When God Speaks


Hello? Who is this? Do I know you?

Have you ever had one of those calls when the person on the other end starts speaking, assuming you know who’s calling, but you aren’t clear who it is? You think you recognize the voice, and you feel a little embarrassed that you can’t attach a name right away? What do you say?

Awkward, isn’t it?

I think sometimes that’s how we feel about God. He expects we will know his voice, but we aren’t always certain we do. How is God supposed to sound? How do I know I’m not just talking to myself?

How do I know if it’s God speaking?

It can be challenging to decipher. We do have an enemy who is out to mess us up. The Bible says that Satan masquerades as an angel of light (2Cor. 11:14). And, he used scripture to tempt Jesus (Matt. 4:3-11).

No wonder we can be confused!

But I think God wants to make it easier for us. He tells us in John 10 that we are his sheep, and his sheep know his voice. I find that reassuring when I’m feeling a bit confused about whether I’m hearing God or not. If I’m his sheep, then I will know his voice. Phew!

These are some of the ways I know I am hearing from God:102

  1. Jesus came to forgive, not condemn. Satan is the accuser and “father of lies.” If what I hear condemns, accuses or is untruthful (even if there is a thread of truth), it is not from God. If what I hear convicts with hope and forgiveness and settles my heart, even if I feel sorrowful about it, it is God.
  2. Satan’s goal is to devour, kill, steal and destroy. Jesus came to give us abundant life. If what I hear is destructive to me or someone else and leaves me feeling hopeless, devastated and stuck, it is not God. When God speaks, I feel a sense of promise, restoration and life. Like a breath of fresh air.
  3. When God speaks, what he says matches his character and what his word says. His character is loving, patient, kind and forgiving. He is mighty and just and merciful. Sometimes it may seem that even the Bible is contradictory, but if we dig deeper into the context, we often find the answers to each seeming conundrum. God is consistent.
  4. God’s words bring peace not turmoil. Even if I don’t like what I hear from God, I still know it is right and my heart feels settled. Even in the craziest situations. Like when I moved here with no job, hardly any money and only a temporary place to live. Single with three teenagers. Or when I met my husband online and traveled to Australia to meet him. And he moved here with his three young children to marry me and live in America. As crazy as it seemed, I knew it was the right thing to do. I knew God spoke and in a place of faith, I (we) followed his lead.

Sometimes it seems scary to listen for God.

I mean, what if I didn’t really hear him or heard him wrong? What if I don’t like what he’s telling me or asking me to do because I can’t really see the bigger picture and can’t imagine things working out? What about when I need to humble myself and forgive someone or pray for someone or in love tell someone something difficult they need to hear?

All very good points.

I’ve found that God is faithful to meet me in every one of those situations. He forgives me and has a good plan even if I miss what he said, or didn’t hear him completely accurately. Even when I don’t like what he has to say, he can handle it and help me follow through. And if he asks me to do something difficult, he’s right there to make me able to do it if I trust him.

The good news is he loves us, speaks to us and wants us to be able to hear him. And the more we get to know him, the more confident we’ll be when he speaks.

When has God spoken to you, but you weren’t sure about it? When has he spoken and you knew it confidently?

What Are You Looking for?


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The other day I decided to hunt around some blogs sharing their internet dating stories. I love to hear stories of people who have met the love of their life online. It confirms the legitimacy of online dating and the validity of it as a viable option for finding one’s soul mate.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find any. What I found were numerous blogs about looking for sex online. And the discouraged seekers wondered why they couldn’t seem to connect with anyone in a real relationship.

It made me sad.

Our society has duped us into believing that sex and love are equivalent entities. But sex does not equal love, and those who believe it does are left in lonely puzzlement.

I read a portion of a blog that related a dating experience in which a conversation regarding the size of breasts was the compelling reason for a date. Another confused soul was thrilled about the sex they were having as a result of online searches, but lamented their inability to find someone interested in a serious relationship. Seriously.

