Throughout my middle and high school years, I exchanged letters with a girl who is several years older than me. She made a huge impact on my life, guiding me through the tough times those years presented. I don’t think she’s aware of the full aspect of her influence. Sometimes, I don’t think I’m aware myself. But there was one thing I knew all those years ago: I wanted the opportunity to pay it forward. I prayed that I would one day be able to be that person for someone else.
Well, God sent me not one, but two younger girls with whom I’m in consistent communication. And as I wrote the one girl last night, I couldn’t help thinking: This is all because of Faith. Had she not taken me under her wing ten years ago, I probably wouldn’t be writing Lauren and Ariel. And who knows where Faith got the idea to write me. So in a roundabout kind of way, Faith has an influence on these two girls that she doesn’t even know.
I think life works that way more often than we realize. Sometimes the things we do for the benefit of one person carry farther than we’ll ever know. Often it’s the little things that we don’t think truly matter that have the greatest impact on a person’s life. And while you may not ever see the fruit of your labor, you’re touching more people than you know.
So keep persevering in the little things. You never know how many lives may be touched by the impact of one.
Perhaps DragonHeart isn’t what you think of when someone says the word “fairytale,” but when you grow up with three brothers, you are just as familiar with it as you are with Cinderella. And since it has all the fantastical qualities of a fairytale (an evil king, a dragon that sounds like Sean Connery, and a knight in shining armor who beats Prince Charming any day), we’re going to learn a few things from this masculine fairytale.
The story begins with a battle in which the young prince Einon is critically injured. The queen’s longstanding family history of peace and friendship with the dragon race is the only thing that can save her son. She swears that her son will not follow in the footsteps of his wicked father, but be trained in justice. Because of her promise, the dragon agrees to give half of his heart to the dying prince. His heart keeps Einon alive. The prince’s life depends on that dragon, not only in the moment when he receives the heart, but throughout the rest of his life. When Einon hurts, the dragon hurts. Einon cannot live without the dragon, nor can he die until the dragon is destroyed. Their lives are intertwined, and their deaths are likewise.
The one quote that has struck me most strongly regarding singleness/dating is the statement made by Shannon Kubiak Primicerio in her book The Divine Dance. “Don’t look for someone you can live with; look for someone you cannot live without.” The thing I find most fascinating about the idea of marriage is the mystery of two people becoming one. They are still two separate people with two different personalities, yet somehow they are as one. When he hurts, she hurts; when’s he’s happy, she’s happy. Their lives are intricately connected in a way that I suppose I will never understand until I’m married.
I’m one of those people who believe that God created me with a certain man in mind. And while He gave me my own heart and own passions, one day, my heart is going to mold perfectly into the heart of another. I’m holding out for that one somebody whose heartbeat matches mine, who hurts when I hurt, and sings when I sing. I’m holding out for the man whose passions compliment mine, who values the things I value, and whose vision comes into alignment with my own. And while I’ve met many guys who I’ve figured I could live with, I’m not settling for something as simple as that. I’m holding out for the man I was created to become one with – the man I cannot live without.
The other night, I had the most romantic dance with the most amazing guy. I was alone in my room, the lighting was low, and the shadows on the wall reminded me of a song I had danced to long ago. My heart longed to return to that moment. So I did. I began gently swaying to the melody in my soul when I had one of those “Once Upon A Dream” moments. Suddenly, I realized that I was not alone. It was one of those moments when God’s Presence was so strongly evident that I could hardly breathe. And something about that Presence makes me want to dance. I went from swaying in His gentle embrace to spinning in the wonder of His love. And of all the dances I’ve ever shared with Jesus, this was without a doubt the most amazing, spiritual, romantic moment we have ever shared. By the time that dance ended, there were not two beings in that room, but One. Jesus and I had become One. I hope that doesn’t sound crazy to you.
I’m suddenly in this intensely passionate, romantic relationship with Jesus. Not that I wasn’t before, but every relationship has its high places and its low places, and I’m back in one of those high places right now. The flame in my heart has been rekindled as I came to this realization:
- Jesus and I are One.
- He arouses every sense I have (including a few I didn’t know about).
- We have “a song.”
- I can call on Him whenever I need Him.
- Not only does He know me, but He “gets” me. He understands the things no one else does.
God has filled every need I would naturally attempt to find in a relationship, and I think it was meant to be this way. I’ve heard single girls say that they are sick of hearing people say that Jesus is a substitute for a husband, and I can emphasize with that. The married women all get to be The Bride of Christ too, so the whole “Jesus replacement” thing just isn’t cutting it. But I’m more tired of hearing that statement put the other way around. I’m tired of seeing people turn their husband, or boyfriend, or “significant other” into a substitute for a relationship with Jesus. Maybe it’s not that people are trying to cram God into your “guy-hole,” but that you are trying to cram a guy into your “God-hole.”
I recently read a Christian dating book in which the author stated, “I’m tired of ‘dating Jesus’ …and I think the feeling is mutual.” I cringed. I understood the point she was trying to make. It was the whole “Jesus is not a substitute for a man” argument all over again. But I don’t think Jesus gets tired of “dating” you. The Bible tells us over and over again that God is a jealous God. Why would He ever tire of spending time with you? And while it’s okay to want a “real” date every once in awhile, don’t let it consume you. A man will never be able to fill both your guy-hole and your God-hole. But God… Well, He’s big enough to handle both of them. So lose yourself in the magic and wonder of His dance.