“I Want Heaven for You”: My Lenten Dating Fast, Day 9

‘And like I can’t force the sun to rise or hasten summer’s start, neither should I rush my way into your heart,’ – Brooke Fraser, ‘Love is Waiting’

Over the past few months, I’ve been obsessively watching talks from the Steubenville Conferences on YouTube. For those of you who don’t know, the Steubenville Conferences are a series of Catholic youth conferences held through the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. They have amazing and faith-filled speakers every summer. Seriously, if you ever need a spiritual pick-me-up, just watch one of their many, many videos.

Two of my favorite flavors of Steubenville talks are the Men’s and Women’s Sessions. As you might expect, these talks focus largely on God’s plan for love and marriage, and as you also might expect, the speakers tailor their message to suit each gender. For the women, the speakers focus on chastity, modesty and body image. The men’s session focuses on chastity, lust and pornography. These aren’t the only subjects they talk about, but they’re themes that I’ve seen across the board.

I now think both talks should be required viewing for both sexes. Why? Because on the most basic level, men and women deal with exactly the same things.

A theme that comes up frequently in the Men’s Sessions is seeing a woman as a beautiful human being to be loved instead of an object of lust to be used. Praise God that that message is getting out there! But I think a similar discussion of lust is missing from most of the Women’s Sessions: how do women fall into the trap of lust, and how can we get out of it?

Sarah Swafford is one of the few Women’s Session speakers I’ve seen talk about how women use men physically and emotionally. Since I saw the video of her 2013 talk a few weeks ago, I’ve noticed how I use guys without even realizing it. Have you ever met a guy for the first time, looked into his eyes, and immediately thought, “Is this the guy I’m supposed to marry?” I have, and I don’t think I’m alone here. Swafford calls it “The Emotocoaster,” where you go from meeting a guy, to mentally planning out your whole relationship, to Facebook-stalking, to texting, to spilling your soul on the phone every night, and on and on. And it repeats for (almost) every guy you meet.

Now of course, this “emotocoaster” looks pretty similar to how many romantic relationships begin. But what’s the difference? Most of the time, when women get on the emotocoaster, we see the object of our affection as just that — an object to be had, a trophy male specimen to be won, instead of a human being with emotions, needs, opinions and desires.

Jason Evert says that, as Catholics, human sexuality is not something we should try to get rid of, but something we should take control of and refine in order to fulfill our true calling for authentic, life-giving love. One naive reason why I wanted to go on this dating fast was because I thought that by not dating, my attraction to guys would go away. I know, sounds backwards, right? It is. But I have been so angry at myself because I still look at guys I know and wonder if they’re “The One.” I haven’t been loving Jesus because I’ve been so focused on not liking guys. My “dare” for Day 2 of the dating fast was to write a love letter to God. I still haven’t written it.

My goal for the next week of the Dating Fast is to focus more on Jesus’ love for me and my love for Him, instead of worrying about not being attracted to men. I know that God put that attraction to men and desire for marriage and love in my heart, and He will realize it in His own time. In order to combat my emotional use of guys in the present moment, I’ve started looking at guys I find attractive and thinking, “I want Heaven for you.” In other words, “I want what’s best for you, even if it doesn’t include me.”

I’ve come up with percentages to keep in mind: 33.3% of the heterosexual guys I meet are called to marriage with a woman that is not me; 33.3% of them are called to a religious vocation; 33.3% of them are called to a single life; .1% are called to marry me. 

My math-major roommate has full license to pick apart my hackneyed calculations, but they’ve helped me put things into perspective. I’m going to hold out for that .1%, the one man Jesus has picked out for me, and only me. Until then, I’m going to let Jesus, the only man who can satisfy all the desires of my heart, love me.

Thank you so much for your overwhelming support of my last post. I’m keeping all of you in my prayers this Lenten season.

À la prochaine,

– Vicky

Dragon Loyalty Award Tag: 7 Interesting Facts About Me

Hey all! It’s been a crazy two weeks with Thanksgiving and then getting back to school for my second-to-last week of finals. Bleh. Well, I still have half a week of classes and a week of exams, but I finished a French paper and an arts front for the school paper today, so I needed something fun to write.

About a week ago, my dear friend Emily Miller (http://emilymiller91.wordpress.com/), (who turns 22 today!) tagged me for the Dragon Loyalty Award!

dragons-loyalty-award

But since I’ve just restarted this blog and most of the people I know who read my posts don’t have their own WordPress, I’m not going to tag anyone specifically.

I know, I know. I’m a funsucker. But if you feel so inclined to repost this, feel free to tag me in it.

