I have a long list of bloggers I LOVE and consider "real life friends" too. But my list of blogging friends I text and email/chat with on Google Chat all day is much shorter. Ok, I'll tell you whos on that list. Karissa and Ashten are the only two names. I never claimed to be cool okay? But you know who is cool? My friend Ashten. And she's here with a spot on post about how loved we are by God flaws and all, and also, she's letting us into her love life a little which is a real treat, if you ask me.
So, here she is. Ashten, from Always Ashten. Go stalk her blog after you're done here. I PROMISE you will love her.
I am, admittedly, NOT good at dating. I have a tendency to go for the guy who is 100% unavailable, or the guy who is not into commitment, or the guy who thinks of me as just a friend. I love the chase, I hate dating. I also have a history of dating bad boys. I am a disaster.
I recently have begun “dating” a friend/co-worker of my best friend Tessa’s. I use the term loosely because we’re just getting to know each other, and I’m terrified of commitment. He waited on the sidelines while I dated yet another bad boy, wanting to ask me out for a year, but never got up to guts to pull the trigger. Once I became single, Tessa pounced on the chance to set us up. He is a nice guy and is really funny. He likes sports, goes to Church every Sunday and he loves Jesus. I had the flu back in January and he texted every day to check on me, and asked me if I needed anything. We had been talking for about two weeks at that point.
Are you swooning yet?
Recently he asked me to go to Church with him. The question came naturally to him; like he was asking me if I liked chocolate or vanilla. Like “hey, what are you doing Sunday? You should come to Church with me.” I have never dated someone like this before: a guy who not only wants to help me when I’m sick but wants me to participate in his faith with him. I almost feel as though I’ve discovered that unicorns still exist. Now is where I should pause and tell you that in n addition to being a bad dater, I’m also bad at executing my faith. I believe. I have faith. I love Jesus. But I do not go to Church every Sunday, I’ve been falling asleep before I can read my Bible and I sometimes I forget to say my prayers at night. In fact, most days the most faith I can muster is listening to the Christian radio station in my car while sitting in the ungodly amount of traffic I deal with on a daily basis. I sometimes have trouble understanding what I read in the Bible and I feel intimidated by the people who seem to have such a good grasp on the good word.
When he asked me to go to Church with him I panicked. I did not grow up in Church, and really got serious about my faith when I moved to Atlanta in 2010. No guy has ever asked me to go to Church with him before. I was scared. Thoughts of “is he going to judge me when I don’t know all the worship songs? Will he think I’m a phony because I don’t go every Sunday? What if I don’t know all the verses they discuss during the service?!” went through my head a dozen times.
I’ve always loved this verse, and I think it fits so perfectly: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude. It is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1Corinthians 13:4-7
I’ve read that verse before and so have you. But reading it in the context of my current situation gives it on a whole new meaning. Am I in love? Absolutely not. But, the love I read in this verse is God’s love for me, and the kind of love we should all strive to have in our lives. God is not mad when I don’t go to Church every Sunday because He knows I believe, I love and I praise Him. God does not judge me on how many Bible verses I read or understand: God loves me unconditionally and His love does not keep record of wrong doings. While I worry about how I will appear to this new church going beau of mine, I know he will be patient, he will be kind and he will not judge. When we aim to love one another the way God loves us, we give each other the best gift possible: the gift of unfaltering, unwavering, confident love. A love that is pure, that does not keep score or judge others. It is a love that accepts, that pushes us to our limits and asks us to delight in hope.
That’s not such a bad thing to have in your faith or your dating life, if you ask me. Maybe there’s hope for me yet.