By the way, if you want to hear the whole juicy story, watch for Paula's first book, Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl coming this September. As you read her painfully honest journal entries, she'll invite you to join her on her trek from neediness . . . all the way to freedom!
I think I was born boy-crazy! As a young girl, I prayed over and over, "God, please let me marry Henry Harold Higgins!" (He was my first crush. Well, sorta. I just changed his name.) I devoured Christian romance novels (three a day in the summers!) and began my first relationship behind my parents' backs when I was fourteen. Never mind that he smoked pot and had slept with other girls. I didn't care . . . he wanted me! Just a month later I experienced my first of many heartbreaks when he ditched me for another girl.
Yep, I desperately wanted a boyfriend. I tried to attract guys' attention by showing off my body, parading around in itty-bitty shorts. It worked. I started dating a basketball stud (again, one I hid from my parents). However, he, too, ditched me for another girl, basically because I didn't have sex with him.
When I was about sixteen, the pain of my perpetual boy-craziness was too much. So I stopped using my body to attract and keep guys. Unfortunately, I didn't stop giving them my heart affections. For the next decade, my life was consumed with noticing a cute guy, daydreaming about him nonstop, and scheming ways to get him to notice me. If he didn't meet my needs, I'd get over him by hating him and finding another cute guy to set my sights on.
Time after time, I'd get my hopes up and emotionally give my heart away . . . only to have it broken again. I even went through a period of hating ALL guys, because they failed to meet my longings, and it just hurt so much. I was trapped in a perpetual cycle of neediness, disappointment, and pain.
That's why, at the age of twenty-six, I prayed a crazy prayer. I asked God to free me from my idolatry and teach me to trust Him with my love life. If I'd have known how He'd answer, I don't think I would've had the guts to pray it!
At the time, I was in love with a guy I was doing ministry with, and one day he told me he was crazy about me! I couldn't believe it—I thought he was the most amazing guy in the world. Only our relationship was over as quickly as I said yes. I couldn't make any sense of it. I lost interest in everything and wondered if it would be winter in my soul forever. I hate to think of the destructive things I would have done to myself, in my pain, if it had not been for God's Word. For the first time in my life, I literally survived on God's promises. Promises like "if God is for us, who can be against us?"
In His mercy, the Lord had ripped the idol of being loved by a man out of my hands and was teaching me what it meant to be loved by God.
Over those next several months, through the intense pain, I experienced Romans 5:3–5: "We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us."
God did a great work in my heart to shift my focus from being boy-crazy to being crazy about knowing and being in love with Jesus.
Almost a year later, another guy began showing interest while I was studying Girls Gone Wise. Mary's chapters on focus and neediness were so timely. For the first time in my life, with lots of prayer and accountability from friends, I didn't initiate or manipulate our relationship! I simply prayed, waited, and put my hope and trust in God. God used that year to transform this boy-crazy girl from the inside out—something I never thought possible.
I'd still love to get married, but whether that happens or not, I am learning, as the psalmist said, that "God's nearness is my good." I can now say: "He has made known to me the path of life; in His presence there is fullness of joy; at His right hand are pleasures forevermore."