I met my boyfriend on my first Hinge date! I know crazy, right? And just to be clear…no this wasn’t my first online dating experience. But I did the difficult work to get to a better place.
God help shift my perspective and work on my heart. He got me to a place of contentment. I was okay with being single if that was His will. More than a desire to be married, I had a desire to live in His will and follow His plan. In the beginning of summer, I created a prayer chart to help visualize specific prayers and be able to see how God is answering them. I used Psalms 37:5-7 as my anchor scripture for my dating life. “Keep trusting in the Lord and do what is right in His eyes. Fix your heart on the promises of God and you will be secure, feasting on his faithfulness. Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and He will provide for you what you desire the most. Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust Him along the way you’ll find He pulled it off perfectly!” I focused on this. Praying for God to help me and guide me. There was a time I thought I was ready to date again, and God clearly said no. Which made me worried to ask again too soon. Then there was a series of events–a conversation, a podcast, another conversation, a dating conference, and one flat out honest response…“No, you aren’t putting yourself out there.” Ouch! But true! Thanks friend! 😉 I prayed again asking God if it was time and didn’t get a no (which for me, is a yes).
I stayed up too late over-analyzing the photos and captions for my Hinge dating profile. Then I journaled “God, I pray this time I will let you lead, that I won’t lower my standards just to please others…that I’ll trust how you lead and work things out. I’m worthy of so much and won’t settle for less than your best.” I was entering this season of dating with a different perspective. I wanted to do it God’s way and trust Him more. One week later, I had my first date (well…two actually). I was so nervous! I hadn’t been on a date in over a year. What if I forgot what to do or how to act or what to say? What if we had nothing to talk about or it was awkward? But…new Bethany…prayed for calm and peace. I reminded myself– This is a man who God loves and created and I get to learn a little bit about his story. We met at a park and maintained social distance because let’s not forget we are still living in a pandemic. It went so well! We definitely had lots to talk about and easily jumped from one subject to the next. I felt comfortable and like we could talk about anything. I definitely wanted to see him again! I did have another first date and it was a meh-date; nothing like my date was with Jack. I decided to be bold and brave. I messaged Jack the next morning, gave him my number and said I’d love to continue the conversation if he wanted. And guess what…he did! 🙂
Unlike online dating before, I decided to see where things would go with Jack. I didn’t match with other guys or start more conversations. Over the next month Jack continued to pursue me. He always initiated the dates. He walked me to my car, even when it was locked in the parking garage. He opened the door for me, he complimented me and not just in my appearance but also my character. He said I was confident, which is not how I felt, yet that’s what he saw. He respected me and my needs. He’s a perfect gentleman.
On date number six we were talking about dating experience and he said matter-of-factly “I don’t say this to flatter you, but I don’t think you know how beautiful you are.” To which, I sheepishly said, “I think you’re right.” And his response was, “I hope I can change that.” (It’s okay to “awwww”!) He’s considerate of my heart and how I am feeling and somehow always has the perfect lines. 😉
There are so many moments on our dates, where I am blown away at God’s goodness and faithfulness to bring us together. I am overwhelmed by God’s love for me. Answering so many of my prayers, even some I didn’t even vocalize. It pointed me to Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.” God knows my desires better than I do! He delights in giving good gifts to His children. I think God is enjoying blowing my mind. 🙂
I wanted to share this because the story God writes for each of our lives is different and unique. Yet, it is all because of Him! Do I deserve to be in a relationship with Jack? No. But is God choosing to give me this story to help bring glory to His name? Yes! A thousand times yes!
When God gives good gifts to His children it isn’t because we’ve earned it or deserve it. It is because He loves us. He loves me so much to bring a man into my life that sees me in a way that reflects God’s heart for me. Many of you have seen me walk this journey. You have prayed for me, encouraged me, let me verbally process all the feels, and continue to remind of God’s goodness even when I struggled. I don’t think it is by chance that Jack is in my life. I know this is part of God’s plan. And as we continue to build our relationship together, I will continue to praise God for His goodness. I know all the cliché lines and phrases seem silly and ridiculous…but I’m here on the other side to attest to the truth…
God’s timing is best.
God does have a plan for your life.
God loves you more than anyone else.
God does all things well.
I hope this encourages you.
Love, The girl with a ridiculously cheesy smile, that just doesn’t seem to go away. 😉