About 6 years ago when his sister, Lindsay, and I were moving in together at Mount Vernon Nazarene University my sophomore year of college is when I met Adam. Lindsay and I were randomly placed together right before school started in a roommate shuffle sort of thing that leaves everyone curious, frantic, and hoping for the best.
We were friends for years before things started to click. You never quite know the moments that are going to change your life. Not until you look back over time, see all that has changed, and then trace it back to where it started. Years later that little thing that happened becomes a moment you’ll never forget.
His eyes. That’s what I noticed first. His deep, blue eyes that were strong and intent, yet full of laughter.
And his laughter! Listening to Adam laugh is like walking outside on a cool, fall day, wrapped in the smell of leaves and pumpkin spice, enjoying the moment as if it will never end.
Dating Adam has been one of the funnest experiences of my life. We have laughed and played, traveled and explored, dined fancy and cooked together. We’ve taken walks together and played dating games (highly recommend the card game “would you rather?” Funny, thought provoking and certainly the start of many good conversations).
We survived dating in the winter months of Ohio (which is an accomplishment I don’t give enough credit to) and the thought of dating him when it’s above 30 degrees outside makes me giddy with anticipation.
This man has pursued me intentionally, sweetly, and with sheer determination. He has treated me to nights out and cared for me so well. He celebrates me. The adjectives he uses to describe my personality, my heart… it’s flattering, humbling, and simply amazing.
He is strong and steady, like an anchor or the foundation of a well built house.
Adam is the kind of man who walks with integrity, the kind who you know will remain loyal, even to a fault. He is funny. Not just crack an occasional joke funny, but make me laugh until I cry and has a fantastic sense of humor funny. And for better or worse, that’s always been in my “top 5” of things I want in a man. Okay, fine, top 3. Either way, nailed it!
Adam is gracious and patient. Oh is he ever patient! Words cannot express the gratitude in my heart that I am dating a man who puts up with my crazy and comes back the next day ready to do it all over again.
But it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses.
We’ve fought and argued and learned to communicate better, kinder. We’ve acted selfishly, not putting each other first, and later had to repair the damage done to our hearts. We have dealt with some very difficult things in the months we’ve been together, and even more in the years we’ve been friends.
Through weddings and funerals, through job changes and friends letting us down, we have learned how to stick together. We are learning how to put each other first, and what it looks like to make decisions that better us as a couple. It’s a tricky thing to put someone else’s needs, wants, desires in front of your own. Even trickier to do this with joy.
We are far from perfect. Our relationship is far from perfect. We’re still figuring out what it means to submit to God’s authority, despite our sinful, selfish desires and the decisions we would make for ourselves if we were in control of our lives. But we’re not in control. And we’re figuring it out. Some days gracefully and other days we’re a clunky mess.
Allowing myself grace in the process has been tough. Forgiving someone else is often easier than forgiving myself. It’s embarrassing how shocked I was when I realized I would never have a flawless relationship.
So for those of you who are fed up with dating, I totally get it. For those of you dating and wondering why you can’t get it all right, I absolutely understand. And for those of you married and still figuring out how to do that well, give yourselves grace for the journey.
Single, dating, married….there’s no recipe for ease and perfection. There will always be loneliness and hurt, and there’s no season in life that provides a “cure all” for the needs that God created to fill Himself. Embrace the journey. Surround yourself with good, loving people who will care for you unconditionally, and bask in the grace you don’t deserve.
After a night of serious conversations and future dreaming and planning, Adam and I talked about how we can focus on dating well. About how we want to be the kind of people that thrive in the season we’re in rather than rushing the finish line, so eager to get to whatever is next that we miss the blessings of now. We talked about how we can have a spirit of contentment in wherever God has us, so much so that we mourn the season we’re leaving when it’s time to move on.
Whatever season you’re in, have a blast. Embrace the imperfections, but don’t settle for them. Learn how to live well right where you are.
Don’t miss out on the journey.
…and thanks for sharing in mine.