I don’t think too many people gave GraceUnderFire a fair shake. I say this because it takes a lot to go to a forum like this and admit this could have happened.
I know this because it recently happened to me. And although this deacon initiated giving me long, lingering, unwavering stares that we both recently have engaged in, and I recently counted it - 7 times, I am still yet shaking myself saying “it’s all in your head.” I have but one friend and one relative I can even talk to about it and my community is huge. We happened to find ourselves in a similar setting and never before had we locked eyes and once we did it was shocking. Simply shocking, probably to both of us. All the times after we locked eyes it was also shocking. But we’re keeping our heads on straight, not rocking this boat at all. And it is hard to stay level headed about it. And I do need to, at those times see him, see the person he is in Christ, and not hold him in some gaze he can’t break just because he did it first. I did notice it come from him first and it was long, unwavering and unmoving when he did this, twice the first time we were in a setting. I even have noticed him look toward me from the altar when he thought I wasn’t looking, many times in the last month. One friend said maybe it’s true he sees God in me. That really could be it too. But that’s still a responsibility of mine not to encourage it, not a fault people, to try to deal with it and to ask for prayers about it. And trust me, it is hard, difficult. But nothing is impossible with God. But few things feel lonelier.
Bear with me for a minute. I’m reading a book about how you as a woman need to not obsess - over anybody. To remember that if you don’t fill your head with good thoughts, the devil will fill it with bad as I think it was St. Thomas More said. Realizing that even if it were ever a real relationship that could happen, there’s still an amount of trust and respect you build instead of filling your head with obsessive thoughts and an amount of sending bad thoughts out to the garbage you need to do. One of the things it said was to recognize the trigger that sends you there - whether it’s music or movies or what. In true discernment of this, for me the largest trigger has been his initiation of this unwavering and intense and much longer than normal gaze, many times, his move to almost hug me (I put my hand out to shake his even though I am still left here wishing I would have hugged him though I know it is wrong). That is one good thing I am learning and exploring more from this thing, not to obsess. In our situation, if it were allowed it could quite easily be called love at first sight for both of us. But in any allowed setting this type of obsessing is wrong no matter what. Though this quite likely (or more appropriately) goes nowhere, it has expanded my breadth of knowledge. And I hope it brings me that much closer to Christ. The obsessing part is one piece of it. And one I am proud of you, GraceUnderFire, for asking and seeking prayers from a few blaming and seemingly unforgiving people on this forum. That’s what you should do. I myself am going to a confessor for my obsessive thoughts.
The ever and overlooming issue is. His vocation. I know for myself, never in my life have I looked twice at someone in the clergy. Not once. And it’s not because they’re not good looking. Several are, but there’s just a real respect I have of them. I haven’t been a “preying” woman. God knows, I know all about the ones who seem to want what they cannot have. This wasn’t my course. But now I know how it happens. It’s true that 100,000 priests have left their vocations to marry. I always thought the women who fell for these guys were just stupid women. Boy am I humbled. I don’t want to be this deacon’s excuse to leave something he might want to leave. I’d even be astounded he would want to. He is such an amazing deacon. But now I see how it happens. And it can happen. And I am telling all of you it’s not just the woman’s fault. God is the biggest issue here. We have to do what is right in living out our faith. He IS called, unfortunately for me. Or he would not be there. But sometimes in life these moments happen that on one hand, you can’t be fooled by. On the other, they make you seek God’s will that much more and realize that much more where you might be weak in prayer life or relationship with God. Maybe that’s it for both of us. We each need to seek GOD that much more. Where we were extremely strong and knew it and the people around us knew it, there is this weakness that is suddenly ever glaring (and unfortunately if it continues it will be very obvious because we both choose a life that walks in the light, and it might be ever so obvious when we do lock eyes that I’m nervous someone has already noticed it - we are that astounded that we cannot hide it) and we need to turn that much more to GOD for the guidance we need.
These moments happen and there’s no one to turn to, to ask about it. There’s confusion, isolation and loneliness and the devil wants us at just that, a culture of isolation. Don’t bash someone for asking for your prayer. There are two sides to every story. In my case even, it may be more one sided on his side. But his look toward me that has happened well more than once, his move to nearly hug me, really drew me in. I’m in and thinking about it now a lot, I admit it. I have obsessed. I’m a sinner at least in thought who needs forgiving. And one too who needs your prayers.
I still must be in something of my own penance because it is its own kind of torture to find this situation and know I have to give it up in the same breath.