(Side Note: I have come across some of our old love notes since my “Intentions Revealed” post and while I’m still trying to nail down the time line it appears that it may have been two and a half weeks between that talk and our first ‘date’. Also, he clarified that he wanted to get to know me better, but we hadn’t yet made specific plans to spend time together.)
I was lost somewhere between the state of pure bliss and utter confusion. Looking back on our conversation from the other day, I was pretty sure that Rob communicated his desire to get to know me better in a very clear, concise way that left no room for confusion.
On the other hand, I was totally confused!
This was all unfolding so differently than I was accustomed to. He was being intentional, methodical, stoic and mysterious. He had tipped his cards just enough to let me know he was interested, but not enough to let me know if he was really interested. He was keeping his hand pretty closely to himself and he wasn’t anywhere near as anxious as I was to burn through the deck to see how the game would unfold.
J, on the other hand, laid his whole hand out on the table and was simply waiting for me to pick up my hypothetical hand of cards and reveal my next move.
My next move was to write Rob an encouragement card that made its way through the on-campus mail system. I wrote that I was looking forward to getting to know him better, but I was putting the ball in his court as to when, where and what we would do. This might have seemed like a no-brainer to him, but in my take-control world it apparently needed clarifying.
Or maybe I was just looking for an excuse to write him an encouragement card, to make sure he wouldn’t forget that I was very much alive an anxiously waiting for him to make some concrete plans that would allow us to spend time together so I could get out of this state of limbo I was in!
Maybe I wanted to impress him with my poetic words written down on paper (ha, ha!). Maybe I needed to clearly communicate that I was putting the ball in his court as a visual reminder to myself that it wasn’t my place to be the one pursuing him.
I was very much a leader, and didn’t take following anybody or anything very easily at that stage in my life. I was the master of my own destiny and convinced that I was always going to be the only one looking out for my own best interests. Therefore, it was up to me to make happen what I wanted to see happen, right?
Wrong! My relationship with Rob (and J, and several other great, godly people for that matter) had helped me to see over the past several months that God wanted what was best for me even more intently than I did. And that the way to discover God’s intentions for me was to let go of control (a foreign concept to me) and submit (another foreign concept) to him and his will for my life.
As I was beginning to understand the biblical concept of marriage as well, I was grappling with the notion of it being the man’s role to take the lead (yet another very foreign concept for me). As difficult as I thought it would be to relinquish control of a situation to someone else, I actually found it quite refreshing. I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t have minded if he would have sped up the process a little though!
I knew I wanted to marry a man that would take the lead in our marriage. And, it stood to reason, that if I wanted a man to take the lead in our marriage, I would have to wait for him to take the lead in our dating relationship as well to establish these roles and habits early on.
(Another side note: I know this idea might be as foreign to many of my readers as it was to me 10 years ago. I feel the need to clarify that this idea of submitting to a man and letting him take the lead is in no way a reflection of him being more important, or superior to me. I simply believe, as I understand the Bible to say, that men and women have different roles in a marriage relationship. I firmly believe that my husband is the head of my household, and ultimately the one who is responsible to God for my family. I am still very much responsible for myself, but I desire to submit to my husband because he is ultimately the one who answers to God in regards to our family. To this day I can assure you that my husband very much seeks out, values and respects my input and opinion, but he still, with my absolute blessing, has the final say on matters regarding our family. I believe that these are the roles God designed us to have in marriage.)
I knew that if I was going to have any hope of willfully submitting to a man for the rest of my life he’d have to be one heck of a leader. After all, I was not accustomed to letting any one, any where, any time, have so much as an ounce of control, let alone complete control in a matter that would affect my life so significantly.
So, for me to sit and wait for him to pick up the proverbial ball on his side of the court and start playing the game was no easy task.
Eventually Rob explained that he already had plans for that next weekend, but that he wanted to spend some time with me on Saturday, April 14th. I made a mental note that I’d have to adjust my plans to go home a little later on Easter weekend, but that was an adjustment I was more than willing to make. Graduation was only a month away at that point, so I was anxious to get any time I could with him before then.
My next move? Hurry up, and wait…
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