(Photo courtesy of Cerise Ostrem)
Leaving Fantasy Island Part 2
By Sarah Komisky
She couldn’t stop smiling. She was practically bursting to tell her friend all about it. “I met this guy and he was so sweet.” The rant went on. Then came the bragging on his good traits and the possibility of God bringing them together (because of course God would send an adorable, Jesus-loving indie guy her way, right?), until she was interrupted. “Wait, are you talking about ___________? Description was given. “Yeah,” she said,smiling again. “Awww, he is such a gentlemen I am so excited!
Pause. Does this conversation sound like one you have had before with your friend? No, I promise I wasn’t eavesdropping, but I did however let you in on some of the dialogue I had several years ago (hence the term “indie”) with a friend. As much as I want to put my arm around the younger Sarah and remind her to not jump ahead of herself, I also want the Sarah that I am today to whisper to my friend, “It’s not the right time to start cheerleading.” While I can’t go back in time, I do have some time to share some of the lessons I’ve learned with you. If you are willing, grab a cup of coffee (or tea) and let’s have a chat.
When a girl has taken a trip to Fantasy Island, she can’t help but share her fantasies with the girls in her inner circle (friends, family, co-workers, mentors, etc.) At this point, when emotions are high, her reality gets blurry. What “could be” is usually in the forefront and when she is seeing stars, she begins to gush. But at this point, the last thing she needs is a cheerleader. What kind of good friend is that?
Too many times have I seen (and also been) the girl to gush and then become heartbroken later on when the fantasy didn’t become reality. So loyal bff’s, moms, grandmas, sisters, mentors, co-workers, and women all over the world, remember, keep it real. Don’t fan these fantasies into flame. As authors Debbie Jones and Jackie Kendall say, you are a spiritual monitor. As much as you want to “ooohhh” and “awww” over your friend’s potential “dream guy,” don’t….at least not yet. When the day comes and she is with the man God brought to her, go for it.
For now, let’s hear what cheerleading sounds like so we don’t break out the pom-poms prematurely. Here’s some cheers I’ve heard in my friend/family circles:
“What if you and __________ got married?”
“I’m waiting for ________ to ask you out. What if ______ is the one?”
“Do you think __________ is cute?”
“Remember when ____________ said ___________. He totally liked you!”
“You guys are such a cute couple.”
“When are you two going again?”
“I am so happy for you!”
We often try to make fantasy reality because we think it is what the other person expects or needs. We figure we are doing our job but we are actually doing our friend a disservice when her fantasy guy might not be the guy God has for her. Instead, let’s ask God to lead. Psalm 141:3 in the New Living says, “Take control of what I say, O Lord, and guard my lips.” That’s a great prayer to pray. Also, stay off certain subjects like “what’s your type?” that quickly steers to Fantasy Island. A good friend will agree on the good things but check her friend when she is running ahead of God’s plans for her and will be faithful to remind her to place the situation in God’s hands, always.
For now, be a sounding board and ask God to help you speak His truth in love to your single friends. You might feel weird, unsupportive, or even guilty if your friend gets mad, but know that you’re actually preventing defrauding (see part 1 of this article). Proverbs 27:6 in the New Living states, “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy,” so even though it may hurt, know that you are doing what’s right. Jones and Kendall share in their book, “Lady in Waiting,” about spiritual monitors. These women resisted fanning the fire of their friend’s enthusiasm and monitored their responses while also limiting their reactions to what was reality and not hopeful fantasy. What great advice!
Here are more practical ways you can pack your bags and stay away from Fantasy Island for good:
- Fill your mind with God’s words to you (the Bible). This will help combat tempting thoughts.
- Pray. God will give you his strength and grace to escape the temptation. Also, guard your heart and mind by praying before you see that guy you are tempted to fantasize about. This will help keep your heart, mind, and motives pure.
- Find accountability. Ask a friend to be a spiritual monitor and be open to her counsel.
- Let God set the expectation. Wait for his best (Psalm 62:5, KJV).
- Ask God to lead you with wisdom and discernment.
- Make a commitment to be a loving friend who speaks truth.
- When your friend gushes, offer something positive but truthful like, “Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I really appreciate that and trust God will lead you in this relationship and I will be praying for you.”
- Remember you cannot fix your friend or control the situation, let God do this work and simply be there for your friend when they want to talk.
* If you are interested in finding out more on the subject, check out “Lady in Waiting” by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones.