A Message To Single People: God Is Love

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by Jeremy Carden

This story happened early in November around the time that I was going through some girl problems. It seemed that no matter what I did or didn’t do I was being turned down left and right.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t going up to every girl I saw and asking “Would you go out with me?” because that wasn’t the situation at all. For some reason I was being put in the friend-zone.

I was going through a period where I was no longer content with being single. Every day I would ask God why I still haven’t found the woman of my dreams.

One night I was really depressed and was just lying in bed for about an hour. I was praying to God for some kind of direction because I really had no idea what I wanted to do next semester. I didn’t have a real reason to come back to campus (well I will admit that I was just looking at how I didn’t have a girl to come back to next semester), what to do after I finish graduate school in May and how to keep from getting turned down like this even by girls who I do not even have a romantic interest in.

And the questions went on until I asked for some sort of sign from God before finally falling asleep.

So to get my mind off of my troubles, the next day I just stayed in my room and did all kinds of busy work that I’ve been putting off; some cleaning, non-school related writing and other things like that.

Around 6 PM, I decided to make a quick trip to Ollie’s just to get out of my room and get some air. I made it to the bus stop and missed the bus by a few seconds meaning I’d have to wait 20 minutes for the next one. Instead of going back to the dorm and coming back, I just decided to sit on the wall next to the bus stop and listen to some music.

Not too long after I put my headphones in, another bus pulls up and a guy getting off the bus just comes up to me and says Hello. I said hey back thinking to myself whether or not I’ve seen this guy before and it turns out that I hadn’t. He asked where I was headed and I said Ollie’s but I had missed my bus. To my surprise he offered me a ride.

Well Mama always said not to take ride from strangers and after saying that I’d wait for the bus he kept insisting that it was no trouble at all. So, we start walking to his car and he asks “If I knew Jesus?” right away my first instinct is “Oh geez, this is just some evangelism student probably doing his Witnessing Project…”

Turns out he wasn’t, I didn’t ask him but I could just tell. Before I could answer his question he said you know what I think that you do know Jesus. I asked him how he knew that and he said that he could just tell. I told him that I was told long ago that the way you carry yourself can show other people the God in you and he agreed so we just talked about how and when we got saved, what we were majoring in at Liberty University and just simple small talk.

About 5 minutes later, he stopped the car in front of Ollie’s. Right as I was getting out of the car after thanking him for the ride, he told me “God loves you.” After taking a moment to reflect on that I thanked him again and he drove off.

Those 3 little words…God loves you

With a few letdowns in terms of women, a night full of doubt stressing about what to do next and questioning where God was when I was going through all of this just disappeared in that one moment! The thing that hit me was the night before I was asking God for a sign and He delivered it so quickly!

This might seem a bit cliché since I’m sure everyone has heard this many times; the most important relationship that you can have is a relationship with God. From that experience, I can honestly say that I could not agree more with that statement. Since that moment I’ve been trying to look at life a little differently. Doing my best to look at the positives instead of the negatives has made things a bit easier for me. There are still a lot of unanswered questions that I sometimes wonder the answer to, but one thing is for sure: GOD LOVES ME.

College Dating #1: Finding the Right Love at the Wrong Time

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How many times in life have you had this thought go through your mind; “If only I had met him/her at a different point in my life, maybe things would have worked out between us…”

Coming out of college in May and only being 21, I’m surprised at the number of times I’ve caught myself thinking about this late at night. I mean high school is a lot different than college. Not just in general, but I mean in terms of relationships.

Honestly, in high school a lot of people date each other just to date each other, form a relationship and usually break it off before or soon after graduation. In college, it is a whole new concept because typically in college you do not just date to date. More often than not when you are looking for someone to form a relationship with it is usually with someone you plan to spend the rest of your life with.

In conversations with women at Liberty, it was not uncommon for me to talk about things I never had to discuss while I was in high school especially on a first date or during a general conversation with a friend who was a female;

  • Where do you see yourself after you graduate?
  • In 5 years, what do you see yourself doing?
  • What goals do you have?
  • What career are you going for?
  • Do you plan to stay in your home state/region or move somewhere else?
  • How many kids do you want?
  • What religion do you practice?
  • What political party do you stand for?

And the list goes on because it might sound strange but dating in college is kind of like applying for a job. You have to have your “interview skills” intact because you need to be prepared for the standard questions that are asked by someone who is interviewing you for a potential position in a company. In a dating concept, men and women are “applying” for a potential position as a husband or wife without even knowing it.

I know that might sound ridiculous but just think about it; Women are tricky when it comes to this because just a job interview, they may throw in one or two questions that you didn’t prepare yourself for or you can’t give a straight answer to and I’ve seen a lot of guys get thrown off and not get called back for a second interview.

Looking back at some of the girls that I met in college, I’ve come to realize that the reason most of those friendships never blossomed into anything more was because we were both at different points in our lives or wanted different things:

  • She saw herself living somewhere that I didn’t want to move to
  • I wanted to wait for kids but she wanted kids right away
  • She felt called to travel overseas on mission trips while I wanted to stay in the states
  • I was ready for a relationship but past baggage kept her from wanting one

Now I’m not picking on women when I say these things, it comes down to me being male and saying things from a male perspective. I’m sure many of the women reading this are going;

“Well there was a guy but it turns out that he didn’t want kids at all! There was a guy I dated for 2 years but he never proposed because he had his heart broken before! I knew a man who wanted to go on mission trips but I wanted to stay in Utah!”

