Wednesday, April 07, 2010

How'd 'ya meet? Part Three

I was living in the lovely yellow apartment, enjoying my life and yet longing for a family of my own. I was journaling, I was praying through this, attending Beth Moore Bible studies and working my way through The Navigators Topical Memory System.

One day, a friend and I were on a walk (a girl friend - ok?) and she mentioned hearing a program on Focus on the Family about an internet matching service that starts with an "E" and ends with a "Y". ** Sorry, I can no longer endorse this organization and I don't even want any blog searches on their name here. ** I basically said - thanks but no thanks. Not for me.

Well, you know where that is going right? Our pastor was teaching through John at the time and his message on John 5 particularly jumped out at me.
John 5: 2-9,
"Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie - the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, 'Do you want to get well?'

'Sir,' the invalid replied, 'I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.'

Then Jesus said to him, 'Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.' At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked."
A few notes I jotted down from the message:

Take a Hike: The Provision of Initiative Part 1
3 habits of a "Spiritual Hiker"

1. Taking an honest inventory - vs. 5
- How long had he been ill?
- It seems an obvious question, Jesus wants us to respond with what our real need is.
- Sometimes we don't want to get well - we find our identity in our stagnation and pain. Staying the same: safe, secure.
- Staying the same is the worst that can happen. If I am deeply satisfied with the way I am - the Bible has nothing to say to me.
- The longer the time spent in sickness - the more normal the sickness becomes. We begin to define our situation by those around us.

Settler Theology vs. Pioneer Theology

* Church: courthouse - where records are stored, the center of town vs. the covered wagon: where they eat, sleep, love, die, fight

* God: mayor - don't see him, don't know him - but know he is there vs. trail boss - favorite person yet also the most scared of this person

* Jesus: sheriff - enforces mayor vs. scout - going before; knows about every coming danger and difficulty

* Holy Spirit: bar tender - listens, comforts, only responds when you need it vs. buffalo hunter - gets food for the pioneers

* Christian: settler - likes having the same address vs. pioneer - likes to be on the move

* Pastor: banker - has an "in" with the mayor that no one else has vs. cook - dishes up whatever the buffalo hunter has provided - some meals taste better but they are all nourishing

* Faith: safety and security vs. adventure

* Sin: breaking the town ordinances vs. turning back

* Salvation: having an address vs. adventure

2. Pursuing authentic maturity: maturity is the realization that I'll never arrive; continued growing and learning; trying to make progress attached to a rope; life-long learner
- Hebrews 11:13

3. Facing a confused majority.
- Did the Jews (settlers) say to the man - he's walking for the first time!! No, they said it was unlawful. Don't go the same direction as the confused majority! Don't run from God's question - Do you want to be made well?

Be a palate-carrying people! Don't keep going back to the camp site!

Do I want to be well? Through a different set of circumstance, this passage became meaningful to David that Fall as well. Unknown to either of us at the time. We often still say to each other, "Do you want to be made well?"

God kept bringing this to my mind along with what my friend had mentioned and I knew it was a step of obedience God was asking me to take.

So, I borrowed her tape of the Focus broadcast. I listened to it and prayed about it. I had my parents listen to it and asked their opinion. We agreed it would not be for everyone, but together agreed it could be something that might be a good fit for me. So, I took the plunge and signed up.

I took my time filling out my profile - I studied it and had my parents read it. Did it accurately describe who I was? I wanted to make sure that it did.

Finally in the Fall of 2002, my name was in the database. I had a rule for myself that I would never initiate any kind of conversation, they would have to take the initiative. Even though my method was unconventional and modern - I am still old fashioned at heart.

Initially, the results were disappointing. Divorced. Not like-minded. Self-centered. Just not good fits at all. Until around Thanksgiving. I started getting to know a guy from Albuquerque. We e-mailed and eventually talked on the phone. After Christmas, a friend of his from Colorado Springs was going down to visit her family and offered to take me along and let me stay with her at her parents house.

So, I went.

To be continued ...


Grace said...

