“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 Single Believer’s Guide to Attending Weddings

I love weddings.

The beauty.

The joy.

The tears.

The message.

The speeches.

The creativity

The eating.

The dancing.

 

But for some of us who are not on the precipice of marital bliss, weddings can be…well…painful.

 

For the single mom who regrets her wedding day.

For the guy whose girl just left him.

For the girl who guys never fall for.

For the recently widowed.

For the girl who “wasn’t enough” to marry.

For the guy who was too late in asking her.

 

What do these people do as wedding invite after invite flood their mailbox? How do they prepare themselves for walking into yet another celebration feeling alone? How do they look forward to:

 

Sitting alone at the ceremony

Sitting out during the “couple dances”.

Sitting with all couples or families.

Or perhaps worst-sitting at the “single” table?

If you are a believer, I have 3 encouraging verses to share with you to help you honor God and enjoy the weddings you attend. These have wonderfully changed how I attend weddings and I can honestly say they are a JOY. Though during the wedding/reception the sting of singleness may still arise, its pain doesn’t linger, and I am truly able to rejoice in the day! I hope these help you to attend weddings with gospel rooted happiness, clarity of mind, and focus on others!

  • Pray for selflessness
    1. Romans 12: 15 says to “Rejoice with those who rejoice”. So, as you are tempted to think about your loneliness, your heartache, your etc. etc. etc., remind yourself that this. Is. Not. About. You! Yes, it may hurt, but take your eyes off your own pain and pray for eyes to see and rejoice in the excitement and joy of others. Pray for the ability to put your mourning on a shelf, and for the night, focus solely on praising the Lord for how he provided for this couple. How he blessed this couple. How he led this couple. Because it’s okay that he chose not to do that to you. His timing and his way is perfect, and he is to be praised in the land of plenty, and the land of drought.
  • Look for others to bless
    1. God is a God of comfort, and he desires and commands us to comfort other (2 Corinthians 1). Chances are that in this situation (as well as most situations) if you are slightly uncomfortable, there are others there feeling that exact same way as well. Try and find a person who looks like they need love, and make it your job to encourage them and help them have a joyful experience! By taking your eyes off yourself, and onto someone else in need-both you AND the other person will be blessed.
  • Let their love point you to a bigger Love
    1. In my opinion, the MOST IMPORTANT point to focus on during weddings is this one. Ephesians 5:25-33 talks all about how a husband and a wife are simply a PICTURE of Christ and the church. So during the wedding think deeply on what their love tells you about God’s love for his people. Think about your “conversion moment” when you hear about when the couple first fell in love. Think about your “salvation prayer” or when you dedicated your life to Christ as they exchange their vows. As you drive to the reception, reflect on the journey of life God has given you. When you reach the reception, know that when you arrive in Glory, there will be a celebration for the Groom and his Bride that will go above and beyond anything this life has to offer. And as you feast, and dance, and laugh, know that love IS worth celebrating and in Christ you have the most glorious, perfect love ever offered.

So before you apply your waterproof mascara or put that church’s address in your GPS, pray. Pray for someone to bless. Pray for a heart of gratitude and joy. Pray for eyes to see the parallels between husband and wife with Christ and the Church. Pray that your affections for God are strengthened and increased. Pray that you can impact others at the wedding with the love of Christ. And know that when you pray, the peace of God will guard your heart and your mind (Phil. 4:7)-and I guarantee your wedding experience will be better because of it! 🙂

Also, quick shout out to the 2015 weddings I went to that were FULL of worship and joy: Amber & Christopher Gomes, Amy & Blair Fisher- I love the four of you DEEPLY and am SO thankful for your love, example, and friendships! ❤

P.S. Below are some of my favorite quotes about marriage! Enjoy!

"Marriage is two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love & consolation, a haven in a heartless world." Tim Keller:

"The love language of all marriages is self-denial." (Burk Parsons):

John Piper on marriage:

John Piper, Momentary Marriage:

I have this marriage, so blessed.:

Marriage:

Marriage:

And this one..hee hee hee…

Life’s [Not] Going According to [My] Plan

I turned 26 this year, and I thought, for sure, I’d have life more figured out by now.

I’d be settling into the long term career I excel at and find fulfillment in. I’d be in a healthy, happy, adventuresome relationship with a man who treasures me deeply and is passionate about the covenant of marriage. I’d know when kiddos would be coming along, and I’d be wisely using my gifts and talents. I’d not do annoying things like write out a check to pay a toll both fine, put a stamp on the envelope, and then accidentally leave it in my purse for 2 weeks.  No way, Jose.

But instead, I am both enjoying and loathing the blessed burden of singleness. I am in a job I love, but have little to no direction for the future. I am not sure what to do with some of the things God has entrusted to me, and yes, the crumpled (now late) bill was mailed out just yesterday.