How unfortunate that we’ve bought the lie.

Sex wasn’t intended for entertainment. Beginning with it leaves us with nowhere to go except into more extreme expressions of it or onto the next person. This even starts in junior high! Twelve year olds “go out” with each other because of a physical attraction (that boy/girl is cute). Their relationship consists of hugging and kissing. No real conversations about who they are (or becoming), no real friendship, no hanging out except for the entertainment of making out.

Love making is intended as an act of consummation between two who have already come to know each other intimately through conversation, shared experiences and time spent enjoying each others company. It is a fulfillment physically of an emotional, mental and spiritual bond. No wonder people feel empty and alone. Physically satisfied perhaps, but emotionally left wanting.

Casual sex may seem satisfying if you haven’t experienced actual love making.

The culmination of joining together in every way is a far greater experience than simply hooking up for the physical pleasure. Great sex can be had for a drink, but a great relationship requires an investment of time which can eventually lead to even greater sex. According to an article in the Huffington Post, married folks have better and more frequent sex. No wonder. Sex was intended for married couples. It makes sense that many singles are frustrated with their relationship situation, or lack thereof.

This isn’t about morality.

This is about a great plan gone horribly wrong and leaving in its wake confusion, loneliness and frustration. Both my husband and I can attest to the fact that following the “way of the world” in this area left us feeling lost and lonely in our pasts, but changing our way of thinking and focusing on relationships rather than on physical satisfaction changed the parameters of who we met and spent time with.

Perhaps people would find the availability and quality of relationship more what they long for if they reconsider what they are truly looking for and why. For us, it was well worth the shift in focus, even if it meant sifting through those who hadn’t, and waiting for the right person who wanted more than a sexual experience.

What has your experience been with internet dating? What are you looking for?

Christmas # 5


A few weeks ago, I realized that this year is the fifth Christmas Brendan and I have spent together. Wow! The awareness made me think back, recapping each year and its unique joys. Perhaps you’d like to join me…

Blair making his favorite "Sandies"
Blair making cookies 2008

Christmas 2008 – I spent the ten days prior to Christmas in Australia. Brendan and I shopped for the children together for the first time. I introduced my pending Aussie family to my Christmas tradition of stockings and learned about Santa bags! The kids and I made Christmas cookies. Santa surfing in the mall surprised this White Christmas girl. Brendan proposed on December 22.  I returned home the next day; then watched Brendan, Brodie, Bella and Blair open their presents Christmas morning via Skype which was on my Christmas Eve afternoon.

Band Hero all night
Band Hero all night

Christmas 2009 – Our first married Christmas. Brendan and I enjoyed some special moments in front of the fireplace with our Christmas tree lights twinkling ambience. Bella and Blair scootered through the kitchen on new Razors. Brodie practiced shooting his new pellet gun. We all played Mario Cart and Band Hero with the grown up kids until way too late that night. My future daughter-in-law Sabina helped me pack up Christmas because of my increasing illness from the mold in our house (of which we knew nothing at the time!)

Christmas 2010 – We celebrated Christmas with our dear friends Jeff and Jo who had allowed us to live with them because of the necessity of leaving our moldy house. We had been trying to purchase a home here, but every offer and counter offer fell through. Our friends were blessed to have children in their home and we were blessed to have a home to stay in! They left for the holidays so we were able to enjoy spending the time with all but one of our children! Two new grandchildren added to the fun. It ended up being a great Christmas in spite of our not so perfect situation.

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Christmas 2011 – Our first Christmas in this house.  We enjoyed the delight of decorating our home with lights and tree and stockings even 245more because all of our things had been in storage the previous year. Brendan and I treated ourselves to new bikes and rode around the block freezing our hands and faces! We added a new dimension of music by replacing our dead piano (in pieces in our garage) with a keyboard from Santa. Bella and Blair still reveled in the double blessings of Santa bags and stockings!

