Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On Why I Kissed Dating Goodbye {Part 1}

I was eighteen and the second he sat down across from me at that long table, my eyes met his and locked in. He introduced himself and shook my hand, a Texan and a gentleman. He was young and a baby in Christ, but there was something about him that mattered. What he lacked in knowledge of scripture he made up for in his love of people and faith in this God he was just getting to know.

We were instant friends. He made me laugh like no one else. I got him and he got me. You all know it, that friendship deepened by glances that speak novels and the words spoken for mere sake of proclaiming your sanity to others. 

As we spent the next month traveling through Sydney and the outback aboringal villages with our team, our friendship deepened. Everyone knew where he was, I would be also. When silence birthed deep laughter with no obvious root, everyone knew it was just us storytelling with our eyes again. 

We were friends and I knew life would be empty upon return to the States without him. 

Months of friendship led to a move South which led to dating which led to meeting the family which led to talk of marriage which led to the holy spirit moving in my heart unexpectedly which led to me sending him home on a plane in the middle of the night, which led to tears flowing for months because I knew it was right and hated every moment of it. 

The holy spirit had begun convicting me months prior, but I wouldn't hear of it. We loved each other and we would make it work—even if we had to date for three years while he finished college until we could marry. But then God began to birth vision. 

Months of pain and heartache and longing for my friend—plenty of doubt and what-ifs and whys. Months of begging Him to let me forget, to let me go back to the time when I didn't see anything wrong with befriending a guy, when I didn't see anything wrong with dating. Months of laboring to die to self and trust in the One who could see the bigger picture of which I could only catch a glimpse. 

I told Jesus I kissed dating goodbye. And no, at the time I didn't know anything about the book. I just knew the Holy Spirit and the wise women pouring into me. To not spend any time alone with a guy my age. To respect men as my brothers and not assign them a number on the hotness scale floating through my brain within moments of first meeting them. To not pursue a man—no flirting or reaching out to them or initiating anything. And yes, it is so hard. 

To not settle for anything less then the whole "ask my daddy {who is sitting on the porch with a shotgun and cowboy boots} if you want to pursue me before you even tell me you like me." That's right, if he says no or he tells you to do x,y and z first then you won't be hearing from me.

You may call it old school or straight up crazy, and at one point, I did too.

But as the calendar flips and diamonds flash on my friend's fingers and I learn exactly where the tubberware and mixing spoons are at Target {one of the few aisles this girl on a budget can afford} and new life is plastered across my Facebook feed, little finger and toes and I swear the seconds start ticking like they're on fast forward and my world just gets a little smaller.

As I find myself wavering through single-hood, the more I have to chase my heart as it blows away with the petals down the aisle, the louder the clock inside ticks, the more I know this is good for me, this is me guarding my heart like a wellspring that I might have life, this is right.  

I am not saying dating is wrong. Okay, well I guess I am saying that for me, dating is wrong. Man, that is even hard to read, all black and white, but true. 

I am not saying God is not glorified if a relationship is not played out my way. I am just saying that experience has led me down this new path, I am learning that there is another way—that it seems old-school and counter-cultural and out of my control but the pattern of it, I believe is biblical.

And then I remember how I don't want to be of this world, how I need to guard my heart, how I am a woman and yes, my role is different then that of man—and yes I want to embrace that, not fear it, not deny it. 

After I joined an online dating website several months back {yes, I did, I know...I know...} and decided I knew better then He did, I realize I need to release the insecurity, the desire for a husband, the fear that comes with single-hood and hold fast to Christ and the convictions from which I had been running, yet the ones to which I knew all the way He was and still is holding me to.

"Does it make sense to pray for guidance about the future if we are not obeying in the thing that lies before us today? How many momentous events in Scripture depended on one person's seemingly small act of obedience! Rest assured: Do what God tells you to do now, and, depend upon it, you will be shown what to do next."  ― Elisabeth Elliot

Next week I will outline how scripture led me to this place, why it seems to make more sense biblically. I hope you will come back and join me. 

1 comment:

  1. You might find my blog of interest where I critique Josh Harris’s IKDG book. Sadly Harris mentions all the problems he sees with dating but doesn’t admit the problems his approach has caused.

    Hope this helps.