I remember as a little girl growing up on a farm, we had a lot to do. Between feeding the cows, chickens, picking blueberries, and all of the other chores of living in the country, we spent a lot of time outside. I come from a family with what seems like thousands of cousins, and we loved to play outside. We would hide in the barn, go exploring in the trees, ride four-wheelers, pick pecans, climb trees and go fishing. We had so much fun outside, but one game that I remember fondly was Chase. I believe y’all city folk call it Tag. The game was rather simple, you were simply chased until you got caught. If I happened to be playing with my numerous big boy cousins, if they caught you, you better be prepared to be tickled until you couldn’t breathe — then released to be chased again. When we got wise, we invented a base, where you could go and catch your breathe, but you couldn’t stay there the whole time, you had to get back in the game. Oh, how fun this child’s game was.
This child’s game. So, why are we still playing it as adults? (Come on, you know me – there is ALWAYS a message in it). We are still chasing ambitions, jobs, cars, houses, IPhone 75’s and everything else the world tells us that we must have…until we catch it. Then it tickles our fancy for a few moments, and we release it only to chase the next fastest thing running past us. This scenario all too well applies to relationships, which is the reason for this blog. I’ve decided to stop running and stay on base. Here’s why.
I have never been pursued. Ever.*
Even typing it right now, it stings. Stings is putting it lightly, because having the revelation was gut wrenching. I fought long and hard about posting this, but it really wasn’t my decision. For a reason far above my knowledge scale, Christ has chosen to use my life as a living testimony to Singles specifically, so there was no way that I could sit on the word that He is pushing out of me. I pray this helps you, like it is healing me.
I have physically been asked for my hand in marriage three times, but only said “yes” once. I say physically, because my body was present, but my mind was nowhere near any of those relationships. If you have read my first book (NOT Another Singles Book, 2014 Tate Publishing), you know that I have been in a lot of relationships, but never been “me” in one. I played roles in all of them, so there was no way that the guy wouldn’t propose to me, I was his perfect mate-because I MOLDED myself into her. I wasn’t me, I was whomever he needed or wanted me to be.
Obviously, this didn’t work. So, I decided to just be me. And transparency moment, sometimes the enemy succeeds in convincing me, this isn’t working either. He shouts, “you aren’t worth it, you will never be married, you lead Singles ministry- because you will always be Single, and the most debilitating one: this is where you serve God’s pleasure the most, He won’t take you out of this season.” I would love to tell you past tense that I “used to listen to him”, but that wouldn’t be completely accurate. I still sometimes, let his shouts drown out God’s whispers. Which is why, despite my feelings and fears, I will stay on base.
How does this relate to Chase? In relationships, I have been chased numerous times. Spiritually stay with me. I have had male potentials chase me, in hopes of catching me. What does being chased look like? It’s several things, but I will share a few telltale signs:
- It’s when he calls/text you on a weekday, in the middle of the day, not to just tell you he’s thinking of you, but because there is no commitment in that. You are both at work, so there is no expectation on your part, or pressure on his, to give you more than just a little “tickle” to keep you interested. He is unavailable on the weekends, and evenings when a date could be pursued, or even a decent conversation could be had. There usually isn’t an explanation as to why he didn’t call, when you could have actually seen each other, or if he does have the decency to give one-it’s usually useless.
- It’s when he doesn’t ask for a specific date that he has planned. When he is available, with most times no consideration of your time, he texts “what you doing, beautiful? (he has no problem complimenting you, those are free to him, but sometimes everything to you) I’d love to see you tonight. Can I come by?” And what is your answer…”aww…you’re so sweet. I’m just chilling, sure.” It hurts, huh?
- It’s when he either doesn’t mind spending money on you, but is always busy. Or when he has plenty of time, but you seem to be cooking, instead of going out or doing anything that would require spending money, or even just an original thought.
- This one was probably the hardest for me to realize: it’s when you are unsure of his intentions. On Tuesday, you think he is really interested, but by Friday you are unsure if he is interested in anything other than just the chase, and he is doing just enough to keep you interested enough to keep guessing.
I remember in the game, one of my cousins would lock in on one of us girls, and chase us until we got too tired to run, and just let him catch us. The others would be chasing one of us, but if another passed close to him, he would give up pursuit of one, and go after the other-seemingly ‘easier to catch’ cousin. Relationship chases can fall into either one of these categories. He will chase you until you convince yourself that his tactics are ‘good enough’, that he is really interested, and you give him more of your attention and time then he deserves. Or the other one, that realizes that there are others that are easier to catch, so he stops pursuit mid-stride and you are left thinking-what happened?
So what happens when he catches you? One of my cousins used to catch and sit on us so we couldn’t get away and tickle us, until we were gasping for air. He tickled the breath out of us. How many times have you felt like you were suffocating? Like you just can’t catch your breathe, there is no peace or security in it – just temporary satisfaction. The thing about a tickle is that it’s fleeting, once their hands stop moving, the sensation is gone. The same is with these empty pursuits. I was tickled until I realized that I’m no longer ticklish. These tactics no longer work. I’m not interested in losing my breath over another man, whom I don’t intend to lose my last name with. I’m no longer caught in the fancy of being chased, caught, ticked and then released. I deserve to be pursued, and I will settle for nothing else.
Pursuit is the evidence of desire. Those things that we desire, we pursue. We don’t chase until they stop running. We regulate our breathing, tie our shoes and endure the journey of achieving the thing we wish to acquire. You, beautiful Woman of Virtue, are worth the pursuit. You are the marathon that he has been training under the Great Counselor since before the beginning of time. He is running for the only prize — you.
We have taken off the timeline of Base. You stay on that porch, not waiting on an opening to dart back in the game, and trust me you will be tempted to do so. But stay on the porch, until a man, THE MAN, comes to claim you off it. He won’t be winded, because he hasn’t been chasing anyone else. He only showed up because your Daddy called and told him you were ready. This is what I will pursue, and this is what I’m waiting for. The game may still look fun and exciting, but it’s no longer for me.
*This article is a repost- but still very valid. I am now in the healthiest relationship that I’ve ever been in, pursued by a man that loves God and honors me in every way possible. Staying on base for me was worth the wait – and the pursuit. Now, I don’t worry about the fleeting fantasy of a tickle, I am satisfied with the consistent flutter of a heart well loved. More about that to come 🙂