Throwback Thursday: Dear Single Girl

A couple years ago some friends asked me some questions about dating. It's been a few years now, but I think the general idea was "are there even any guys out there worth dating? what does a healthy relationship even look like?" This was my answer. I hand wrote them each this same letter and prayed that God would keep me from communicating crap advice.

Since the season of life in which I wrote this letter, I found new tools that communicate the best game plan for relationships. No matter what relationship stage you're in, even if you're single, I would highly encourage that you read Tim Keller's book The Meaning of Marriage and Donald Miller's book Scary Close. In addition, listen to Matt Chandler's sermon series A Beautiful Design or the series from Grace Church out of Greenville SC titled One. If you love Jesus and want a relationship that honors him, these are the tools you are looking for. 

I'm still learning a lot about relationships, honestly, more than ever as a newlywed. I'll be talking more about what I'm currently learning in the upcoming months over on the Fresh Thoughts page. No way am I perfect at being in relationships, marriage or others, but gosh I sure am working at it and hope I always am.

Back to that letter....

Dear friends,

I took your question very seriously. I wanted to share some truths with you. Ideas that I 100% believe. Even if, heaven forbid, Matthew isn't "the one" for me, these words will still ring true in my life. I am by NO means a love guru, but I have spent 25 years on this planet & a long time trying to figure out when & how loving a man would fit into my story. Hope you find this to be encouraging.

Know that you are deeply loved by me.

1-Be in Love with Christ First.

Passionately. Wholeheartedly.
And let Him love you!
Spend time together. 
Talk. Pray. Cry. Be all in that relationship.
I can't specifically tell you how to do this because it is between you & Him.
Stop trying to figure out your life & be in love with Jesus.
God is love.
How will you know how to love if you have not experienced love in its purest form?

"So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:17-19

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 3:18


2-Embrace Confidence

There is a huge difference between faking confidence & actually being confident.
Is there a time in your life when you have felt like you are the best version of yourself? Why?
How did you become her?
Be her every day.
Men, whether they understand it or not, know the difference between real confidence & the mask of confidence.
Be the woman God created you to be.
Then you will always feel like Beyoncé, better yet, you will always feel like {insert your name here}!
And some day, some man won't be able to help himself.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you." Jeremiah 1:5


3-Practice Selflessness

You're off to a great start by serving at YL camp this summer.
Let’s make a plan of how you can practice putting others first post camp.
Being in a relationship has taught me that sacrificing for the good of the one you love is the best way to love them and 100% necessary for the relationship to succeed.
Start sacrificing for the good of others.
((Apply this to any & all relationships, friends & family too))

"Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." Philippians 2:1-4


4-Experience Life on God's Terms

Would you & I be the good friends we are today if I had hurried my life along & pushed my way into dating relationships when it wasn't the right time?
I can absolutely tell you NO.
Now that I am in a relationship, I am better aware of the time & energy it takes to sustain one.
I've said it before & will say it again, being your YL leader was the biggest blessing of my life! 
So what should you be doing with your time?
You aren't in a relationship, so ask God how he wants to use you right now ((truly you should ask Him this in all life stages)).
Giving your life away is the best way to live.
Seek His purpose. Trust His plan.

"Faithful is He who calls you." 1 Thessalonians 5:24


5-Do the Next Right Thing

Making the right choices is a continual process. And a challenge.
Believe me, I know.
If you're gut is uneasy, don't do that thing!
Say no to the date if he is a questionable guy. Stay in. Don't go to the party ((less temptations)). Keep your clothes on.
All easier said than done, yes, but we don't have to rely on our own strength here. Where we are weak, He is strong.
Do the right thing, then do it again, and again
And when you do the wrong thing, talk to God about it, tell the guilt to get lost, then do the next right thing! I am practicing all this with you!
Work on doing what is right while you are single so you'll be more prepared to do the right thing when you are in a relationship.

"He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the LORD are loving kindness and truth to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies." Psalms 25:9-10