“We Met Online”

17973931_10212995270139141_1678998254431073646_o.jpgI’m wonderfully in love.

I’m dating a man that is charmingly masculine, full of character, godly, gentle, quirky in the best sorts of ways, smart, and haaandsome!

I love talking about him and our compatibility and our relationship. I am very happy, and God is very good 🙂

However, I do feel like there is a little bit of a stigma when I mention to people that we met online. Maybe it’s just me-but I feel like there is an unsaid “weirdness” of this way of finding love.

I know I felt weird about signing up online late last year. It felt like “the last resort”. There were no men at my church, at work, in my friend group, or community-that caught my eye, and so I had to bite the bullet and go online. I heard that nearly 60% of relationships now start online, and since I believe God’s rule and authority touches even something like eHarmony, I gave it a shot!

AND I AM SO GLAD I DID!

I actually really liked online dating! It was a joy to be able to “refine” my search to men that are x,y, & z. The rejections I both handed out and received were easy to bear. And as someone who loves to communicate through written word, who is introspective, and a conversationalist-being known by someone through an online profile and subsequent dialogue wasn’t difficult.

My boyfriend and my communication is probably one of my favorite thing about our relationship. I feel magnificently understood and steadfastly pursued. I’m thankful for the foundation of communication and intentionality that meeting online aided us in establishing.

What about you? Thoughts on online dating? Experiences? Questions?

Much Love,

Betty

What Dating Taught Me in 2016

I spent the majority of 2016 getting to know and then dating a strapping young man, and we broke up in early October. So when I reflect on the year–that relationship is a major part of the things that shaped it. Though breakups suck, I am thankful for the experience of dating this year, and have complied a few “takeaways” from the relationship (I blogged about the takeaways from the break up here!).

In no particular order, and this list is certainly not exhaustive, but dating in 2016 taught me:

  1. That sometimes two awesome people, are not awesome together.
  2. That dating someone super disciplined in being in the Word and in prayer, makes it a whole lot easier to listen to their leadership.
  3. That becoming too physically affectionate stunts emotional & relational growth (it’s super easy to cuddle the night away, and it’s laborious to know one another–be willing to labor).
  4. That if their definition of best friend is very different from your picture of a best friend-you’re probably going to struggle to be best friends.
  5. That there is a beautiful, gospel centered way to respond to sin–and it brings freedom and a sense of safety.
  6. That purity is SOOOOO WORTH IT. OH MY WORD. ESPECIALLY POST BREAK UP–THE HEALING PROCESS IS SO MUCH EASIER WHEN THAT INTIMACY ISN’T BURDENING YOUR MEMORY BANKS OR WEDGING ITSELF BETWEEN YOU AND GOD.
  7. That I’m less trusting/more insecure than I thought I was.
  8. That I love big and I love quickly-I need to slow down my heart–and pray for discernment.
  9. That learning is a love language of mine.
  10. That “thy will be done” is a prayer always answered perfectly ❤

One of my favorite quotes of all time is by A.W. Tozer, and says, “When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it resolves a great deal of anxiety.” So when I think about getting to know, dating, and breaking up this year–I know it’s purpose in my life is to make me look more like Christ, and that is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

Oh, and here’s a little diddy I wrote when processing post-break up thoughts!

Guess we’re a Square Peg in a Round Hole,
It’s not you or me,
It’s us.

Yes we’re a square peg in a round hole.
It’s not you or me,
It’s us.

I get blinded by my own heart,
Love too big that I can’t see.
I get blinded by my own joy.
I’m not for you, you’re not for me.

I know I tend to try, try, try, to be all I long to be.
I get in my mind,
convince myself it’s fine.
Love can be so blind.

Though there was so much that was so good,
we long for and offer different things.
Though there was so much that was so good,
It’s best to wait for what God brings.

Because we’re a square peg in a round hole.
It’s not you or me-
It’s us.

 

A Peek Into My Dating Life

I have had the joy of dating an awesome stud for the last 4 months or so. As I have wrote about before, I think dating can be difficult. I’ve learned a lot from mistakes in the past, and though not perfect, this dating relationship has been so peace-saturated and God honoring.

What is making it that way? 

Well I’m glad you asked, because I’ve thought of 3 primary reasons why dating has been such a blessing. 

