So I Liked a Boy [part five: talking with others about your crush]

Here we be with part five of Help I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up So I Liked a Boy. For anyone just now joining this Reynolds Pamphlet of a party, here are the first four parts: one, two, three, and four.

Now, let’s keep on rolling.

So, the StirringsTM started July 4, 2019, but I didn’t speak of it to anyone until September-ish. As I’ve mentioned many many many times before, I was embarrassed. However, being a human girl after all, I also felt like I had some sort of Delicious Secret. And whenever a human girl has some sort of Delicious Secret (even when the Delicious Secret doubles as a Deep Dark Secret), she wants to tell someone.

You know what I mean?

My crush was my Deep Dark Secret. Some days I was like, “I will take this thing to. my. grave.” I never wanted anyone to know my shame (this was before I knew a lil’ crush was nothing to be ashamed of).

My crush was also my Delicious Secret. Cue the manic giggling and the daydream where I told everyone (including The Guy) about it through an epic lip-sync battle. What a mic drop that would be, amiright. That’s a true story, kids. It was either confession-by-lip-sync-battle or confession-by-somehow-taking-bullet-for-some-small-children. H.E.R.O.I.C.

But, at this point in the timeline I was low-key losing my mind. I was daydreaming. I was distracted at church. I wanted to see The Guy all the time. But whenever I did see the guy, I wanted the fastest way out of there. I was just starting to pray about it. I wanted to date The Guy. I wanted to show him my favorite movies and let him read all my stories.

I also wanted to be single forever. I was also afraid I was discontent in singleness because I had a crush. So I also felt like I was failing Jesus, which is one of my most debilitating fears. But I also wanted Jesus’ will to be for me to marry The Guy. So much fear rose up too—that The Guy would never like me back, that I’m undesirable, that I was liking out of my league, that he liked some other girl, that no guy would ever like me, etc..

I was swinging between extremes, getting lost and tangled up in my own mind. Unspoken things tend to loom larger and larger the longer they’re unspoken Someone once told me that fears always get exaggerated in your head. That’s exactly where I was.

So there I was—closed off in a type of isolation by all the fear tangled up with my Deep Dark Secret. But, by Jesus’ grace (and do I do very much mean that), my girlish tendencies won out (girls want to talk about boys). So I told a friend my Delicious Secret.

But Why?

At the time, I didn’t understand it to be God’s kindness to me that I would crack and tell someone. I just thought it was me being a goofy girl. In hindsight, though, I see why he allowed me to act out of a junior high girl mindset.

Here’s why God wanted me to tell someone (this is also probably why he’d want you to tell someone too if you like a someone right now and haven’t spoken of it):

Because fears get exaggerated in your head and the unspoken things loom larger the longer they’re unspoken (remember this one from way back four paragraphs ago?).

Because, for Christians, a lone ranger is a dead ranger.

Because how can another Christian speak truth into your life if you’re hiding things (even something “little” like a crush).

Because Christians are supposed to be in transparent relationship with other Christians, and the transparent part is so important for every Christian’s mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Before sin even came into the world, God said it wasn’t good for people to be alone because we’re made in the image of one God who is three Persons in the Trinity who have had community with each other always.

Because pride and self-reliance dictate silence (and then self-destruction), but humility seeks out help.

Because I’d rather be fully known and fully loved than keep secrets and not be able to believe people would love me as I really am.

But Who?

Now, I didn’t just run around telling everyone. That’s also God’s kindness to me. I only told a few people at first.

One thing before we get into some things to consider when telling others: if you’re not talking about your crush with God, you probably shouldn’t be talking about it with others yet. As with most of this whole series, this is not a hard and fast rule, but a recommendation because if you flee to people for help before you flee to God, you’ve got some things reversed. Go to God and people (“people” being a blanket term for a mature Christian usually of the same gender).

First, some probably nots.

(These are not disqualifiers or meant to be condemning; they’re just signs maybe the person isn’t in the best, healthiest spot to listen and offer godly encouragement.)

