Hopefully at around 11:30am today, I got married. I’m not sure because at the time of writing this it’s Friday, 31st October.
Anyway, I went on my first date with Emily in April last year. I had the feeling it might be significant, so I wrote a blog post about it which I never posted. I thought I might share it now. (I showed her this just before we got married, I hope).
There is one paragraph which feels a little negative in all this excitement, but I’m leaving it in because I wrote it, and it’s true. But just so you know, I’m not feeling worried about this, just challenged and excited.
I know Emily properly now, and I love her very much. I’m super excited to love her, and there is so much to love about her. The future is looking bright.
Tomorrow I’m going on a date. And it may mean nothing.
But it’s the first time I’ve been on a date where I’ve liked the girl and she likes me. This I think makes tomorrow a personally historic occasion. So I don’t feel like I can just let it go by with no documentation.
You may think to yourself, dear reader, how does he know she likes him? This is an excellent question. I don’t know, I guess. But I’ve had a lot of experience of girls not liking me, and this is completely different. We message, email, or Facebook everyday. Sometimes we communicate on multiple mediums. Sometimes we use all three.
Our emails started a few lines long. Now they’re thousands of words long, every time.
She likes almost everything I put on Facebook.
She wants to hang out with me.
And she pretty much said it to our mutual friend.
I’m so sure she likes me I’m not even stressed that I might be wrong.
I don’t think about how to get her to like me. I think about what’s the process you go through to move from liking each other to dating. I’m trying to figure out if kissing should come first or the discussion about “Is this God’s will?”
And I’m pretty excited.
I’ve been on so many dates. And I’ve never really looked forward to them. I’ve been looking forward to this for a week. It’s felt like the longest week of my life.
I’m worried I’m gonna get nervous. I’m worried tomorrow I’m going to throw up. I do that sometimes. I’m not planning on eating anything tomorrow till the date. That seems safest.
Of course, all this, is very well and good, but the question is why her? Why not any of the other lovely girls who I’ve been on dates with?
Who knows? Maybe because we picked each other. I saw her at church, I thought “I’ll keep my eye on her”. We sat next to each other at dinner, she was fun, funny, pretty, loved Jesus, made art and was quite willing participate in an absurd scavenger hunt for a month.
I made tentative connections with her, and she responded well to all of them. I didn’t have to try and convince her to like me, I think she just did. I didn’t use moves, or lines, or my magnificent physique. She just seemed to like me. I don’t know why.
Why do I like her now? Cause she loves Jesus. And all those other things I saw on the first night I met her, they just became more real. Plus she’s smart, and assertive, and opinionated. I’m excited about the first time we actually disagree on something. It’s gonna be super fun.
Plus I think she doesn’t like girly movies, or general pop music. Though I haven’t confirmed that yet.
I have decided though, that if we do date, and if we do fall in love, and we do love each other and commit to one another, I have decided not to love her because of her looks, or her artistic skills, or her brain, or her jokes, or her opinions, or her sense of fun, or her forgiveness, or even her love for Jesus. I will not love her for anything that may change or fade, or become hardened with time. I will not love her because of how she treats me. And I will not love her because of how I want her to be.
If I love her, I will love her because she is mine to love. How does Christ love his church? Not for her beauty, though he has made her beautiful. And not for her deeds, though she has achieved much through him. Not because of what she gives him, though all she is belongs to him. No, he loves her because he chose to. Because he sought her out, while she had nothing to offer, only sin and rebellion, and chose to give himself up for her. He chose to love her, and this is why he loves her.
And I will choose to love her. She will not find her beauty, goodness, or identity in me. I cannot be her Christ. But I can do my best to love her as Christ has loved me. She can change, she can fade, can get dementia and become a completely different person. She can sin, she can hurt me, she can refuse to forgive me when I hurt her. All sorts of things may go wrong, one day she may have nothing to offer me. But I will choose to love her, because Christ has chosen to love me.
But really, if it ends up with me loving her because Christ loves me, I think I got the better deal. Because I may not love her because of her looks, wits, brains, jokes, fun, assertiveness, or anything else about her, but I will love them. And it will be great.
Of course I am getting ahead of myself. We are not in love. We are not getting married. We are not dating. All I know right now is this: She is wonderful, and I am going on a date. We both like each other. My life may never be the same again.
I need to figure out what to wear.
Photo of our feet by Averie Harvey
Well, that is rather beautiful.
And it’s pretty great that you did end up marrying her. Woo!
That is my favourite post that you have ever made
Actually Tom, I reckon this is quite wise… the stuff about choosing to love someone because they are yours to love. It’s my favourite post of yours too. And thanks for a great wedding, particularly for getting the Hippies.
Most importantly does she like girly movies and pop music?? Lucky you had already decided to still love her.
A blog comment to treasure, and to read again and again – thank you for giving it to us to remind us (and you) of a great way of loving. I’m very glad that the date to marriage path has been navigated – now you get to navigate life together!
This is an amazing post. Before reading this, I don’t know that I really had a good understanding of unconditional love. I think I’ve always assumed that loving someone forever and without condition meant that there must always be “something about them” that I’d always love. But there may not be. And that is a scary and beautiful thought. Thanks for writing this.