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.
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?
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…