Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sometimes you just have to follow your heart

I was giving some advice to a young friend recently. She, like me, can be very cerebral. She approaches life somewhat cautiously. She wants to make the right decisions and avoid mistakes. I can tend to be the same way. I make very safe and cautious decisions. I've apparently been this way since birth. My mom tells stories of how my older sister would jump into the pool if an adult was anywhere in the vicinity; I on the other hand would NOT jump unless I was holding onto the adult appointed to catch me. Even if I only had hold of my dad's pinky, it needed to be something I could touch before I would take the plunge. This has totally translated to our adult lives. My sister is all heart- she makes decisions quickly, sometimes rashly, and follows where her heart leads. I take forever to make a decision and make safe, cautious decisions. I try to avoid mistakes and hurts. In the end, both of us have made mistakes. She sometimes has moved too quickly; I sometimes have missed out on wonderful things because I didn't want to take a risk.

Part of growing up for me, has been learning to let go of control. Mistakes inevitably happen, but I don't want them to happen because I was afraid to try or afraid to trust where God was leading. Today, I read a blog post my cousin sent and was reminded of how gracious God was in showing me this right about the time I met Marc.

I had spent the four years of college purposefully NOT dating. I had made a mistake in who I dated my senior year of high school and regretted letting that decision pull me away from Christ. I had based my security on this guy's attention and decided during my freshman year that I would take a long hiatus from guys and pursue Christ and make sure HE was my source of security (after all- He is the only TRULY secure thing anyway!). To be sure, I had what some would consider a couple "misses" with great guys. Guys that were good friends that would have like to take the friendship a step further, but I was too afraid. During Christmas break my Senior year of college, I felt God working on my heart, convicting me of fear. I had decided I would stay single and he really convicted me that that decision was not from HIM but made from a place of fear. I didn't know where he was leading but I knew he was doing a work in my heart.

I became friends with Marc about a month later;) In reading the above mentioned blog post, I had to laugh as I remembered all the things that should have driven a cerebral, safe girl away. OH how glad am I that God chose this time to convict me to take a risk, to trust HIM and to trust my heart that was dedicated to him.

I knew Marc was" the one" pretty early. I can't explain how I knew, but anyone who has also known, get's what it is to know! I had this calm assurance that he was "the one". He was speaking to our fellowship at a retreat and his heart just brought me to tears. He loved Jesus passionately (almost freakishly passionately if I am honest;) He was loud, dramatic, and rather unsafe;)

Here are a few things that in retrospect are HILARIOUS and I can't believe that I didn't run for the hills. They are great fun to tease Marc about now and I am delighted to add them to my blog and share them with you (at his expense of course;):

1) We were walking to meet a friend to study when he just came out of the blue, grabbed my hand and told me, "I like you! Let's go get coffee instead." He didn't really ever consider that I might not like him back (perhaps it was obvious) and kept saying, "I am so glad I finally told you that!" We'd only known each other a couple weeks. He didn't give me the creeps and I did like him, but mostly I was so shocked at how forward he was I just followed along to get coffee and ditch our friend...I can't even remember what we talked about over coffee, I just remember thinking, "What in the world is happening?!"

2) The next week was Valentines day and he took me out to a VERY nice dinner (we are talking violins serenading the tables). I was so nervous, had never been in such a place. He did little to ease my anxiety (not that I admitted my anxiety to him, mind you); in fact, the dork corrected how I held my silverware and told me I was using the wrong fork. What girl would go on a second date with that guy?!

3) Afterward, we were hanging out in a friends room and he tried to kiss me. I had gotten a little wit about me at this point and was able to stop him and explain that I wasn't going to kiss a boy again until I knew he was the man I was going to marry. He kissed me on the cheek. And then did it again and again and kissed me all over my face and then finally kissed me on the mouth. We ended up really kissing. To be honest, it was a terrible kiss. Probably because I was in shock at his audacity and he was half thinking, "crap, I just committed myself to a girl I've known a couple weeks."

3) He quit speaking to me the next day. Classy, heh? I had to call him and say, "Look if you just want to be friend I can handle it."

4) We spent the rest of the semester as friends. Our best friends were dating and we had a few very close mutual friends. I knew I loved him. For the first time, I wanted what was best for someone other than me. I was sure he was the one, but he seemed to have no interest in me. We actually spent a good deal of time talking about his ex girlfriend and how difficult it was to get over her. (Yes, that sucked.) Then he started diggin' a mutual friend. (All the while, my heart continued to go fonder on the guy!)

5) During this time, I got back my senior year book photos and was shocked at how fat I'd become. I decided to lost weight. To be "helpful", he typed up a "Marc's guide to weight loss" with advice on what to eat and how to work out. (Again, what girl wouldn't have hated this?! For some unknown reason, I didn't take it personally, but instead found the fact that he was a numbskull hilarious)

5) The week before graduation, we are watching a moving and having a GOOD time laughing and teasing each other. (We'd been very teasy all week- very flirtatious and I was quite confused, but has just been praying about it.) Then he says, "Greg (his accountability partner) is going to kill me!" I replied, "Why?" He kissed me. The next week, we hung out all week, many times on what most would consider "dates" and shared plenty of kisses. Still, I was "just a friend" when I met his family and friends. Who would put up with that?

(To be fair, I had prayed, knew he was afraid and had this calm assurance to just relax and I didn't say a word to him about it.)

In the end, it all worked out. He ended up calling me a few weeks later (we were home on summer break and had been talking frequently) and apologized for disrespecting me by not calling me his girlfriend and asked if he could make it right by starting to call me "his girlfriend" from then on. (OF COURSE, I said, "yes!") Even from there, I had to be patient. God was doing a work in Marc, just as he was in me. I knew I was where God had me, crazy as it was. Even when we were dating, he had some quirks that could have been "warning signs", but I knew God was in control of. He'd correct my posture and my grammar and on day he told me when I chewed my nails I drove him crazy and looked like a psychotic rabbit (SERIOUSLY!). He was so afraid for a long time and would pray "Lord either strengthen this relationship or end it." and he'll readily admit, he kept hoping the Lord would end it;0) (He hadn't planned on meeting "the one" at 22.)

Oh how God has refined both of us. The relationship certainly didn't fit the box I had built for "perfect christian relationship". THANK GOD! It's been far more exciting and fun! God has done a great work in both of us. Marc has a depth of character I could never have imagined or hoped for and I adore him. He puts up with my bad grammar, posture and nail biting without comment (most of the time, anyway) and I put up with his love of farting and dramatic nature;) We are more in love than ever and I am SOOOOO happy I didn't settle for the man of my dreams. God's choice was far better than any dream my safe mind could have imagined.

1 comment:

  1. Haha! Such a good post....made me smile b/c I am the same kind of decision maker. I find myself teaching my kids the same thing & have to catch myself. Thankfully, they each have alot of Tim's carefreeness in them.:0) God is good....His plans for us truly amazing!