Not your boy-crazy, relationship-idolizing, constantly dating friend. This is not a condemnation; godly wisdom simply dictates that this person would not be able to offer the best crush/relationship advice.

Not The Guy (or, if you’re a guy, not The Girl; we’ll talk more about this next week). Even if they’re one of your best friends, don’t tell them. This will be what we talk about in more detail next week.

Not someone you know will egg on your crush. What you need is a mature ear and gentle, wise counsel, not a hype person.

Not someone who tends to gossip. You’d just be setting yourself up for hurt.

Not someone struggling with their own singleness. Again, this is not a rule, but just something to consider: would it be helpful for that person struggling in their own singleness to try to encourage and counsel you through your crush?

Not close friends of the one for whom you have StirringsTM. If they’re also some of your closest friends, maybe yes, but if not, just don’t. That’s unhelpful to everyone involved.

Now, for some probably yeses.

Probably someone who loves God a lot. If they truly love God, if they’re truly a Christian, that means they have his Holy Spirit. And that means they are more in tune with love and truth than someone who isn’t a Christian.

Probably someone who knows you and loves you a lot. Then everything they say and do in regards to this delicate matter will be done out of love.

Probably someone wiser/more mature than you are. Think of that person in small group who you look up to as what a Christian should speak and live like. Think of that person who you’ve heard make difficult subjects simple and easy to understand. Think of that person who is a little farther along in their life with Jesus than you are.

Probably someone who reminds you of Jesus (and, remember, you have to know Jesus to be reminded of him by someone).

Probably someone who is prone to gentleness/graciousness of speech. Wouldn’t you rather their words be like honey to you?

Probably someone who has told you (gently and out of love) something you didn’t want to hear before. This person will not cave to people-pleasing to try and make you happy.

Probably someone who trusts God more than they trust their own words. Meaning, they entrust their friends to God instead of trying to save/help/fix everyone themselves. Those who trust God and his power and his work more than their own will be slow to speak.

You want to tell someone about your crush who is going to shoot you straight, someone who fits Proverbs’ pictures of a friend, someone who will meet you with truthful encouragement and grounding grace, not vain optimism (note: there is a difference between real encouragement and baseless, flimsy optimism).

Note for the younger people: lots of church kids get told to tell their parents about their crush, and I’m all for this and believe that a parent/teen or parent/preteen relationship that is according to the Bible and God’s design would be a safe, wise place to go! However, if your parents A) aren’t Christians B) don’t have a safe, healthy, godly, loving relationship with you and/or C) are not regularly seeking God through Bible reading, prayer, and worship, tell the people who do fit those criteria instead.

If your crush hangs around for a month or so, talk to someone(s). It’ll be really helpful!

Do you have someone in mind? Someone who is like Jesus—full of grace and truth?

Now, tell them. Tell them what you’re afraid of. Tell them what you hope for. Don’t ask them if they think The Guy (or The Girl) likes you back because that’s unhelpful for you and for them. Don’t ask them if they think anything will come of it because there’s no way for them to know. Just open up your mind and heart to them and ask them to pray for you and speak truth to your fears.

In the beginning, I only told three people—all mature Christians, all full of grace and truth. Strangely, over time, as the novelty and fear and such gave way to trusting Jesus, I grew more comfortable telling a few more friends when it seemed helpful or relevant because I came to realize that it actually wasn’t that big of a deal even though it became something very formative for me. I told some who The Guy was, others I simply shared that I liked a boy.

I hope that this is helpful for some of you! What are you thinking now?

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. – sorry this post is late again! I need to stop making plans for Monday nights. *facepalm*

p.p.s. – next week’s post will be about why I didn’t chase The Guy or try to make anything happen with him. Be there or be square.

p.p.p.s. – for those hanging in for this series: are there any questions or things that seem unclear or haven’t been talked about that you would like to see addressed? Comment or contact me directly! <3

p.p.p.p.s. – I also took the liberty of starting to use #soilikedaboy as an official hashtag because this thing is basically turning into a book.

