“100 Reasons Why I Like You” : A Love Story

“100 Reasons Why I Like You”—the email subject line that popped up on the screen was enough to make her stop and nearly squeal in anticipation. She turned on her favorite song to “set the mood” and started reading.

“I like how incredibly intelligent you are. I like how your intelligence is coupled with amazing humility. I think you’re beautiful. I like how you bake me cookies. I miss your smile right now and I just saw it yesterday. . .” Annie’s boyfriend listed out reason after reason of why he liked her. He liked her hugs and their “seat back” late night car conversations.  After listing 99 reasons why John liked Annie, he typed out the words “I can imagine a future with you.” {names changed for privacy}

She had to pinch herself to believe this was really happening to her. “A godly, handsome man likes 100 things about me?” She walked on clouds all day & giggled through our entire phone conversation later.

But 3 years ago. . .

“Do you think my past will keep God from giving me a husband?” Annie asked one day as we sipped ice coffee through green straws.

“Absolutely not. I think God is going to bless you with a better husband than you can even imagine at this point. He’s going to give you the best—because He loves you.” I responded.

Annie was new in her faith and she was struggling with a recent breakup. We had many conversations about dating and relationships similar to this one. Never easy, but always rewarding. Over the past five years, I talked her out of bad relationships, seen her distressed about friends marrying around her, & listened as she lamented that she’d never meet someone.

I love stories of God blessing those who wait for Him. I remember Annie looking at me across the dinner table one night saying {in a joking, yet half serious way}, “You ruined my life. If it weren’t for you I’d be married with a baby now.” If I’m honest, I was scared. I wondered if I should have just kept my thoughts to myself and let her marry a man I knew was wrong for her. Speaking the truth in love is always hard; saying nothing is the easy way out.

As soon as I talked with Annie yesterday, I thought of a verse I’ve held onto for years:

“With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us. . .is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?” (Romans 8:32 The Message). Another version says God graciously gives us all things. I love the picture those words create.

I’m thrilled Annie has found someone who appreciates all her great qualities & even her flaws. It’s much later than she planned, but what if she had decided to give up on waiting and married whoever was available? What if she had grown bitter and believed God didn’t care about her? What if I hadn’t told her the truth?

The good news is we will never know.

Annie & John– I wish you all the best. Even if this doesn’t end in marriage, God has used your relationship to remind you both He is a faithful. Annie, you my sister are a shining light & I’m proud of you for trusting. Even when it felt dark. I love the picture of God’s goodness to us. He always gives freely. But it’s on His watch, not ours.

Have you experienced a time of waiting followed by God graciously giving you more than you imagined? Did you ever have a friend come along you and speak the truth? How did you respond?

An update on Michael: he’s feeling better and home from the hospital. We are continuing to pray for complete healing! Thank each of you for your prayers and encouragement during this time. We feel so loved!

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Comments
12 Responses to ““100 Reasons Why I Like You” : A Love Story”
  1. R says:

    Hi Ruthie,

    I am happy to hear Michael feels better we continue to pray for me. I am struggling with a break up right now. Lately I feel very much stronger than in the past two weeks. I am counting on God to take me through this period and I know he has beautiful things planned for me. I am also taking on a journey to renew myself and to live my life according to God’s time. Thanks Ruthie

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Breakups. . .are the worst aren’t they? Painful, confusing, & faith-testing. Thankful for your trust in Him–He is trustworthy and will carry you through this difficult time. Thanks for sharing & sorry for your heartbreak–ugg!

  2. Danelle says:

    God blessed me with a wonderfully yet brutally honest mentor when I lived in Mobile, AL for 2 & 1/2 years from 2008-2010. Her name is Jody and she would always, lovingly tell me when I wasn’t being submissive to D.R. (which was quite often) I loved her and was angry at her for it. But loved her in the end! There was one instance when she was leading a study on the book of James (she is the night time TL (teaching leader) at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) in Mobile)) and she told us we could not use commentaries during our study time. She wanted us to focus on God’s Word backing up God’s word. (She bought me a Thompson’s chain-reference Bible- amazing resource by the way) It was a battle every week to not use commentaries and I always had to check my motives. “Do I want to use commentaries so I can look smarter when I know the Greek meaning of this word?” My husband was very against this way of study. He felt strongly that it was not Biblical to not take advantage of Godly men and women’s wisdom provided to us in commentaries. He felt strongly enough that he asked me not to continue attending the Bible study and study it on my own. I was so grieved and torn. “Do I respect my husband? or do I continue to go to this Bible study which was feeding my soul?” So hard. I consulted Jody and without hesitation she said, “Danelle, I want you there fellowshipping with me but I want you to respect D.R. more.” and I’ll never forget what she said next, “The reward for obedience to God’s word may not come this side of heaven but there is a jewel added to your crown.” Joy always follows obedience to God’s Word. I grew so much because of her loving, godly admonishment. I’m so thankful that you were that honest, loving friend to Annie!

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Hi Danelle! Wow. Quite a story. It’s so hard to be on the other end of the table hearing truth, isn’t it? I also had a mentor that I resisted primarily because she wasn’t anything like me & our personalities clashed. However, her words, “You need to stop performing for God” stayed with me until I finally surrendered a year later! Praise God for truth-speakers.

  3. What a great story sweetheart! I love your writing, watching you write, and how God uses it!

    Thank you everyone for your prayers as well! I am back in action (pretty much) this week, and feel very blessed by the throng of believers that have come around Ruthie and me.

  4. Ashley M. says:

    Hi Ruthie,

    Great post! Thank you for sharing this. Personally, this is timely as I find myself in a “waiting room of silence.” However, the Lord keeps confirming that waiting is not passive – but an active, hopeful posture (when we are waiting on HIM!). Ready to see breakthrough in my own life too. Thanks again for the post!

    Blessings,
    Ashley

  5. I am blessed by the good report about Michael.

    Num 14:28 “…as surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say.”

    He will give you and Michael the desires of your heart.

    He is a good Dad :)

  6. Edward says:

    Telling the truth in love is no easy task. It is incredibly easy to for either side to get defensive and for the well-meant conversation to turn into a who’s right/wrong debate. But as long as humility is maintained, I’ve generally found it worth the risk. Good job talking to Annie so courageously all those years ago and speaking truth into her life!

    Thanks for updating us on Michael, we’re still praying for you both.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Thanks Edward! I only learned how through brave women who spoke truth {that was often hard to hear} to me over the years. Thanks for your continual support of my blog!

  7. Ana Sofia says:

    I was bummed out yesterday night especially because I realized that some boy I thought would be my husband likes another girl. The girl he likes is nice. She should be liked. My fear however, was that I would end up like Leah. I want a husband who wants me. That is why I am trusting my wonderful Jesus to bless me with the man He wants for me. Just like Jesus blessed me with beautiful earrings, the perfect perfumes, some wonderful free samples of tinted moisturizer, and beautiful blouses, Jesus will bless me with all good things. Most of all though, I am grateful for Jesus who considers me more lovely than Jacob considered Rachel and who didn’t just work seven years for me but chose to live, die, conquer the grave, and still continues to love me and work beautifully in my life today (at this very second, in fact). What a wonderful Husband I have in Jesus.
    “… we will extol your love more than wine…” Song of Solomon 1:4

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