Life is not going the way I thought it would go post-college. I have more heartaches than I was planning on, less direction than I was hoping for, and more mistakes than I was anticipating.

But that’s okay.

No really. It hurts sometimes, but I know it’s good. I know that where I am TODAY-the situation, circumstances, and unknowns are all good. Romans 8:28 tells us that, for those who love God (hey-that’s me! I LOVE God!) all things (wait, like ALL? Everything? All means ALL?) work together for good (this good means ultimate good, eternal good (the very best kind of good!)) for those who are called according to his purpose (that’s me! He’s called me!).

So, as much as my ideal plans have not and are not currently panning themselves out-I can trust that God’s plan is panning itself out (Prov. 19:21; Eph. 1:11). And frankly, that plan has got to be better than any plan I could have conjured up! God is brilliant, loving, intentional, and perfect. He is a good father (Luke 11:11-12) Whatever He is allowing, not allowing, doing and not doing, though I don’t understand why, I know is good and best and perfect (Ps. 119:68).

So yes, life’s not going according to my plan. But it is going according to The Plan-and whatever God is doing is trustworthy, best, for my eternal good, and worthy of joy & praise (1 Thess. 5:16-19). So whatever heartbreak you are experiencing today, because your plans haven’t worked out, be reminded that God IS good, He IS working, and His plan is the perfect plan.

All things work together for those who love God all we have to do is love and live for God he is with us and promises he will give good to us and has a plan:

Proverbs 19:21 "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails" [words of the verse in a heart shape with lake and mountains in the background]:

Lord, I will trust you to help me get through this incredibly painful, lonely and sad season of life.  My eyes are on you!:

Our #LoveGodGreatly #Psalm119:68  Week 3 #MemoryVerse

"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances;for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit."   - 1Thessalonians 5:16-19.  (Scripture Art Print Joy Pray Thanks Modern Christian by hopeink).:

Talk Yourself Out of Lies

I was recently praying to the Lord about my future-my desires, my heartaches, my deeps hope that only He and I know about. After expressing them to Him, I ended with “not my will, but yours be done” and I started to cry. I cried because I was scared that God’s will looks very different than what I hoped for my life. I cried because I feared God’s will would be difficult and painful and possibly opposite of me getting what I want so badly.

And then I stopped myself, and asked God to search my heart.

I was quietly speaking and believing lies to myself. My tears said: “My desire is for my comfort and happiness. If God is good and loves me deeply, then He should go after that for me because I know what’s best for me. But I fear that God is not good and his love for me not deep enough to care about my heartache or my pains. He might, in fact, PURPOSEFULLY make it difficult or opposite if what I want”.  That’s what my heart believed in that moment!

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit who resides in me fought those lies with truth from Scripture. I then thought:

“…YOU God, are the ultimate joy, prize, and satisfaction (Ps. 16:11). Getting ____________ is NOT what will “make or break” my life-KNOWING AND LOVING YOU will. If I seek you-I WILL find you (Matt. 7:7), and in finding you, getting to know how amazing you are will be ABOVE and beyond all I could imagine (Eph. 3:20). And you’ve already promised me you’ll be here-you’ll never leave me (Heb. 13:5). You’ll not stop loving me, and everything you do is good and right (Rom. 8:28-19). Your will is PERFECT! (Ps. 18:30) You’ll fulfill and satisfy me, direct me, and give me EVERYTHING I need (Phil. 4:19)”.

This is the Word of the Lord; thanks be to God.

One of my burdens right now in life is singleness. Maybe yours is a wayward child, or a jobless future, or an unloving spouse. As you run to God with your desires for the future, remember to combat any lies that sneak into your heart. Any doubts that creeps in that tells you God isn’t good, or isn’t working-need to be immediately fought with truth from Scripture and a reminder of the eternity to come. I ended my prayer like this:

“Oh dear Father. Please help me not to get tangled up in lies and distracted by thoughts about a possible (but not guaranteed) future marriage. Because I AM guaranteed a wedding and a groom-a PERFECT one-Christ in glory. I have salvation! Forgiveness of sins! I am your daughter! Knowing, believing, and clinging to THAT truth will propel me through all seasons of doubt, loneliness, rejection, or whatever else. Because even if you see fit to allow me to endure suffering through singleness for the rest of my life-I’ll choose to believe that you always give what is best for me. YOU ARE ENOUGH. YOU ARE WORTH IT. YOU WILL SATISFY.”

“There are no disappointments to those who wills are buried in the will of God.” Frederick William Faber

When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head. ~ Charles Spurgeon: When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head. ~ Charles Spurgeon