Coming to the End of Your Rope

Frayed RopeI have never had success with dating and relationships. I always run into (I am not exaggerating when I say always) the “let’s be friends” speech. After that line, I tend to spend a few weeks in a mild depression trying to get over my anger and frustration. I mentally replay the events trying to determine where it went wrong. In the end, I do not come to a satisfactory conclusion and I find myself swearing off relationships. Then after six months to a year, I meet someone else and the vicious cycle begins again. It takes weeks or months for me to get up the courage to ask a woman out. Instead of taking a risk, I am content to passively sit by and “wait for the right moment”.

I have a close friend that I asked out. This occurred after several months of intense internal debate and prayer. We went out a couple of times and then she told me that she had some things she needed to work out. The fatalistic part of me instantly began to think the worst. The other part was trying to hope for the best and was failing miserably.

Therefore, I fell back into my passive ways. I did not ask her out again and I did not inform her of my intentions. I rationalized it as giving her space. After about a month, I realized that I needed to talk to her, regardless of the outcome. So I set up a time to meet with her over coffee. I had spent weeks praying about this. I knew I needed to take the initiative but I was afraid that it would go badly.

As the day approached, I became increasingly nervous. Then I received a phone call from a friend that would throw me for a loop. My friend informed me that there was a miscommunication between a mutual friend and me. It was severe enough that our relationship was in jeopardy. Because the miscommunication was between a female and me, I began to doubt everything. I began to worry and play through all the worst-case scenarios.

Now, normally I would continue to worry until I became sick. However, this time as I came to the end of my rope, I prayed. I had others pray for me and I quoted Scripture to help focus my mind. I understood that I could not fix any of this. So I let go. When I wanted to worry, Paul’s words to the Philippians came to mind.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

As the days continued to pass, I knew I needed to be proactive but I did not know how it would end. Despite that, I was at peace. I had not experienced a peace like this before.

Sunset found me across the table from my friend. It took me close to an hour to steel myself to say what I wanted to say. I shared with her my desire to continue seeing each other. She expressed to me that she saw us as simply friends. And there it was again. Not the desire to listen to the blues and live in a secluded cabin. No, it was that same peace. I had no reason for why it did not work out. There was no mental replay.

I was content in the situation. I still had a close friend and life was good. It is hard to put into words. I can only attribute it to coming to the end of my rope. I turned to God for help instead of trying to fix it myself. And the outcome was unusual. I came to the end of my rope and found a foot of rope where there had been none.