Christmas 2012 – Here we are! We have a really tall tree and the house decked with Christmas around every corner. The weather has been bitterly cold for us Aussie/California types. Scraping frost off the windows in the morning in order to drive kids to school kind of cold! Bella’s old enough to have figured out the Santa “game” of Christmas and to help wrap packages and decorate at church. Brodie’s off with friends most of the time, and Blair is filled with the wonder of new discoveries.  As a family, we’ve chosen gifts to give to others in far off countries who have nothing. Some families far away will get to have some clothes, soccer balls, a goat and freedom from slavery. It’s been a Christmas for solidifying traditions and making some new ones. I love my husband more every day.  What a journey we’ve been on. What a journey we have yet to go.

261 Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
What are some of your favorite Christmas memories? Is this year different? In what way?

The World of Other Online Daters…


Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing a couple of people who met their “significant other” on an internet dating site. 

Colmar, France

 
Today I’d like to introduce you to Mary, a sixty-five year old widow with two children, who met her boyfriend, Scott, online at Plenty of Fish nearly four years ago. Mary is one of the trainers at the Curves where I work out. When the topic of how I met my husband came up, Mary shared that she had also found love on the internet. Naturally, I wanted to know more about her story.

Laura: Hi, Mary! Thank you so much for agreeing to share your online dating experience with us. First, I have to say that I’m stunned to find that you are sixty-five!  You’re so fit and full of energy! You look at least ten years younger.

Mary: Thank you. I lead a physically active lifestyle.

Laura: So Mary, you mentioned that you had been married briefly and divorced, then married and widowed for 32 years. What led you to try internet dating?

Mary: I don’t like to “go out” much, but I missed being around a man. I was more “career woman” oriented.  A girlfriend recommended Plenty of Fish, and it sounded fun so I gave it a try.

Laura: Tell us a little about your experiences with online dating before you met Scott.

Mary: Well, I made the mistake of putting my real age in my profile and most men that responded were much older—fifteen to twenty years older! As we mentioned earlier, I live an active life and look younger than I am. But even though I looked younger in my profile picture, I only got a few responses over several months. And as I said, they were in their 70’s and 80’s!

Laura: Did you have any bad experiences?

Mary: No. I had some awkward moments though. A few men who I met on other sites previously, in years past, attempted to reconnect. Two were recovering alcoholics; one was a mentally ill, socially inept man, and the other was recently divorced and feeling used!

Laura: What about Scott’s profile caught your attention?

Mary: His profile was humorous. His photo showed him in a hat. He seemed masculine and comfortable with himself in a relaxed and caring way. He had a good “easy” smile.

Laura: I can relate! My husband’s smile and humor first attracted me! Who made the initial contact? Was it a wink or an email?

Mary: An email from me! I hate being the first to make contact, but I wasn’t getting any bites. My daughter urged me on.

Laura: Then what? How long did you communicate on the site before you met in person?

Mary: We only communicated a few times on the site, I think. Then we met at a bar and grill for drinks and danced to a band.

Laura: So how long was it before you knew you were serious about this relationship?  And where do you see it going?

Mary: We became more intimate after a couple of months, but it was about a year before I knew this would be a long term relationship. I’m not sure if we will ever marry, but I can see us staying together. I definitely want to keep him in my life on whatever level works for us both!

Laura: Do you have any advice for our readers about trying online dating?

Mary: I do feel it’s important to internet date with a “welcoming heart and mind.” Be cautious, but curious. Try to put aside expectations. Be open to just experiencing a different person. Men are such alien creatures! Obviously if what has been “attractive” before didn’t work, push yourself to try something different that won’t catch your heart in the usual way.

Laura: Great advice. I think I found myself thinking that as well. Being open to meet someone from another country for example—even though I never anticipated that to happen! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Mary: I’ve always felt relationships depend on each person’s healthy willingness to receive and give for self-fulfillment.  If you don’t value equally the giving and receiving, the relationship won’t be a good thing.

