I confess–I really thought that I could get away with blaming Joshua Harris for my failed marriage.
Then a friend unknowingly paraphrased Joshua Harris to me…
The words of my friend were very familiar…because just two days before I had went back and reviewed the book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye to see where I started to go wrong.
Despite the possibly rude and dismissive words that I offered to the oblivious paraphraser–“I’m pretty sure I’ve read that in a book.”–I knew the Spirit behind the voice that spoke them.
Upon arriving home, I went back to my Joshua Harris book and located the only sentence that I had highlighted. “If we are discontented with singleness, we’ll more than likely face discontentment when we’re married. When we define our happiness by some point in the future, it will never arrive.”
I had highlighted that sentence and used it to speak to dozens of young men and women during church camps and youth group gatherings while I was in college.
I wanted to be someone who “got it right”. I wanted to be someone who did not have to endure the pain of going from one fruitless relationship to another. Truthfully, I was like a little Joshua Harris zealot–and I was one of those girls who said–“I want my first kiss with my future husband to be at the altar!” I steadfastly held onto that idea. Nearly 2 years later I found myself in a parked car in the middle of nowhere explaining my “purity plan”. (By the way–spending time in a parked car–not so good for the old purity plan.) Once you explain that you’re waiting until marriage to experience that first kiss with your future mate–you don’t really expect the listener to cover up your eyes and steal all that away from you. Mere minutes after explaining it all–my eyes were covered–I had been kissed–and I said this sentence, “Well, now you have to marry me.”
I wish I would not have thought that way…but I really did. In the following months I had so many ideas about how things were supposed to be that I couldn’t pay attention to how things really were. Looking back, I can recognize that I probably worked to make things work–because I was only seeing the things that I wanted to see.
One stolen kiss was all it took to bind myself in chains. I was in a vulnerable place–seemingly rejected–and staring straight at the world with naive curiosity. I said goodbye to grace and hello to losing. Lost value, lost worth, lost discernment. Contented singleness was devoured by discontented desires. I traded in my values for his, because at all costs–I had to make it work. I planned the wedding without a proposal. We were married 4 years after the stolen kiss. It was only a kiss. It was only a kiss.
Fast forward to today, 6 years later–no details–just this:
Jealousy, turning saints into the sea
Swimming through sick lullabies
Choking on your alibis
But it’s just the price I pay
Destiny is calling me
Open up my eager eyes
Cause I’m Mr Brightside
-The Killers, Mr. Brightside
“Saul was left in David’s life to ensure his God got rid of all the Saul from out of David’s life.”
Glory to God Almighty who placed quite a few amazing people in my life who have defined and exemplified His grace to me in ways that I could not fathom before. I am thankful that I did not have to face the events of this year alone. Found value, found worth, found discernment.
The message from the above page that I really wish I had highlighted, believed, and taught years ago is this one:
Would I do anything different if I could warn myself of the heartache of losing? I don’t believe that is a question really worth asking. I do know that as I listened to following song at the MercyMe concert last night that I felt pretty okay with where I have been, because now I am found–where I am.
Dear younger me
It’s not your fault
You were never meant to carry this beyond the cross
Dear younger me
You are holy
You are righteous
You are one of the redeemed
Set apart a brand new heart
You are free indeed
MercyMe, Dear Younger Me
Shake that old stuff off…and welcome to the new.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
Note: On this side of grace and brokenness I’ve been able to see so much truth. My apologies Joshua Harris, it’s not your fault. I never even said hello to dating or courtship as you suggested.