Well, can't say I didn't warn you. Turn back now if you must, but I'm about to get real personal up in here.
Last night, I was up from about 1:30 until almost 5 am talking to Matt on Facebook a) because I couldn't sleep since I had slept most of the day because that's just how being sick and on Christmas vacation works for me, b) because that's about the only time that I can catch him, and c) because it's incredibly easy for us to get to talking and completely lose track of time. I've said about a billion times before just who Matt is to me. He's my best friend, the person I trust most on this planet, the person who can look at me and immediately know whether he needs to give me a reality check or just make me feel better. Once I finally got over those romantic feelings I held for years for him, things between us only got better and easier.
After ten years, it's not exactly news to me that while we are extremely similar in a lot of ways, there are just as many ways in which we are different. These differences have only been highlighted as I have become more and more serious about my faith; my passion for living the way I feel God wants me to live is a foreign concept to him, someone who thinks religion is for crazy people.
One of the biggest areas of disagreement for us is the topic of virginity and sex. Matt, for as long as I known him, has been, for lack of a better term, a man whore. In fact, it was sort of his joke nickname in high school. And I know he wouldn't care about me writing that here because he's always been very aware of who he is and the decisions he makes and hasn't been ashamed of any of it for one second. All of that is to say this: he likes sex. And now that I'm reaching the point in my life where romantic relationships are a legitimate possibility for me, he's been harping on the idea that he wants me to "experience life" and everything that comes with it, including sex.
Now, I know Matt. I know him telling me this is his own, personal, weird way of showing me how much he cares about me and what he wants for me in life, but it's next to impossible for me to explain to him why I feel the way that I do. I can't make him understand why I'm not just going to jump into bed with the first guy that pays attention to me, or why I'm waiting for the guy that God has picked out for me. Because he's just not going to get it. He knows how long it's taken me to build up the self-respect that I have now, but he can't see that that self-respect is the exact reason why I'm still a virgin.
And honestly, part of me thinks having to have a discussion like this with him is just ironic. Here's something I don't think I've ever disclosed here before: A few years ago, I told Matt I would have sex with him. I offered to have sex with him because I thought that that was the only reason that he wouldn't love me the way that I loved him. I was so scared, so lonely, so broken, desperately wanting to feel like someone in the world wanted me, and I had spent so long living life with every piece of myself devoted to him that I had convinced myself he was it. Looking back at the girl that I was, it makes my heart break. The good news is, though, that he said no, and I am so thankful that he did. Not only is that because I know that I wouldn't be in the place that I am today if he had said yes, but because I know in my heart that I would've hated him immediately afterwards. And from now until the day I die, I don't want to spend a single day hating the only person who loved me through the darkest years of my life. We actually talked about that last night, and he told me that he knew he could've taken advantage of me and my offer had he wanted to do but he didn't because he loves me AND because he knew I'd hate him for it. If only I had known then what I know now.
Matt knows I'm a Christian, obviously. He celebrated with me the night I got to tell him about my baptism, and he listened and congratulated me as I told him about my new church. So I know he doesn't care that my relationship with Jesus is finally taking priority in my mind and my heart over him and his opinions. And he knows that I never have been and I never will be the Christian that tries to shove the Bible down his throat. But it's extremely frustrating for him to insist on trying to convince me that there's something I'm missing out on. Even when I try to tell him that I've seen what sex has done to my sisters, he responds by saying that he knows I wouldn't do nearly as bad of a job at picking the guy as they have. Trying to make him stop or make him see my side feels a lot like waiting for rain in the Sahara Desert - useless and disappointing.
I'm not gonna lie: Do I have sexual desires? Heck yes. I mean, I am human, and I am an adult. But I think that all of my conversations with him about this and thinking about all of it has helped me see just how far I've come. I'm finally at the place in my life where Matt isn't the "be all end all" that I thought he was for so long. Jesus is.
The way I see it, all of this is just a test. These conversations with my best friend, the temptations in the world, are a test to see how committed I am to this extreme makeover God has performed in my life and in my heart. And I know that this test and the loneliness that still sometimes hits me out of nowhere are going to be redeemed when I fall into the magnificent love story God has already written for me.