I haven’t updated in a long time with my thoughts regarding relationships and what not. If you’ve read previous blog posts, I talked a lot about finding a man who could walk with me spiritually and love God more than he could ever love me. That sentiment still remains but sometimes, things don’t go quite as you expect them to. Whenever I met a guy that I thought was interesting, the first question that came to mind was whether or not he was a Christian. If he wasn’t, I usually lost interest right away. With my dating history, I knew how difficult it would be to date a non-Christian and selfishly, I didn’t want to go through that again. It is also quite amazing to be supported by someone who shares the same foundational views and values and to know that you could always count on this person to pray with you and to rely on God and call upon Him when things were rough inside and outside of your relationship. This would be ideal. I still very much believe in this idea of a relationship even though it would seem that my own path hasn’t followed that.
It would seem that I am determined to take the harder path lol even if on one hand, I aspire to take the easier path. Sometimes I look at my Christian friends and fellows who have found someone they love and loved God from their church and get a bit jealous. Relationships are difficult regardless but at least the onset of these relationships seemed to be pretty good. In the past year or so, I had two Christian guys who became non-starters. No, I did not pine away or jump off the deep end without caution. At least from my viewpoint, I had very explicit signs that hey, boy is interested and boy shares faith…huzzah! Alas, neither came to fruition. Was I frustrated? Most certainly but I remained relatively optimistic that this was where a relationship would come from when it eventually happened. Apparently not so much.
I met M playing corporate challenge badminton this past spring. Yes, I play badminton and used to do so competitively; however, in recent years, badminton would only happen once a year for corporate challenge and that’s it. I actually didn’t really want to play this year because I was already committed to triathlon and rock climbing, two things of which demanded so much of my time as individual sports, never mind both sports. But I was bribed into playing with the promise that snacks would be involved at practice and at the tournament (it was all a lie!). I noticed M pretty much right off the bat and got along with him amazingly well. Somehow, things just came together and snowballed. We started talking more and come tournament weekend, both were pretty confident that the other person was interested in the other. However, M is a non-believer.
On the night before our first ‘official’ date, he figured that we should talk about our differences in faith and values. Up to this point, I had justified the existence of our ‘relationship’ to be nothing more than a summer fling but as this talk approached, I realized how much I liked him. In the past, this is the point where most people would’ve backed off because there would a) be no sex involved and b) not so thrilled about religion having a role in the relationship. M surprised me. Despite all our differences, he wanted to a shot at trying to make a relationship work for us. I was shocked.
Since all this began, M has never shied away from the difficulties our relationship has faced and the times when I question it and when I emotionally shut down. I never had someone care for me the way he does, to want to fight for us. And yet, inside, I felt very torn. In the church, we are told that dating non-Christians is a bad thing – after all, the Bible tells us not to yolk with non-believers. Perhaps my own viewpoint is skewed, but I did and do not view the things that are outlined in the Bible to be hard rules but rather guidelines to living that have been established by a God who loves us and wants us to live a life that is fulfilling to the max. With regards to ‘not yolking with non-believers’, it’s because it’s so fucking hard. It’s so hard to know that you don’t share that perspective with them and have them available for you to pray with when you’re not sure about something or struggling with something. It’s hard to think that when you die, you won’t end up in the same place. This past weekend, M and I really struggled with how this would play out in our relationship and after a lot of discussion, we have yet to come to a conclusion with what we should do.
I spoke about the imperfect love of man to the perfect love of God. I realize though the imperfect love of man will always be imperfect, even if the man is a believer of God because we as people are just imperfect. But love in itself is a beautiful gift from God that truly doesn’t come around as much as we think or wish that it did. Yesterday, the verse of the day on my bible app was Psalm 55:22 that says this: ‘Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken’. I am so thankful for my non-family family, that they can give me a good reality check and encouragement all at the same time. One of my girls, Jaws, told me that I had to let go and give up this self-imposed oppression about whether or not M would know God or not. She told me that it wasn’t up to me. That even though M couldn’t see himself coming to know God, that he nor I could predict what could or could not happen. That being with me was a window into a whole different world that he didn’t see before. That all I could do would love M and continue to live my life with the love God instilled in me and walk on the path God has laid before me. That by being ‘burdened’, I was trying to take control of God’s work. One of the most interesting things she told me though that I hadn’t even considered was that by sharing and not censoring the faith part of my life with M, that my own relationship with God grows. That through this relationship, I am learning and still drawing close to God. A part of me fears that by being with someone who is not a believer, that I am disappointing Him. But then I think about how blessed I am to have M in my life and I’m not so sure about that anymore. She also told me to be strong and not to abandon M when we are both learning and growing with one another. One of the things I value the most with my relationship with M is how we can have involved conversations about life and relationships. That there’s an established and growing trust to share things about our past and how we view life without fear of judgement and knowing that it’s being shared in a safe environment. I feel like one of the reasons why God placed M in my life is because he’s strong enough to be there when I fall and that he is helping me heal the emotional scars left behind by others.
So now my faith is growing in a way I never really considered. Man, it’s so hard. It really is difficult but so far, I’ve learnt so much about myself and my faith through M. I don’t know if he knows that. It’s not to say that we won’t struggle because we will but at least I know that I’m on a team and not alone. Here’s to hoping