In that I have a daughter in college, I often think about just how hard being in college is for girls.  I mean, I’m sure it’s hard for dudes too, but c’mon.  Like they’re thinking past the weekend.

Classes, friends, social life, obligations, homesickness, bad sleep, and…guys.  Being hit on by them, not being hit on by them, watching them mature at a lesser rate of speed and wondering if and when you “should” get married.

It’s a lot.

So my advice out of the gate it this: do not cave to any of those “shoulds” just because you think they exist.  They do not. They are self-imposed and societal-imposed.  They mean nothing.  Therefore, instead of thinking you “should” go out just because it’s Friday – don’t.  If you just don’t feel like it, stay in.  Read a book. Take a hot bath.  Binge on Netflix.  And definitely immerse yourself in the Word of God.  Not once will He lead you astray.  Not a chance.

How does that sound to me, as a 43-year old who wants back every wasted Friday night in college?

Yes, please.

I will take it any time.  And CERTAINLY ANY TIME OVER DATING OR SPENDING TIME WITH THE WRONG GUY.  Wherein “wrong guy” = anyone you don’t see yourself with long term.

I mean, seriously.  Why in the world would you give up an OUNCE of your time with a guy that is not a) demonstrating good behavior b) marital material c) equally yoked?

REMEMBER I AM NOT A MAN HATER.  Quite the opposite in fact, as I am married to an amazing man who loves and cherishes me beyond measure…but not as much as he loves God.  As it should be.  I am simply a woman who used to be your age and wants to assure you that making good decisions NOW matters.  You will look back some day and – I promise – not care about any guy who did not truly care about you.

Are you thinking, “But how do I know if he truly cares about me?”

Of course you are.  We all did/still do.

*He liked a post on Insta, Snapchat, etc.

*He didn’t NOT look at me

*He looked at me

*He hasn’t tried to call me and thus, hasn’t said anything mean

*He tried to call me

*He hugged me when he was drunk at tailgate

*He didn’t hug me so I wouldn’t get confused about his feelings 

…the list goes on.  I’ll spare your head the headache.  The short answer is as follows:  if he truly cares about you, you wouldn’t have to wonder.  There is a caveat.  Sometimes the cliche’ of “love just wasn’t enough” is also true.  Timing is a big part of whether or not a relationship will go the distance.  Both people need to be equally committed to wanting the relationship, be of equal mentality and maturity, AND…be ready.  Often times in life and ESPECIALLY in college, that last one is the biggest deal breaker.

Does it stink?  Yes.  Did it stink for me too?  Yes, yes, Y-E-S.  (There will be plenty of forthcoming posts about why picking up a phone at 2am and subsequently walking through back alleys of Ohio State was not a genius idea).

But in the meantime, if you aren’t super sure if he cares about you, then please do this:  YOU care about YOU in the meantime.  Because you are made in His image and He cares about you more than any human being walking the planet will ever be capable.  It’s amazing.  It’s for real.  And it’s for always – no matter what.

So spend time alone with Him.  Be still.  And then go spend time with friends.  Learn something new.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Go volunteer.  Do literally ANYTHING other than waste your time thinking about some guy whom you do not see yourself with long-term.  Because I swear on everything that matters to me that it is just not worth it otherwise.

You will find the one you are supposed to be with someday.  Actually, better than that.  He will find you; you will find each other.  The other ridiculous cliche’ of “it will happen when you are least expecting it” is also as true as your heart might be broken right now. Know that Jeremiah was a prophet…which means he kinda got it.  God knows the plans He has for you, so don’t freak out about not knowing!  That’s the best part! Knowing everything stifles both being in the moment and looking forward to that which awaits.

As one of my all-time favorites by Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson goes, What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

And God is within us all.

(Ezek. 36:27; 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Tim. 1:14…and a bunch of other places)

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