James From Schenectady (Part 1/3 of New Year Series)

The craziest thing is, I’ve always thought relationships were about being able to do more for Jesus. But I’m learning that they’re much more about how to become more like Jesus. It’s more about the becoming than the doing. In this case, becoming able to love well and be loved well.

Here we are. 2015. It sounds like a Back to the Future sort of year, yet we’re living in it.

Here come three short blog posts, reflecting on this new year:

Part One, reflections on 2014. My blog version of Facebook’s “Year in Review.” (Except instead of Alex from Target, I’ll be talking about James from Schenectady.)

Part Two, a message from James himself. About how we can change the world simply by…living. I know. It’ll blow your mind just like it blew mine.

Part Three, excitement for 2015. This is about learning that anytime I feel too weak, insecure, selfish, or unworthy, I can remind myself, “But Christ in me is more than enough.”

Part One:

James from Schenectady

I was standing in a hot shower in Nashville, praying for the women I’d speak with the next day, when out of the blue God showed me, “Tiffany, I love them, but I also love you.” It knocked me off my feet (metaphorically, of course). All year I thought back to that moment again and again, in awe of His love.

Each year I ask God for a theme, and 2014’s was “to love well and be loved well.” Surprisingly, I found that the first part (loving well) flows from the second (being loved well). The more I revel in the love of God, the more it releases my heart to love others.

I figured He’d teach me about being loved by Him and my family. But I was shocked to discover that He also taught me this by bringing an incredible man into my life:

James from Schenectady.

I never saw this coming. Had you asked me in January when I’d get married, I would have said, “Probably in 10 years. I have a lot to do first.”

But as I drove home from the Spring 2014 Tour, I found myself praying, “Lord, could I have a boyfriend this summer?” (Sometimes I feel like God has given me sweet moments of romance during an overall single life.) I didn’t expect a longterm relationship, just some dates over the summer.

The day after I returned from tour, James from Schenectady texted me to hear about tour. We originally planned to meet for coffee, but suddenly, through a flurry of text messages over two weeks, that morphed into a five-hour picnic dinner in Saratoga State Park, followed by ice cream (which continues to be a huge part of our relationship).

James is a guy that’s been on the peripheral of my life since birth, but I’ve never really, truly known him.

He is thoroughly good and kind and faithful, the man who’s stolen my heart away completely. And the way he loves me has opened my heart to respond, to love him back and to love others more fully.

The craziest thing is, I’ve always thought relationships were about being able to do more for Jesus. But I’m learning that they’re much more about how to become more like Jesus. It’s more about the becoming than the doing. In this case, becoming able to love well and be loved well.

How many times I feel unworthy of good or special treatment, guilty when James surprises me with flowers or takes me out to an expensive dinner.

But I’m becoming freer, as my heart is opening to receive that love and pour it out in return.

Click here for New Year’s Blog Part 2/3: “Changing the World by Living.”

Click here for New Year’s Blog Part 3/3: “Christ in Me.”

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