I suppose it’s time to share the exciting news that…
I have a boyfriend.
!!!!!!!! [insert excited face here] !!!!!!!!
For those of you who don’t know me, I have not had a boyfriend in several years, and have spent most of my life very much single. In fact, I don’t consider myself to be a “Boyfriend Kind of Girl,” because after going on a couple dates with any given gentleman, I inevitably decide he’s not for me, or he asks when I’m going to stop touring and stay in one place, and instead I stop seeing him.
To say this summer’s relationship caught me by surprise is a major understatement. I never in a million years would have seen this coming! This guy is sweet and funny and and handsome and strong and I am SO attracted to who he is and how he treats other people!! I could go on and on, and possibly you’d fall in love with him too if I wrote all about him. But that’s not my purpose in telling you this.
My purpose in telling you that I have a boyfriend is because I’ve been learning something about God since I’ve started dating this guy. Something about what it means to truly walk with God in everyday life.
You see, I’ve been so excited about this relationship (which is also a first; usually I’m just terrified and worried while dating), that I have a really hard time focusing on my devotions. I try to read my Bible, but my mind keeps wandering. I try to pray, but all I can say is, “Thank you God! Oh my gosh I’m so excited about this!” And I started to feel really guilty.
But it’s not just this guy. I also get super excited about tour and the book I’m finishing this summer (Boycrazy: And how I ended up single and mostly sane) (oh, the irony, to finish this as I begin a relationship), that I can’t focus either. I start praying and end up dreaming, full of new ideas for the book and ministry. Which, of course, makes me feel like a rotten Christian. Because doesn’t that mean that God’s not coming first in my life?
But the other day, I had one of those lightbulb moments. As I was taking a walk to try and focus my mind, I started praying about this guy, and then found myself praying something like this:
“Thank you God that you want me to enjoy this! That you love how excited I am about it! That I can enjoy it with you.”
And then it clicked.
He’s not after rituals or formulas. He’s not after a specific kind of devotion for a specific length of time. He’s after our hearts. All of them.
And part of giving Him our hearts is to enjoy everyday life…WITH Him.
My pastor shared this verse on Sunday:
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Tim 6:17)
When do I think about God providing us with things for our enjoyment? That just doesn’t feel very Christian to me! And yet…it does. It’s so the heart of God toward us!
And then I started thinking about the dynamics of this new relationship. We don’t talk just about “us” all the time, because that’d be weird. Instead we talk about other things: our dreams, plans, pasts; we laugh together and go on adventures.
So why do I think my relationship with God should be so different?
Why do I think I should be so serious with Him all the time?
Sure there’s a place for that, but He wants me to laugh with Him and dream with Him and go on adventures with Him, too! He wants me to talk to Him about all the things that make my heart come alive; to pour into me new ideas and vision for ministry; to simply walk with me.
I came home from that walk and felt like a new woman. Instead of feeling tied down by my idea of religion, I felt free to experience Him in a new way.
Of course I’m going to keep reading my Bible and spending time focusing on just God, but it might look a little different. Because I’m also going to take time to just say, “God this is so fun! Guess what we did yesterday on our date…I know you already know, but it was just so cool! Thank you so much for letting me be with this guy! Thank you for protecting me from all these other relationships that wouldn’t have been half as good! I’m just so excited for what you’re doing!”
And that’s how I’m learning to walk with God.
“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” -John Piper