Joan Reynolds

Real Faith, Real Life & Real Joy
Browsing Christian Dating

An Update On That Dating Thing!


Just wanted to bring this blog and anyone who follows it up to date on the outcome of my excursion into the Christian dating scene. The past few months have been really exciting, but more because of the way God has brought me closer to Himself than for anyone I met while making myself approachable online.

What happened was that several men I met, spoke with or corresponded with all asked me the same question: You have an amazing testimony. What are you doing with it?

Hmmmm. That was a tough one, but it had an easy answer. Nothing.

I had stopped blogging, I was not volunteering in any capacity except hospitality at church, and although I regularly attended and shared at my bible study group, I wasn’t doing anything with the story of my adventures with the Lord.

Could it be that what I got out of the dating site was a direct road back to the love of my life? Actually that is exactly what happened.

I asked God to go with me and indeed He did, and facing my past head-on where men were concerned, helped me to find a few places that still needed forgiveness and God’s healing touch. Had I not gone there, I may never have known there was still some crusty residue in the heart of this vessel. As the months progressed, I felt as though I was finally willing to let go of all hurts where men from my past were concerned and come back into God’s loving arms with a clearer love and yearning to know Him than I had ever had the previous thirty years.

I was able to choose Him completely, knowing He had already chosen me, no matter which way my head had turned toward gentlemen at any given point in time. I have to say, this journey did start out with me wondering if I had yet found the love of my life and ended with me knowing for certain that yes, I had already found Him, and He was going to remain with me into the eternity He has promised. There is nothing safer and more certain, nothing more exciting than that! Nothing.

Taking God On A Date!


It occurred to me over the past month or so that I know so many wonderful single women in their 50’s to 70’s,many of whom are devoted Christians, all of whom have never met a man with whom they have found that second chance at a good and solid relationship that suits this stage of their lives. I am one of them.

As is often the case for me, it was looking at their situations and how I could encourage them, that led me to realize none of us had really made any kind of commitment to looking for that special man. Nor had we thought very much about what he would be like, so that we would be sure to recognize him when we met him.

I came to see that ten years had pretty much gone by as all of us got more and more comfortable with our single state, and more and more isolated from anything that might  bring a single man into our path. We were content, yet still had a nagging little part of our souls that yearned for someone we could be sharing our lives with right now. Our kids are grown, many of us have grandchildren, but still there is that flicker of hope for a romantic love that most of us still haven’t really given up hope for, even as we approach the last quarter of our time here on earth.

Pushing through my own fears and uncomfortableness, I decided to go onto a christian website and see if the man I was looking for was there somewhere, just waiting for me to show up.

As I had done this experiment several times unsuccessfully in the past, I also looked at the reasons I gave up so easily before. First, I made no game plan. I didn’t really think about the qualities I wanted in the man I wanted to meet. I didn’t think about my deal breakers, so I would know how to recognize them when they appeared in writing or in person.  I realized that I was also finally ready to accept the fact that all the men my age and older were likely to remind me of my father or my grandfather at that age. Truthfully, it meant I had to realize I would be reminding them of their mother, more than the hot young gal they imagined they might still meet. I also thought about the men most of my friends were married to, who now looked very different from the man they had married. I decided to put looks, if not last, at least not first in my priorities, as it really was not the most important thing. Second, I had previously made no commitment; I went on, threw together a profile, and ran off the site after the first disastrous date that didn’t measure up to the picture I had allowed to creep into my head. This time I signed up for a year, making a commitment to a process rather than a person. I figured I had put more effort than that into finding a job many times, and yet never into something where the net result of my efforts might be life changing! Third, I had never before prayed about it. This time I am bringing God into every aspect of it, and trying to follow His clues.

I have no idea if this will be different than before in terms of the final outcome. But I do see major growth on my part as I take it one day at a time, one step at a time, and look to see what lessons God has for me to learn in the process.

A friend of mine at church was praying with me the other day and as I shared a bit of this with her, I realized I felt a kind of sadness that I didn’t understand. I think on some level I felt like I was somehow saying God was not all sufficient for my needs and that made me feel like I was being ungrateful in some way.  He and I have shared a 30 year relationship more intimate than any I have known with any man. He has filled in all the empty spaces where loneliness might have found a home. He has covered me and provided for me in ways no man might ever have thought to, in ways I could never even have expressed a need. To actively search for a partner seemed in some way like seeking a replacement, which is not the case at all, but it made me sad enough to cry at even the thought of it. The difference is that I have never before sought a man who also knew God in the way that I do, and so this would be a very different kind of relationship; a man not knowing Him intimately would be a deal breaker, and not one I would consider even for a second date.

