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A kind mother talks to me about, many things? She mentions that her older son is twenty. He flashes me a smile as she says this. I want to squash that thought before it grows. A few sentences later, I slip in that my little brother is twenty-three. That will make the mother think.

In a way it is flattering to have this sort of attention. Like moths to the flame, I often say. In many ways, it makes me feel claustrophobic and panicky. It’s not the first time this has happened. Churches are excellent ground for matchmaking. What parent doesn’t want their son married off to a fine, Christian woman? If she’s beautiful, that’s a bonus. I wish they would just leave it up to the Holy Spirit. They are well-meaning, but misguided, I think?

There is one young man who always tries to be friendly and say hi when he sees me. I don’t dislike him so much as I dislike what he stands for: a single, Christian man whom I know only in the context of “another single.” Seeing him makes me feel panicky. I rehearse in my head what I’d say if he asked me out on a date. In my mind, I tell him no and never to ask me again. In real life, I doubt I would be able to say it to his face. Perhaps he’s just trying to be friendly, but I feel like a cat with all her fur on end.

Sometimes God whispers to me when I least expect it. I was walking through church, feeling frustrated with young men, when God said quietly to me: “You have a decision.” Relief washed over me. I did not have to say yes to the attentions of this young man, or any other. Being in relationships with several controlling men, I have had my own will taken away, or hurt when I exerted my will.

God is giving me back my “no.”


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Following Your Feet