I haven’t done a “let’s talk” post in awhile, but this one needs to be talked about. I feel like there are people, both guys and girls, who are sitting at their desks wondering what in the world they are doing. They’re thinking about what’s to come. They’re thinking about their future and whether or not they’ll meet someone, and not just anyone but the right one. Here are my thoughts on the matter.
I’m a glass half full girl. I’m always pretty positive when it comes to the future. I love people. I love having conversations with people of all walks of life. I love listening to their stories and being able to hear through all the “noise” what the heart of the matter is. I guess I’ve always been a good listener, but I didn’t realize how good until I started my counseling grad program. It’s a gift, I guess. I’ve never hidden my faith from anyone. I’ve never been one to hide what I believe. I was one of the fortunate ones who had the opportunity to go to a great college prep/Christian school when I was in High School. My senior year, my bible teacher was also the assistant youth director at my church and I had a great relationship with him and his wife. I remember Robb talking to me about the opportunities I’ll have to defend my faith and why it is important to study religions and know why I believe what I believe. I didn’t know that I would need that knowledge 10 years later. I’ve studied every religion. I know the differences between those religions and Christianity. I’ve been across the world and never had a conversation that made me feel like I was stupid or that what I believed was a “myth”…until last night.
Y’all know I have a dating profile on Match.com. It’s the new way of dating in the modern, busy world. I know some people may give me judgey eyes for that, but that’s fine. It’s not easy to find someone you click with and then make it happen organically. It’s really hard! When I decided to really try Match, I wrote out my profile several times. I read and re-read it and felt that I needed to really share what I’m looking for. I did. I unapologetically wrote out the specifics for what I’m looking for. I got matched with guys who were agnostic, atheist, “I’m not really sure what I believe” and so on. Every time I read that, I passed. I don’t have time to date guys who aren’t open and willing to talk about God. Why? Because I’m who I am because of Jesus. Anyone who doesn’t get that will always look at me like I pray to a Disney character who isn’t real. I had my first encounter with getting to know someone who I thought was pretty great. Everything lined up. Everything on paper looked great. I met this person over the OU/Texas weekend (terrible weekend by the way…HOW DID WE LOSE TO TEXAS? SERIOUSLY?!) I liked getting to see this person in real life and getting to laugh and hang out. It was fun. And then the other shoe dropped on me Sunday night.
I’m not a secretive person. I’m terrible at keeping secrets. Hailey and I purchased Johnnyswim tickets for Jess for her birthday and Hailey had to tell me over and over not to burst the surprise bubble because this is by far our best gift yet! I can’t keep secrets and when the “secret” in our nation is attributed to religion, gender, identity, whatever, I can’t keep secrets. I explicitly said who I was in my profile. So imagine my surprise and sinking regret when I hear from this seemingly wonderful guy that he’s agnostic and doesn’t care if I believe in anything at all. I was driving back to Norman and going 80mph when he said that. The air caught in my chest and I literally couldn’t speak. My mouth hung open… “Oh no…Why? Why this? This was fun until now…Now, I have to break it to this dude that this is never going to happen…”
Just like I hate keeping secrets, I also hate being the bearer of bad news. I did not want to tell this guy this would never develop into anything, but as the conversation progressed, I found myself defending my faith and finding that is exactly what I had to do. I’ve never been asked by anyone in my close friend circles what it is I believe and that’s because we’re like minded. We don’t think about asking each other “So, you still believe in Jesus even though you had an awful week?” No! It’s because our faith runs deeper than the surface emotions of day to day goings on. But when someone I’ve come to trust and like and have put an effort in to getting to know starts saying that I believe in myth and a “historical creature who isn’t alive”…the story changes. I go from being a calm and gentle girl to a very sure, very confident and very determined to share my case woman.
“It won’t change how I care about you… Come on Lindsay, don’t say it’s a deal breaker! It’s not! It’s just religion. Who cares? I’ll change for you! You’re everything I want in a girl I want to spend the rest of my life with…Don’t say it’s over”
You know, I was always jealous of the girls in the movies who had guys saying all these things to them. I thought “Wow, I wonder what it feels like to have a guy say that to you…” Well, I’m not jealous anymore. Hearing those things actually made me physically hurt. I’ve never known what it’s like to have to defend my faith and my relationship with Jesus. I’ve been all over the world, teaching and preaching the Gospel and never once had someone say to me “it’s just religion”. Hearing someone I was starting to care about say those things made me physically hurt and made my eyes well up with tears. It’s what rejection feels like. As much as this person was saying things lots of girls would love to hear, I wished I knew this beforehand because I would’ve avoided it all together. Yet, here I was, on the phone, listening to this person tell me why he doesn’t believe there’s a God or Satan, Heaven or Hell. He would chuckle every time I would come back with a reason why there is a God. I kept saying “I’m trying to understand where you’re coming from, but I can’t. Why weren’t you honest? Why would you indulge me and have these conversations with me about God when you don’t believe? This is such a huge part of who I am and I can’t not share this with someone I’m involved with”. Silence.
The point of this: I’ve waited almost 30 years for the right man to walk into my life. I’ve waited and invested in my personal growth and development so when that person shows up, I’m ready. I’ve put in all the work and continue to do so and won’t stop now. I’ve put in almost 30 years of trying to figure out who I am and what I believe and I’m not about to stop that development now because a cute guy who’s missing the key ingredient to making this a something is saying all the right things. 30 years is a long time to work on something. I’ve worked so hard to become a woman any guy in his right mind would be proud of having in his life. I’m not perfect, but I’ve worked really hard to become a person worthy of the calling God has placed on my life. I actually told this guy “If the reason I’m single is because of my relationship with Jesus, fine. I never want to get married then. I will choose Jesus every time”. He said “What? You can’t be serious!?” And I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life than when I said “you don’t know how serious I am right now. When it comes to a guy who doesn’t believe in anything and a relationship with a very real Jesus… Give me Jesus”. I will never settle. I will not let a guy come in between me and my Jesus. You should never feel like “well, if this is the best that’s out there, I guess I can forget this <insert specific attribute here>”. Hear me when I say this to you: if it’s important enough for you to have it on your list of what you’re looking for in the person you want to be with, it’s important to God. He cares about the big and small details in your life, even the details that don’t seem to be happening right at this moment.
Hang in there. Don’t ever settle. Don’t even consider settling. If settling is on the table, you’re at the wrong table. Get up. Move on. Because just when you think “what did I just do…”, something even better is on the horizon. Where you’re at right now… it’s really good to be here…