Stranger in the Earth

thoughts on the way to zion

Archive for the category “Dating”

Step Yer Game Up!!

I’m partly writing this on behalf of the experiences of a friend of mine, but also on behalf of many girls I seem to run into in my sphere who get imposed upon in similar manner.  No where else in the world have I seen this scenario play out with such frequency and minimal variation than here, so it may as well be addressed.

It begins with the age-old set up: boy sees attractive  girl and develops fondness for her. Boy begins to become acquainted with girl’s schedule and hopes that he will run into her, but doesn’t actually know anything about who she is and makes no attempt to speak to her. Boy fixates on girl for anywhere from 3 months to an immeasurable amount of  years. Boy begins to know everything about girl’s schedule and thinks she is the queen of the universe, but again, refuses to initiate conversation. Boy either continues to hide his feelings for this beautiful stranger or tells all his friends about this fascinating creature to all of his trusted friends. Boy still never talks to girl, just watches from afar until someone tells him to get cracking and make a move.

(Bear in mind, by this point, boy has imagined this girl to be his future wife and has managed to picture everything about his destiny with her by his side, but you guessed it… has never uttered more than 20 words to her in his life).

Then… the rough part: boy makes his move. Does he ask her to coffee? No. He asks for her hand in marriage!! Well, not literally, but close enough. Boy actually confesses his undying love for her and tells her he’s had his eye on her for years and knows that with time she will come to see that he has in fact “heard from the Lord”.

Now, I can’t decide between what is more horrifying about this situation. And Posse, maybe you can help me out with this, but between the fact that he took so long to tell her he had a crush on her, the fact that he is practically trying to shape her future by considering her his future bride, and the fact that he is actually overwhelmed with surprise and dispair when she bolts in the opposite direction all equal a torrent of that which I can only consider horrifying.  But unfortunately, this very situation, with slight exceptions to details here and there, has come up again and again in the lives of single women I know.

So I say this- Gentlemen, please, when you like a girl, just ask her out. There’s nothing wrong with saying something as simple as, “Hey, would you want to grab coffee with me sometime soon?” Believe it or not, you don’t have to say ANYTHING beyond that! If she says no, then leave her be and move on. If she says “yes” and looks interested, she has filled in enough of the blanks to know that you like her. See, girls are smart, and they know that a boy asking her out means he likes her. They don’t need you to put your heart on your sleeve and tell her how many times a day you get lost in dreaming about how intoxicating her eyes are, or if you want to sound more spiritual, how she is the most godly woman you have ever seen,  or the most detrimental- how you knew the moment you saw her that she would one day be your wife. That stuff might be true, but those are lines you use when a ring you bought for her is safely perched on her finger- not before!! All she needs to know right now is that you’re interested. If it goes well, you have the rest of the relationship to unravel your feelings about her, bit by precious bit.

It’s like a cinnamon roll. Some people shove the whole thing in their mouth as quickly as possible, but to me that is barbaric. The true and only way to eat a cinnamon roll, in my VERY experienced opinion on pastries, is to unravel it. You begin on the outside with anticipation and excitement. Then you work your way to the center, and the closer you get, the better the experience becomes. You never rush. Love is patient, right? If you suck that pastry down too fast, you don’t feel satisfied because they were meant to be enjoyed. The smell, the gooey cinnamon swirling about with the profoundly unhealthy amount of icing is all a part of the experience you miss when you inhale such a wonderful treat.

So it is with getting to know someone. You begin almost timidly, but filled with delight. Like the roll, you gently begin your journey to the center with care, never wanting to miss a moment, because, as with the cinnamon roll, if you do, you miss the best part- the reward of having taken your time to come to the prize.  Go slow, boys. The fastest way to lose a girl is to throw away the process.

Now a word to the girls: there’s nothing wrong with going out with a boy. If you don’t like him, don’t say yes. If you do, it’s okay- if he does his job, you’re not saying yes to a marriage proposal, you’re just getting free coffee and a chat that could lead somewhere awesome if you don’t freak out and run away.

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The Day My Life Didn’t Really Change Yet

Recently I was asked to tell my side of the story concerning Zack’s and my first meeting, which he told on his blog not long ago. So, here it is, as promised, but before I go on I must admit that my side of the story is significantly less dramatic because I’m generally oblivious to the happenings around me, particularly when it comes to men liking me.  Anyway… on with the story.

