Why I Said “Yes” to the Beginning…

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I feel that I need to preface this post by telling you that I am a Christian, and my faith drives every decision that I make. Dating and relating is something that is very significant in my faith, so the following views are expressed from a Biblical perspective. You should also know that I am far from perfect and this particular area of my life has always presented a struggle, and I have messed up more than I care to recount. Over time, God has shown me the love he has through his rebuke, discipline, love, and mercy. I can only give Him glory for any success I have in my life. For readers that do not ascribe to the same faith and have questions, feel free to leave comments or email me at soultivating@gmail.com.

The beginning to which I am referring is my walk along side David,  and whatever may come. I hope to one day tell the story in its entirety at the right time; however, right now I am compelled to give an amuse-bouche about the start to the relationship, along with some detail regarding David’s character and actions that led to our relationship. I pray this account gives hope to all that are still ladies and gentlemen in waiting.

Why am I posting this? Well contrary to what some may think, it’s not to boast or to pawn for attention. Rather I realize that right now families are in trouble. Marriages and relationships are crumbling. 1Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” We have to be on guard at every turn and at every moment. We cannot afford to be asleep or to lazily enjoy harvest seasons. We need to keep on the armor of God (referring to Ephesians 6:10-18). With that said, one way we do this is through transparency of experience from each other. I thought I would share a little bit of mine to encourage and also send a sense of urgency for fervernt prayer for the trial and testing that is here for many, and will come for the rest. I want everyone to know that there is nothing too hard for the Lord, and if we solicit Him for all of our needs he will provide. Anything is possible through Him.

In addition, it is for accountability. Hebrews 12:1 explains, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverancethe race marked out for us…” We have people on earth and our heavenly hosts (the Trinity and anyone in the presence of God in heaven) who are watching to see what we do. The more we are in the fishbowl, the more present and intentional we are with our actions. I don’t want to be hypocritical, so this is a great way in order to make sure I keep the focus where it needs to be…on the Lord.

There were very specific things that I began praying about in dating and finding a mate about four years ago. I also asked that when a possible man to date came along that I would quickly be able to see if he was also a Christian (not only in what he said, but also how he governed his life), what his intentions were for me (was he interested or not?!), and his true character (was he a jerk or a gentleman?).

I don’t know about you (lady readers), but I can be pretty stubborn and independent. Being 30 and single means I have had PLENTY of time to do things my own way. I have a lot of masculine energy and in my past I would tend to lead the relationships. It is human nature to jockey for power and then the more aggressive individual wins the submission of the other.  In the dating world, that can be devastating if we as women try to dictate the flow and progression. What I mean is if a man is truly interested, then he is going to pursue you. If the woman becomes agressive, then the man will concede and let her continue the pursuit. This has never ended up very well for me, and I have always ended up with a man who seemed passive, even if he really wasn’t. I do believe that a man really wants to please the person he is with, so if she is he aggressor, then he will let go. Eventually the woman will say “WHY AREN’T YOU PURSUING ME?!” This will leave her guy in bewilderment because he didn’t realize that was what she wanted in the first place. This is why I believe God created Adam first and gave him dominion. He was created to be the hunter and priest of the home.  Proverbs 18:22 (NIV) states, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” This meant I needed to chillax.

January 2013 was GO time. I had left a situation behind and had a candid conversation with God. Pretty much I told him that I was weary and couldn’t really keep going this way. I was ready to give my heart away, wasn’t someone willing to be just as emotionally available as I. Deep down I recognized and accepted that things will happen when they are supposed to, and I don’t have control over that so I just wanted to be honest about how I felt moreso than try to demand the result I wanted.

Now on to David…

I met David formally in January 2012 at an event with our church, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. He was funny, and he thought I was as well, but for me I was in the mode to just enjoy the fellowship. He has since mentioned that he first met me in 2011 while I was serving with a ministry called Eikon at our church, but it was just a passing. I was apparently the overzealous and spunky greeter that gave him a high five and he thought I was pretty cray. I don’t remember that, but I am pretty sure that I did seem a bit eccentric. My fondest memories of being on the Connections team with Eikon was giving a round of applause and high fives to the people coming through the doors for service. I felt that they should be welcomed with gusto, and I was genuinely glad that they were there. I digress…David reappeared in a small group in February 2012. He disclosed that he would be deploying to Afghanistan shortly (he is an Army Reservist) so he wasn’t with the group long.

Fast forward to February 2013…David emails me out of the blue. The gist is that he intentionally wanted to connect with certain people when he came back to the states. Wow, how fortunate for me that I was on the list! This was the number one reason why I paid closer attention to David. I didn’t go looking for him, he came looking for me! From that point on, he set the tone for contact with calling, email, text, and face to face. I didn’t wonder if he was going to call or if he wanted to hang out with me. Usually when I thought about hanging out I would eerily get a text/call to go to lunch.