Laura: Well said. I believe you’re right and that applies whether you meet online or in some other way! Thank you so much, Mary, for letting us in on your experiences!

Mary: You’re welcome. It was fun!

Look for the next interview coming soon…

The Emptiness of Sexual Encounters


Society glamorizes sex.

Chris and Sabina's Wedding Cake
Polish Apple Cake

Why is this? Because it feels good? Because it’s entertaining? We assume that any remote attraction between a man and woman should result in a sexual encounter. Why is that? What are we really seeking?

Companies spend billions of dollars each year to promote an activity devoid of any value except a pleasurable experience. Some people feel bungee jumping is a titillating affair, but we don’t see ads telling us that if we wear the right clothes or perfume or even deodorant we will attract a bungee jumping adventure!

So why sex?

Recently, I was chatting with someone about dating online. Since she and I both met our guys on the internet, we had that common connection. The topic of older people looking for love online came up. She wanted to know if I had heard of a particular older woman who wanted sex so she used internet dating to find men.  Traveling all over, this woman encountered these online suitors and had a lot of sex. Apparently, she wrote a book about it.

My initial thought when I heard about this was “and then what?”

Was she satisfied? Left wanting more? What was the point? More sex? Don’t think for a moment that I don’t understand the enticement of the physical experience and outcome of the sexual act.  I’m fully aware! But sex without intimacy, love, and the commitment of two souls is like eating a scrumptious dessert; it may taste good at the time, but it will only last the night.

My husband and I have been reading the book Love and War by John and Stasi Eldrege. I’ve mentioned it before and can’t recommend it enough.  The past couple of weeks we’ve been digesting “The Chapter on Sex” (that’s the title).  The following is from p.178:

Marriage is the sanctuary God created for sex, and only there, in the refuge of covenantal love, will you find sex at its best. For a lifetime. The coming together of two bodies in the sensual fireworks of sex is meant to be a consummating act, the climactic event of two hearts and souls that have already been coming together outside the bedroom and can’t wait to complete the intimacy as deeply as they possibly can.

It doesn’t get better than that.

Truly, it doesn’t. Brendan and I experienced our hearts and souls melding together through our long distance relationship long before we met in person. And we’ve found that our choice to wait for our wedding night to complete the intimacy was one of the best we’ve ever made!

Unfortunately, the general public has bought the line (hook and sinker included) that sex is meant for one night stands or a couple of months of physical pleasure, but that type of encounter is a hollow counterfeit. It may feel good, even great in the moment, but believe me when I say that it’s settling for second best.

The Bible puts it like this:

I have seen something horrible: they commit adultery and live a lie.  Jeremiah 23:14

Adultery is simply any sexual encounter outside the “sanctuary of marriage.” Having sex like that, simply for the sake of a good feeling or entertainment, is living an empty lie. God made sex and made it great (read Song of Songs in the Bible for proof), so the “something horrible” isn’t sex. What’s horrible is the way we get ripped off when we settle for something less than the best God has.

Using the internet to find the love of your life—good idea. Using the internet to find sex—a poor second.

Have you ever taken part in anything you thought was great until you experienced the real thing?

Is Online Dating Gaining Popularity?


It happened again.

This time I was getting a pedicure and chatting with the lovely woman who attempted to produce something beautiful from my calloused, beach-combing feet. The conversation naturally turned to how we each met our husbands.

Her question prompted my response, “On an internet dating site,” and I grinned, waiting for the usual astonishment.

No way! You’re the third person that I’ve heard of.

I find I’m hearing that more often now. My husband and I know two other married couples who met on Christian Café. Online dating is quickly losing its stigma. Many folks are tired of the bar hopping want-to-go-to-my-place scene. They want more than one night; they long for something real, deeper and permanent.

According to 2012 statistics, internet dating is gaining popularity and producing lasting results.