So I Liked a Boy [part four: actually, him loving Jesus isn’t enough]

Jane Austen once said, “A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”

Ha.

She ain’t wrong.

We’re back with part four of So I Liked a Boy. You can read parts one, two, and three if you’re new or if you just want a refresher of my manic, dramatic, and astonishing wit.

If you want the short version, I had StirringsTM (aka: a crush; aka: the precurser to FeelingsTM) for a dude in my church for a whole ten months and didn’t know what to do with myself and was forced to grow and rely on Jesus more deeply than ever. It was terrible but great at the same time. This series is me sharing the terribleness and greatness in hopes that people in the same spot as me are helped out with their own StirringsTM.

Let’s get part four of this party started.

jr-korpa-taKCAaRUVV8-unsplash (1)

All my life, the only requirement I heard that I would need to find in a husband was that he be a Christian. Preferably employed. Preferably not living with his parents. My parents probably had a few other criteria, but the one that stuck with me was the Christian part.

Naturally, I proceeded through almost my entire life thinking to myself, “So long as he’s a Christian, we good to go, let’s pick out the bridal party.”

As I grew up, I became a little more aware that a lot of people call themselves Christians who don’t actually love God. So I amended my Requirement Uno. He’s got to love Jesus. Then we good to go. Then let’s pick out the ol’ bridal party.

The Guy who I had StirringsTM for loves Jesus with more unabashed passion than a lot of people I know (which is remarkable in a church where everyone left everything because they love God; that’s church-planting for you). His obedience to everything God calls him to is quite admirable. His heart of worship seems akin to David’s.

After watching him for a couple months, I thought to myself, “Ah, such a deep love for God; let’s get married.” Yeah, my brain went there real fast; Jane Austen was, in fact, correct.

But, actually, him loving Jesus is the bare minimum, a passing grade, not the end all be all of what to look for/be attracted to in a boy I mean man I mean guy.

I was seeking council from someone very wise about The Guy (I’d been on the moon-eyed train for like eight or nine months at this point).

I was asked why I liked him. I explained some of my reasons. I was told, “Look for more.” Not because The Guy was morally or spiritually deficient in any way but because my vision was too narrow.

Raw affection for God is not enough. Even capacity for extreme obedience isn’t enough. Even spurring me on to Jesus more isn’t enough. It takes more than dynamite love of God to make a relationship work—especially if that relationship is a covenant between two sinners only to be dissolved by death.

He can’t just love Jesus; he has to be like Jesus.

Jesus: a Man of supreme character, grit, zeal, gentleness, wisdom, compassion, patience, and joy.

Jesus: a Man of such strength and goodness.

Jesus: One who even now anchors the entirety of his Church throughout all generations as its immovable Cornerstone.

That’s what I have to look for—not because I deserve it but because that’s what my soul requires for survival. There is so much sin in my heart that I require much much keeping and initiating and leading back to the cross again and again and again.

He can’t just love Jesus—as good as that is. He must heavily image the Son’s person. His very character must remind me of Jesus.

His goodness, mercy, compassion, holiness, strength, humility, devotion, joy, steadfastness, zeal for the kingdom, and submission to the Father must be echoes of Jesus.

Jesus is my first love. Why would I look or settle for anything less or anything different in my second, human love?

Now, you may be thinking, “Yeah, but gosh, Jesus is a hard act to follow.”

And you’d be right. And no man I mean boy I mean guy could follow perfectly in Jesus’ footsteps, that’s why we need Jesus. But while it’s a tall order, it’s not impossible. I’ve met so many people who love Jesus and are becoming more like him to the degree that when I hear them speak or watch their manner of living, I am reminded of the character of Jesus.

To be honest, I’d rather live out my days in the joys and challenges of singleness than marry someone who loves Jesus but isn’t like Jesus.

Questions to Soberly, Prayerfully Ask Yourself and Jesus

When I was praying through liking The Guy, the Holy Spirit stirred up many questions, then I found more in The Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler, and then some more from some trusted friends. I had to ask them of myself and Jesus honestly, humbly, soberly, without rose-colored glasses.