  1. We want God’s will more than we want each other.
    • I’m a stubborn women. I think I know what is best for me. But I’ve learned the hard way that many times, I don’t actually have a clue. I’ve learned to pray with a sincere heart, “Thy will be done”. My boyfriend and I realize that God is sovereign and has a plan for both of our lives. He has a spouse for each of us who will best sanctify and love us, and if that is one another -praise the Lord! But if that is someone else-then that is what we want for each other. Because we know our Father knows BEST, and we can trust Him with our future.
  2. We concentrate on the 3 H’s.
    • In my phone, my boyfriend’s middle name is  “HHH”. Those three h’s in the middle stand for Happiness, Holiness, and Humor. Those are the three things we decided we wanted our dating relationship to be all about. Those are the three things we want to infuse into each other’s lives. If God keeps us together-what a great foundation for the future! And if God moves us apart-what great things to have added into our lives even for just a season!
  3. We’re serious about purity.
    • Mark my words, one day, I will write a book about this. But for now, I’ll just say that this victory has been one of sweetest blessings of my life. For those of you, like me, who have fought and lost battles with purity in the past, the joy that comes in honoring God in this way far outweighs any joys that came from the worldly pleasures of not honoring Him. And it definitely changes a relationship!

Dating this guy blesses me in other ways too. From feeling like (somehow!) I am the most beautiful girl on the planet, to being able to trust his character, leadership, and wisdom in taking things slow-to morning deliveries of bacon and roses-I’m super thankful to be his girlfriend-for however long God sees fit. And since God’s word tells me that “every good and perfect gift comes from our Father above”(James 1:17)- I know that my response to this needs to be praise and worship! God is the giver of this good gift-and it causes me to gush over, not my boyfriend but, the Good Giver.

But I can’t write this without also saying that all of this is not always easy. It doesn’t come NATURALLY. Numbers 1,2, and 3 go against my human nature in so many ways! There are days I’m frustrated, and days I struggle to remember that God’s will is best. There are days I want to concentrate only on my happiness-and not his happiness and certainly not either of our holinesses. There are moments I don’t want to be serious about purity and moments I complain to God about gifts I think I deserve that I don’t have instead of thanking Him for the ones I do have. That’s why being in prayer and in the Word is so important. I can’t date well on my own! I need to be dependent on God!

So although it’s not always easy-dating is a blessing. Whether we’re together for 6 more months, or 60 more years-it doesn’t matter. God knows best and He is trustworthy! Our Father will lead in His perfect way in His perfect timing. Man, being a Christian is the best! We know that ALL things work together for our good (Rom. 8:28). So we depend on God and date in peace, joy, and confidence-knowing that everything is (and will be) exactly as it should be! 

chandler

keller

law

 

I Know Why You Are Still Single

I feel like I hear the question “What’s wrong with me? Why am I single?” on the lips of my dear female friends a lot. Whether they are 20 or 30 or somewhere in between, they seem to have somehow been convinced of the idea that their singleness is a result of something they are or are not.

They aren’t outgoing enough.

They aren’t thin enough.

They aren’t young enough.

They aren’t pretty enough.

They aren’t smart enough.

They just aren’t enough.

Let me tell you the real reason why you are single right now. It’s not because you are awkward, or overweight, or too homey or too make-upped, or too loud, or too quiet, or too anything. Because, let’s be honest, think about it, there are LOTS of happy, holy people who are married that are *seemingly* alllll those things.

It’s simple really. The only reason you are single right now is because God wills that to be.

And if God wills it to be-it is the BEST thing for you.

Now don’t get me wrong, you can ABSOLUTELY be playing a part in that process. If your desire is to be married, there are things you can be doing to aid you in getting there. You (and others) can be (and should be!) praying. You can respond to godly pursuit. You can find ways to mingle with godly, mature men. You can read books on godly masculinity, femininity, and relationships. And all the while you should be working towards sanctification. Not for/because of a one day relationship-but because of a deep desire to please and look like the Lord.

But ultimately, it is up to the Lord. He is sovereign over all things.

[God] works all things according to the counsel of his will.
(Ephesians 1:11)

Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.
(Psalm 115:3)

I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
(Job 42:2)

He can easily bring someone into your life. He can easily incline someone’s heart to you.(Proverbs 21:1!) He could have easily had you married years ago! But that was not His will for your life.

A man’s steps are from the LORD;
how then can man understand his way?
(Proverbs 20:24)

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
(Proverbs 19:21)

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. . . .  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
(James 4:13-15)

God chose to allow a season (or lifetime) or singleness, and that is okay. He has a reason for it. And that reason is that through this season He is going to be able to work in you in remarkable ways for His name’s sake. He is not punishing you. God only allows and permits things in your life to make you look more like Christ. There may come a time, my dear, dear, sisters, where that refining process of sanctification will take place in the covenant of marriage, but until then, don’t be anxious! Concentrate on knowing who God is, and being what God calls you to be, instead of concentrating who “he” (future-Mr.-godly-pants-spouse-husband-man) might be and wondering what he would want you to be.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30

Your Savior is your first love, your ultimate love, your only perfect love, and your only everlasting love. If it is in God’s sovereign plan for you to have a spousely love,  it will happen! Not too early. Not too late. All in his perfecting time and because of His sovereign will.