Thank you to everyone who reads this, for putting up with my musings, rants, poetic-waxing and delay-fish tendencies. HUGS!!****

“The philosophy of the award is: The Dragon’s Loyalty Award is an award for the loyal fan/commenter, whether the recipient is a fellow blogger or just someone who follows and comments regularly”. 

There are some rules that one must follow in order to fully accept the award and they are as follows:

1. Firstly, display the Award on your site. You earned it and you deserve it!

2. Link back to the person who gave you the award in your acceptance post;

3. Nominate 15 well deserving bloggers for the Award and let them know the wonderful news by sending them a message on their site;

4. List 7 interesting facts about yourself”

7 Interesting Facts About Me, Vicky

1. My idea of Heaven runs something along the lines of sitting in a used bookstore and cafe with God and Jesus in overstuffed chairs reading great literature, drinking coffee and talking about life, all day, every day. (In case it isn’t obvious enough, I’m a nerd. And a Catholic.)

2. I attended two different elementary schools and two different middle schools without ever leaving the house I grew up in. My town built two new schools in the span of five years, and I had to switch because of rezoning.

3. Give me an excuse to bake something and I will.

4. I have traveled to six countries thus far: Aruba, England, France, Italy, Austria and Canada. Poland and Ireland are next on my (very extensive) bucket list.

5. My favorite flavor combination is dark chocolate and raspberry.

6. I was a member of my school’s ballroom dance team for one year.

7. I will most likely become a professional cat lady at some point in my life.

Happy Birthday, Emily! ❤ Love you so so much!

A bientôt!

– Vicky

The Difference Ten Years Makes

I’m so happy to be home for Thanksgiving break, but today was a bittersweet day in my house. This morning, my family — one grandma, two parents, two aunts, an uncle, two cousins, one me — piled into our minivans and arrived at Mass uncharacteristically early (9:17 for a 9:30 service!) at my grandparents’ church. No, this is not our usual Sunday routine.

Today was the Feast of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the liturgical year. It also marked ten years since the death of my grandfather.

Perhaps it’s because I’m only 21, or because the aforementioned decade spanned all my hormonal and formative teenage years, but ten years seems like a lifetime ago. As I stood by Grandpa’s gravesite after Mass this morning, I remembered the day of his funeral. I could not convince myself that the little girl of twelve who placed a rose on a black coffin carefully for fear of falling into the gaping hole in the ground was me, had been me. I feel like I don’t know that girl anymore.

Ten years never seems like a long time. It’s a drop in the world history ocean, and when older adults talk about how they’ve been at this job or lived in this place for ten years, our limited human understanding compresses that time into a more digestible span of six months or a year at most. I’m writing this post at midnight, so I could possibly dive into a long-winded theory about how technology and the hyper-connectivity of the world have altered our perception of time, but I’m not going to.

In an attempt to grasp the change that can occur over the span of a decade, I’ve listed a noteworthy event from each year of the past decade of my life. It has been…

Ten years since my grandpa died only a few days before Thanksgiving. Before going up to bed, I called to his hospital bed in the living room, “Goodnight, Grandpa. I love you!” The next morning, he was gone.

Nine years since my parents tore down the tiny two-bedroom ranch house I grew up in and built our current house on the same property. We moved back in after living with my grandparents for ten months. When we first moved in, everything was cold and whitewashed, and I didn’t know if I could ever call that house “home.”

Eight years since my town built a new middle school and I had to leave all my friends behind for eighth grade. It was awful, but least we had our eighth-grade dances on the same night. J

Seven years since I had my first boyfriend for a grand total of three weeks.

Six years since I had the best freshman year of high school. I reunited with my old friends, made some new ones, and had a few teachers who were so inspiring that I go back and visit them to this day.

Five years since I made my NYC theatrical debut … in a tiny theatre tucked into a corner of Greenwich Village.

Four years since I attended an intensive acting conservatory for high school students for the month of July. It was a crazy thrill ride, but I ultimately decided that I wasn’t called to be an actor.

Three years since my disheartening senior year was infinitely brightened with the arrival of an acceptance letter to my beloved college. Sadly, it was not to Hogwarts.

Two years since I became heavily involved in my college’s Catholic community, where I found my second family — my brothers and sisters in Christ.

And in exactly one month and fifteen days, it will be one year since I arrived at the Orly Airport in Paris, loaded down with two huge suitcases and a fever, made the two-hour train ride to Nantes, and met my adored French host family for the first time.

It’s amazing what ten years can do.

Grandpa, I know you’re up in Heaven, and I hope you’re proud of me. Thank you for watching over me. I love you.

À plus!

Vicky