To The Girl Who’s Tired Of Waiting

Do you ever just look at someone, watch them while they’re doing such a simple task and just smile. They have no idea anyone is looking at them and that’s what makes them all the more lovable because they’re totally unaware of your fascination – they’re just really being themselves?

I find myself doing that all the time. I’ll just watch my boyfriend taking notes in church or folding his laundry or just watching a movie – he never has any idea I’m stealing a glimpse and it makes him even more adorable. My heart flutters every single time I catch him being so him.

I never imagined myself saying that about anyone. I had hoped I would. I wanted to be in love, but I really didn’t think there was any way I’d be so in love with someone who reciprocated all the same feelings.

I feel like I spent years just longing for someone to love me. It brought me to tears so often. I told God I was being patient and waiting on the right guy, but I wasn’t being patient or waiting at all.

I was complaining when I didn’t have someone, and when I did, it wasn’t healthy or the right timing or the right person – it never felt like love.

Being a teenager, being a 20-something, being 30 (the list goes on) and trying to find our “soulmate” is the object of the game, huh? It’s what we really long for at the end of every day. Someone to cuddle with, someone to eat takeout with, and someone to just be with.

We get to a point where we will take what we can get.

I’m here to tell you to keep waiting. When you think you can’t, just wait one more day. And then the next. And the next. Something great will happen. You’ll stop waiting and you’ll just start being.

And when you can finally just be, he will come.

He won’t be what or who you expect and he won’t come when you expect him to. I know you’ve heard that a million times, but I pinky promise it’s true.

I wish I would have taken this advice. I really wish I would have.

It finally hit me that I desperately NEEDED to be alone to learn how to deal with myself before anyone else in the world would ever want to deal with me.

That doesn’t mean it’s ever easy to deal with me, and for a long time I thought that made me unlovable. I felt so hard to love.

And then someone fell in love with me when I wasn’t even looking. I was just being me. He was stealing glimpses while I was effortlessly being myself. I didn’t have to try. I was no longer hard to love at all.

I am certainly hard for him to deal with, but I know without a shadow of a doubt, loving me is his favorite thing to do and the easiest part of his day.

He came out of nowhere and I wasn’t looking for him at all. I had been single for almost two years and was so happy being alone. But God knew my heart was getting a little restless and was ready for someone to finally love me the way He intended everyone to be loved.

And when a man finally pursued me with the right intentions, things fell together.

At first, I absolutely did not want a boyfriend and thought he was very nice but wanted no part of being in a romantic relationship with him.

I thought he was fun and we’d go on a few dates and that would be it.

That wasn’t it at all. And God was laughing hysterically at my thought process.

He wasn’t who I thought I had been looking for. So I prayed for some guidance and basically was like, “Hey God if you want me to date this boy, you better show me why because I really thought I was supposed to be alone for a few more minutes or years.”

And God said, “You got it.”

I started falling more in love with Jesus while I was falling in love with him at the same time, and that’s how I knew.

I didn’t care what we had in common as long as we were both in it to further God’s kingdom together. And with every cute date and kind gesture, I saw more and more of his desire to live out God’s plan for his life. And boy was that attractive.

I have always been pretty open to the world about my love life. I’ve written about it, I’ve talked about it, and I’ve joked about it for years. My dating life has really reflected a romantic comedy (an emphasis on the comedy part) and I think the universe was silently cheering for me to finally catch a good one.

I have had so many girls genuinely tell me how happy they are for me and tell me how much they wanted what I have with my boyfriend. Every time I talk about him or tell the story of how we met, girls are brought to tears.

That’s when I want to grab them and say, “Wait.”

A good man, the right man, is more than worth the wait. Girls, LISTEN – PLEASE do not settle for someone just because you are bored or lonely. That guy can’t ever make you the happiest you were made to be, and you can’t love him the right way either. If you don’t wait for the person God made for you, you’ll end up with SOMEONE ELSE’S PERSON. That is no fun.

When you’re with YOUR person, you know he’s your person. You can see it in his eyes and feel it in every single embrace. It’s a beautiful, moving, soul-shaking feeling. It’s what we dream about starting at age 5, ladies. Do you want to settle for the so-so feeling or wait it out and get the butterflies, the really big butterflies, every single day?