~ Psalm 37 ~

Jesus as my Boyfriend?

About five years ago, I was enjoying worship with my brothers and sisters in Christ, when something happened that forever changed how I viewed my treatment of Christ. There she stood on our chapel stage in her classic scarf and boot combo and said a phrase that sent chills up and down my dogmatic spine, “During this next worship song, just think of Jesus as your boyfriend”.

Jesus.

As my boyfriend.

Jesus.

Son of God.

Messiah.

Savior of the World.

My boyfriend.

Well, I was gone. I have no idea what the song was-I wasn’t singing it-my mind was racing with all the poor theological implications and ridiculous ramifications of treating the Bread of Life as your boyfriend, the Deliverer as your dinner date, and the Second Adam as a simple suitor!

A dear, dear friend from back home was visiting me in Lancaster that weekend (woot woot! Shout out to Amber!) and I, knowing and trusting her doctrinally solid mind-sinfully, and pridefully told her the fateful tale of scarf girl and her foolish “think of Jesus as your boyfriend” proposal. But instead of joining me in my frustration and woes, she rebuked me! What? Rebuked! Yes. She flat out told me to get off my high theological horse and take the suggestion for what it was-a different way to look at how you treat Jesus Christ. I could tell that she could still see my apprehensivity, because that is when she suggested that I wrote a letter to Jesus as if I was his girlfriend. Despite my strong skepticism, I decided to take her up on her challenge. With journal in hand, I started out a letter to “J” ( I couldn’t bring myself to actually call him Jesus) and once I started writing I was actually surprised with what I came up with. Some of the points I wrote about included the following confessions:

  • When we first started dating, I would get so excited when I heard stories about you, but now that it’s been a while…I almost get bored with the stories about you.
  • I often just skim over the letter you’ve written, and don’t really value what you have to say to me. Especially when it’s not about ME.
  • When you are talking to me, if I don’t understand what you are saying…instead of asking you what you mean, I just figure whatever you were saying, it wasn’t that important.
  • I know sometimes I purposefully ignore your calls or text messages.
  • Many times I’d rather spent time with other people than time just with you.
  • I don’t allow for a lot of time when we are one on one. Usually, I throw in a quick phone call before bed, or on my way to work-but having long, meaningful conversations with you don’t happen as often as they should.
  • Sometimes in groups, I’d rather pretend we weren’t dating. I mean, I don’t cheat on you per se-but I certainly don’t mention that you are in a relationship. Sometimes your name just doesn’t come up in conversation.
  • Sometimes when you are talking to me, I am super distracted-and constantly checking my phone, as if I’d be somewhere else.
  • I care more about what other people think about me so often that what you think. Especially in my appearance. I want others to think I’m physically attractive, but don’t believe you when you tell me that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. I roll my eyes at you.
  • I ask for other people’s opinions before yours.
  • I am constantly making plans without telling you, or asking you if you want to be included.

I apologized over and over again, while admitting though I want to do better-I’ll never be able to give him what he truly deserves. I ended the letter by explaining to him, that I totally understand if he were to break up with me. I deserve it. I am the WORST girlfriend EVER.

But here’s the thing- I know he won’t. He won’t give up on me. He won’t leave me.

And what the letter writing brought me to see in new light is this: we would NEVER want to treat our significant other like that. Boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend/spouse-it would be ABSURD for our relationship to look like what I described above. So why is it so acceptable for me to treat Christ like that? When I understand how lowly I am, and understand how good he is to me despite that lowliness, when I see how beautiful his love for me is-his commitment and his gracious patience-it should propel me to change! I want to be better to him-because my oh my does he more than deserve it! How lucky I am! I don’t deserve him! I want to spend more time with him so I can be more like him because he is nothing short of amazing.

So though at first, I didn’t see the value in thinking about Christ in this way-and I do believe it can be dangerous if taken any further, I was really blessed by processing in this manner. It is absolutely MIND BLOWING that despite all my foolishness and insensitivity to him-he still is committed to me. That even though I am faithless, He remains faithful. Even though I treat him so poorly, he still is going to pursue me, and choose to call me his girl. Seeing that truth should change the way I treat him.

So, do I regularly think of Jesus of my boyfriend? Nah.  But I do see value in using earthly relationship terms to see how Jesus treats me, and how I treat him.  I hope this convicts and encourages you to love him better-because he is awesome. An awesome boyfriend…eh…I’m still a little uncomfortable with that. But an awesome Savior? Oh yes.