#IssaTrap

I pushed my phone away; my silent resistance to what I knew was the undertone of the conversation.  I willed my phone to hush, but the text messages kept coming – back to back.  “I never get this much effort and attention from this man,”  I thought to myself.  I tried to ignore it, but the tone lured me in… For some reason that cheesy ding seemed so seductive all of a sudden.  “It’s a trap, Chris,” I whispered to myself.  Still I slid my phone closer to me, unlocked the screen, and drank in every word.  And with each continuing message, I gravitated more and more to what was appealing.  “Chris, it’s a trap!”  For whatever reason, though I knew that I was telling myself the truth, I could not believe what I was saying to myself.  And then I responded.

| #IssaTrap |

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For those who may not be caught up on young people terminology:  #IssaTrap = “It’s a trap.”

I try my best to be a positive influence through my blogs and social media as well as in real life.  I think we all know that one person who seems to say the right thing, dress the right way, clean up really well, and carry a pseudo humility but is just as messy as a pig in the mud.  I don’t ever want that to me.  Though I am a layered individual, when I have the clearance to be transparent, I try to show you the real me.  Furthermore, I have vowed to help everyone I can in anyway I can even if that means revealing my truth so that someone else can avoid a trial.  So here goes… “Sharing my story.  Changing a life.”

Unfortunately, to protect the identity of the innocent and guilty I will not be divulging detailed actual factuals today.  I hope that you are able to get the point without me incriminating myself or others.  *smirk*

Years ago, I met an individual to whom I paid zero mind.  Literally.  He wasn’t my type in the least bit, so I had no difficulty thinking little to nothing of him outside of him being an acquaintance.  I wasn’t attracted.  There was no temptation.  Then one day we communicated privately, and I learned, much to my surprise, that he was quite a charmer.  He had a way with the English language that took my breath away.  (To know me is to know I love words, language, and tone.  Dear goodness!)  Before long, we had entered into a space where we were just “kicking it.”  I wasn’t his girl, he wasn’t my man, we didn’t date, we talked to other people, there were no expectations, and of course there was no title besides “friend.”  Still at any given point we’d “kick it.”  We were each other’s rebound or Plan B with no intention of even attempting to have something official.  He was a space filler.  I was in a situationship.  To say the least, our connection was bananas.  We seemed to have the same taste in music and poetry (here we go again with words, language, and tone), and those conversations seemed to flow as like a river.  Our chemistry was so undeniable that I could literally feel if he walked into a room.  “Kicking it” with him was like being swept up into a tornado and having to just wait until I would be thrown out.  And when I was out, I vowed that I’d never get caught up again…ever.

And then he’d texted me.

One of his magical powers was good timing.  As in the instance when we first connected and the several times that we reconnected, he just caught me at the right moment.  Whether lonely, bored, hurt, or discontent, I could almost count down to the second that he would come my way and I would get swept back up in the tornado.  And I could count on him to be my space filler.

If you follow According to Chris, it is no secret that I desire to be in a healthy, God-ordained relationship then one day marry and have a family of my own.  Furthermore, if you have been following my story, you can see that little by little, God has been transforming my life so that I can be the best version of Christen, become the woman He designed me to be, and walk out His purpose for my life.  Even in that, I don’t overlook the fact that He is preparing me for what He has ordained.  And just when I try to find some resolve and be content in waiting for whatever God has for me, temptation arises with the intent purpose to lure me.  Such is the case with the series of text messages.

For the burning question that you are probably afraid to ask, I didn’t give in… but I considered it.  Heck, I think I’m still considering it!  (Do you want me to be real or not?  Shoot!)  Truth be told, being completely single is frustrating.  It has been too long since I’ve had someone to call my own, and I am BUILT for love.  I am a nurturer, and it seems as if this special kind of energy is building with nowhere to be released.  Besides that, there’s just something in us women that yearns to be wanted, loved, and taken care of.  So being single, though not a punishment, is a bit inconvenient.  Because I am focused on my future and I know how much influence my connections have on my productivity, I have tried my best not to settle for someone or something that blatantly looks like it could waste my time.  But this guy is slick.  He is clothed in everything appealing.  His words tickle my ears with everything I want to hear.  And while I am consumed in his space, breathing his air, I am content with the inefficiencies of our [lack of a] relationship.  In those moments, he is enough.  In those moments, I am blind to exactly how many moments I am wasting in a situation that will never be more than just a situation.

If you haven’t noticed, today I am speaking of temptation.  Before you judge me, consider the fact that all of us have our own set of temptations that affect us each and every day.  Truth is, the enemy won’t dangle anything in your face that wouldn’t appeal to you because, if in your right mind, you won’t fall for anything you aren’t attracted to.  Example:  It doesn’t matter how well someone plates barbecued pig feet or chitterlings with hot sauce, I WILL NOT eat it.  Those foods are not appetizing to me in the least bit.  Oh, but if you lay a juicy, medium well steak, a baked potato lightly salted with butter and sour cream, and some garlic asparagus in front of me, I can’t promise that I won’t devour that food.  I like that stuff!  Truth is, if you offer me a Four for $4 from Wendy’s and I’m hungry enough, I’ll eat that too despite my desire for a better meal.  That meal will in some ways hold me over until I can get what I want.  Even though there is a vast difference from the plated meal and the value meal, I like both so both are appealing in some ways.

Maybe you aren’t being lured by a series of text messages from a former situationship.  Perhaps for you it is appeal to fall on your Plan B to get a little extra money, the nagging unction to utilize tactics to get advancement that aren’t necessarily wrong but they aren’t right either, the resolve to ignore the correct thing to do or say because it’s uncomfortable or inconvenient, or maybe it is just the overall allure of doing things your way real quick so you can feel satisfied.  You can fill in your own blanks.  You have your blanks filled yet?  Good.  Let’s keep going.

Temptation is not a sin.  Yielding (giving in) to temptation is the sin.  You aren’t going to hell or losing jewels in your crown because you were tempted.  Chill out.

“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

1 Corinthians 10:13 [New Living Translation]

THE MORAL OF THE STORY

God ALWAYS gives you an out.  I imagine the path to temptation like traveling to Nags Head, North Carolina from Chesapeake, Virginia.  If I am on the I-164 bypass, I see a sign that says, “Last exit before toll.”  This is the warning that I am approaching the last chance for me to get off this path before I have to pay a price.  At that point, I have to decide if continuing in this direction is worth what it will cost me.  I have to decide if I really want to exit or do I just want to take my chances and go forward. 

Y’all I am really living life on this path, and I’m just talking about the text messages!  Temptation to just do what I want to do [in every area of my life] because I know the [temporary] satisfaction it could bring is REAL!  But look at the scripture.  God isn’t allowing me to be tempted with anymore than I can stand.  He knows that I have the ability to resist and endure.  But in order to overcome, I have to be honest concerning the illusions of grandeur that may be appealing to my senses AND acknowledge the areas in my life that are void and need to be filled with God.  The text messages only affected me because there is an emptiness in my love life and romantic relationships, and if I allow it, “Situationship” will once again become the space filler for “Relationship.”  But at this point, it could cost me the relationship that I actually want.  Voids and desperation cause you to be lured by the temptation to settle for less than what you really want and/or deserve.  There is always and price to pay for yielding to temptation.

Don’t give in.  (I’m talking to myself.)  #IssaTrap

I hope this helps.

-Chris

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