In much the same way as God steps into the empty or hurt places when we have lost someone special, I believe He can also step in to help us find a counterpart who can cherish and care for  us as much as is humanly possible. For those who have lost, and for those of us who have yet to find, that person who feels to us “like God with skin on”, I believe He is right there with us and will be the first to shout for joy when our paths cross and we recognize it is He who brought us together. I have seen Him do this countless times in my life in other ‘chance’ meetings with people, I just never thought to ask Him to go on a date with me before!

So I begin yet another journey to see where He is leading. I am content to stay right where I am, and yet I feel as though I may need to step out in order for Him to lead me, so that perhaps I can be a light and a hope in the future to others. I know if it is a journey He is on with me, it can only be exciting and it can only lead me closer to home.



A Column For Older Christian Singles?


I am remembering Dear Abby, and all the others who gave us their take on this or that social dilemma growing up, where there seemed to be a correct answer to handling a social situation between people. Today there is so much information available, it is mind boggling, and yet it seems we still struggle with how to be appropriate, how to handle social interactions, how to heal without hurting others.

I am struck at this point in my life at how differently I look at the dating scene than I did the last time I tentatively passed through. Perhaps this has to do with having fully surrendered my life to Christ, not just in word, but in deed. I can quickly process through inquiries on a website, because if they don’t list a relationship with God, or attendance at a church and/or Bible study as important to them, I know that they would not be the people God would be bringing into my life for any long term purpose. Even ten years ago, this would not have been a problem or even a part of my sorting process. I would have thought that I could bring that spiritual dimension into someone’s life. No longer do I feel that way.

I am too far gone to go backward, even for the sake of someone else and their journey. Not that I am not supportive; I will do anything to offer God’s love and encouragement to another on their path to knowing Him intimately. It is just that once you have known Him as brother, friend, Father, provider, and husband in your own life, it would seem worse than divorce or death to leave Him out. Fortunately, for the way He presents Himself in our lives, He can and is an important third party in any relationship going forward. To have Him in common brings an instant knowing and sense of family to people who have just met, who  may have very little else they would normally share as like interests.

I was struck today by two friends my age asking for my help in their relationships with the opposite sex. How to address people in their dating lives in words and yet not say anything hurtful or misleading. I think that as Christians, it is even more difficult to navigate the dating waters, because we are so conscious of acting in His name, and wanting to represent Him well. I have a few concerns about the church and its approach to older singles. I feel they often ignore them. I feel they are missing a golden opportunity to provide a safe and comfortable arena for older singles to meet each other on non-dating terms, without the fear that they may find someone who is actually leading them away from Christ rather than toward Him.

I believe, and have for twenty years, that there are ways to facilitate this process and keep the hearts and mind of those precious people safe. I believe they are just as important to Christ as are His youngsters stepping out for the first time into the arena of love and relationship. In some ways, it is even more critical that we do not get hurt or lose our way, as we have already found what is most important. I do not believe that God only wants for us a life of serving and showing up to fill the many volunteer capacities that a church always needs filled, for which  older singles  always seem available.

I believe that God wants to partner some of them and use them even more effectively as couples, people who have testimony to share, to offer hope for how God heals and provides and blesses, even after tragedies have separated them from the path their lives were originally taking. I am confident that He is beginning a new work, where the churches will begin to step forward into an incredible opportunity to minister to those who already occupy their pews every Sunday, who for the most part would never think of asking anything of their church for themselves. It is just the way we were brought up, and it is something we would probably see as a selfish request. If asked we would answer, “I’m OK, God is good, He is taking good care of me, I am fine”. But my question is, is that really God’s Best for that person? Would  even some of them find a more complete healing and wholeness and ability to serve Him if they had a supportive partner for this unique time in their lives. It is a time they have so much wisdom to offer, and yet are so often burdened by just accomplishing the everyday tasks and finances alone, having no one to share that journey with, yet never wanting to burden their children or their church with their happiness and health issues.

Is it possible for me to eat alone almost every meal of my life and be grateful? Absolutely. Is it God’s best for me? I won’t believe so until He personally informs me. As of yet, I have not heard that still small voice saying anything of the kind. I am listening, however, and I hope He will give me direction for something that weighs heavily on my heart, because I know that I am not alone in this feeling. It is the burden of the others that He has placed on my heart that makes me speak up where I would normally push my own feelings aside.

I have some ideas for ways to address this within our churches, how about you?

