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.
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.
Inadvertently Stumbling Across Trevor on Twitter
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?
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.
So 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.
Meeting In Person for the First Time
Trevor and I met in “The Promised Land” (a.k.a. Chick-fil-A) on a Saturday night. We’d never even talked on the phone before—just written back and forth on Facebook for the past four months, but it was as comfortable as could be from the get-go. He was sitting at a table when I walked in—not holding a rose like in romance novels—but reading a book in true Trevor fashion.
We did all sorts of “manly” things together that long weekend (remember, I was trying to show him a good time), like exploring an abandoned house, shooting guns, lifting weights, hiking through a riverbed, canoeing, swimming in the lake, and making a bonfire. We ate. And talked. That was my favorite part. We talked about what we were looking for in a spouse, theological beliefs, and past experiences.
Tuesday morning, as we met at Chick-fil-A for one last meal before he headed back to New York, I fought back tears. We’d become even better friends over the long weekend, but I had no idea if I’d ever see this guy again. I wasn’t about to put him on the spot and ask, “Sooooo, what are you thinking about us?”
But while I prepared to say goodbye for good, he did it. He did what God created men to do; he initiated. It went something like this:
T: “So, how do you think this weekend went?”
Me: “It was fun.”
T: “Where do you see our relationship going?”
Me: “You tell me. I’m wide open.” (I’m not sure he was expecting that answer.)
He let me know he had qualms about a long-distance relationship, so he wanted to take a few days to seek advice about how to pursue me from nine hours away.
I sent him on his way with some black licorice Swedish dogs, overwhelmed by God’s wonderful surprise and by Trevor acting like a man should. I was on top of the world—until the morning.
All too soon I pulled out my journal, and my sin spilled out:
Today I was ungrateful for all God has done and just wanted more. I wanted Trevor to pursue me now.
He’s seeking the Lord about how to do that, but I want and expect to be fawned over and contacted and pursued hotly from his first admission of liking me.
Thank You, God, for this training ground. I want to learn now how to thank You for what he does rather than focusing on what he doesn’t do.
So thank You for his sensitivity and leadership in texting me this today:
“I don’t know if I said this when we had breakfast yesterday, but I want to make sure I’m clear on this—I like you, too, and the question I face is, ‘How might a relationship like this work?’ So that’s the main thing I’m going to try to work through in the coming days and such. Just wanted to maintain the clarity a bit. “
I continued writing,
I also confess that when I responded to his text and admitted my struggle with him only telling me I “had a good head on my shoulders,” I didn’t think of how that would sound to him (probably like “You failed”). I wanted him to text me back saying,
“Of course! Dumb me. You must be wondering WHY I like you. WHAT I like about you. Where should I start?!” (This is where I imagined him rattling off a long list.)
Forgive me for seeking to manipulate him. For trying to gauge my worth on his praise of me.
Here it is again. I want to be worshipped rather than to worship the only worthy God. I am an idolater. A breaker of the first commandment. Rescue me, Abba.
Almost instantly I came face to face with my ugly expectations for a dating relationship. It was as if I no longer cherished our friendship; I only wanted romance . . . and now. How patient Trevor was with me as I worked through my junk. I’ve already written about that season in these two posts: “When a Fantasy Romance Seems So Much Better Than a Real One” and “My Ugly Expectations for My Boyfriend.” They’ll give you a good idea of what this man has put up with.
So, what gave me the confidence to move forward with this man even when he wasn’t meeting all my crazy expectations for 24/7 romance? Check out this post to hear the three main things that caused me to joyfully and confidently say “yes!” when Trevor asked me to be his wife.