Today, I obsessively plowed through the site “40 Days of Dating.” Someone posted it on Facebook and I nonchalantly clicked on it. I’m totally late to the party as I realized that all summer, day by day, Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman have been releasing chronicles of their 40 day experiment to date after being friends for four years. In any case, I came away feeling like I myself had just gone through the ups and downs of their romantic relationship. After I finished reading each and every days’ events – which was at least 4 hours of reading – if not more, I felt like I needed to detox. This is me processing and detoxing.
I feel like I learned so much through reading about their experiment. I found it incredibly insightful and am thankful for their willingness to be so transparent. I realized I’m super out of touch with today’s dating culture outside of the Christian realm, but there seem to be similar struggles all across America and throughout humanity in general when it comes to dating, that no one can seem to avoid.
“Is he really that afraid? Is he looking for something that I don’t have? Why do I care so much?” – Jessica Walsh, Day 16
(Questions on behalf of women everywhere, really.)
Jessica Walsh is in love with the idea of love and Timothy Goodman struggles to commit. These seem like pretty standard issues for each gender – I honestly could relate with a lot of Jessie’s tendencies. But, at the end of the day, I feel like the Lord used their story to show me the reality of His truth. I’m not going to tell you how the 40 days of dating experiment went because I don’t want to give it away – but it really doesn’t matter how it ended. The takeaway is apparent from day one, although by day 40 it is glaring –
Romantic love will never satisfy on its own.
Today, I also finished another book about love. It’s called, Meeting Miss Irby – and its not your conventional love story. It’s about a wealthy English woman in the 1800s who risks everything to love. Like she legitimately sacrifices 40 years of her life to save her new love from perishing. The most incredible part? This “love” I’m referring to is not a handsome young fellow at all, but rather a war torn displaced people. Miss Irby never married. Instead, she committed to loving a people in a foreign land, whom didn’t always love her back, who could never pay her back, and for whom she ultimately gave her life.
Although, Meeting Miss Irby deals with death, war, and extreme poverty – I came away feeling inspired, encouraged, and hopeful. At the end of reading 40 Days of Dating, which was about a relationship in the first world that has all the elements of an amazing romantic comedy – I felt empty. But, it catapulted me back to Jesus and solidified the truth revealed through Scripture.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. ” -1 John 4:9
We need meaning and purpose and love, but God is the only one who can ultimately give those to us. Because as 1 John 4:8 says, “God is love.”
Without Him, we can experience fleeting momentary passion, but that only leaves us hurting and questioning and wanting. Don’t get me wrong, I think romantic love is great. Hello, I’m a girl – cue butterflies in stomach at the smallest hint of a thoughtful gesture, the desire to be pursued, and a love for love. But, through my own experiences – not experiments, I’ve come to the same conclusion which I believe 40 Days of Dating and Meeting Miss Irby both clearly display:
True life is found in serving, true love is found in Jesus.
Or more precisely:
True life can only be found in Jesus and true love is displayed through serving.
“This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.” -Jesus, John 15:12-13 (MSG)
Praying that Jessie and Tim find true love. I really appreciate them. And I’m thankful for Josh Irby – author of Meeting Miss Irby for taking time to pen the love story that God has so beautifully written.
May you find the well that won’t run dry, the love that satisfies. It’s available, it’s real, and it’s truly amazing.
With His love,