So here are some of the recurring questions, which I now pose to you, dear reader.

  • Why do you like the guy? What in him draws you in? Is it his personality, his faith, his character, his what?
  • Is he part of and committed to (serving, giving to, involved in, etc.) a local church? Is it a healthy, spiritually mature (and maturing) church?
  • Is his character known or unknown? If not, why not? If so, what has his character proved to be? Reckless or steadfast, flaky or faithful, bitter or forgiving, selfish or selfless, etc.
  • How does he respond to suffering? Can he endure?
  • How does or doesn’t he submit to authority in the church (this is an indicator of his capacity/willingness to submit to the Holy Spirit)?
  • Why does your heart seek relationship with him? To put an insecurity to rest? To assuage loneliness? Or something else?
  • Do you like him based on who he actually is? Or are you actually more drawn to a version of him that only exists in your head?
  • Can he lead you spiritually—towards Jesus, through the trials of this life, through your own sin? Is he like Jesus in that his character is strong enough, steady enough, steadfast enough for the both of you? Is he one that can be depended on? Does he show forth the fruit of the Spirit?

And you have to actually want to know the answers because if you don’t, you’ll be closed off to the truth.

For instance, I could be honest and ask the Holy Spirit to search me and know me and show me if there were selfish reasons in my heart when I desired relationship with The Guy. It was easy to be open to anything there.

But all along, even though it was the first question I asked myself, I kept myself closed off to the answer of if The Guy could lead me spiritually, if our personalities and tendencies and giftings and maturities and all that jazz were such that I could not only submit to him but he could actually lead me like Jesus leads the Church—without passivity, with grace, with strength, with love, with action, with sacrifice. I made all sorts of unconscious excuses.

There’s no way for me to know that since I’m not in small group with him.

I have such a limited window.

It would be arrogant and prideful of me to say he couldn’t lead me. Etc..

But the truth that the Holy Spirit was pressing on all along was that no, The Guy couldn’t lead me. Not because there was anything wrong with him or because I’m ultra mature or anything like that. It’s as simple as me being a disaster, full of fear, full of sin, full of so many things that require a certain type of man I mean boy I mean guy to love and cherish and lead me through.

Yeah, by the grace of God, I’m bearing fruit, good fruit, Holy Spirit fruit, but there’s going to be sin in me until I die, and if I’m to run this race well—and if I’m to do it married—the dude has got to lead me like Jesus, has got to remind me of Jesus.

And, as I finally let the Holy Spirit tell me, The Guy isn’t that boy man guy. He and I don’t… fit together, if that makes sense. Neither is defective or better or anything, we’re just not fitted for each other.  And that’s okay.

It’s so so so important to be honest with yourself and be open to the Holy Spirit actually answering the questions, even if the answer isn’t what you want to hear. Otherwise, you’re just deceiving yourself and living in a type of false reality of your own making, and the truth isn’t in you. Let the Holy Spirit lead you. Submit yourself—your heart and your will—to his wisdom and authority.

So anyweys.

That’s all for this week. As per usual, if anything doesn’t make sense or you have any questions, feel free to comment or contact me directly! <3

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. – sorry for the late posting! Internet was down at my house so I had to wait until I could go to a coffee shop to use the free wifi and drink the not-free coffee.

p.p.s. – next week I think will be about who to talk to about your crush and why it’s important to be transparent with a couple of mature Christians about your StirringsTM.

So I Liked a Boy [Part Three: Stop Praying Your Own Will Be Done]

Hello, hello, kids.

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for part three of So I Liked a Boy; here’s part one and part two for your consideration, if you’re new.

This week we’re talking about what it can be like to pray about a crush and what it shouldn’t be like. I hope these things don’t feel law-ish to anyone. It’s not about doing x y z or doing anything in a particular order or a particular way. I’m just speaking from my own experience and what God revealed to be in my heart, speaking of the tendencies I have that I learned were symptoms of other things, and how Jesus led me into a better thing.

