Honesty. That is what I have promised on this site. No extra ribbons and bows to dress up the truth. I have actually been praying for a couple of weeks as to how to write on a blog about two particular events in my life. Many of the honest details of the events do not need to be revisited by me or by anyone else. I also do not want to dishonor any other child of God by focusing solely on their mistakes.
However, I also know that this blog has become so much more than I intended it to be. I started for myself. A way to keep me accountable to the challenge I made for our 10th anniversary. I am proud to report with only a few days left of the challenge I have made great strides towards rediscovering the woman Joe fell in love with 10 years ago. She was quite a lovely woman…ummmm a little clueless about some things of this world but wisdom did come to that naïve 23 year old!
I have received so many emails about how my honesty has touched people reading. I have even had people writing to ask me questions about the Bible and about struggles in their own lives. Who knew something I started that was really all about myself would turn into something that God would use to reach out to those reading? It is amazing how He uses everything for His glory.
Let me take you back to 1997. I was in my junior year of college. Five of my closest friends had asked me to be a part of their weddings. My roommate that year, Courtney, was one of these amazing friends. Courtney was one of my basketball teammates and had been dating her fiancé Will since they were freshman. I was pretty much the third wheel that year in the Will and Courtney relationship. Every night Will would call Courtney and they would pray together. Their relationship modeled for me what I hoped to one day find. I also saw my brother fall HARD for the amazing woman who is now his wife. Pam and Jeremy’s relationship solidified in my heart even more that it was worth waiting on the right person. However, during my junior year in college, I had found myself growing in my walk with the Lord such that I truly was contented with being single.
In the early spring of 1997, I committed to spending most of the summer working as a counselor for Kids Across America, a Christ based inner city camp where they bus in inner city kids form all across the country. So in between bridesmaid responsibilities that summer, I would be driving a boat around a lake teaching young inner city girls how to water ski. Sounded like a dream job to me! I mean I had spent the entire previous summer driving my stubborn (or do you call it determined!) big brother around lake muarry in our boat as he learned to do flips on a wakeboard and by the end of the summer finally mastered barefooting!
Little did I know that my world was about to be rocked. In April of that same year I met a man who I began dating and quickly grew to love. Over the summer our relationship grew even more intense as we daily wrote letters back and forth. Since I was only allowed to make phone calls on time off that came once a week or so, it was through writing that we fell in love. While I was off at camp, he was back at his home going on mission trips, serving at summer camps, and writing me amazing letters about what God was doing in his life. A couple of times he made the long six hour drive up to the camp to get to spend a few hours with me on my time off. Once when I had two days off in a row to attend my dear childhood friends Audra and Jason’s wedding, he came to pick me up and drove me back up to camp just so we would have more time together while we drove.
Some of you may remember a poem that many young college girls used to hang in their rooms as they longed for a man to love them. I honestly can’t remember the exact words of the poem (if somebody has a copy could you email it to me???) but here’s the idea…
The poem was written for single girls and it said that at the point where you become totally satisfied with being single and only needing the love of Jesus, it is at that point that God will bless you with the man of your dreams.
I think I believed that that was what was happening with me. I had truly become content with being single and then BAM! in walks a man who seemed to be a perfect match for me. . . .he loved Jesus, he loved basketball, he was kind, he made me feel like I was the woman of his dreams. However, this 34 year old wife and seminary graduate has gained a little perspective and a lot of theological wisdom. It takes a lot more than those characteristics to make a fabulous husband. And absolutely NO WHERE in the Bible does God promise the things that that poem promised. Believe me…after this relationship blew up I looked! It wasn’t there.
I am going to stop here. And let me say this to anyone who is single and reading this…No man can EVER offer you the love that Jesus has to give. Too many times in my marriage, I expect my husband to fill needs in my heart that only my Jesus can supply. The verse does not say, “Joe will supply all your needs.” Philippians 4:19 says, “My God will supply all your needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus (NIV)”
One lesson I learned during that time of my life is to never add things to the Word of God that are not there…it only leads to disappointment. Blessings to you…blessings that are based on the Word of God!