What happened when I started dating Jesus

I sat in adoration, conflicted. I knew what the Lord wanted me to do, but as a people pleaser, it was hard to send someone “bad news.” The Lord, however, was persistent and clear, so out went the text to the guy I had a date with that evening, stating there would not be another date. And then I sat there some more just looking at Jesus. I had recently returned to the dating world after about a year away, and there I sat staring at Jesus, and Jesus looking at me, pressing on my heart to stop dating again. This time of not dating would be different, though. Instead of avoiding dating altogether, the Lord was calling me to date him.

Growing up Catholic and attending several conferences and retreats, I often heard how the Lord desires to pursue each of us personally. While I believed it in my head, it wasn’t until this moment in adoration that I heard Jesus calling me deeper in my heart. I felt Jesus desiring to pursue me as his bride, so I took a break from dating.

Embracing our bridal identity

That is to say, I took a break from going on dates with earthly men and started going on dates with Jesus. Instead of getting coffee on a date with someone, I would get a coffee and go spend time with Jesus in adoration. Instead of meeting with someone once a week to get to know more about them, I would go and sit with Jesus once a week and get to know him more.

Want more Radiant? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

A weekly holy hour was something I had implemented in my life before, but this was different. Instead of sitting there with Jesus and journaling, reading or praying the Rosary for an hour, I would just sit. I would sit and stare and allow Jesus to truly look at me.

What I learned from these “dates with Jesus” was that my Lord desired me as his bride. He saw me as beautiful, as someone worth loving and getting to know, as someone worthy of being told she is beautiful and loved and cherished. The Lord desired that I come to truly know in the depths of my heart what it means to live in my identity as his bride — and to be rooted in this identity before pursuing any relationship with a man.

My feminine identity as bride, and your feminine identity as bride, is not rooted in our earthly vocation — whether we are married, religious, consecrated or still discerning. It lies in the fact that we are inherently born with this bridal identity in Christ, and he will always see, know, desire and love us in this way.

How to spend dates with Jesus

If you have not gone on a “date with Jesus” or you feel called to but are unsure what that may look like, here are a few ideas.

1. Go to him in adoration. Jesus is physically present and accessible to us in the gift of Eucharistic adoration. Just as you would sit in front of a man and get to know him, sit in front of Jesus, ask him questions, and allow him to tell you the truth of your identity. Let him know your heart, and get to know his heart for you. My “dates with Jesus” looked similar to my habitual holy hours, so I changed it up by making them coffee dates.

2. Read the Song of Solomon. We have the truth of who Jesus is in the Scriptures, but sometimes we need to look outside of the Gospels. During my “dates with Jesus,” I found reading the Song of Solomon — also known as the Song of Songs — helpful because the words were reminders I could go back to that shared what Jesus wanted to speak to my heart. Reading through this book of the Bible softened my heart and aided my understanding of the Lord’s love for me as his bride.

3. Be present to Jesus. “Dates with Jesus” do not just have to be in adoration. Go for a picnic at a beautiful place, visit an actual coffee shop, go paint somewhere, go on a walk — wherever you feel called, simply go! Just as you would make yourself available to any man you are dating, make yourself available for Jesus. We have to be vulnerable about who we are while dating; allow yourself to be vulnerable with Jesus, and allow him to love you as his bride.

4. Most importantly, pray. Ask the Lord what he is trying to reveal during this season of “going on dates” with him.

@Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.