All I can say is I am impressed with you note taking ability. and the fact that you kept that all these years. I love the contrasts of the settler mentality v. the pioneer mentality. Sounds like the pastor had some good imagination to come up with that.

~katie~ said...

Wow, you really have me drawn in here! This is getting deep! Love how much detail you are going into with this!!

Sarah said...

I met my husband on an internet "matching" site. It was one that was actually for my church denomination (Seventh Day adventist) Yes, i met a few that weren't right, but after a couple, I got to the man of my dreams and today we're happily married with our third child on the way!
(I lived way out in the "boondocks" and had been homeschooled... I didn't really know any eligable batchelors! haha!)

Bevy @ Treasured Up and Pondered said...

Wait. I just posted on the wrong part of the story.

I just said that I now know why your story felt so similiar to mine. I met my husband through this site, too. I can totally understand why you don't want to associate with it anymore. I/we forget that that is how we actually met. It's just such a natural part of our history.

** anyway, your story is really getting good.

Mom said...

Another cliffhanger! Even though I know the story, I still look forward to the next "chapter." :) Love you, Mom

Anonymous said...

Now this is getting exciting and it's not fair to stop here! (-;

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

I have a friend who met her husband through that same service, and they've been happily married for 6 years or so now.

I'm enjoying this series!

angie said...

you know just where to leave the reader hanging!! This series of posts will be priceless to your children in the future.

Carrie said...

Unexpected turn of events! ;D You're telling a great story!

Julie Ball said...

I love reading your story, and your notes on the John 5 passage are a word I really needed to hear today. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and mind every day! I know I don't comment often, but I get your posts by email and I always enjoy what you have to say!

Hattie said...

Ooooh, Monica!
I'll tune in tomorrow, of course.

Mary Ann said...

I'm loving this story! My husband and I met through that same site. I no longer feel as free to recommend it anymore either. So funny- I listened to that same tape from a friend of ours and then refused to initiate conversation with any of my matches. I figured if they were to be "the man" in our relationship, they might as well start it off right! Especially since in real life, I would never have asked a guy out or initiated a relationship with him. I have since been told that was "selfish and inconsiderate of me since some guys may be too shy" but I figure if they were, then they were most likely not the guy for me. :-)

I've been enjoying your story so much that I might write ours. :-)

Anonymous said...

Monica, you really know how to write a good 'love inspired' series! Looking forward to reading the rest.

I must add that I am so impressed with your Biblical/spiritual note-taking. How did you learn to look at things from that perspective?

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile now, and have really enjoyed this segment of learning how you two met! I just have one question--why do you no longer endorse that site? I'm sorry if that's personal, and I don't mean it to sound critical, because it isn't! I'm just asking since I've been thinking about joining that same one myself for awhile now, since it seems a great way to meet other 20-something Christian men in a safe environment--other places are so horrible! So I was wondering what changed from when you did it to now, as a warning to myself! Thank you!


Monica Wilkinson said...

Hi Katie! Would you mind sending me an e-mail at thehomespunheart (at) hotmail (dot) com? I would love to respond to you, but would prefer to do it via e-mail. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

HI Monica,
I read your blog often, but don't respond because i'm not a blogger - no username. But as i'm encouraged by your recent posts I thought i'd comment on you "pool of Bethesda".

I just got back from a tour in Israel and wow was it lifechanging! Spiritually renewing and opened my eyes to so many new truths.

One of our teachings was done at the ruins of Bethesda, I sat in front of the pools. Incredible. Our tour guide who is fluent in Hebrew as well as many other languanges, explained the depth of the crippled man's interaction with Jesus. When Jesus asked the man do you want to be well, it was not a mere question of health, nor was it to mock the sick man (as some have perceived in the past) What He was asking was: Do you want to be ALL that God has created you to be? Isn't that incredible? We don't have to be physically crippled to have Jesus ask us this question. When we pick up our mat and accept salvation, we are saying YES we want to be all that God wants us to be.

In addition, as a single hoping to one day be married, I am incredibly encouraged by this series of posts. Thanks so much for sharing and your complete vulnerability in doing so.