Did you know that:

  • In 2007, 20 million people tried online dating; in 2012 40 million have jumped onboard
  • 10% of 54 million singles use an online dating service
  • Of online daters, 52.4% are male; 47.6% are female
  • 20% of current committed relationships started online
  • The average length of courtship leading to marriage for online daters is 18.5 months
  • 17% of couples who married met on a dating site
  • According to eHarmony, their site is responsible for 5% of all US marriages

Is it the best option?

While opportunities for meeting the person of your dreams through work, school, and social activities may present themselves to the majority of society, many people find the internet dating situation a beneficial one. Learning a little about someone from a profile or being matched to a compatible suitor offers a dating advantage that supersedes a bar scene or the constant conscious effort to pay attention to every potential single who may be in the next aisle at the grocery store.

Yes, liars and potential dangers do exist online.

But I’ve seen or met some fairly sketchy characters on a college campus, in a restaurant and even at church. There are no guarantees that you won’t meet unscrupulous people on an internet dating site—just as you might anywhere. It’s certainly not the only option; it’s only one of many. But I’m awfully glad I tried it.

Do you know someone who has met online? What’s their story?
 

Statistics provided by www.statisticbrain.com and www.eharmony.com

5 Ways to Enhance Your Marriage


God and internet dating brought us together…

But staying together and living out the happily-ever-after requires a purposeful choice to nurture our marriage. The past three and a half years have afforded us with ample opportunity to grow in and through our marriage. Some of the ways we have learned to enhance our marriage are:

  1. Pray together. This is something we have recently started doing on a daily basis and it has drawn us together, alleviated conflicts and created such a sweet intimacy. Each morning we start the day asking God to direct our day and at night before we go to sleep, we pray for each other.
  2. Take time to be with each other. Besides taking time to pray, we find that having a weekly date night keeps our relationship fresh and alive. Couples need time to simply be with each other enjoying each other’s company, talking, laughing and being friends. This is not a time to talk about the kids, but a time to connect and remember why we wanted to be married in the first place. Brendan and I still send Skype messages to each other throughout the day whether he’s away at the office or downstairs working. It reminds us of our dating via Skype and keeps us connected. We also set aside an hour each week to read and discuss a book on marriage. We recently attended The Marriage Course and are currently reading Love and War.
  3. Have fun. We have found that the best way to reignite the spark in our marriage is to have a good time together. This may be on a date night playing pool, or enjoying a game of Sudoku together or even having a good tickle fight. Laughing together  releases tension and resets our attitude toward life and toward each other. The Bible says that laughter is good medicine. We’ve found it to be the best.
  4. Think the best about each other. Often it’s easy to assume our spouse is thinking or meaning something by their words that they aren’t which leads to misunderstandings and disagreements. We are learning to assume the best rather than the worst. If in doubt, ask kindly. Most often what we felt hurt or offended by was a whispered lie to our heart from the enemy of our soul.
  5. Make love well and often. When God created us, he created male and female in his image and said man and wife should cleave to each other. That physical union wasn’t only to pro-create or bring pleasure (although aren’t we glad it does?); it was intended as a melding of two spirits, souls and bodies into one. To intimately share ourselves with our spouse in the way God designed is actually an act of worship and a renewed pledge to our spouse. In addition, it slams the devil (who seeks to divide and destroy us) in the face with a “take that!”

Brendan and I still have much to learn about each other and about marriage, but every day we are more in love and grateful for this incredible life together. The more regularly we apply these tools to our relationship, the more we grow as individuals and as a couple. We’re thankful God brought us together through an online dating site from two continents apart, but we are even more appreciative of the methods he’s given us to keep our marriage alive and exciting. Give it a try! Your marriage is worth it.

What are some ways you enhance your marriage? Have you read any good marriage books lately? What type of fun do you enjoy together?

 

Catch of the Day


Last week we had the pleasure of hearing from guest blogger, Carol Lloyd, about her experiences meeting her husband online. As promised, here is Part 2…

Two weeks later the same guy writes.

“You’ve been on my mind a lot the last few days. Would you mind, if I give you a call?”

