i was walking on water. i didn’t realize it until i began to sink.
last august, i was sure and secure in Christ. for the first time in my adult life, i had self-esteem that came from truly believing that i was who God said i was. i was caught up in Him. i was single, but not alone. no, i wasn’t rocking the “Jesus is my husband” t-shirt (o_O). i was walking in undivided devotion. i had the faith that He would provide, and there were no buts. no ifs. i just knew.
but i was so sure i was standing, i didn’t realize i could fall. i was at a dangerous place, and only my hindsight has revealed that to me. i had believed a lie. the lie was that i wasn’t good enough to tempt, good enough for a man to pull me away from Christ. for a man to want me sexually enough to tempt me to impurity. the dangerous part of that lie is that it blinded me to the temptation when it came. because i didn’t realize i had to be on guard, i had no defenses to that when it came.
and i got excited. i was asked on a date for the first time IN MY LIFE and i got excited. i was so excited and caught up, i didn’t realize that my feet were getting wet. that date didn’t work out (dude, really, you wrote me a letter saying you were “in love with me” after ONE DATE? creeper). but it was enough to pull my eyes from Jesus, just a little bit. i started to notice the wind and the waves, the blogs and the articles about how to get, keep, love, etc a man. nothing was wrong with them. nothing except they were leading me to live in relationship outside the way God had called me since i was 7 years old.
i went out on another date. a different guy. twice. mr. comfortable, who got me cheesecake during finals and rubbed my back and made me feel…wanted. cared for. i was excited, so excited because an adult, a man, was interested me. so excited that i didn’t notice that my ankles were submerged and my knees were being splashed. that didn’t work out, but it was enough to make me trust myself, my ability to keep myself above the waves. enough to pull my eyes off Jesus and the way He renewed and refined that call when i was 13.
i went out on another date. different guy, who actually saw me in starbucks, asked me for my number, and semi-pursued me. (hindsight: semi-pursuit? not okay). he actually desired me. so much that it scared me. not a “he’s going to hurt me” scared me, but a “this is new and not that thrilling and i don’t know if i can walk this line and be who God called me to be” scared me. i was scared and excited and tempted and…and…realized that i was submerged to my waist and water was splashing on my neck and face. i finally realized that i was sinking.
my purity, the high standard Christ called me to live for, was on the line. i was faced with a verse that has always terrified me and that night, convicted me: to [her] who knows to do good and does it not, it is sin. (James 4:17). what i was doing wasn’t a sin. i’ll be clear and say that again: “putting yourself out there” (**in moderation and alignment with Christ**), going on dates, enjoying the company of men who were interested in me, was not at its core, a sin. i am not indicting dating. i was, however, held to a higher standard. a higher level of purity – something beyond not having sex and dating only “Christians.” i was held to a standard of not dating unless i was going to marry that man. a standard of challenging each man i saw to walk in a relationship with God that was more than “oh did, you read your Bible this week?” i was held to a standard that said that my relationship, all of it, would stand as an example to others who were looking for Christ. by releasing that standard and being okay with just going out with a few people who were decent-looking, interested in me, and said they went to church sometimes – basically, by doing what the blogs and articles said to do, dating the world’s way, i was not doing what i knew was good. i was sinning. i was sinking.
and i saw it clearly tonight. the faith struggles i’ve been dealing with for the past 2 months. the hoping, and wishing, and praying, was an attempt to get back on the water. all the while, Jesus has been extending His hand to pull me up and saying, “you of little faith, why couldn’t you just believe?”
i’m turning my eyes back to Him. to who He called me to be. i’ve been asking Him the past 2 weeks: if this is really You, if You will really provide this life, this adventure, this grand romance, this husband Your way, if the call to purity is all You say it is, just bid me come. And in response i’ve been hearing one simple phrase: come. come to Me for a depth of relationship you have never known, to be in a place that will spark the purest and most beautiful relationship you could ever dream about.
come. walk on the water.