It was a weekday. I was steadily engaged with getting used to my new job as a leader of a discipleship program for young adults whilst simultaneously preparing for the semester to begin. The hectic-ness of my life had gone up exponentially and I was managing my time with valor and immovable zeal. After a couple of hours of shutting out the world and honing in on whatever it was that consumed me that afternoon in the coffee shop, I began to pack up.

I looked up to see Zack at the table next to me. He was also by himself. He was a guy I had met a couple of times and observed here and there with  no clarity as to who he was, and now his chair was inconveniently positioned directly over my plugged in power cord. I always hate when that happens because it’s usually an unnecessarily long process of etiquette to get your cord back, where now you apologize to the person for asking them to move and they come back with an over-courteous, “Oh, don’t worry about it!” and then you say a quick thank you, and then they start asking you how you are, even though you might not know them, and on and on we go, all for a simple action that shouldn’t require much interaction at all. 

I glared at my cord as if it were my child after an incident of rebellion and then briefly strategized ways of getting it unplugged without actually disturbing its large guardian, but the risk of personal space invasion was too high for both of us- I had to ask, “Hey, sorry, can you unplug me?” Zack was more than happy to oblige and quickly moved out of the way with a smile to get it for me. All I cared about at this point was leaving promptly… that’s just how I am: Point A to Point B.

To my general dismay, Point B began to slip through my fingers as Zack struck up a conversation, but this was one moment in time where I wound up enjoying the detour. This is the point in the story where I differ a little from Zack on his memory of the details. The only reason I trust my memory here is because, after the random questions about my classes and all that, I thought he was done. I threw my empty cup in the trash and he actually began the conversation again with “Hey, I just want you to know, I really respect you and all that you do around here.”

The only reason this point is important is because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I wouldn’t have sat there talking to him for the next 2 hours had he not said it. His compliment was genuine and it tweaked a note in me that rarely gets touched. I was tense with the prospect of not getting wherever I was headed, but with the statement of his respect my shoulders loosened and with a few blinks and a neck-jerk I thanked him. (It’s not every day a girl gets something meaningful spoken to her from a guy).

From that point on I was put at ease and forgot entirely about hurrying on with my day. We conversed with a total absense of awkwardness. I eventually sat down because my computer weighs as much as one of my own legs and I was tired of holding it. What’s funny is that I didn’t find out until much later that when a girl sits at a guy’s table, it’s a big deal. I did it all the time and no one ever bothered to tell me, so ladies, bear that in mind.

After nearly two hours, we parted ways just how Zack said, but there was no shocking revelation or fireworks on my end. All I knew was that this guy was my new friend. The fact that I would fall madly in love with him months later never entered my mind, but I think that’s how it’s supposed to be; real. 

We spent from August until April just being good friends… but that’s another story for another time.

The Rooftop 2.0

I thought I’d write a response to my dear Zack Hensley’s recent blog post. Especially since my blog stats shot through the roof yesterday after he posted it, even though I haven’t written anything in a dog’s age. (For those of you who are wondering, we ARE dating, so this is reasonable). Yes, I’m in love with my boyfriend. I posted on how incredible he is pretty recently (it’s entitled “This Man” if you care to look it up), so you might have already guessed that, but it’s out. We’re in love. I am crazy about Zack Hensley.

You may be asking, “Well, when are you getting married?” For all you crazed lunatics out there, NOT TOMORROW! Good night! We’re just in love! What’s the rush? I mean, I love commitment as much as the next girl, but whatever happened to enjoying a normal pace? It’s like there’s some insane unwritten rule that once you say you’re in love the very next breath is to be devoted to discussing the colors and the cake, as if they’re all a part of one giant conversation. Compartmentalize, people, and save yourselves!  [Insert unnecessarily dramatic expression and hand-flailing here for full effect]

One thing at a time. I’m just getting used to the fact that I love him! … Okay, I’m not as angry as I seem, I actually just love to imagine the sound of peoples’ bubbles being snapped as they read this. Anyway, it’s not your business as to where the marriage question is at. We’ll figure it out one day and let you know. You won’t have to ask- like this, it’ll probably wind up on the World Wide Web anyway. Which is my new marketing strategy for my blog- STAY POSTED TO FIND OUT!!! (mwah ha ha ha…)

This Man

zack.jpg 

This is one incredible person. Ladies and gents, for those of you who don’t know him, Zack Hensley is unbelievable. Not only is he my boyfriend, he’s my best friend. I’ve never had someone sharpen me in so many ways as this man has over the past year. Since we started dating almost 5 months ago I have watched in honor and respect as he has continued to grow in love for God and people. I don’t know that I’ve ever met another man nearly as kind as he is… except for my dad- both are powerful men of patience and faithfulness. I am so blessed to have him in my life. 