I get them every day. And it’s because I FINALLY waited. I stopped searching and I let the magic happen. God saw my authentic patience finally coming through and that’s when he winked, nodded, and sent a real life prince charming my way with no strings attached.

Real love isn’t fancy dates and expensive gifts – it’s a feeling you’ll never be able to explain to a single person. And you’ll know when it’s real. It is the greatest feeling in the entire world because it comes straight from the God who is love. It’s his number one greatest gift to us.

Gosh, I love love. And I love seeing people in love. I want everyone to get to be in love with someone! I really do.

So I am begging and pleading and crying out for you to wait patiently and then just hide and watch what happens. It might not happen next week or even next year, but it will most certainly happen at the perfect time.

Before you know it, when you are content, some guy you never would’ve expected to love or to love you will finally get the courage, after months of being nervous, to ask you to go fishing. And then, well… here we are.

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How I Want To Die

Two years ago, one of my best friends on the planet went to be with Jesus.

I was devastated. He taught me, he loved me, he helped me grow, and he did it all with the love of Jesus.

Everyone who knew him loved him, but more importantly, they loved Jesus a little more because of him.

I think he was the first person I ever met who really had the secret to life, and it was just simply Jesus.

He loved like Jesus, he talked like Jesus, he laughed with the joy of Jesus – he lived like Jesus.

Was he perfect? No. But that’s why he was the first to say, “Less Larry, More Jesus.” He desperately wanted the glory to point to God in every single moment. There was no selfish ambition laced in any of his words or actions.

He saw the best in everyone. He really did. He saw the best in me even when I felt worthless. And in those moments when I felt so unworthy, I remembered how he thought of me and that led me to remember how my God, my Father, thinks of me.

He loved to teach, he loved to fellowship, he loved to open his home to students and friends, and man did he love his wife.

I’m lucky to have parents who have set an example of a godly, loving marriage, but it was moving to grow to watch and love another couple who showed me how love should look.

I said to myself so often, “I want a man who looks at me the way Larry looks at Verlie.” I was brought to tears on so many different occasions just watching them be. He thought she was the best, most beautiful person on the planet, and he wanted everyone to know that. He treated her like the queen she was. I knew I’d never settle for less than the Nelsons’ love.

Again though, he used the love of Jesus in that marriage, not his own human power. He fell in love with Jesus then fell in love with Verlie, and she did the same.

Dr. Larry Nelson and Miss Verlie Nelson

And he loved his children the same way. The love of Jesus just spewed out from him and splashed all over everyone he touched. It was amazing to watch really.

I’ve never seen someone so respected and loved who took none of the credit and inadvertently sent that respect and love on to the highest power.

He brought people together who otherwise would have never met or been friends. I wanted everyone I knew to meet him and experience the same joy I had when I was with him.

That’s how our relationship with Jesus should be. We should want everyone we know to meet Him so they can feel the joy we have from the freedom he gave us. We can’t keep him to ourselves, we have to share him.

And I couldn’t keep Larry to myself. He was too great for me to be selfish with. I wanted to share my time with him with anyone and everyone.

He saw something in me I had never seen in myself and he made me believe in myself again. He helped me out of a valley and did it with Jesus.

He never shoved Jesus down anyone’s throat, but he sure made everyone want to know what was so special and so magical about him. And that’s when he let them know all about the love and grace he had received that was available for absolutely everyone.

When he got sick, there was a movement of Christ around The University of North Alabama and Florence. And I knew that whenever he went to be with Jesus, he would hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.” And that brought me so much joy, and encouraged me to live the same.

And when he died, I cried, but I wasn’t sad. I had a peace I had never experienced during a time of death. His funeral was so happy. I laughed and smiled and remembered the most fond memories. You could feel the peace in everyone there.

And in that moment, I knew that’s how I wanted to die. I want to die a death that gives the people I leave behind peace that I am with my Creator. I want everyone who knows me to remember me for my love and my life as a servant of Christ. I want to leave the world just a little bit brighter than it was when I got here. I want my life and death to lead, encourage, and guide other people to the loving God I belong to.

Larry taught me a lot of things I carry with me, but out of all the lessons I learned, two stand out.

Dr. Larry Nelson taught me how to live and he taught me how to die.

And I hope I do both halfway as lovely as he did.