Let Jesus Be Your Boyfriend | Singleness Series | Ally
Welcome back ladies. I received a lot of great comments, likes, and shares on yesterday’s post. So many women are excited to keep reading, so let’s get right into our next post by Ally from The Speckled Goat!
Ally Vermeer is an accidental country girl who splits her time between the cornfields of Iowa and the snowy mountain passes of Colorado. She strives to find beauty in the everyday, find God's gifts in the unexpected, and find her phone (where'd she leave it this time?). Ally writes about faith, her family, her farmhouse, and counts her blessings (even the speckled ones) at The Speckled Goat. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
I recently went through my iTunes que and deleted tons of music.
Seriously. Tons. My collection spanned from top forty hits of the early 2000's to classical operas to punk rock and back again. And while my music list would label me as "eclectic," the truth was that I probably only listened to about 5% of the songs.The rest of the songs were from a time when I wasn't me.
You see, I spent most of my teenage years and quite a bit of my twenties trying very hard to be someone that I am not.
It started with my first "real" boyfriend. When I was sixteen, I started dating a very nice young man. He was athletic and driven and I, well... I was not. But I so badly wanted to melt my identity onto his that I started playing a little volleyball, considered running, wore athletic shoes... I was determined to prove that I was the girl for him. And in the process of being the right girl for him, I lost the girl I really was. From that relationship, I jumped into dating Jim. Jim was about as opposite of Bryan as could be. Instead of athletic shorts, Jim wore suit jackets and jeans. He was musical and sensitive, and spent hours writing songs and deconstructing musical theories. I liked music, but couldn't play an instrument for anything (save for a tragic violin attempt in third grade), but I began learning guitar, dabbled in a little songwriting, wore preppy clothes. I had no idea who I was, and so just like with Bryan, I turned myself into just the right girl for Jim. About a year later, I was dating Mike. Mike was also musical, but not in the purist sort of way Jim had been. He liked punk rock, the concert scene, and rebelling against the system in a safe, suburban sort of way. Mike was the first boyfriend I had who was not a Christian, and his skepticism forced me to question my faith in a way I never had. He enjoyed the city scene, being ironic, and watching the SciFi channel to poke fun at the cheesy acting.And once again, I became who I thought he wanted me to be.
None of these relationships were healthy ones. I don't think it was the fault of any of the guys; rather, I poisoned each relationship with my own insecurity and lack of identity. It's exhausting to provide someone's whole self- and as humans, we were not meant to do that. Only God can define a human soul. It took a long time for me to reclaim myself after this battery of bad relationships. I'd been clinging to a guy-given identity for so long that I didn't know who I was without a boyfriend. That's a dangerous place to be- because it leads so many people to finding identity in another relationship, or a bad habit, or in something that is temporary and fleeting. We need identity firmly planted on the Rock of Christ Jesus.
And so began the long process of relearning myself. Knowing true identity makes all the difference. I took classes I didn't think I'd enjoy. I scrolled through a paint website to find my actual favorite color. I took personality profile tests (like the Myer's Briggs-- take it, it's awesome), to actually learn my own personality. I discovered my quirks, my interests, my weaknesses. I did a lot of journaling, especially about the things I didn't like about myself and things I really valued, like family, hard work, integrity. I spent time thinking through my past relationships and recognizing what worked and what didn't, what I really wanted in a relationship. But even more than relearning myself, I spent time relearning my God. I dove into the Bible, spent time in prayer, contemplated the goodness of God and His character.
About a year after I started digging into the truth of who I really am, I met a guy. He was nothing like I expected him to be- but for once, I knew who I was and what I wanted. My identity was secure, and I was able to honestly be myself. It was such a good feeling- the healthiest relationship I'd ever had. That man is now my husband. He likes bluegrass music, working outside, and motorsports. I can handle about an hour of bluegrass before my eyes start to burn, I love riding motorcycles but don't enjoy dirtbikes, and office jobs are my favorite. And those differences are not only okay, they're celebrated in our relationship.
Know who you are, know who God is, and pursue honesty. The rest will come.
Please like, share, and comment this wonderful post! Thank you all so much for reading, and supporting these women. They are so fearless in sharing what they have gone through, and sharing how God moved in their lives. Tomorrow it might be my turn to share, or Allie from We Are New Romantics.