How You Can Reach Me

Facebook: Joseph Stuart
Twitter: jstu87

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dating and Change

I’ll preface by saying that I’m going to be talking about dating. If you don’t want to continue, I won’t be offended.

Still here? Thanks. Means a lot! And let’s face it: if you can use it in dating, you can use it in something far less complicated, like the rest of your life. In fact, I can think how this can apply to serving others, going to the Temple, learning new skills, and especially sharing the Gospel with others. I hope you’ll feel the same way.

Repentance is something I wish that I was better at. Right now I’m not even really thinking of repentance from sin, but rather more at the Greek root of repentance, “a change of mind.” I’ve been thinking a lot (I guess this isn’t really a new thing) about how I can change my mind.

I’ve been thinking about how I should be able to do the things that I want to. I should be able to have the confidence to date, to talk to those I would like to take out. I should just man up and take a chance...and yet I don’t. There. I said it.

I am fully capable of dating. I have the ability to open my mouth and talk to somebody I’m interested in, and that I think might be interested in me. I am fully capable of planning easy, cheap, and fun dates (or at least I think they’re fun).

So why don’t I do it? Because I haven’t seen success in awhile. I haven’t met someone that I care about that cares as much about me. That’s fine, I mean, I’m young, 22. I’ve heard a lot of “comforting” phrases telling me that everything is OK, and will continue to be OK. “There’s plenty of time,” “plenty of fish in the sea,” and “you just haven’t met the right girl yet, but when you do, she’ll be the luckiest girl in the world.” But let’s be honest: did any these things actually make anybody feel better?

I know I’m young. I know there’s plenty of great girls out there. I know that when I meet the right girl, things will be great. That comes from having faith that God has a plan for me, and that I do my best to follow His plan. I hope I don’t sound rude, or self-righteous, that’s not my purpose, but it’s how I feel. Everything works out. I have a testimony of it all working out, perhaps more than any other aspect of the Gospel (outside of knowing that God knows me and my needs, and that His Son has overcome all).

I just wish I knew how things were going to work out. I wish I knew exactly what to do, and how to do it. But guess what? I don’t.

But I decided this week, that I can’t do anything about not knowing what to do. I can’t do anything about not knowing what’s going to come. And when I decided this, I ran across a scripture from Ezekiel 36:

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

I have truly had a heart of stone. I’ve refused to see the bright side, and I’ve refused to see what I can control. I can open my mouth. I can do my best to open doors, and make a girl laugh, I can be active in my church callings, and be willing to serve at a moment’s notice.

I can plan dates that are interesting and different, but not over the top or expensive. I can put myself out there, get a phone number, and then *gasp* call. I could probably even do something like allow myself to get set up (I hate it).

And I will.

So that’s my goal this week: to allow my new heart a chance at being more happy. To not anguish over things that I can’t do, and do something that I almost never do: ask a girl out that I don’t know very well. Do my best to be polite, and funny, and sincere (which is who I hope I am?) and then see where things go.

I’m not sure why I just thought of this, but when Moses and the children of Israel are escaping from Pharaoh, Moses didn’t know what to do until they were on the banks of the Red Sea what he was supposed to do. Then, the voice of the Lord came to Moses, telling him what to do, and how to do it. And the rest is history.

I hope my efforts yield the results I’m looking for, but hey, if not, there isn’t a pack of Egyptians coming after me (that I’m aware of). I hope that each of your endeavors this week, that you feel that your heart has turned to stone, and that you need encouragement in find success, as you put forth your faith and “turn to” where you want to go, and what you want to do.

I know that the Lord is the only way that we can do that. I know that because He has changed my heart again and again, and gently teaches me what I can do to become happier.

And I know the same thing will work for you. With all my heart.