He looked at me and said…
“What’s your faith story? Let’s go on a walk tonight and share our testimonies.”
So that’s what happened. We went for a long walk and I shared my story first—of course only after I rehearsed it in my head 17 times so I wouldn’t sound like a fool. I told him about my faith and how it began and where I stood at that point in time. Then he went. He told me when he first met Jesus and how his walk started. It was personal. It was scary. It was beautifully vulnerable. Our stories were very different. But it was so refreshing. I remember feeling so relieved. Wow, he really loves Jesus. That’s really cool. I have a relationship with Christ, he has his, and together we love the same God!
“Can I just pray with you for a second?”
So that’s what happened. Standing in the basement just the two of us, we closed our eyes, he held my hands, we bowed our heads, and he prayed out loud for us. My heart was bursting. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve prayed out loud with just one other person before-mostly from personal lack of confidence and fear. So many walls fell down that day and the power of prayer in a relationship was made so evident to me. We could have a relationship with Christ separately but also together, and that was really neat. I’d never met a guy who was so open about his faith before–or maybe just not one I liked that much. You could tell just by the way he carried his 6’8” self so humbly, the way he spoke to you, and the joy he always walked around with.
Looking back now, I never imagined my faith at that point in my life could be any deeper than it was. I never imagined that a strong faith would be the number one thing I desired in a relationship. I never imagined pursuing Jesus personally would be as important to me as it is now. So maybe that’s part of the point. Maybe there are lessons to be learned in the tough seasons, too. Maybe there’s a nearness that can only be felt when you feel lost. Maybe God always has a plan. Maybe it’s entirely possible to be completely broken and the strongest you’ll ever be, simultaneously.
I looked at him and said…
“There are so many girls in crappy relationships who have no idea guys like you exist.”
I remember when I felt it and I remember when I said it. My heart broke for my friends and strangers who were in unhealthy relationships and knew nothing different. They deserved what I had. So girls, here’s my desperate prayer for you—please don’t give up. Please don’t settle for that drunk guy from the party just because he’s kinda cute and tells you you’re pretty. Don’t lower your standards or lose your worth because you think you might run out of time. I know you feel like God’s forgotten about you. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. He makes everything beautiful in His perfect timing even when it doesn’t feel like it matches up with yours. He knows what your heart desires. Be patient.
If you’re struggling through a single season or recovering from a break-up right now, I just want to take a second and encourage you. Take a few seconds to reflect. Learn more about yourself. What things/goals/dreams set your heart on fire? What drives you to be a better person? Find satisfaction in your single life—it has so much to offer you. So many blessings and opportunities; don’t miss out. The grass may be green on the other side, but it’s also green and lush right where you’re at! Quit missing out on today by peering over at tomorrow. Fearlessly pursue a personal, foundational relationship with Jesus—you’ll have so much more to build off of in the future. Look for things you’re learning along the way. I know it’s hard. I know it doesn’t feel like it’s gonna be worth it—I totally get it. Keep persisting, keep trusting, keep smiling! Pray trustingly for your future spouse (you might not know who they are, but God does). Pray for God to give him strength and honor on whatever journey he may be walking through. Ask him to help shape you into a better spouse while you wait. Don’t give up hope. In the meantime, become the very best version of yourself you can possibly be. Become the kind of person you hope he is. There are plenty of honest, kind men with good character out there who love Jesus, and know how to love you the way you deserve. Wait for the one God intends for you to be with. He promises to turn your brokenness into beauty, your heartbreak into healing. He can do immeasurably more than you can ever imagine if you surrender that area of your life to him. Throw up the white flag, and let Jesus do the work. Hang tight sweet friend, it’ll be entirely worth it. I promise you—and God does too.
Happy two years with Jesus, Brett. I’m so incredibly thankful for the way you became part of my story, and forever grateful for how you encouraged me to love + desire Jesus.