I was rarely single; if ever, only for a hot second. In fact, I kept the boys lined up so that I never had to be alone. As embarrassing as it is to admit, the majority of my past relationships even overlapped. But I am not who I once was. I am a new creation in Christ. For anyone reading this already thinking, oh my goodness, this is me… keep reading. There is complete freedom and hope in Jesus. That is why I share my confessions, time and time again.
I was your typical girl with “daddy issues.” I grew up without a present, loving, involved father in my life and like every little girl, I longed for a man’s approval, attention, and affection more than anything. The older I grew, the more evident this void in my life became.
During my high school years,I quickly figured out what I could do to get a boy’s attention. Reveal more of my body, tell them what they want to hear, and constantly maintain the appeal of a cool girl. You see, I wanted them to want me and adore me, the way my own father never did. These tactics became unhealthy habits. Relationships were almost like a game, not sincere. I never intended to hurt anyone, but at the same time, I couldn’t stop. I had to keep my love tank full.
Anytime I ever felt sad or lonely, I reached out to a boy in my life who I knew would tell me those sweet-nothings or show me physical affection. Though it was a temporary fix, I was being deceived because this wasn’t true love at all.
Envision your gas tank being filled up and in that moment feeling satisfied. Only to be driven around for a few days, leading you back to the pump to fill up again. In the same way, I couldn’t sustain feeling loved or wanted, so whenever my love tank was on "E", I went to a boy to fill me up. It was a vicious cycle.
The end result was always the same. It left me feeling used, guilty, confused, hurt, worthless, and empty.
So, how did it stop? How did I break free from this life of chasing boys and their “love?”
Truthfully, I didn’t. I couldn’t do it on my own. No matter how hard I tried to change.
But He did.
I was introduced to my real Father. My heavenly Father. I was told that He saw me, heard me, and knew me. According to His word, He adored me more than anything. The one who created everything loved ME more than anything?! This was revolutionary to me. And it changed my life once I started believing it. He wouldn’t walk away from me or hurt me. He wouldn’t neglect me or shut me out. He would protect me and guide me. He would advise me and teach me. He would delight in me. I began to soak in His love and feel pursued by Him in a mighty way. I chased right back after Him. The more I spent time talking with Him, the less I felt the urge to be affirmed by any boy.
Believe me, it didn’t happen overnight, but with the will to change and the reliance upon The Lord, I began drawing near to Him and feeling a peace like never before. I was beginning to see and acknowledge my worth in Christ alone. I was no longer chasing after boys at all. I was so in love with my Savior and complete in Him alone. In fact, no boy could capture my attention anymore.
That is, until my husband came along. The difference between him and all of the other guys, you ask? I was captivated by the way he wholeheartedly pursued The Lord more than he was pursuing me.
Ladies, Max Lucado says it best: “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”
For all people to know their worth and experience the love of our Father, that is my prayer and the song my heart sings forever.
XO, Manda Carpenter www.mandacarpenter.com (coming soon)
Manda Carpenter is a 24 year old wife, teacher and writer. She loves encouraging others as she reveals her story of redemption. Follow her on insty for more inspiration x