Six days, two lunches, numerous phone calls, lots of facebook messenger conversations later David said “I want to submit our friendship to God and let Him determine what it will be.” What?! If you really want to have a Christian lady go weak in the knees…say just that dudes, take my word. This was the second reason that David started to become and real contender. We prayed about it together and let it go. This showed me that even though we were just connecting as friends at the moment, he was still intentionally looking for God to reveal that maybe there was a possibility for more down the line. Our conversations were also 90% about our spiritual convictions. I was quickly able to see David’s views and reliance on God, in addition to his intentions for me. This was the third reason that David began to win my heart.

David asked very specific hypothetical questions regarding relationships, marriage, children, and God. They were a bit more formal than the “hey I’m your buddy” questions.  I kept my mouth shut about what I realized he was doing. I wasn’t going to stand in the way of what God was doing at this point. The truth is, I never had to prompt him to talk about futuristic things with me. He was all over that, but we both were still very comfortable with being friends. This was the fourth reason why David was pretty awesome in my book. David is a really intelligent and funny guy. I felt that even if we didn’t end up in a romantic relationship, that at least be an awesome friend that I knew would keep it real. Humor and transparency combined was the fifth reason I fell for David.

As the intensity of our interactions picked up, we individually began to realize that this was really going somewhere. David brought to my attention that he remembered something very brief that I said in the small group where we met last year. I said that if you meet a person who takes your attention away or steers you in the opposite direction of God, then it was a red flag. This is a very true fact and every person that I enteretained in my life that had this effect  did not last. Ultimately God is number one and above all things, and I would not continue to put anyone or anything before Him. As result, David disclosed that he didn’t want to be that person and asked if I would like to participate in a morning devotional over the phone twice a week. It was a big sacrafice since we would have to wake up at 5am, but was it worth it… A MILLION TIMES YES! OK… are you starting to get the picture here? This was the sixth reason why David actually won my heart.

By this time I knew something was up, but I dared NOT say anything to David. God really impressed on my heart that I needed to submit to being patient and not stand in the way. It was difficult for me not to just come out with it and tell David how I felt, but I knew it would steal his thunder. So I waited, and was prepared to wait for a couple more months to give him ample time.  On a beautiful Saturday morning, mid March of this year, we went to watch the sunrise at the Pompano Beach Pier. He snapped some awesome photos and began making a video of me answering the questions; one in particular was ” Why do you feel ready to be in a relationship right now?” Now, I don’t know if it was the morning or I was just so relaxed around him that I went clueless, but I didn’t see this as the segway to his next question. After I finished my film debute, he said that he was really interested in me and asked if I felt the same (uh…yea!). Then he put the camera down and asked if I would continue to walk this journey, where ever it would take us, as his girlfriend (everyone say AAWWWWW!). THIS is the seventh reason why I said YES to the beginning! David was bold in professing how he felt, and he was brave to wait for my answer that could have left him rejected. I did not have to bring any of this up! I knew that God was working on his heart because my prayer the week before was that I was comfortable with the information that was already shown to me about David, and my sign from God that David was a good choice for me was if he specifically told me how he felt and actually asked me to come into a relationship with him. I would not have to hint, prod, or nag.

Seven reasons. Seven is the biblically significant because it represents devine completeness and spiritual perfection.  I will also note that this did not begin out of carnality. David was very specific about retaining purity (yay!), and after a certain point we agreed a curfew for contact at night after we realized that our interactions were becoming more serious and intentional. Additionally, we have not at this point held hands or shared a kiss. Some people might think that’s pretty whack (crack is whack…remember that), but it’s been surprisingly comfortable and gratifying. At this time holding hands or kissing is not restricted, but there hasn’t been a need to do that. I am sure those things will come into play over time. Both of us have fallen for the other in a way that has been much sweeter than physical closeness can offer at this stage in the relationship. It has allowed us see into the heart of the other. It has been a very sweet experience that has lead into a surreal connection. 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV) says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” Being able to understand the essence of a person creates a greater attraction and connection than just “Hey you look amazing! Call me, maybe?” Don’t forget what Jermaine Stewart said – We don’t have to take our clothes off (be careful with that cherry wine, though).

David and I individually experienced a lot of changes and revelation over the past two years, which is why when we met initially a relationship didn’t materialize. I didn’t see what was being done in the background. Genesis 18:17-19 (NIV) states, “Then the Lord said, ‘Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his childrenand his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.’ “ God had already purposed to promise Abraham prosperity, but certain events and acts of obedience had to be set in place in order for those promises to be revealed. Had God said anything prematurely, Abraham could had unknowingly sabotaged his blessing by his excitement or fear. I believe this could have happened between David and I, and I am very thankful that spiritual blinders were put over our eyes so that we could focus on our own personal and spiritual health first.

So, we are at the beginning. Our friendship journey and beyond, however God will guide, is in the works. We know when God starts blessing, the devil starts messing. We need LOTS of prayer. We will see where this road leads. In the meantime, I am definitely enjoying all the adventures along the way!

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