(Click here to read yesterday’s introduction to today’s post: “Hope Greater Than a Diamond Ring.”)
After writing Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom, I had another unexpected opportunity to trust the Lord. All of a sudden, guys started coming out of the woodwork showing interest in this self-proclaimed, formerly boy-crazy girl.
As much as I wanted to get married someday, that wasn’t why I wrote my book. So I “set my face like a flint” and continued investing in teen girls.
Sounds great, right? But a few wise people encouraged me to have someone else respond to guys on my behalf, and I wrote and posted the following message on the contact page of my website:
A note for the guys:
Sorry, gents, I know I just put myself out there as a boy-crazy girl, but the purpose of this site isn’t to find a guy. I’m sorry I won’t be responding to personal inquiries—too busy investing in the girls.
I knew my advisors were right. As much as I wanted to get married someday, that wasn’t why I wrote Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl. So I “set my face like a flint” and continued investing in teen girls.
Seven months after publishing my book, I inadvertently started following a guy named Trevor Marsteller on Twitter.
I instantly noticed that he had 1,000 followers and a blog where he’d done book reviews in the past. I was still hard at work marketing my book (contrary to popular belief, your work is just getting started once you finish a manuscript!). At the time, I was reaching out to bloggers, asking if I could send them a free copy of Confessions in exchange for an honest review.
So of course, I direct messaged Trevor, asking if he’d consider reading and writing a review of my book. He responded the same day, and our friendship began. He wrote a wonderful review of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl, and we began to message each other on Facebook where we weren’t limited by 140 characters.
He seemed to be as busy as me, so there was more than once where a couple weeks passed with no Facebook messages, and I was certain our conversation would fizzle out (after all, that’s how the script had always gone!).
But somehow we kept talking, and after about four months, Trevor sent me the following message. (He had vacation days he needed to use up, and he’d been considering driving to Minneapolis for the Desiring God Conference.)
I wanna shoot something by you and hear your thoughts. I was thinking, “Ya know what, Desiring God posts all of their content for free from all of their conferences, and I have been to their conferences before, and I know what the experience is like. So maybe I don’t need to drive all the way out to MN. But I certainly wouldn’t mind taking a vacation in September before my vacation time expires, and one very real option is to visit this Paula girl.” So, idk, those are some super general and preliminary thoughts, but what do ya think? Is southern MI a visit-worthy place? And will or will I not consume all of the chicken at the Chick-Fil-As in southern Michigan?
Eeeeeeee! I responded,
This Paula girl thinks that’s one of the best ideas she’s heard in a long time! MI is a swell place to vacation; an even better place to live. Let me put together a list of ideas for you and see what you think.
I was excited. I liked him. Of course I did! But still, I didn’t know if he liked me as anything more than a friend. Maybe he just thought it was cool to message an “author.” I couldn’t read him. Besides, experience had taught me that I shouldn’t ever assume a guy liked me until he specifically told me so himself.
And lest you think I never struggled again after writing Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl, let me share a journal entry I wrote before Trevor visited:
Wow, God. Thank You for showing me Yourself just now as I spent time in Philippians 2 reading about how I was to “count others more significant than myself” and “look not only to my own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
After reading this I grabbed my phone and went out to weed my garden. I checked and saw that Trevor was “active now” on Facebook, so I started a conversation with him about his hunting safety course.
He responded to my questions, but he didn’t ask me any to keep the conversation going. So I stopped the conversation and got back to weeding, feeling stupid and unloved.
I wasn’t counting him more significant than me. I never even considered that he might be in a conversation with someone else or . . .
How I need Your grace, Abba, to put on the mind of Christ and make myself nothing and serve Trevor without expecting anything in return. Maybe he legitimately just wants to be my friend and nothing more.
I recognize now that I’ll gladly host him on his vacation (and mine) IF he makes me feel attractive and interesting. But if he’s just not that into me, I’ll resent him and everything I plan and do for and with him.
What if this is not Your man for me? What if You want me to humble myself as You humbled Yourself and serve him as You served me, demanding nothing in return?
Ouch, ouch, ouch! Suddenly this passage became intensely personal. Oh God, thanks for humbling Yourself and obeying Your Father so You might save this proud, proud girl. Make me like Your beautiful self. Catch me up in the romance with You, not with a mere mortal.
With that I asked my close friends to pray with me that I would love Trevor well by showing him a great vacation—without expecting anything in return. I knew that apart from God’s power that would be impossible for me.
Then I journaled,
Trevor comes this week. Do you have something there beyond friendship? Lead me so clearly, Good, Kind Shepherd.
And oh, how He did. Check back tomorrow to read about Trevor’s visit.