I was that friend who once dated a non-Christian. Let me tell you my story.
About Jane Lim
Jane likes to think of herself as a reader first, though a picky one at that. Thanks to grad school, she’s transitioned from fiction to nonfiction, though these days it’s long essays by eloquent writers that she most relishes. Through the ups and downs in life, she’s experienced and continues to experience the restorative power of words (and the Word). She hopes to get to work with more Christian writers and publishers and is very thankful to have become part of YMI.
Entries by Jane Lim
I’ve had my share of friendship “fades”, the kind of drifting apart that comes with growing up, moving away, getting married, having children.
But I’ve never had a friendship “breakup”.
“What we’re trying to do is—even when the anxiety stays—help you learn to live with it,” said my therapist for the umpteenth time.
I know what my therapist said is true, but it’s still a hard pill to swallow.
Even though my husband was literally just a few feet away on the couch (clear proof that I wasn’t alone), it made little difference at that moment. I was longing for the kind of soul-nourishing intimacy that comes with female friendships—the willingness to listen and talk at length, the gentle tone, the comforting hug or touch on the shoulder, and most of all, hearing them say, “I know what you mean” or “Yeah, me too!”
My family has always been what some might describe as ‘textbook Christian’: We go to church every Sunday, and attend fellowships and retreats. We read the Bible, join Bible study groups, and hold Bible study sessions at home. We believe that a family that prays together stays together.
And yet, it has always been painful for me to see how much conflict and tension we have in our home.
We often hold on to something—whether it’s a relationship that we know isn’t pleasing to God, or a job or task that we’ve outgrown—for longer than we need to.
Perhaps it feels impossible and wrong to quit. So we persevere and plod along, even when it’s leading us nowhere.
We had just finished a study and were about to share our prayer requests when one of them began by saying:
“If you could please pray for me, I feel like I’m addicted to shopping. Like maybe I’m spending a bit too much buying things that I don’t need.”
When I heard this, I felt crestfallen. Not because there was anything wrong with what she had shared, but because I suddenly felt like I could not be as honest with my own confession.
Yet, as I have learned in the nine short months that I’ve been married, there were things—situations, emotions—that I had imagined differently when I was single. Close friends of mine who were also newlyweds, shared similar sentiments.
We all struggle with faithfulness from time to time, but sometimes, we may be experiencing guilt about the wrong thing or feeling frustrated because our ideas of what faithfulness looks like aren’t playing out in our lives.
Here are five myths we may be holding onto about what it really means to be faithful.
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