In A Nut Shell

Well, I think I owe all of you about 2 weeks worth of updates and thoughts. There’s much to talk about, but SO little time. I’m about to move from one apartment to another about 100 yards away, the interns I work with are graduating after 6 months of having their lives ruled for them, and then there’s Zack:)

So couple of weeks ago Zack and I just about got shot walking back to my apartment due to a stray bullet from a gag fight in the parking lot next to where I live. It’s not like it’s a terrible part of town, but hooligans love it here.

A few nights later we were in a park a couple miles down the road and nearly got attacked by two really angry loose dogs that had murder on their minds. Zack and I won the staring contest, but it almost gave us a heart attack. Also exciting.

Two or three nights after that we were in the same park and managed to spot a bobcat, one of the more furiocious cats in this part of the world. That was more weird than exciting.

But the most exciting part of it all is that I’m not drinking coffee. Yes, after 16 days I am caffeine-free! Did I mention it’s miserable? The remarkable thing is that I didn’t hit any withdrawal symptoms, but I am on the verge of violence today. The person who lives above me has really creaky floor boards (clearly not her fault), and napping was interrupted because of it today. I forgot how enraged I get when woken up out of a dead sleep by annoying sounds. All it would take is a nice cold-pressed brew and life would be beautiful, but I refuse. I’m going to make it- probably not forever, but for a while.

Then there was the failure of my power cord, wich rendered me technologically handicapped until yesterday when I electrically taped the snot out of it. It’s working okay now, probably more out of fear than a good taping job.   

However, the Lord is kind and giving me the ability to remember gratitude, which keeps me from burning things down when I get in that mood. All this to say, I have reasons for my lack of blogging. The throne room part 2 is on it’s way after this week’s graduation events and moving, so hang tight!

Spring is here… uh oh!

Here’s another tangent of what happens when you give a preacher a computer and venue to express her thoughts. So I have nothing against the “romance” of the first time we have our hearts awakened to the newness of seeing the Lord in light of the sound backing of how the Scripture defines Jesus, our Husband. However, in my limited experience, I’ve found more often than I would deem as healthy the amount of times Jesus is portrayed as the “Hollywood Heart-Throb”, largely due to the chick flick culture in which we submerge ourselves.   I have no beefs with a good chick flick, granted it’s not splattered with filth, and this is by no means a feminist diatribe for the purpose of venting my rage to rally the independent women of my small world against intimacy. I’m simply feeling the sting of aiming too low at how we view the Divine romance. Yes, Jesus is a Lover and yes, He is coming back for His Bride the Church, but in order to keep from getting off in our perspective, I believe it’s important to have a holy view of the One we have in mind when we say “Bridegroom”. 
God is a Lover, and all of the Law and the Prophets do boil down to love. Jesus said it Himself (Mt. 22:37-40), but because of the amount of materials I have read and sermons I’ve heard on this topic, I’ve personally needed to increase my awareness of what my mind goes to when I think about the Lord in this way. Does my mind automatically go to the events clearly laid out in the book of Revelation, or does it go to the movie of the “Ever After” caliber?
Now, romance and marriage are designed by God because He loves it, but at BEST it is a shadow of the marriage to come. In my opinion, our hearts fall far more in love with the shadow than the “real deal”. So often I hear from younger believers that yes, they want Jesus to come back, but not until they get married, have 2.5 kids, a nice house with a white picket fence, golden retriever, and a decent retirement plan. I’m not excluding myself from this. I have a tendency to do the same, but the problem is that we have no idea what we’re saying. What we do not really believe is that life would be eternally and infinitely more glorious if Jesus were here than if we had our American fantasy. What’s my point? To get caught up in a more lofty view of Jesus! Why? Because until we know Him and His ways, I’m afraid we are confined to a limited perspective, falling more in love with the shadow of things to come than growing in the ache and anticipation of Who is to come!

I’m very aware of how little I know on the topic of love in general, but at the same time, in the spirit of Matthew 10:37, I want to grow in loving my God rightly. Life truly isn’t right until He splits the sky!

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