yet, we're all worthy to be loved. And why some people end up in relationships while others don't...well, that's a mystery. But the answer definitely isn't merit. Thanks, TRS, for the reminder!

TRS said...

'tis true.

My dear friend, Kikr points out that she is not married to her wonderful, sweet and godly husband because she deserves him, or because she finally did something right. Not because she finally learned something, or finally read enough scripture.

In fact, when she met him - she thought immediately of who she could introduce him to - it took her months to realize that maybe he was for HER!

She has no idea why she is so blessed, but is thankful every day that she is!!

(Personally, I think it's because HE did something right and deserves HER - but that's just me!)

Judith said...

Thanks for posting this. I've been reading your blog for a while since a friend of mine recommended it to me.
I have felt the what's wrong with me, and why do they get what I want? It's hard trusting God to bring the right one, or to remain single.
I just recently got dumped after 2 years of dating. I thought he was the one, but he left me for someone that isn't even his type. Everything he ever told me he wanted is not her. And my younger sister just started hanging out with a guy, so that is very frustrating for me to see her with someone when my heart is breaking.
Thanks for this post. It helps reading and remembering that God loves me just as I am.

Stacey said...

Excellent post!

Certainly it's easy to let yourself believe the lie that maybe you're being punished or don't deserve something (I've struggled with this along my difficult journey to having children). But I've learned to see blessings as God intended us to see them and not as a reward for good behavior. I remind myself that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Does any of us really deserve THAT?! No, but He loves us that much!

Thanks for the post and the reminder.

Genevra said...

As has been said, excellent post.

Reminds me so much of timing in my own life, mine versus Gods. Usually when I try to make things happen because I'm afraid God "lost my file" because it is taking to long or not happening the way I had envisioned. It ends up not working out as well, or turning out to be what makes me very happy in the long run. Yet the times I'm able to just let go of the outcome and let it unfold according to God's plan, I am always amazed at how it is so much better than what I had imagined.

Anonymous said...

The worst part about this is when meritocracy comes from the church. Thanks for reminding me of the TRUTH!!!

Anonymous said...

I love this,you get me every time, i have been feeling just like that. And I tend to get in the trap of the same person that sneaks back in and then lies and then wonder, what is god preparing for me, I can't question it, and then the tears once in awhile flow as i see what everyone else has.
Thanks TRS

TRS said...


I understand. Please, as a favor to yourself and to me... let that person go. Just cut the cord.

As a friend told me a few years ago. Everyone deserves a second chance. Very, very, very few deserve a third.

I spent years crushing after one particular guy. Time wasted. Stop it. Cut him from your social circle... and if that means you have no social circle... you'll just have to build a new one. I promise, it'll be the best thing you ever do for yourself.

BUT CUT HIM LOOSE!!! PLEASE! If he were ever going to come around he would have already.
If he owes you money... take the loss. or take him to small claims court. get rid of him. I have read what you wrote about this guy - stop allowing him to torment you with thoughts of possibilities.

As for building a new social circle... join the charity arm of the children's hospital in your area... find a speed dating, rotating tables or some such and just start meeting people... women included. (Here's the group I connected with when I moved to this city -- Start an adult fellowship group at church.

If this guy is still in your life... you need to be the change. I think I recall you bringing him up two years back.
You have to cut him out. Please.
Pray about it.
Remember my revelation about surrender?

Surrender. God will do something fantastic with it. I know this.

Love you!!

Andi said...

Well said! This is something I struggle with, too. I love this entry.