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Adventures Beyond the Comfort Zone

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Non-Compliance With Dating Standards

I've been spending too much time at the computer, and not enough time blogging. As a result, my wrists hurt and it's even more difficult than it has been to update here. So i've decided to cop-out and paste in something I wrote for the school paper, which was just published yesterday.

I won't say that I'm trying to set a standard here, because I know this kind of approach isn't going to work for everyone. I just want to put the idea out there that the same old 'dating-game' doesn't have to be the standard either.

As I write this, I find myself about six weeks into a new relationship with a lady-friend that I'd met a couple years ago. It was only about three weeks ago that she agreed to marry me. And we never really 'dated.'

Well, okay, there was the one 'date' the day after the LifeLight festival where we had run into each for the first time in months. Though it's hard for me to call it a date, and not just because I don't consider Burger King to be particularly romantic.

No, it had more to do with our conversation. I caught myself admitting that I had thought I was done with the standard dating routine, but hadn't really known where else to begin. Even more astonishing (to me anyway) was that she felt the same.

Now I can't say that I hadn't enjoyed the dating-scene. I'm something of a hopeless romantic at heart; and of course there's that physical side that "good Christians" like me aren't supposed to talk about. As much fun as all the emotional bonding and 'stuff' was, it no longer seemed worth the pain of having to give it up once it became clear that a relationship wouldn't work.

It's kinda like what a flagpole can do to a your tongue during winter. It's kinda fun until it's time to separate. Then you wonder why you'd done it in the first place.

So anyway, she and I had agreed that we didn't want to 'date.' There was that "Christian-esque" thing called 'courtship,' but that didn't seem right either. (mostly because we didn't want to deal with the question, "that's just the Christian version of dating, right?")

Even though we were talking pretty openly about getting a lot more serious in the future, we decided that we were still "just friends." It seemed simple enough, but got complicated when we tried to explain it to anyone.

That's when things got interesting. Various sources started giving me a less-than-genaric, "if God's leading, just go for it" kind of message. And when I start hearing the same thing in a small Bible study as I did on a random radio program and on Sunday morning, and it goes on for more than just a few days with increasing intensity... I have a hard time seeing that as coincidence.

Just to be sure, I asked some guy friends to pray for us. And that same night she had a dream where we were told that her family would approve of our 'intentions.' As soon as she'd told me about it and my head stopped spinning, I clumsily stuttered out a proposal. And she said "Yes."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Torrential Blessings

That's a term my sister coined this summer when she saw the home and the people who took me in as the form of payment for my fantastic internship. I'm back in the dorms now, readjusting to the food, and adapting to a new set of classes... but the storm isn't over yet.

Her name is Elizabeth, and she has agreed to marry me!

A little fast? Yeah, it is. We were surprised too at how quickly God prompted us forward. (though, I had known her before we reconnected at LifeLight a few weeks ago.)

I don't feel I have adequate time tonight to tell how it came about, but it's well past time that I let the news out. -- I suppose it's just as well that the few readers I have get a chance to ask questions, given my knack for not thinking to say the things that everyone wants to know.