It has been a long season of waiting for me. My last relationship was over a year and a half ago, and left me with so much clarity about love and life and what I wanted. I was ready to pursue God with all my heart, I was ready to change, and I was ready for a new beginning.
It was a roller coaster ride for me. I had always been in relationships, and putting my identity in relationships instead of in Christ. I had to learn to be single, and not rely on a man to tell me my worth. I wanted to change, I wanted the real thing.
This season was dedicated to learning how to be slow to anger, quick to listen, and slow to speak. I wanted to fix many things about myself before I pursued someone else. I wanted to fix my insecurities, my fears, and all the wrong things that I thought I knew about love and relationships. I wanted to be confident. I wanted to put all of my energy in becoming a better “Bailee” and focusing on my future. Of course, in the back of my mind, I thought about love and a relationship… as many girls do.
I “dated” guys, and considered pursuing a relationship with a few of them. But I wasn’t going to settle, and the moment I knew there was nothing worth pursuing, I decided to end things. That was a big deal for me; I was choosing to be single in this world full of engagement posts and updated relationship statuses.
I prayed everyday for God to send me my “someone.” I was ready to work and I wanted to be someone that a man had always wanted. I wanted to finally love the way that God had taught me in this season of being single. I wanted to put myself to the test.
Finally meeting a man totally worth pursuing, and being the person that I am, I craved perfection. I did not want to mess it up. I had FINALLY been attracted to someone for everything that they were and I wanted them to be attracted to me in all the same ways. I wanted to love and serve in a way I had learned in my season of waiting from the Bible and church services.
Then, my best friend Lauren (who is getting married to the love of her life in June!!!!), posted about this book “Love That Lasts.” At the bottom of the cover, it read “How We Discovered God’s Better Way for Love, Dating, Marriage, and Sex.” I bought it on Amazon for $12 I believe, and it was the best $12 I have ever spent.
I read the book in about a week… I couldn’t put it down. I had read many other books that were related to the same topic i.e. religion and love. But this one was REAL about love. It changed my perspective on a lot of things in a week!! It’s written by a husband and a wife, alternating chapters. I find myself relating to both of them all of the time, and I even went back and started highlighting throughout their chapters because they had so much wisdom all throughout the book.
Their love story is not a normal love story, which was endearing to me. It isn’t a fairy tale, and they don’t believe they are each other’s soulmates. They aren’t each other’s “everything,” but they have an unconditional love for one another. They love Jesus more than they love each other, and they don’t “need each other’s love.” Their story is an interesting perspective to love and marriage.
While I still hope to be “good enough”, I know perfection is unrealistic and there will always be room for improvement on becoming a better woman of God. There’s so many things I still struggle with even after the year and a half of working on myself, but I have finally accepted that someone will want you despite the flaws. It’s so exciting to meet someone who makes you want to be that person, who makes you want to be a better version of yourself.
While I am perfectly flawed and still struggle with many insecurities and fears, this book made me realize how imperfect and flawed love is. Love is hard work, and it’s something that is ongoing work. Obsessing with perfection puts an unrealistic expectation on our relationships that will ultimately end in failure. I am so excited for this new journey and I really hope you all read this book as well!
My heart has been put to a challenge and I can’t wait to discover all the good that comes from it! If you want a good read that will change your heart, I encourage you to read this book!!
If you are interested in purchasing the book, here is the link for a $12 paperback!! I even included a free preview of it! So worth it!