Chris and I knew we would find the right person at church. It was too hard to screen people in the world for authentic Christianity, and it was certainly not working out on instagram for me. Neither tried Christian online dating, and we both had some failed relationships for whatever reason – distance, personality, life experiences.
I am older, and when I came to our mutual church just 6 months prior, I decided against joining the Young Life group. Not that I had anything against them or thought that they would have anything against me, but I was not interested necessarily in dating younger men or hanging out with younger women whom I figured, would have very little in common with me.
Fortunately, I the outside Bible study that introduced me to the church was still meeting and I was getting connected with others who were on the same journey. I was also on my own journey – I was volunteering at my previous church and started with an online church to build an online women’s group. I watched several different sermons every week, and tried to gather as much personal knowledge and inspiration from Jesus as I could – just so I could be more of an asset to any woman who asked for help, whether she was in the group, in the church, or in the world.
But this new church was fascinating and you could say I drank the Kool-aid again – I left my previous church to focus on my online groups and I joined a women’s book study and Alpha course at the new church and quickly decided that I wanted to start an in-person Bible study. I even signed up to help with the kids’ camp and eagerly agreed to lead a class – I stunned the coordinator, who wasn’t used to people accepting leadership positions so quickly.
I knew that I was put on this earth for a reason, that God kept me alive through the dumb for something bigger, and that my gifts were not mine to hoard – I thrive on encouraging others and I was determined to prove myself to myself – if I couldn’t find love on earth, I would certainly find love in Jesus.
Imagine my surprise when a few months later, a friend invited me to a new group that the church was offering – 30s and 40s unmarried. How I even loved the name – it wasn’t saying we were single and depressed or looking for love, just, unmarried and looking for companionship with other believers of our age. I had missed the first meeting, but I was sure more interested in a Bible-study focused meeting than a social one.
So I went and studied with others who were my age, especially men who were older (since I had been around older women, but not necessarily any guys my age). Every other week the group grew as we invited people from other churches and the news got around to church members who didn’t know already.
By the 3rd meeting, I was introduced to Chris. He was handsome, if not a bit interesting, but his name was all I got. Not really paying attention, at the next Bible study meeting we were sitting next to each other. It was a pretty terrible night for me socially, so I purposefully sat by my friend on the other side and let her carry the conversation. Maybe that won Chris over? He opened up considerably to the group at the table and I noticed his finger nails were dirty and he had obviously come straight from work in his work clothes.
But imagine my surprise when he said he was self-employed and God provided – he was never truly anxious about money (what a stark difference, opposites attract!). I was immediately interested and thought I wasn’t ready that night, figuring out a way to become his friend and see if he would accept an invitation. Honestly – I had signed up for AGW and learned the art of invitation was the female pursuit that did not threaten a man’s instinct to hunt (instead of be hunted).