Some time almost a year and a half ago, I fell for a guy who really didn’t have his crap together.
Saying he was a Christian but with no evidence of mercy, this guy wanted to play Prince Charming more than he cared to actually be a reflection of Jesus. Investing in romantic gimmicks to hide his lack of confidence, he regularly worshiped politics instead of Jesus, and claimed that by self-righteousness, he was serving him.
At this point in my life, I was adjusting after coming home from study abroad, and everything was up in the air and ridiculous. So much change at one time, and trying to get on the right path. Amidst spiritual re-awakening and questionable amounts of courage to confront the laundry list of things I didn’t want to work through, I fell too hard too fast.
I ended up skipping it after being too upset that this guy who showed all these amorous (fake) romantic gestures didn’t actually care to be around for the basics, defining the relationship, or anything like that. It took me a couple months to realize that it wasn’t worth the drama, and that it was an uncomfortable situation to be in anyways because let me tell you, I am not a girl for drama.
So I spent some time with God. I healed. I dealt with the other stuff. I moved on, with the question of whether that interaction had any future significance still more or less lingering in my mind. Still having feelings for the guy but wanting better for myself, I often prayed for him. He needed all the help he could get. Why not bring it to God? If you really care about someone, you bring it to God.
I sit here almost two years later (1.5? whatever), with some more concrete truths about the situation.
The first is that this whole interaction made me question how much I really mattered to God. It made me rely on my own sense of blessedness to compensate for God’s grace, instead of letting my salvation be what it is and looking to Jesus as the evidence. Let me tell you, that realization has been really hard to articulate. Amidst waking up in many ways and stumbling into gifts I didn’t even recognize, it was a hard process of understanding what was going on and it felt disorienting. Strong feelings for a guy who remained indifferent didn’t help. But with God was always the answer.
Second realization is that my biggest duty/responsibility/gift here on the earth is to be loved, and to share the gospel from that recognition. God wants me to be loved first, and share the proof of that out of a love that is self-evident. Fearing him or having to prove my salvation isn’t actually a good means of bringing people to Jesus. It sets us up to constantly fail and question whether God loves us even more. I am glad that I took the time to unravel this, and that God has been faithful and just to forgive. His love is legitimate.
Third thing that I know now is that my desire to marry someone who loves God more than politics is not just legit, it’s of utmost importance. I care about being active in my community and my world. I care about being a steward of this great gospel. Am I committed to making worldly politics the selling point of whether or not others should love Jesus? Oh hell no. I believe in him. His is the life everlasting. I will not whore out my love for God to become part of a political fashion statement. That’s blasphemy.
Fourth: Any man that tells you to “slow down” is threatened by the gifts you’ve been given, and probably wont take any responsibility. If you have no desire to lead in a godly relationship, not even if I slowed myself to a grinding halt would you be able to catch up. God wanted me to speed up, and to surrender to his love for me. Funny how that worked out, amirite? Go with the love that’s enduring.
Fifth: I want to be a grown adult who is kind and can provide for others. I actually care to have a family, and to be a mother figure in my community. The guy who gets with me is going to actually have to want to be involved and be willing to stay the course, not just for me, not just for my kids, but for the world we live in. Next to honesty and way after faith, a man that has a sense of civic commitment is the type of guy I’m most attracted to. Making up your own fantasy reality shows me not just that you aren’t ready for commitment, but that you don’t want to provide for others. I cant bear to be around that.
Sixth: Christ is coming, and the gospel is the proof. Even if the Bible is the mind of Christ, it isn’t the same as having a living, breathing Jesus with us here now. I believe in his message, but I also believe that the real thing is going to be even more awesome than scripture. I don’t believe that its fair to twist scripture and fabricate our own interpretations, because I’m gradually becoming more satisfied with a God that is definitely coming back and taking me with him. I’m not worried about that. However, what does worry me is when people memorize plenty of scripture, but have no obvious love for God. If you don’t believe in a living and breathing Jesus that shows no partiality, we’ve got a problem.
Seventh, and last: God wants so much more for me. This fantasy situation wasn’t good at the time, and it certainly isn’t good to take seriously now. I’ll probably marry someone who can help me be more honest, humble, kind, and patient, who actually knows what it’s like to stay the course. This whole thing wasn’t ever real, and I’m grateful that I took my sweet time and introspected back and right to squeeze all the learning I could out of that mistake. But you know what? Next time, I’m going to be cool about it and trust that if a guy actually wants to be with me, his effort should show that. In a world that constantly entices women to cling to unrealistic expectations, the most meaningful proof to me is going to be whether or not he’s present, and how much he cares for others. If his faith isn’t based in Jesus, it goes without saying those are going to be pretty unreachable standards, because you actually have to be touched by Christ to start to understand how much God loves us. I don’t believe that I’ll be alone forever, and I’m not willing to compromise on what I believe is important, if not for my kids and my ministry, than for even myself. I’ve got a whole lot going on to sell out that easily.
I’m ready to continue being happily single, to let this one go, to keep praying for that poor fool and hope that God’s love can make the difference. I believe in God’s ability to restore the broken places, and he has been so faithful to forgive this entire time. I don’t want what I had back, I want better. It’s okay to want more than lukewarm affection and faith if God himself doesn’t even enjoy lukewarm.
Talk to y’all later,