I know it is not just women who have baggage or are the ones who do not think a relationship can last due to certain circumstances. It all comes down to where both of you are in life at the time you are dating or are planning to date. Not only that, what you want and what you expect of each other is also a deciding factor.

There will always be that one person who crosses your mind from time to time. Let’s call that person “What might have been…” and that person is someone that shows up a lot for some people. It is important to not let relationships that “could have been” interfere with the relationships you are in now and the ones you certainly will have in the future.

Who knows that one person you thought was the one for you but was not due to it not being the right time might show up sometime down the road. There may be potential to start a relationship if both of you are finally at good places in your lives and can finally be together. Only time will tell that tale.

Love at First Sight or Love at First Conversation?

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I’m pretty sure at some point in your life someone has asked you; “Do you believe in love at first sight?” It is pretty much a “yes” or “no” kind of question. However, when you begin to really think about it the question goes much deeper than that. When it comes to love at first sight that is generally referring to physical features you notice things like hair, eyes, body, clothes and whatever else catches your eyes first.

First conversation on the other hand goes much deeper than that because it is when two people truly begin to get to know each other. Not to mention that it seems a bit less superficial than judging someone just on their appearance. It is like they say, “You only get one first impression so you had better make it count.” You get a peek into a person’s personality by the way they handle a conversation;

-Do they only talk about themselves?

-Are they interested in what I have to say?  

-Does he/she make good eye contact during the conversation?

Little things like that can make all the difference. Personally for me, there have been a couple of situations where I fell for a girl at first sight. Amazingly, the last girl that happened with had a GREAT personality and it was an eye opener that personality sparks more of a connection than looks alone.

A conversation shows that you are interested in getting to know someone, but wanting someone based on just their looks shows that you are interested in getting into their pants. There is a thin line between love and lust. After you get that first glance you must ask yourself; “Is it love at first sight or love because of lust?”

See the difference?

This is just my personal take on this because when it comes to love there is no right or wrong. I’ve never had a girl in my life that I’ve loved. To me that word should not be used or taken lightly. So, now I ask you which is the foundation of your own relationships and potential love interests; first sight or first conversation?

Dating: Are You Staying In Your League?

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by Jeremy Carden

I’ve had friends tell me this on more than one occasion; “Dude, you are trying to date girls that are WAY out of your league.” Has anyone else been in that same boat? It’s hard to define “leagues” in terms of which girls to date and who not to.

My friends are quick to point out when I attempt to date “supermodel looking” girls who are 10’s while they say I should be “starting out” with 5’s or 6’s. To me dating is more about who I am compatible with when compared to what rank people put girls in. I’m not trying to sound like a goody good but that is just the way that I operate.

Some people live by the notion; “I’m too ugly for the people that I want to date but too hot for the people who want to date me.”

Let’s be honest at some point I’m sure in the back of our minds we’ve all thought that at one point or another. We’ve all probably been pursued by someone we were not attracted too at all and thought we deserved better.

Now when it comes to leagues if I thought the way that my friends did I would say sometimes I wouldn’t be trying to pursue girls in a league above me I’d be going after girls playing an entirely different sport!

That’s life I guess you never know until you try. So what do you say about all of this? Do you date according to leagues or just someone you find attractive?

God Knows Who Is Right for You

“Wow…just wow…” that has been the only thing on my mind since I came to understand something that I should have figured out a LONG time ago. I don’t know about you but I’m one of those people who over thinks just about anything and everything.

At night when I get in bed to go to sleep, my mind suddenly begins to race thinking about numerous things; conversations I had during the day, past experiences and whatever else decides to pop into my head while I’m trying to sleep.

I don’t know why but suddenly the thought of relationships came to mind. It had to do with the whole “Why am I still single, while just about everyone I know is in a relationship?!?”

It came to me out of nowhere that the right one will come when God tells me. For some reason the story in Genesis 24-26 just jumped to the front of my thoughts. Abraham was getting old and he knew he didn’t have much longer before he would pass on. He wanted his son to marry so that God’s promise would be fulfilled to continue his bloodline to become the father of many nations.

He sent his eldest servant back to his home country to find a wife among his kin since the women in Canaan did not seem right for Isaac.

While waiting at the fountain the servant had no idea of how to pick out a woman since there were so many coming to fetch water. He prayed and God showed him which one. That woman was Rebekah. She gave water to him and offered to water his camels.

Then after I remembered the story, it just hit me that in my lifetime I’ve encountered many women. Most have either become good friends and others were just people that crossed my path but we kept going our own separate directions.

As I got older, I began to ponder whether or not I have already encountered the woman that I was meant to marry.

People have been telling me to be patient and wait on God because He will let me know when the time is right and who the woman He made just for me is. Never have I realized how true that statement was until tonight.

I’m not saying that I’ll be at a fountain waiting for her, it could be at a bus stop, in a grocery store or wherever but one thing is for sure it will be when God sees fit for me to know.

With that little nugget of wisdom God placed on my heart tonight, I feel like I have a weight lifted off my shoulders from occasionally worrying and complaining about being single. Patience and faith are key factors. I mean that servant had no idea who the right woman was or how long he would be waiting at the fountain.

He could have been sitting for awhile before one woman came along, gotten frustrated and just picked the first woman that came. However, he had PATIENCE and FAITH that God would show him the right woman at the right time.

The same holds true for women waiting on the right man to come along. So, to all of the single people reading this message just know that the right person will be coming your way sooner or later. While you are waiting remain patience and keep faith in God because He knows what He is doing!