I sat on the couch in a Virginia Beach therapist’s office and for the first time, admitted the truth.
“I’m not attracted to him.”
But I wanted to be. The men I dated before him couldn’t commit. That meant that how badly I wanted them didn’t actually matter. This time, the dude wasn’t hesitant. I was.
“And I need you to tell me why,” I said to the therapist. “Why am I not attracted to him?”
She laughed. I did, too.
“I can’t tell you that,” she said.
But you need to know the one thing she could tell me.
“God only gives good gifts,” she said.
“And your lack of attraction to him is a good gift,” she added. “You just don’t know it yet.”
“Be strong, Arleen.” I whispered it in the gym parking lot, at the end of a 400 meter run, the day after I accepted my Tampa job offer.
Tears welled up anyway.
Because I knew—I was leaving. “Be strong, Arleen,” I said.
Because I didn’t want to feel those feelings, let alone express them. I wanted to leave Virginia Beach without having to feel what a person should feel when she leaves.
Continue reading ““Be strong, Arleen.” Tears welled up anyway.”
I met him on CatholicMatch. Thirty-seven. A widower with two tiny kids. He lived near the mountains in Virginia and I lived near the beach, 200 miles away. I am a journalist. He is a therapist. So we asked each other a lot of questions. One of them changed my life. Continue reading “I met him on CatholicMatch.”
I recently met God the Father. On June 11, I was in the back yard when he showed up and spoke. It isn’t as important that I share what he said as it is that I share how I felt when he said it: like his daughter.
For the first time in my entire life (I’m 31), God felt like a dad. An available one who delights in surprising me, who pays attention to me, who actually wants to do stuff with me, like sit in back yards.
This has wrecked me. Continue reading “Did you know that you’re pursued like this?”
After I shoe shopped yesterday, I stopped at the mall’s Barnes & Noble to do what I always do: browse the Christian books. This time I bought one — Building a Bridge by Fr. James Martin.
And I’d been warned. Catholic Twitter had sounded the alarm, had said to read reviews of it instead, to steer clear of it (and, in fact, to steer clear of Fr. Martin himself, who, by the way, I met once and is quite cordial).
Now that I’ve read it (excluding its second half, which is for meditation and reflection — I’ll read that later), I’d like to invite Catholic Twitter to do a new thing: cool your dang jets. Continue reading “Cool your jets about ‘Building a Bridge’”