No, I guess not—but why? Had anything changed about his plans? 

As it turned out, I had already planned a trip to Washington for the following long weekend. So I proposed meeting for coffee. No expectations on my part, after all, I’d gotten a “Dear Jane” letter! Nevertheless, he drove the two hours to meet me in Seattle. We had coffee, talked, had dinner and talked. Our first meeting IRL (in real life) was four and a half hours. At the end, when saying goodbye, he asked if he could call me. He asked—big points!!

We called, visited and in the middle of the dating process I panicked! I think he’s very serious – now what?! Prior to this revelation, I had mapped out, for example, when he should travel to visit me, but I didn’t tell him. This was only an agenda I had in my head based on proper male attentiveness (according to Carol).

He actually arrived according to my mental agenda!

So I proceeded to make my signals of interest clear; after all, there was a agenda. Then, he became serious! Oh no! Do I really want to get married? Am I in love with this guy? What will his (grown) kids think of me? Am I too analytical and in my head? (Well, maybe sometimes.) Nonetheless, my questions and emotions needed sorting. I required answers!

Why am I panicking? He isn’t a jerk or a wimp.

I was afraid because I didn’t know what to expect; I needed time to process my feelings. Not only that, but I compared us to other couples! The first two reasons are not surprising. In a relationship it can be difficult to know what will happen, especially a long distance one. Or, on the flip side, did I have expectations that I was unaware of which necessitated definition and resolve? I found myself in both categories, so I had homework. Time, in part, was my answer. I had to deal with my expectations known and unknown, as well as process my feelings. Women should never short change the time required to process feelings, and it is best if some of that processing is done with a close friend or family member.

The third reason for my crisis involved sabotage. Yes, I was the culprit destroying my relationship! Anytime someone compares, corrosion ensues. Comparisons are rarely helpful, especially in regard to relationships, because another couple’s situation, their temperaments and life experiences are always going to be different than mine, or ours in this case. Our path was as valid as any other couple’s. Once I navigated the minefield of expectations and comparisons, I was home free to understand my feelings.

He proposed four months after our first coffee time.

I hemmed and hawed, considered the ramifications, logistics and potential outcomes. After all, I’m quite practical in nature, remember?(Actually, I did none of those things.) By the time he was done with the proposal, we were both teary eyed and I replied with a resounding YES! As mentioned, I did those mental gymnastics while I was panicking and even after the initial crisis subsided.

Don’t forget, fishing often takes time.

This kind of fishing is not like the “catch of the day” at a restaurant, thrown out when it’s spoiled. This lasts a lifetime so impatience does not serve us well. Honestly, I didn’t think there was a guy out there like Brian. We are very well suited. I’m always learning more about him, adjustments are perpetual, and life and marriage can bring struggles. Bottom line, I would do it all again and love having him to share a life together. Having known him for four and a half years, we now have a wonderful mixture of time-lines, where it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long but we’ve known each other forever! Although dating and marriage are not one transcendent experience after another, I am blissfully happy, married to a wonderful and imperfect man.

What expectations or comparisons have you brought to your dating situations? How do you process your emotions?

For more great blogs from Carol, find her at www.timeforcoffee.blogspot.com

“Dear Jane”


This week I’ve asked my friend and fellow blogger, Carol Lloyd, to share her online dating experience. Carol and I shared the pleasure of side by side internet dating and meeting our husbands within three months of each other. You can get a taste of Carol’s fun and interesting life at Time for Coffee. Her husband, Brian, also offers his perspective on life at brianzgate.

Let’s face it, online dating has a stigma.

I was rather leery of the whole concept myself. Laura, got me into it. Now, she’s asked me to guest blog for her. I wonder what’s next? 🙂

My story is different, just as Laura and I are different; but experiencing it together we had a blast! Here’s a bit about how my tale went. Before you read, you need to know I’m a practical person. If a romantic bone exists in my body, it’s a small one.

Nothing to write home about.