Let’s get started.

so i liked a boy pt 3

Now that we’re actually praying…

Sooooo, when I eventually started praying about The Guy and my StirringsTM, my default setting was to pray that God would take away my feelings ASAP.

It was all very “let this cup pass from me” and “have mercy on me, Son of David” and “deliver me from this body of death” and all that sort of stuff which in the Bible was prayed under great duress. Because apparently in my life, it must all be done melodramatically.

At the time, I was certain that such feelings (aka: a crush) were a sign that I wasn’t satisfied in Jesus and thus idolizing romantic relationships, and that felt like the worst thing ever. So whenever I prayed, I was like, “TAKE IT FROM ME, GOD.”

I wanted the easy way out.

I wanted what felt like a problem to go away. I wanted relief. I had tunnel vision. I prayed for weeks on end that God to take away my crush.

Gradually, gently, the Holy Spirit left a question mark in my head whenever I prayed the crush would go away until I wondered if maybe—just to cover my bases—I should add something like “but have your way in all these things, God” to end of my prayers about my crush. You know, just in case God’s will was different than mine.

Full disclosure, this conscious thought of what if my will isn’t God’s will wasn’t around for more than a second before my brain was like, “wHAt iF IT’s JEsUs’ WILL ThAT WE DAtE??” And then I was praying for that too. I traded My Will Of No Crushes for My Will Is To Date The Guy.

Because clearly God’s will can only be one of two things when you have a crush.

  • Option 1: to take the crush away ASAP.
  • Option 2: to make it end in dating (and then marriage).

Friends, there is a third option when it comes to God’s will that I discovered by the grace of God after much trial and error.

  • Option 3: to do something more mysterious and wonderful through the season of liking a boy.

About Loving God’s Will…

It’s one thing to try to impose one’s will on God (which is what I did). It’s another thing to grudgingly accept his will (did that too). It’s another thing altogether to love the Father’s will (excuse me?).

The Holy Spirit convicted me of giving lip service to God’s will. He convicted me of living a type of pretend where I said I wanted God’s will but in my heart cherished my own way. He convicted me of holding on to my desires and my vision of how things should go. He convicted me of unbelief and (again) trusting in myself.

So I stopped praying that the crush would go away. I stopped falsely praying “your will be done” with an endgame of dating in the back of my mind. I started praying, “Not what I will, not what I can see, but what you have for me, whatever that may be.”

My heart slowly settled under the will of God, stopped straining one way or the other, stopped trying to see the way out.

It took months. “Search me, know me. Have your way in me, all of it, no matter what it looks like. I want what you have for me. I trust you to not waste all this preoccupation and fear and questioning and longing.”

Loving God’s will doesn’t come naturally to me. Instinctively, I love my own way, and my flesh likes to make it seem like because God’s will is so mysterious sometimes, I can’t love it. But the more I know God, the more I trust him, the more the Holy Spirit helps me believe that his will is good and trustworthy and far better than my own.

I’m so thankful that Jesus didn’t answer my early, clumsy, short-sighted prayers about The Guy.

I would have missed out on so much if Jesus gave me what I wanted in the beginning. For me, God’s will (which he accomplished) was to:

  • increase my trust of him
  • teach me to lay down my will and all my different desires
  • teach me to lean into his wisdom and not my own
  • confront so many fears and confusions and lies and immaturities regarding relationships and guys in general
  • learn to love his will
  • and more.

I wanted to be bailed out, but God wanted something better for me.

He always plays the long game with the twin motives of his glory and our good. It wasn’t always fun (though it’s often genuinely funny to look back on), and it wasn’t easy because I have so much pride. But God got his way in me, and I’m so grateful for it.

So don’t pray that God will just take away your feelings. That fixes nothing. It sounds good at first; it sounds like the mature thing to do.

But the thing to do is let Jesus walk you out into the hard training ground where you give over your very will and hold fast to his instead, not knowing what it means or where he intends to take you. And you do it again. And again. And again until your wandering heart trusts God when you can’t see what he’s doing.

Do you believe that God wants something better for you? Do you believe his definition of “better” is far more glorious than your own?

