I just started writing a book with a complete stranger and I’m going to do my best to bring you up to speed and keep you on track. What started as a fun project for myself has turned into so much more, just by inviting God to take over. The point hasn’t been to write for myself but to write for other’s, letting them know how much they’ve impacted my life.
To give you a little back story of where I am in life right now – I’m 33, recently single (again) and live back in Memphis, TN where I grew up. None of the above were remotely close to being a part of what I would’ve envisioned for my life at this point. Hello! I grew up in the south and if anything I should be married with 4 kids by now.
But, I’m not. And I thank God every day for his grace in getting me past the ideas society has given me that I should be on any path but his. I am extremely thankful for the season in life that God has me in. I could easily wrap myself in the things I wish were transpiring already but to be honest, God’s timing is better than mine. He’s proved that to me personally on more than one occasion, especially the one I’m about to explain.
The recent break up thing I mentioned earlier, yeah. That just happened a couple months ago. I was crazy sad about it at first. Honestly, I was crazy sad about it for longer than I have been in over a decade. However, something happened recently to give me full closure. I had been praying almost nonstop for God to help me move along if it wasn’t what he wanted but I kept getting stuck in the enemy’s web of lies and comparison traps.
Needless to say, I finally got on my knees and surrendered the process to God. The very next day I reached back out to the ex and got the best closure I’ve probably ever had. Not to give either of us credit for that! God was abundantly clear once I actually wanted to hear what he had to say. The second I gave up my right to complain and beg for things I thought I wanted, he moved in and spoke truth, as he always does.
About a week later I ended up reaching out to a guy from an even more broken relationship from over a decade ago. I realized I never actually found closure in our breakup and I carried it with me in every single relationship since then.
After what felt like a small win of closing the door to my most recent relationship, I knew I could counsel God and surrender this to him, I knew that in his time he would make it known to me how to move forward.All of this time I had been carrying a weight that was never meant for me. I denied it and buttered it up. It’s obvious looking back that I never wanted the answer to be what God ultimately told me. This guy was the last guy to ever meet my family and like I said, that was 10 Plus years ago. No relationship was ever able to reach the closeness I had with him simply because I never realized I was still holding on.
Back to the fun part. After the recent closure, I was finally in a place to know I could trust God to handle it for me. So after sparking a conversation with the long-time-ago ex, some fairly unwanted news came up. Normally I would’ve responded right away simply because that’s my personality. But this time was different. This time I had every intention of God having his way because I trusted him more than I did myself – especially with my broken track record showing exactly why!
So I waited. I waited to reply. I waited for God’s peace and guidance. I finally wanted to do what God had been asking me to do for years. Because of that I finally got full closure. I can’t explain the power of letting something go. It’s intense. It’s a miracle, really.
Here I am about to end a year and start another and I’m feeling like I have a clean slate…… Then temptation kicks in. Now all of the sudden I think I’m ready to get out in the dating scene again. I felt more free of any ties than I ever have before. So what do I do? I download another dating app, start swiping and successfully set up a date.
To say this date was amazing is an understatement. This guy shows up to have drinks with two of my closest girlfriends while I’m in town just visiting. He walked up to our table and I am not kidding when I say he was the most attractive man I have probably ever seen. The way he smiled, dressed, carried himself, spoke.. everything. I have never in my life been more impressed during a first time meeting someone.
We had a million things in common, had no trouble holding conversation and saw each other again the next day. Only this time I actually asked for God’s input.See, the first date was out of pure excitement. The next day was completely different. The same, wildly attractive man shows up again and has the same incredible qualities but something in me was different. I didn’t see him with the same desires as I did just the day before.
The second I invited God in I had a completely different perspective. I knew all I really wanted right then was a deeper relationship with God, not another relationship with a guy. The desire to still want that guy superficially remained and the enemy knows me well enough to set up a trap that I’ll typically fall into. But God goes before me and directs my path. I simply couldn’t ignore what God was telling me and continue manipulating my dating scenarios to get what I think I want.
Number 1, please do not take offense or think that I am judgemental of anyone who doesn’t agree with what I am about to say. This is only me sharing my side about what does and clearly does not work for me slpersonally. Number 2, I couldn’t house judgement even if I wanted to because I have learned this lesson first hand by doing these things myself.
I was manipulating my personal dating scenarios by downloading this silly app in the first place. For starters, I only used the app when I was out of town. I’d explain the reasoning behind that if it made any sense but it doesn’t so, moving on… Secondly, the app I was on made me write the guy first. That goes against everything in my heart of what I want in an actual relationship.
I get that it’s officially 2019 and these are the days we live in but it still isn’t what I want for me. I wholeheartedly believe that God has a man for me that will pursue me. I also believe that the man God has for me will be pursuing God first. So if I honestly believe that why in the world would I want to cluster the process with a false pursuit.
I’ll tell you why.. because I can be extremely impatient and I enjoy controlling things. But when I stop and pause – in anything – I allow room for God to step in and speak truth over me. Not everyone has to have the same desires or ideas of what they want. God made each of us so very different that I can’t being to imagine how God is working things out for anyone else.We weren’t meant to gauge God’s calling on our lives based on what he’s calling someone else to do or become. I simply know God didn’t allow this much needed season of closure to be distracted by my own tendencies to make things happen in my timing, not his.
That was an awful lot about dating and I’m sure you’re wondering what that has to do with writing a book with some stranger. Well, this stranger happens to be another very attractive guy that happened to reach out to me on social media.
I have a history of connecting with potential dating candidates via social media and things turning into something. So at the very moment when this guy reaches out to me (the day after I’ve decided NOT to date for fun) I literally laughed to God asking “Are you kidding me? We just went over this and you’re letting the enemy tempt me again?”
I just had a conversation with a new friend I met on the plane about how God would have to move mountains to get my attention in dating again. God is funny in that way. He means business when he says “ask and you shall receive”.This guy didn’t approach me with some cheesy line. He started with a few fairly outlandish scenarios of things I could only dream of doing. So of course at this point I’m somewhat suspicious. I’m proceeding with caution and inviting God into every moment of this. Literally.
We decided to take on a project together over the next 30 days and not meet until it’s complete. We’re writing a collection of letters to people who have impacted our lives over the years and practicing gratitude, self-love and forgiveness.
To say God moved a mountain to get my attention is an understatement. God has it fully. And with as exciting as it might be to have an attractive guy steering the way on this 30 day adventure, I still know God is ultimately what I’m seeking. To be pursued through a mutual project seeking more of what God wants for our lives is setting the bar pretty high. I’m still willing to bet that no matter the outcome, God has a specific plan in mind and he’s only just begun.
So here’s to starting a new year, co-writing my first book, seeking God first in everything and seeing what mountains he can move. I thank God for the strangers he brings into our lives. Those who come for many different seasons and reasons. I pray that if you’ve ever met a stranger who’s impacted your life exactly when you needed it that you’d take time to thank God for those moments.
If you were ever able to write the people in your life who were once strangers about their impact on your life what would you say? Would you be willing to share what they mean to you and the role they’ve played in your story? Would you take the time to write them a letter so they knew?
You should. 🙂