I’ve Found My Way!


When  my sister sent an overnight refrigerated package to my Mom at Christmas, we were all anxious to see the contents. Fortunately she said refrigerate immediately and eat as soon as possible! So we dove into what turned out to be two packages of cheese curds. Now I don’t personally ever remember having these, but this particular sister has an amazing memory for things involving our mother, and so I am pretty sure there is a story behind it somewhere. In the meantime, I enjoyed tasting the soft and funny shaped cheese that was a by-product of some cheese making process, but when I talked with my sister, I of course said but now that I have my curds, I still can’t find my whey!

She laughed, but the nursery rhyme (who was that eating her curds and whey?) stuck in my head, and later that week when I was back home, I was shopping in Costco and stumbled across….you guessed it, Whey! In fact such a huge bag of it, it will take me a year to drink it all. However, I was surprised to see it had amazing amounts of protein and muscle builders and who knows what else, in a chocolaty powder you mix up with water.

So after I brought that home, I could not help but go around the house singing “Ive found  my way”….which was naturally followed by “love came just in time, you found me just in time, and changed my lonely life that lovely day!”

How funny if that puts a new energy into my christian dating scenario, giving me a renewed vision for the possibilities if I can manage to stay focused. I have decided to be looking for a good grandfather for my  pre-conceived grandchildren. That gives me a better and once removed way of looking at potential dates…would they make a good grandfather? That is an easier concept than would they be right for me? My standards for my yet unborn grandchildren are bound to be higher than anything I think I could put up with myself, so I think I will give this one a try!

Certainly takes the heat off me  for the time being, while God is still working on that.

Of course, after I consume all this whey, I may just be a huge muscle mass and not very attractive to the good grandfather prospect!

Not Enough Information!


We live in a world where we are either overloaded with too much or  teased with too little. How does one make a good decision without enough? Now I am an intuitive person by nature, and my gut is my strong suit (often possibly the nudge of the Holy Spirit) , but once again I am faced with a dilemma I cannot seem to process.

They have evidently changed the format of the singles site I was on about a year ago. Presently the men just hit a button that gives me a message “JoeFish232 wants to meet you”! What happens when you first go on is that every guy watching his screen who sees a decent looking picture come across it hits that button. The whole point to me of writing out a profile and talking about yourself and the kind of person with whom you might be comfortable, was to eliminate it being totally based on looks.

But, alas, it is even more so now than it was a yr ago. This not only annoys me, as I have to go and read all their profiles and look at all their pictures before penning some sort of response, it eliminated the one thing I wanted to know: Are they a good communicator and do they like to communicate and if so, about what? That tells me if I would even want to spend an hour over lunch with them or be bored out of my mind trying to make conversation. I guess this goes back to my previous blog about talk based on what where and with whom you ate. (By the way I did have a wonderful meal with a friend from my Bible study and her son after church last Sunday!)

I am turned off by all the attention paid to the outside of a person. I must admit I give men a wide berth when it comes to that, based more on what they share and if they seem to be an interesting or compassionate person than I initially pay to their picture. Men notoriously take pictures of themselves at their computer, the lens often giving a kind of fishbowl effect to their face. Always one in front of their motorcycle or sports car, which is usually very shiny and clean but they forgot to tuck in their own shirt. And one in their living room, often with a can of beer next to their barca lounger in front of the TV. I look past all of these things initially. I do wish they would hit spell check though, as I have such a difficult time looking past spelling errors. I am working on it, but that would be so easy for them to do. Often a year or two later, their picture is the same and the spell check errors are still there. If they don’t find even that worth changing, so much for character flaws or behavior modifications!

It is difficult. They keep wanting more pictures. I begin to wonder, are you making a scrapbook or are you looking for a real live woman? Do you not trust me when I say I am thin, or do you really think I only offered a face shot because I am hiding four hundred pounds beneath it? I do get discouraged. They are looking for a “classy lady” but do they really think class is something you can buy at Talbot’s? I admit I am perplexed by the way their minds seem to work. Everything they have written in their profile  is usually betrayed by their first communication.

Oh for the days when we met at parties and were introduced by mutual friends. When someone could tell by the way you lit up the room or the way your eyes sparkled, that you were a lady of value and passion. It does not compute into a dating website. My dog Gypsy came with more references than any of these potential candidates for relationships will ever have. I think there should be testimonials from former wives, friends, children….someone! I have ten of these to respond to. My ADD has just kicked in and I am pulling my profile off now. God will just have to find another way to do this, because I am exhausted!