I’d been perusing online profiles for a total of ten months, and was well into a second dating site. Almost a year was enough; I was done. It had been fun while it lasted, as they say. And it really had been fun in aspects I hadn’t imagined. Many evenings we sat in hysterics at what some of the guys would write! I think Laura already mentioned an email I received—portraying me as a goldfish and him as the piranha! I ask you, would you be attracted to this guy and want further communication? Or, there was Laura’s international missile salesman, about whom I asked if he did that door to door?!

Really? Is this the extent of the fish in the sea I get to choose from?

My inbox received many a “net email” as I referred to them. These emails held no specific reference to my profile (if it had even been read!) Rather they referred to me as an angel sent from heaven or some such drivel. The absurdity made it quite apparent that these emails had been sent to any number of women to see who might respond. You know, trying to maximize one’s return on investment, like casting a net. I never responded.

Finally, I dated someone, but within a few weeks, I got an email addressed to me referring to a phone conversation the night before. He commented on how wonderful it was. Problem was, we hadn’t talked the night before! When I pointed that out and asked if there was anything he wanted to tell me, I never heard from him again. I was fine with that, but what a coward!

Doesn’t this experience sound great, exciting and rewarding?

Don’t you want to abandon this blog post and sign up at some dating site, any dating site—immediately? You can see why, after ten months, I was done.

But another friend convinced me to sign up for three more months. It was during the second month I found a real gem! This did not usher in a steady stream of starry, magical nights and blissful encounters. In fact, after six weeks of sporadic electronic communication, I was sent a “Dear Jane” letter. Some gem! Oh, it was a cordial one—nothing to do with me, but he felt God was leading him to move to another area in Washington. At the time, I lived in California. The communication was nice while it lasted. Did I want to start over? Hmmm…not really…

Continued in Part 2 next week.
 
Care to share your online dating experience? What stigma do you think online dating has? Do you know anyone who has dated online?

Someone’s Out There


I stumbled upon a blog this past week that intrigued me.

The author, a gentleman whose name I can’t remember and blog I can’t find now, spoke of how fed up he was with online dating. He had much to say about the industry and what an unbelievable scam it was becoming. He had given it a try for a couple of years without meeting the woman of his dreams and decided there must be a better way. I certainly experienced some of the same feelings at times during my stint with internet dating!

This man went on to explain how he went to France and decided to write a book about his love experiences. Right before he left, someone he had once had a couple of dates with contacted him and they reconnected when he returned from his trip. He used the profile idea from his online dating experience to create his own profile and sent it on ahead to the woman. A deeper connection was his goal. Within a short while they hit it off and eventually married.

Seemed like an interesting idea to me.

Reading his blog made me realize how many different love stories there are, and how unique each one is. I never would have imagined meeting my husband online, but God used that vehicle to create a wonderful love story for my husband and me. The man I’ve mentioned (still trying to find his site again) gave up internet dating and found the love of his life in another way. Some people meet at school, or in malls or at a bar. Others know someone who sets them up with someone they know, and still others find their true love at a party or wedding. Regardless of the setting, the bottom line is the miracle and greatness of finding that one person who fits with us perfectly and adds a depth and dimension to our life that wasn’t there before.

I’ve read horror stories of online daters, but I also known of miracle stories (like mine) that came through an internet dating site. I’ve known people who met in junior high school (like my parents and Clayton and Ellen Kershaw – LA Dodgers pitcher, authors), and others who found their spouse later in life (my two best friends). No matter what, when or how, the most important thing is the end result. People weren’t meant to be alone. We long for relationship. Even if we’re happily single, we count on our friends to be there for us and call on us. Meeting our true love can happen anywhere and through a variety of avenues.

Honestly, at first, I felt a little defensive toward someone who insisted online dating was a terrible thing; but in the end, his result was the same as mine–we met our soul mates. Isn’t that what matters most?

Care to share your story? How did you meet your soul mate? Are you still searching? Do you have an experience with online dating?