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I Kissed Dating Goodbye

91tedAzXoELAt just 18-years-old, I was gifted a Christian book from some relatives that I deeply respect and love. This book was instrumental in my life. It provided a base for many of my convictions throughout my high school and college years and beyond. It helped me formulate the type of parent I wanted to be and the kind of kids I wanted to raise.
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With my encouragement, my boyfriend Jeff Melby read it. We’d been dating for over 2 years by the time Josh Harris’s pages crossed our paths. We had hopes of being married someday, but we were both pursuing college degrees.
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Together, we discussed a very important issue…What the H-E-double hockey sticks do we do now?! Kiss dating goodbye? Do we break up even though we are crazy happy together? Do we get hitched before he moves away to begin chiropractic school just to avoid living together…in sin? Aside from ditching Christianity all together, these two choices seemed our only options. So one short year after this best-seller was released, we tied the knot.
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Do I have any marriage regrets? Not really. I certainly have zero regrets of my choice of spouse. But I do wish we hadn’t felt so rushed. It’s true that we’d dated for over 3 years by the time he put a ring on it. But at 20- and 21-years-old, we hardly needed to “settle down”. Even still, what would we have gained by selecting a later date to say ‘I Do’? A bigger wedding? Better honeymoon? Perhaps. But I’m thrilled that we began our lives together as husband and wife as young as we did. I’m proud. I absolutely love how rich my history with Jeff is. And I’m honored to be an example of a strong marriage to so many. I’m forever grateful that we made a decision to kiss dating goodbye and instead begin our lives together.
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But I do have regrets. No, not about my life choices exactly. Regrets about my attitude. Regrets about my convictions. My judgments. My belief system. Much of which stemmed from this book. And then. Then a friend posted this You Tube video from a TEDx talk given by the infamous author.
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Holy. Sh*t.

It seems Harris has wrestled with so many of the issues that I have throughout the years. Wow. So many thoughts that I can’t even get them out of my brain and into words. If you’re familiar with Harris’s book, I simply ask you to watch his TEDx talk and then talk with me about this idea of being strong enough to be wrong.
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And to Josh Harris, thank you. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your bravery. Thank you for setting an example for what it looks like to humbly admit a misstep. And thank you for your book to begin with. Although, like you, many of my convictions have shifted throughout the years, the words you wrote so long ago really did impact me in a mostly positive way. So thank you both for your work as well as the way in which you gracefully addressed your public in such a loving and caring way. You, my friend, really are making a beautiful impact on this world!

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