Thursday, March 20, 2014
(Doug... if you're out there... don't read this one) So last summer, after waiting a year for the divorce to be final, and after months in my divorce class, hours and hours of talking with Stan over the year and a half, and after reading several dating/relationship/divorce books, (not to mention hours and hours of prayers!), I decided to try and start dating again. A friend sent me a link to something she had heard on Focus on the Family, I wish I could post the link, but I don't think it will work. (it is A Fresh Look at Dating parts 1 & 2 and aired on 8/13-14/13). Anyway, I listened to it several times actually, and read a lot of their articles on dating/marriage, and it did change some of the way I looked at dating. I shared this last year, and I'll share it again now as I can see it in action with Doug now. "A New Standard" What's needed is a new, objective standard for what makes a good match, because, for a Christian woman, there are some non-negotiables for choosing a mate. Thankfully we have a standard that's completely reliable. - A man must be a believer. - He must be able and willing to provide for his family. - He must love sacrificially. - He must be honest, have a good reputation and strive for the qualities of a spiritual leader. (See Acts 6:3, 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.) If you're measuring a man against that list, considering his aptitude for growing into full maturity in those areas, then marrying him is praiseworthy. Even if he is shorter than you. Or younger. Or bald. Failing to meet our worldly expectations — our romantic shopping list — is no liability if he meets biblical ones. That's the only list that matters." Wow. There it was. A very short checklist - but so important. I've never been much of a 'dating for fun' type person, because it's not fun to start getting emotionally involved and then have to break up with someone you now like, but never should have started dating anyway. Not fun at all. So I was super cautious getting back into dating. But within weeks of talking with Doug, I knew that he was someone I *could* marry based on the simple fact that he meets this list. Yesterday he came with me to meet Stan. Stan said sometime last year that when I started dating again he wanted to meet that person. I was at the time thinking that I'd never date anyone ever again and would die an old lonely divorcee. I never thought I'd meet someone that I actually wanted to share life with again. So yeah, the meeting went good. I told Stan I was feeling really good about Doug and I, but not so good about what I'm thinking other people will think. He reminded me that only I know the journey I've been on, he said that he, and friends and family played different roles of being on the sidelines cheering me on, "come on Anne- you're almost there!" (I started crying when he said that), but that it was me walking this road. And again, oh my gosh, I'm just so thankful for where God has brought me and how good He has been. It's incredible. But man oh man, being open and vulnerable is scary. Even if it is with someone safe. After the counseling we had a lot of good talks, but several times I was crying and having to sort through how I was feeling. It still feels kind of scary. I'm not going to share everything... but he prayed for me (inducing more tears), and it brought back a memory of him telling me a couple dates in how he was praying God would use him in my healing. And I remember thinking that was sweet, but unnecessary- God was healing me just fine and didn't need a helper. I still believe that, but actually, I can see now God is using him to heal me as well. It's pretty awesome. And then I get home and see a note he mailed me Gosh I'm a lucky girl.