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. – here’s a hint at what’s coming next week. The feeling: “Wow, he loves Jesus so much and is so passionate for everything of God.” The fact: him loving Jesus is not enough; as far as qualities in the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, him loving Jesus is the bare minimum.

p.p.s. – I don’t know how long this series is going to last; I’m guessing another four posts? We’ll see what God does…

So I Liked a Boy [part two: when it felt too stupid to pray about]

I was sleep-deprived and nervous when I wrote part one, and apparently “So I Liked a Boy” is the best I could do for a title. Apparently it’s also pretty click-baity. Most people that I know in person don’t read my blog, but I guess all one must do is throw something up with a title like “So I Liked a Boy” and half the church decides it’s high time they check out Rosalie’s blog. I’m uncomfy.

ANYWEYS.

If you missed part one, you can read it here. Otherwise, here’s what to expect from today’s post: dating, desiring, and crushing differently than the world and when it feels too stupid to pray about a crush.

crush 2

Dating, Desiring, and Crushing Differently than the World

Maybe this goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway. As Christians, our approach to people of the opposite sex cannot be the same as the world’s approach to people of the opposite sex.

In our current cultural moment, romantic relationships are king. You want someone, you go get someone, using whatever means you feel like, only listening to those whose advice is what you want to hear. As Matt Chandler says in his book Mingling of Souls, “We are a culture simultaneously obsessed with relationships and sex, but dysfunctional in our approaches to them.”

You like someone, you date them, you use them, you accrue some hurt, you throw them away. You aren’t fulfilled if you aren’t in a relationship. You look to a boyfriend or girlfriend (or spouse) to meet all your needs, speak to all your insecurities and fears. Flirt, entice, cheat.

And just as Christians can’t do marriage in the same way as the world and can’t date in the same way as the world, Christians can’t crush on someone in the same way as the world. Most Christians I know already know this, but our response (my response) is to stuff it, as if that’s the Christian way of dealing with desires.

Spoiler alert: stuffing it isn’t the Christian way of doing anything. At least it’s not the truly Christian way.

So over the course of this little series of How To Like a Dude Without Marrying Him So I Liked a Boy, we’re going to talk about some ways to honor Jesus in how you approach liking someone. Obviously, I’m a girl, so this is all especially pertinent to girls, but hopefully this is helpful to anyone. Honestly, it’s pretty basic and similar to the rest of the Christian life—listen to wise counsel, be transparent with trusted and mature Christians, submit to God’s will, oh, and, yes, prayer. Start with prayer.

When It Feels Too Stupid to Pray About

So, when I was hardcore moon-eyed about The Guy (see part one), it took me a solid month (if not more) before I actually, you know, prayed about it.

It felt like I was making it into something if I prayed about it, as if praying about it brought it up to some sort of level of Important. Because apparently I only pray about Important ThingsTM. Things like my sin, seeing people hear the gospel and be saved, the up-building and keeping of my friends, etc..

In my heart, there is an unconscious category of things that I don’t pray about.

I hear things like “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths…” or “…in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” and other such verses, and there’s some sort of disconnect inside me.

I will go to God and acknowledge him in some of my ways, and in some things by prayer and supplication I’ll make requests known to him. But not in all of my ways, not in everything. I have a hard time praying about the little things, and that’s a symptom of

  1. unbelief/not understanding in my heart the scope and depth of God’s love for me and
  2. belief that I can and should handle the “little things” myself (aka: self-reliance).

Kids, unbelief is sin. Self-reliance is sin.

Isn’t all sin rooted in unbelief about God? Adam and Eve believed the lie that God was holding out on them in the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They trusted their own judgement, their own understanding.

So when I don’t pray about things because they feel too stupid or too little or I’m embarrassed (from a crush to a pet being sick to dealing with a difficult customer at work), that’s pride manifesting in an incredibly subtle way. That was (and is) a symptom that I don’t trust God fully with my life.

