I’d been dating Matt for a couple months when I felt compelled to share with him the last “Big One” about my past, before a serious commitment was made between us. I wanted him to know everything up front, so that he could make an educated decision about spending his life with me, plus I wanted to be loved for all the right reasons (not ones I made up or left out). I knew all too well what being “loved” for the wrong reasons felt like, so in order to avoid that mistake again I chose to be completely honest, even at the risk of losing him. Besides, I had worked too hard and waited way too long to settle for anything less than God’s best for me. I knew that He had an awesome plan and wouldn’t want me settling for a guy who couldn’t accept where I had come from, but more importantly who I was now.
I picked up the phone to call; my heart was about to pound out of my chest as I took a deep breath…“I’m really scared to tell you this, but this is where the ‘rubber meets the road’ with my faith. I’m going to trust the Lord with your response, but more importantly with my heart.” I braced myself and spit it out.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I tend to get “buyer’s remorse” right after sharing something big like that, especially if I really want their approval or they can’t personally relate to my past. In this case, Matt qualified for both categories. After I was done sharing he asked me a few clarifying questions and then he got a little quiet. He likes to take his time and quietly contemplate and I like to talk through it, so his quietness made me even more nervous than I already was. We awkwardly said goodbye and expressed that we were excited to see each other the following day as I had planned to drive down and see him.
Early the next morning, the boys and I packed up the car and made our way down South. I was so nervous every time my phone made a noise, as I envisioned the dreaded call “I’m sorry Michelle, we get along so good and I really like you, BUT your past is just TOO MUCH for me.” But THAT call never came…it was the longest 4 ½ hours.
It was hard to share my past with him, because he grew up in a two parent Christian home, had worked for the same company for almost twenty years, never been drunk, never done any drugs or even smoked a cigarette. He spent his high school years in youth group and going on Mexican mission trips. He could count the number of women he’d kissed in his life on one hand and I’m one of them. So when I compared our pasts-I got really freaked out. Comparison is a killer and it stokes the fire of fear. I was comparing our pasts and coming to my own realistic outcome and it wasn’t good. I thought “There’s no way a guy like him is going to fall for a girl like me.”
We had a great time visiting that weekend (like always) and on the last evening he invited me on a walk, just after it had gotten dark. He grabbed a flashlight and his Bible and off we went. I felt like he was up to something, but I wasn’t sure what it was. We were walking around his neighborhood holding hands, as he showered me with compliments and expressed his gratefulness for what we had.
We found a semi secluded spot near an open field under a street light and sat down on the curb. We snuggled up together as he opened his Bible. He said “I’m sure you have heard this chapter a million times before, however I would like to share how it reminds me of you, but if you don’t mind I would like to skip verse 10 and start with 11 instead.” So he began reading out of his NIV Bible, stopping after each verse to explain how it related to me.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
“Now Michelle, I know I’m not your husband, but I totally trust you and in my line of work that’s not easy for me, but your genuine and sometimes brutal honesty makes it easy.”
12 She brings him good not harm,
all the days of her life.
“You are so good to me and you make me so happy. I trust that you have my best interest at heart.”
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
“You are a very hard and thorough worker and I appreciate that about you.”
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
“I don’t want to compare you to a ship, but you’re a good cook.”
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
“You like to get up early and you’re always looking out for others needs, especially your sons and the Girls you mentor.”
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
“You’re frugal with money and you like to garden too.”
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
“You are really strong and you don’t give up.”
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
“You accomplish quite a bit during the day and are still busy at night.”
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
“Not sure what that means, but you probably do that too?”
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
“You are such a servant Michelle. You are always helping others, even with money you don’t have. I wish I had that kind of faith.”
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
“You always put your kid’s needs above your own, making sure their bills are paid for, they have a nice clean home to live in and you go to most of their sport events to support them.”
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
“I am honored and proud to have you by my side, because you are, who you say you are, and Jesus radiates from inside of you.”
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
“You are so funny…you always make me laugh.”
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
“Your wisdom amazes me. You’re always giving sound Godly advice.”
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
“I like the way you run your household, especially your relationships your sons.”
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
“You’re a really good mom to the boys and I believe that my girls are blessed to have your influence in their life too. I know that you would be a great step-mom to them, if God blessed us with you.”
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
“I have never met a woman like you…ever. You truly do surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
“You are gorgeous on the outside, but more importantly your relationship with Jesus shines through and makes you even more beautiful. I can see that you have a very healthy fear of the Lord and you deserve so much praise for that.”
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
“I say all of this to give you the honor you truly deserve. Now I want to go back to verse 10 and read it.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small square box, my heart leapt with fear and anticipation…he gave me a smirk and said “don’t worry, I’m not about to propose to you.” Followed by a bit of a sinking feeling, cause I would have said “YES!!!” Ha…ha…I know that’s quick, but anyways…
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth FAR more than rubies.
“I am so proud of the woman that you have allowed God to make you into, you are a miracle. My hope is that God will continue to give me the privilege of dating you and someday I will get to be your husband, but until then I want you to know that I am all in. There is no one else. You have my full attention and my commitment to you. You are worth FAR MORE than rubies,” and then he opened the little black box and presented me with a ruby and diamond ring to wear as a promise ring.
I accepted of course with tears in my eyes and said “I thought you were going to break up with me not give me a ring.” He said “WHAT?? Why in the world would I let you get away that easy?” I sheepishly replied, “I thought you would think that I was too much for you after my last confession that I made.” He replied, like only he can “You are the perfect amount for me, not too much-not too little.” Oh my…that was better than any marriage proposal I had ever heard of, which made me wonder how he was going to propose to me later on. Stay tuned for that story…
What Matt didn’t know is that over the last several years I had been praying for God to make me into a Proverbs 31 woman, you see the Proverbs 7 woman (I suggest you look it up when you have a chance) was the perfect description of who I used to be, but I desperately desired to be a Proverbs 31 woman, however six years prior to that night there was nothing on that 31 list that described me. So although I was extremely excited about Matt and very relieved that we were still together, I was even more excited and relieved that the Lord had answered my fervent prayers and transformed me into “THAT kind of Girl” from a 7 to a 31. The thought (fear) of “a guy like him never falling for a girl like me” was so ridiculous, because he was falling for the Girl I was now, not then. THAT Girl was gone forever along with her addictions, false motives and cunning ways.
If you are in a position of trying to go from a 7 to a 31, just know that it IS possible, very possible, BUT only by the grace of God. He CAN change you into the woman that you have always dreamed of being-the woman you were created to be. I love how the Lord has taken new experiences to cover up the old experiences and used them to remind me that I am a different person now…thanks to Him.