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.
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.
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?
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.
We want a book!!!!
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Oof, coming from someone who liked a boy and then had A FRIEND tell him for me….I stronglyyyy agree with your bit about not telling the guy in question. (and not using the high-school-ish method I chose hahaha) Nothing good comes of it except perhaps closure…mayyybe and even then, it’s probably not the way you would have wished for things to turn out looking back in a few years 😕
Also, I literally dropped.everything. when I got the email notification you’d posted the next installment haha Keep ’em coming, girl!! :)