Jesus is my everything. Jesus is Lord of my everything. Jesus is the Caretaker of my heart and soul. When I don’t bring things to him to be Lord over, to take care of me through, I cut him out of areas of my life and forfeit the blessing that is his affectionate, relational love and guidance.

Here is a fact: nothing is too stupid to pray about.

Prayer is communication. Prayer is honesty. Prayer is humility. Prayer is dependence. Prayer is vulnerability. Prayer is reliance. Prayer is trusting.

Let me say it again for the people in the back: nothing is too stupid to pray about.

If you believe that there are things too little, too insignificant, too stupid to pray about, you don’t know the God of the Bible. Praying about something does not imbue it with importance; praying about something simply shows that you are in fact a human trusting Jesus and submitting your life to him.

Eventually, by the grace of God, I cracked and started praying about The Guy I liked and bringing my questions and confusions to Jesus. Even though in my head I understood all the reasons why I should pray about it, it was hard.

I felt embarrassed and felt foolish and all the other stuff from the last post, except now it was all in the presence of God and I was a.w.k.w.a.r.d. But isn’t it always hard to come naked into the light? Isn’t it always hard to invite someone into the things that feel shameful? Isn’t it always hard to trust that you can be fully known and fully loved at the same time?

But bit by bit, the Holy Spirit helped me calm down and realize it wasn’t a big deal to pray about, and if I could trust Jesus to see me through the harshest storms of life and keep me to the end of this life without losing me, I can trust him enough to tell him I have a crush and admit it feels silly but I really like a dude and it’s confusing and ask Jesus to lead me through it.

When I started praying about liking The Guy, that’s when Jesus really went to work on my heart. It was in my private prayer time when I learned to start bringing up the little things that the Holy Spirit really got a hold of me and went to town on my heart. He began exposing and overturning so many lies in my heart and testing me in ways I’ve never been tested before. Everything good that grew out of that season, all the fruit and clarity I have now, came from learning to pray about it.

So when it feels too stupid to pray about your crush, pray about it anyway.

Get to know Jesus’ heart from you from the Bible and also in the real time of your life. Trust that he’s actually as interested in your life as he says he is. Trust that the God who designs blades of grass and galaxies and says that you as his child is his crowning creation and says he wants all of you and nothing less, actually wants all of you and nothing less.

Because if you’re keeping even one thing out from under his lordship and protection and guidance, you’re probably keeping other things away from him too, and you’re missing out on what he has for you in those things.

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. – coming up next week: why you shouldn’t just pray for your crush to go away (because I was for sure praying that my stirrings would just GO AWAY…. until I realized I was still holding onto my own will) and miscellaneous perspective that brought me back down to earth when I was sure I wanted to marry The Guy.

p.p.s. – little tidbit of that perspective: it can feel like foolish to like someone that you don’t end up marrying. Spoiler alert: you’re going to probably like quite a few people before you like the person you end up marrying. And that’s good. And normal. I’m proof that so much can get worked out in a human heart when you like someone you don’t end up dating (or marrying).

So I Liked a Boy [part one: intro and storytime]

So, I liked a boy. Like liked a boy. For nearly ten months. So this post is about that, and hopefully it’s helpful to some of you. This’ll be a bit of a series; I guess we’ll see what God does.

Full disclosure, this feels very, very difficult to share on the internet, but here we are.

crush 1

Storytime

He’s from my church here in Texas, one of the church-planters who uprooted their lives to tell people in Texas about Jesus. I started noticing that I noticed him July 4, 2019. All the college age small groups were going out to watch fireworks together (remember when we did things like that? Before Covid?). I’d been feeling really curious about him, so I approached him as subtly as I could and struck up a conversation.

Things went downhill from there in the following weeks and months. I liked this kid, and I had it bad.

I was soooo drawn to him, noticing (what felt like) everything—the way he’d pray, so full of faith and zeal. The way he would throw everything he was into worshipping God. The way he didn’t flirt with girls. The way he was wild. The way he was intentional with people who visited our church. The way he did anything Jesus asked of him 2300%.

