People- either you obsess over them or you hate them. These seem to be the two extremes faced by women who struggle with lust.
Your ‘real‘ friends are replaced by the people in the chat rooms or on the fanfic forums.
Real men are replaced by the cooked-up Prince Charmings of the romance novels or the studded, aggressive porn stars in the videos.
This ‘disconnect’ from reality is, in my opinion, one of the most damaging results of sin and its accompanying shame. Failing to re-establish connections leaves you right where you started- searching for love and acceptance in all the wrong places.
A crucial part of our journey of freedom is to, in a way, keep our feet on the ground. We have to get a grip on reality. We live here, now, with these people. We do not live in the world we have imagined in our minds. Nor do we live in the world on the other side of the computer screen. Sometimes, we turn to those worlds in order to cope with this one. In other words, we run. We are afraid of being hurt, rejected, disappointed, unchosen, forgotten, neglected, abandoned, the list goes on. Our make-believe worlds are just safer.
Like being locked in a room all day is safer.
We have to learn to love again. We have to learn to care, connect, and interact. In a way, we have to be ‘reintegrated’ into the world around us. That takes effort on our part. We have to make a conscious choice to reach out, to connect, to love, and to trust. It is not easy, but it is worth it. Just start with one connection at a time.
- Think over the times you fall. Is there a common theme in your failures? What might you be trying to cope with in your reality that makes you want to run?
- Make a list of the different ‘zones’ of your life (work, school, church, soccer team, sorority, etc). Then, think of how you can better connect to each of those. Maybe it is reaching out to one specific person. Maybe it is committing to go to all of your small group meetings. Find a way to be an active player in that zone.
Note: This is not about being an introvert or an extrovert. I am an introvert. I would much rather chill out in my room than go to some happenin’ party with 40 of my not-so-close friends but I hate missing out on time with my small group. If you are introverted, that is fine. Introverts do not run from life; we just need time alone to process and recharge. If you are an introvert; embrace that God-created aspect of who you are. The church needs all kinds. Do not use your personality as an excuse to avoid people.