What Tim Says About Me and My Boo-Thang and My Interpretation of It

“When over the years someone has seen you at your worst, and knows you with all your strengths and flaws, yet commits him- or herself to you wholly, it is a consummate experience. To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage

Let’s start by clearing the air. I’m not married, I’m not dating. I’m single, very single. But this book is what’s up. And frankly, there’s some concepts in here that are nonnegotiables once you’re already married. I suggest taking a gander at this piece of art (the book) before you’re hitched, before you’re engaged, and why not even throw this one out there, before you’re dating. Tim so gracefully articulates the concept of true commitment, not infatuation or enhancement, but commitment in the same way that Jesus is committed to us through all of our faults and failures and mess-ups and even through us turning our back on Him time and time again. Can you imagine a commitment like that here on earth? If you’re already married, I hope you can imagine that. I hope you are experiencing that.

I’m so thankful to be reading this book right now – where I am in life. So many people my age are getting engaged, married, birthing children, and that’s wonderful. I am genuinely happy and excited for them. And because of this new love popping up all around me, it’s easy for me to sink into the mindset of “when is it my turn? why haven’t I gotten engaged yet? when will my wedding happen?” I know I’m probably the only 22 year old post-college lady out there thinking this, but I’m okay with that. But I’ve realized something, it’s not my turn. That’s a profound realization, I know. I’m deep like that. But it’s true! It’s not my turn, maybe because I’m not mature enough, maybe I’m not ready, maybe we haven’t met yet, maybe he’s not mature enough, maybe we aren’t ready for that kind of commitment, maybe I’m too selfish, maybe I have super-cool-single-girl things still to do, who knows. Whatever the reason is, I don’t really care. Because I know full and well that when the Lord wants that door to be opened, He’ll open it. And He’ll guide me.

To try and bring this full circle, let me pull back in part of the Timmy quote: “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God.”

To be loved but not known is very common today. People love your hair. They love your smile. They love your lifestyle. They love your apartment. They love your family. They love your dreams and ambitions. But do they love you? When the hair is stringy and gray and when the smile is saggy and toothless and when the lifestyle is not glamorous and when the apartment smells like old people and when the family has all passed and when the dreams and ambitions have been met and whisked into the past, do you know the person who had all those things? The point is, I want to love somebody, but I want to know them first. I want to be his friend. I want to know what makes him tick and what makes his blood boil and what causes him to lose sleep at night and what lights up his life and what puts the biggest smile on his face and in his heart. I want to know him. I want to love him. I want to know the man I love.

To be known and not loved is, indeed, my greatest fear. What if he sees me lose my temper? What if he sees how I react when I’ve been pushed too far? What if he sees that I don’t have a quiet time every day? What if he sees how I act when I’m nervous or shy? What if he realizes that I can’t reach my dreams? What if what if what if what? I could live in a constant state of fear about this if I let myself. I know hope I’m not the only who has ended a relationship and immediately thought, “what if that was as good as it was going to get and I let it go?” Let me just tell you, you have to take that thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) as soon as it pops in your mind, because if the Lord wanted that relationship to end, it was going to end sooner or *later.

To be known and loved is like being known and loved by God. YAAAAS PLEASE. I’m a walking testimony of the way the Lord has pursued and chased and sought me out when I didn’t want to be pursued or chased or sought out. And He did that because He knows me and loves me. For a man to do that here on earth, to at least attempt to reflect the way Jesus loves me, would be an incredible thing. And that’s the thing I’m holding out for. Someone who knows me and loves me. Who knows me well enough to understand the things I don’t always understand about myself, but who loves me enough to call me out on my sin and my selfishness so that I too can reflect Jesus more clearly and love him (my future boo-thang) better.

Whoo, okay. That’s really all I have to say about all of that. Please go read that book, married or single. It really has shaped my thinking about the whole concept of love and commitment and marriage, and it’s been so good. I could read it ten times over and still get something new out of it each time. It’s deep and it’s heavy but it’s good. 

who needs a boo-thang right now when you've got these babes?

who needs a boo-thang right now when you’ve got these babes?

*disclaimer…..maybe you shouldn’t have broken up with that person, maybe you were just being selfish or blind, but this is just a generic across the board statement because I don’t think I’m the only one who has encountered this fear before.

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A Year Ago

One year ago today I boarded a plane and made the absurdly long trip back the the States after a fabulous two months in dream land  South Africa. Looking back, of course all I remember are the really great times. It’s easy to forget about the fact that I blew through my spending budget in the first two weeks, or that there were times I felt lonely and missed home so bad, or that I didn’t end up going cage-diving, or that I didn’t pack nearly enough clothes even though I had a suitcase the size of Rhode Island. Cough cough….I left with plenty of clothes because I blew through my budget so quickly…oops. It was worth it, I don’t regret it. The best memories bubble to the surface immediately: the Mrs. South Africa ball, wine, coffee, wine, coffee, wine, wine, chocolate, THE WINCKLERS DUH, Annah, the views, the beaches, the road trip tour with Heinz, the modeling gig with Alette, the ostriches, the Cape, the Strand, Mugg & Bean, watching hours of Nashville IN ENGLISH, loling at myself trying to understand Afrikaans, snuggles with Roo & Simmy & Lian, and of course I’ll say it again, The Wincklers.

How often will I get the chance to live with a pop star? Yeah, probably never again. That’s not even why it was so cool though, they are just the coolest people ever. Thank you Heinz and Alette for the most memorable summer winter ever. Thanks for putting up with me and all my questions, for driving me somewhere new every weekend, for letting me eat all your food and drink all most of your wine, for letting me tag along for everything, for opening your home to me and giving me my own room, for encouraging me and asking me the tough questions, for showing me what it’s like to parent three little ones and not completely lose your sanity, and for loving me like one of your own.

Oh yeah, thanks for letting me be your intern. I really did learn so much and gained the coolest stories and experiences. No joke, I talk about you guys in every interview.

Unfortunately, we were leaving a funeral here, but the landscape was beautiful, but not as beautiful as Alette, obvi.

Unfortunately, we were leaving a funeral here, but the landscape was beautiful, but not as beautiful as Alette, obvi.

Triple threat, miss you both so much!

Triple threat, miss you both so much!

At a wine farm, obviously.

At a wine farm, obviously.

Power couple

Power couple

So many kiddos and I actually loved it.

So many kiddos and I actually loved it.

Mrs. South Africa contestants.

Mrs. South Africa contestants.

Not my date, but Heinz performed at the ball (I got in because I was his "tour manager," riiiiiight).

Not my date, but Heinz performed at the ball (I got in because I was his “tour manager,” riiiiiight).

Babes being babes at the ball.

Babes being babes at the ball.

Seriously...best sunsets ever.

Seriously…best sunsets ever.

Looking over the Strand.

Looking over the Strand.

Oh yeah, I went to a fashion show/Benz launch party/gala on day 2. Take me back.

Oh yeah, I went to a fashion show/Benz launch party/gala on day 2. Take me back.

One last thing, I realize I’ve switched blogs one thousand times, but now I’m back here. Which is funny cause my last post on this one was when I was in SA, time flies.