Many of us grew up watching movies like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and often other romantic movies that always had a happy ending with a princess finding her prince.
Now while I love these movies (and by the way romantic comedies are among my favorite!), I also believe that they have taught us to set unrealistic expectations about love. What I have learned in my life up to this day is that real love is just not possible without knowing God.
God is the very definition of love. He was the creator of love, just like He was the creator of the universe and all that is in it. In the bible there are numerous examples of actions that spoke love. The ultimate action was a dad who loved his son like no one else and who made the choice of sacrificing his son’s life for the sake of all of human kind (also his special creation).
True love is not selfish. To me this means that if I desire to have or find love (particularly romantic love), the motive should not be merely because it will make me feel good and feel complete. It means that if I desire to find that kind of love, it should be so that I may be the one to lift up that person, to encourage that person daily. It should mean that I want to compliment that person so that we could be a team helping one another draw closer to God-not drawing each other away by idolizing each other and almost obsessing with one another.
I have made this mistake in the past and I have suffered consequences because of it. God’s grace has allowed me to have a second chance and I don’t intend on taking it for granted.
My love story began and continues with God first and in the midst of all that surrounds me. God is centered and then come my children, my family members, and my friends. This is how I want to keep it for all my life. God has shown me that this is the ONLY way. I see this all the more now in this new chapter of my life: in my new dating relationship.
It started over two years ago, when I met the man who would now be my best friend and boyfriend. We met at a dating devotional service in Connecticut.
I was one of the people who shared my story in front of the church. After the service he came up to me and told me how encouraged he was by the sharing and about other aspects of the devotional. I remember clearly how open and humble he was sharing about things that he saw he needed to change.
I had never met a man who was this humble and open with someone whom he had just met. So I knew he was certainly one of a kind. Well, although I already thought highly of this man, the time to build our friendship was not right yet. God had a different plan.
Very soon after meeting him, I started a dating relationship with someone else (whom I had already been building a friendship with for a while). One major thing I learned shortly after this relationship ended is that I lacked much trust in God. In my spiritual journey after this breakup, I learned to wait.
I learned that God expects patience because His plan is not always what I think it is. During the summer of 2015, God really revealed more about my character. He revealed my lack of surrender. I decided that would change.
Now, I did not expect at all what ended up happening that summer. In fact, after my decision to surrender (and all that it involved), I thought that what happened that summer would probably not happen for a very long time. But it did happen and I am still amazed by it.
In the Spring of 2015, I decided that one of my summer trips would be to one of my favorite cities in the USA-Boston. During one of the two phone conversations we had (over the past two years), I mentioned to this man that I planned on visiting Boston.
He lives about 2 hours away and told me to let him know when I would come so that perhaps we could meet up and maybe do something. I thought, “okay sure, why not?” Now, I only had two conversations with him prior, but we had also exchanged a few emails that involved what we should pray for-for one another. They were simple emails that had no other intention but to simply encourage one another.
Who would have thought this would end up growing into more?
So that July I flew to Boston (shortly after the decision to truly surrender) and had the most amazing and refreshing times with God. I remember walking around the Harvard campus praying and journaling. I had a two special dates with God-a coffee date and a lunch date. They were special indeed.
I read his word and prayed and wrote in my journal. I reconnected with God in a special way. I knew that God was enough for me and I needed nothing more. He filled my heart and my love for Him rekindled. I was happy and truly content.
So then, as planned prior, right after Boston, I, along with some other new friends I made from the church in Boston, drove down to Springfield. We met up with many other singles from churches throughout New England at Six Flags for a fun group date! Originally I was not supposed to be this man’s date. I was someone else’s date, but apparently both dates had to cancel, so we ended up being each other’s date.
God was working and we had no idea!
Needless to say this was our first date and it was Amazing! We both connected on so many levels! We had so much fun! I can go into details about this date, but let’s just say that we both underestimated each other. We had no idea that such a friendship would flourish from this date forward!
We ended up spending more time having more fun the next day and connecting even more. That week I returned to Miami. I hoped in my heart that we would continue building this friendship we started. However, I decided to surrender it to God and that only if it was His will, that this man would initiate and pursue my friendship, even at a distance.
Well, he did exactly that. It was gradual. It was perfect. He was so wise in how he pursued my friendship and I re-surrendered constantly because I knew that God wanted me to be patient and to let Him lead the way. So God did just that. He lead the way.
We met up again close to the location of friend’s wedding in September (in Maryland) to celebrate his birthday along with three other great girlfriends of mine and sisters in Christ, and among two of his friends and his brother. We had a great time! We continued our friendship after this. Even though we both knew that there were challenges along the way. Even then love was growing and God stayed in the center.
In mid October, he expressed his feelings for me and asked me if I felt the same way. Of course I did! We both agreed to let God continue to guide this friendship and that only if it was His will, that He would open doors to make clear whether or not the friendship could grow into something more.
As time went on, our love kept growing, and sure enough, God started making things clear. We didn’t force it, we didn’t try to control or manipulate it. We took it all to God in prayer, and we started also praying together. We even fasted one day together for God to make things even more clear. Within a week after that, God provided answers that were pretty clear! Wow!
In early December I flew up to Mass. with my two boys to spend time with some family the boys have up there. Since this man lives so close to their family, we decided to also spend time together.
The boys liked him from the start! The time we spent was so special and I’m so happy they got to meet him as my best friend. My boys still talk about that trip and how this man helped make it so much fun! God made clear to me that the boys approved:)
So often our impatience leads us to take control and manipulate our circumstances. When we do this, it robs us of what great things God has in store for us. All He asks is for us to take it to Him in prayer, believe that He is Good and loves us and wants only the best for us, and so to trust Him and wait for Him.
I am so, so, so grateful to have made the decision to surrender and trust Him last summer. I am now living the fruit of this and the blessings that He is providing. This is only the beginning, but I am enjoying every second.
Just three days into 2016, this man asked me to be his girlfriend, and of course I said YES! I said yes to that man who was already my best friend and with whom I was already in love with! The best part is that he was and is also in love with me.
The day he asked me, he told me that he loved me. This was the most special gift. God graciously gave me the desire of my heart-to date a man who was already my best friend, and whom I was already in love with. Wow!
Our love story is only possible because it started and continues with God first and in the center of it all. It’s possible because we both surrendered and let God lead it. We are still praying to let God lead our new dating relationship and to give God the glory every day through it. There is no way we could be having such a pure love if God were not in the center-no way! I am so grateful for my father in Heaven and my hope and prayer is that He will continue to be first today and always. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Proverbs 16:9, Proverbs 20:24