Ever had a crush on someone before? Oh sure you have.  Have you ever analyzed what it is that has caused you to be so enamored by them? 

Probably not.

For the most part, we are attracted to their physical appearance, and then as we start to get to know them a bit more, we find the attraction building momentum. Now, I’m gonna have to get out of my comfort zone on this one, so can I just be real with you for a sec?

I Am a Fixer.

Let me break it down a bit more. If you looked through my Rolodex of regrets, you would see a very diverse selection of guys I’ve crushed on, fallen for, or dated. What I mean to say is, there is no rhyme or reason on physical appearance, family origin or really anything. Everytime I have a crush on a dude, I will slyly bring it up to my best friend. I try to introduce the idea of this crush in the most appealing of ways possible. It always starts with, “So there’s this guy…”  And she will proceed with her arsenal of questions: “Where’d you meet him? Does he have a house? Does he have a job? Does he have kids? Does he have a car? What are his goals? Has he been married? Engaged? Promiscuous? What are his intentions? Does he have family/self-problems?” No joke, that is an exact copy/paste of a conversation. 

It may seem extreme or even slightly shallow at first glance, but in reality these questions come from years of repetitive behavior. Unbeknownst to me, I tend to not only attract but find myself attracted to dudes that have problems I think I can fix. 

I think I can fix…

The common qualities these gentlemen possess are usually self-esteem, family, past relationship hurt and/or unforgiveness as types of “issues”. Psychological hiccups that I have at some point been convinced that I am equipped to handle.

Oh you have a problem seeing yourself as worthy? I can fix that. How? Because I wear some kind of invisible contact lens that lets me see what your potential is AND, I can pump your head full of all the right things to lift your morale up. Cool right? No, not really. 

Every time I see what a guy’s “potential” is, I fall for an imaginary person. I see how sweet he COULD be, how smart he COULD be, how responsible he COULD be, and how religious he COULD be.  Do you know what the problem with “COULD” is? There is always a greater chance that whatever it is he COULD do, he probably won’t.

Let’s not forget,  “Bringing him to Jesus.”  Basically, I’m conceited and sure that my faith is strong enough to make him see how much he needs Jesus.  I would gladly carry his cross, at the expense of my own.  Regardless of whatever his issues are, I’m always disappointed when my efforts are not enough. It doesn’t help that in my quest to repair this fella’s faults, I find myself excusing all of the things in him I can’t stand.  I have excused everything from alcoholism to co-dependency, stoner-ism to blasphemy. The list could go on. 

Now, why on earth would I be excusing things that make me cringe, and contradict everything I believe in and stand for? Well, I’m a Christian, and Christians are supposed to forgive faults and extend grace right?  Newsflash: the Gospel, Jesus, and Christianity cannot be used to justify your rationalization to invest into a bottomless relationship.

After scrapping numerous edits of this blog, it all came down to one simple question that Vanessa asked me:

“Jenny, why do you think that you are attracted to men that have potential?”

Well, after some thought, and severe honesty with myself, I realized I go for the guys who haven’t achieved their potential because its what I feel I deserve. I like “damaged goods” because I don’t feel I deserve someone who has achieved their full potential. If I get a dude on the lower end of my standards and not QUITE what I want, I can fix him up to be ideal. Its kind of like buying an old beater of a car. Not much to look at now, but its all I can afford. A little work and it can be a real beauty.

I never knew this was why I would go for these kinds of guys. I just thought that I really liked to “help”. Oddly enough, this isn’t a “need” issue. Because I don’t necessarily need to be needed. This is a self worth issue (something Vanessa also helped point out to me). 

How does this have anything to do with worth? 

Some time ago I found myself interested in a dude that was well above the normal standard of guys I attract or become attracted to. In the midst of learning more about him, it was shared that he had been saving himself for marriage and will not break that purity pact until he marries. Now, I, on the other hand unfortunately let that ship sail long ago. Nothing that I am proud of, but a simple fact that is my life (also something to be discussed another day).  I immediately dismissed any chance of anything with him, EVER. Dropped it and buried the idea completely. Why? Simply put, he is way too good for me. I cannot offer him what he deserves in a wife, so I’m just going to go back to my typical standard of males and think nothing of it.

If it hasn’t already become clear, the reason why my tendency to fix “broken” guys is a worth issue is because in the deepest part of my heart, I truly believe I am not worthy of a good solid man. A God fearing, leader of a man, who is strong in his faith and everything I could ever imagine…can’t ever be mine. I’ve messed up so much in my life, broken so many promises, I have nothing to offer. Why would any one I want, ever want me?

Funny thing though… God never said that about me. He never deemed me worthless, damaged goods, broken or unfixable.

I’ve lived the last ten years of my life to this world’s standard of worth. And have even created condemning standards of my own. So many mistakes and heartbreaks have come of it. The idea of redemption is so out of reach to me. Thankfully, God says and thinks so much more of me than I do.

God Redeems All Things.

Now, to redeem is to gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment. 

I don’t know about you, but “redemption” to me, is a word that’s thrown around like candy in the Christian circles. It’s something you know of, but nothing you can really apply to daily life.  Until today — literally today, I was blown away by what it really means.

Have you ever had your car towed? Even if you haven’t had it done personally, you may have seen someone go through it, and it’s pretty devastating.   If you’re like me, your car is your life line. Without it, its like a piece of your body isn’t functioning. And to have it towed away is like cutting off your left arm.  Imagine coming out of your doctor’s appointment, just minding your own business and walking out to where your car was parked, only to witness it being savagely hauled away in the grips of a tow truck. Yanked away before your very own eyes.

After a brief stint of complete panic and overwhelming terror, you manage to find a way to the impound lot only to get to the front desk and find out you left your wallet IN THE CAR. If that’s not bad enough, the lovely receptionist will not allow you to go get your money.

It’s late Friday night and you have minutes before the lot closes and your precious car is locked away for a very expensive weekend in the impound lot.  AND THEN, in the midst of your slobbering tears and begging with no avail, in comes this man at 4:59 p.m.  He walks right passed you, exchanges a few words with the receptionist, hands over a wad of cash, and within minutes he walks over to you and places YOUR keys in your lap. As you look up at him in disbelief he looks to you and says, “It’s ok. I took care of it. It’s all yours now.”  And just like that, an insane amount of debt has been cleared and there you sit in the seat of your car in total shock.

I am that frantic person.

That car is my life.  And everything inside the car is what was taken from me. My confidence in who I am, my self-worth and a laundry list of things that were only replaced with shame.  That man who came in and bought it back and calmed my crazy? That’s Jesus. And that, boys and girls, is how redemption works.

Jesus PAID the price for that redemption and I in turn REGAIN possession of my purity and worth.

This isn’t going to be easy for me to grasp or get to a level where I believe with every ounce of my heart what God says about me. That’s gonna take a little time, and time, takes time. But the first step to recovery… is admitting you have a problem, right? 

I’d like to consider this my first step out of the dark. And if anything I said rings true, then I challenge you and hope you’ll take this step with me too.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.

The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

2 Corinthians 5:17