I’m not a fan of the quilt of my past. I don’t like the pattern all that much any more. Actually, I’m not really sure I ever liked the pattern to begin with, but changing a pattern isn’t something you just do willy nilly. Plus, I imagine a quilt with many different patterns wouldn’t match many people’s decor.

Initially, I decided to discard my “dating quilt” to focus on having a closer relationship with God. God told me I needed to pay attention. Well, He actually kicked in the face, but that’s my own fault for ignoring and disobeying for so long. During this time, I’ve also been able to take a step back and look at the pattern I’ve created in my relationships with men. It’s a fugly quilt.

Now that I’ve stepped back, my pattern wasn’t difficult to figure out. As single Carlene, I’m strong-willed, outgoing, happy, adventurous, fun, ambitious, lively, confident and decisive. As girlfriend Carlene, I become amicable, compliant, amiable, agreeable, needy and insecure. I’m not sure where I learned this behavior, but I know I need to unlearn it.

I don’t like the person I become when I’m in a relationship. I don’t think God really likes me, either, because those aren’t qualities He gave me. I become a shell of myself. And, if I were the boyfriend in these situations, I wouldn’t like me either. Lose, lose, lose.

My dating sabbatical has so many facets to it, I’m amazed. At first I think I decided to do this out of frustration, sadness and anger. I also had a deep desire to focus on my relationship with God and needed to eliminate distractions. I’ve learned so much about myself, but I’m also learning I need to continue on this path of obedience to God. It’s His plan, after all.

*Disclaimer: The author has never actually made a quilt.


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