You know those love stories we all hear about? Boy meets girl, boy asks girl on a date, boy and girl get married and live happily ever after? The Notebook type stories? Those stories that make you dream of one day falling in love the same way and having this amazing life with the person you love?
Well, unfortunately, those are just stories. Now, I’m not here to say that beautiful love stories don’t exist. I just want to tell you that every story is unique in its own way, and every story can be amazing. You just need to look at it through the right lens.
Growing up, I was a pretty awkward kid. I had braces from the age of ten until I was fourteen. I liked my hair cut short and I had severe acne all over my body. Thank God for puberty, am I right? I grew up with a twin brother and playing dress up and barbies wasn’t something we did, so beauty and fashion weren’t things I liked very much.
As I was going through the interesting middle and high school years, my brother started dating his now wife, and I was on the verge of forgetting completely about marriage because of all the messed up “relationships” I was in. I’m not here to bash on any guys that have liked me in the past, or say that I am a much greater person than they, or that I deserve better. None of us “deserve” anything in this life if you think about it. I just want you all to know, that it does get better. It will get better. Trust me. But honestly, trust God. That’s it.
My mom always called me “picky” with boys. I always liked a particular type of boy and I always looked for imperfections and red flags. I have never been broken up with. I always did the breaking up. And some people may say that I have no right talking about being hurt, because I’ve never been hurt before. But trust me when I say, that breaking up with someone who you thought you would marry is no less hurtful than having someone break up with you.
The reason for this is because really, I live for people. Yes, people annoy me more than they should, and my irritability could use a little work. But all in all, my job on this earth is to love people. And hurting them is not something that I strive to do intentionally.
Okay. Back to the high school days. I remember being in a relationship when I was ending high school and thinking about my future. The future that I could have with that guy back then, was much less appealing than what I could do by myself and with God. So, after I ended it, I chose to focus. That was my word. Focus. I focused on my ministry, my travels, and my school work. I traveled more in those three years than I ever did. I finished school and got my bachelors degree, and honestly I have no idea where my husband came from.
Here are three things that I learned in my relationship with Mike, that I wish all of you young people who are just starting to date would realize sooner than later.
Pray, pray and pray. Did I mention pray?
When I first met Mike, all I did was pray. I prayed that God would use my thoughts and transform them into words. I prayed that everything we did together, and every single conversation we had would bring glory to God. I prayed.
Seek the Lord and his strength. Seek his presence continually. (1 Chronicles 16:11)
Keep your parents in the loop.
One thing that I will forever be thankful for, is the friendship that I have with my parents. They always knew about every boy I liked, every guy I’ve talked to, and every relationship I’ve been in. I know that some of you are younger and want nothing to do with your parents, but the older I get, the more I realize that my parents are the best friends that I can ever have.
Before Mike and I started dating, he actually went on a date with my dad. Literally. They went out for coffee and Mike talked to him about me. Told him his intentions. Got feedback and advice from my dad. Ever since then, our relationship has been so blessed because both sides of parents have been supporting us, encouraging us, and are constantly praying for us.
If you were to ask me to describe my relationship with Mike in one word, it would be grace. We both carried a lot of baggage with us into the relationship. We both heard a lot about each other, rumors and such. But I came into the relationship with Mike knowing that he’s not a perfect person. People told me that he’s not a good guy, that he’s done many things that he’s not proud of, and I understood that. But ever since I met him, I decided to get to know him by myself. I chose to tune out every other voice that was talking to me, and just listen to God. Just focus on grace. Focus on forgiving and especially, forgetting.
As Paul once said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am” (1 Corinthians 15:10)
So that’s the story of the girl that met the boy.
The girl who told herself that she was never going to get married.
The girl who always liked boys with blonde hair and blue eyes, and then married a dark haired, brown eyed boy.
The girl who struggled with her self worth and didn’t know how to forgive others.
The girl that has seen and continues to see God’s grace in her life, and tries everyday to show that to other people.