I don’t know what a crush is like for you, but let me tell you what it’s like for me (trust me, this is going somewhere helpful, but it seems necessary to tell more of this story).

I would go to coffee shops and get a flutter in my stomach hoping and dreading accidentally running into him. Whenever his name came up in a conversation, my attention was jerked there like I was on a string. Every Sunday I noticed where he was in the lobby before church started.

My mind spun scenarios where I’d do or say something Really Freaking Amazing and he’d notice me. I wanted to be beautiful and mysterious and impressive and aloof and vulnerable all at the same time. I thought of a bunch of questions I wanted to ask him. I wondered what it would be like if he liked me too and we were to date.

I liked this guy for ten months, and by the grace of God, I am not the same now as I was on July 4, 2019, when I was beginning to get all infatuated. Jesus taught me so much through this season, and I’ve felt pressed to share it—starting with the things I felt silly for feeling and doing and thinking.

I was embarrassed.

This one probably won’t be universal, but I was so embarrassed that I liked him. Not because of anything in him (to this day, my vision no longer colored in roses, I hold to the fact that this dude is pretty freaking amazing).

Maybe I felt embarrassed because of the single Christian girl culture I know (i.e. that you’re either immature and boy crazy or you’re mature and thoughts of boys never enter your head ever). To me it felt like if I liked someone, I must not be satisfied in God or content in the singleness he’s given me. It felt foolish and immature to like a boy.

In my head I had built up this image of what a single girl should look like chasing after Jesus. Her head wouldn’t be turned by anything so petty as a boy. Her heart was given over to Jesus forever and always. She didn’t daydream about a boy; at worst she considered the necessary details of life; at best she ruminated on the rich things of God. Her singleness never felt hard. She was too mature to notice a guy’s haircut. She was too mature to be distracted by a guy nodding along to excellent points in a Bible teaching. She was too mature, too strong, too pre-occupied with the things of God to notice anyone of the opposite gender. Blah, blah, blah.

I was also embarrassed because it felt like incredible weakness to have affections stirring in me that were not returned. It felt shameful and wasteful (yeah, we’re going to have to talk about 1) why I didn’t try to make anything happen with him and 2) why I want to date as few guys as possible before getting married [if marriage is something Jesus has for me]).

All this to say and show that I was under a lot of lies, because that’s what all those fears were—lies.

The truth I learned:

It’s actually natural, healthy, and not at all immature to have a crush. And that it’s actually very necessary to think and pray about a crush a lot because how else are you supposed to seek God’s face on what

  1. could be nothing or
  2. also could become the most life-defining relationship you will have with another human.

For some, this may seem obvious. It wasn’t obvious to me. I felt like I must be idolizing a relationship if I was distracted and actually having to sort through my affections and attractions. I felt like I must be All Out Boy CrazyTM because I was crushing on some super amazing, faithful, faith-filled dude from church.

Anyway, that’s the start of the story and all the good things Jesus reworked in my heart over those ten months. I want to share a lot more on Penprints about this because there’s so much it would have been so good for me to know sooner but I either didn’t think to ask about or felt too embarrassed to ask about (embarrassment will be a running theme).

Other things we’re going to get into:

  • why I didn’t try to get him to notice me/like me
  • what it was like laying down desire to know him and be known by him at the feet of Jesus… and then pick it up again… and then lay it down again
  • remaining focused on Jesus and his mission while feeling distracted
  • how the crush finally (finally) went away
  • truly trusting Jesus
  • general holiness
  • miscellaneous other things (like other fears that came up [including but not limited to body image, who he liked, etc.], being humbled, locking down my daydreams, etc.)

Don’t expect these posts in any particular order! We’ll just take ‘em as they come. I’m praying that it will be helpful for other single people to hear about the season that Jesus made so helpful for me.

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. –  tbh, this whole thing feels like my much less explicit version of The Reynolds Pamphlet from Hamilton. I definitely have a lot to learn about humility if this post feels like ruining my own life. Yikes. *awkward thumbs up*

p.p.s. – if anything I shared is confusing, leave a question in the comments or contact me directly! <3