(Feature photo by Lindsay O’Neil and photo of Gianna courtesy of Gianna Jessen)
Epic Love or Average Love
Gianna Jessen’s Encouragement to Singles
By Sarah Komisky
As told by Gianna Jessen
One of the best things as a journalist is the unscripted moments. The God-moments that occur that are totally unplanned but totally needed. Talking with Gianna Jessen last month, I had many of those moments. Together, we shared our passion for purity and our thoughts on singleness.
Delivered with whit and humor, authenticity and beauty, here are her candid thoughts. Her stories that she shares on waiting for epic, instead of settling for average, love.
May you be as encouraged as I was.
When I was thirty, I flipped out. I had been out with someone and I knew it wasn’t a date. He was just extremely attractive but I knew his character and I wasn’t interested. I just found myself out not only with him but also with another person. And sometimes, when you limp, men that don’t limp will just sort of have this attitude about you that you should be so grateful to be in their presence and grateful for any attention at all because you limp. And then being in Christian circles it can be absolute misery because we can be just as shallow and you can have someone come up to you and say, ‘Oh My Gosh, Gianna I know this great guy and he’s like a Greek god and he has cerebral palsy too!’ And I’m just like, oh. Oh wow. Then you hear you are so special, you are just so special. You are special, special, special! You are an inspiration. And I want to say, I’m not a greeting card! I’m a woman, I matter. My heart matters. But anyway, I’m out with this guy when I’m thirty and he just kind of really gently lets me know that at the end of the day, he would never be interested in someone like me which I was furious because I wasn’t interested in him, he just assumed I was.
[In a rage. Slams fists on the steering wheel and screams to God in tears]
Is this all you have for me? Am I just going to preach forever and then I’m going to die? Thanks! Thank you for making me a woman. Why didn’t you make me a man? He can just compartmentalize everything he likes no matter what’s going on and he can just work, work, work, and just keep on going but I am a woman and I cannot do this! I have a heart.
I know you have dealt with this your whole life (meaning rejection). But Gianna, you’re exactly right. Sometimes I use the very thing in your life that is ripping your heart out to do one thing.
[She bursts, “What?” and God continues]
To protect you. I use those little limping legs of yours to blind men to exactly what you are because it isn’t that you’re not beautiful but it’s that I find them absolutely unworthy of you so I use your legs to chase them off. You can say thank you Lord, I have been delivered again!
[ She notes, then He says…]
Gianna, I have not made you for average love, I’ve made you for epic love.
[She continues on the subject]
Most people settle for average love. They just do. I mean honestly, most people don’t want to be 39, a virgin, with no children. Especially as Christians we are encouraged to race down the aisle to make sure that we can be accepted in all of our Christian clubs. As a mother, I have value. I’m a wife, I have value. Otherwise, we don’t have a whole lot of value do we? Except for if you’re a single Christian woman, your only value is working in the church nursery because that’s what you should do because you don’t have anything else to do.
[Sharing her God conversation, she says of God…]
The man that I have for you is so noble and he is fighting so many battles. He is going to need a wife who has cried for decades.
You don’t need to be chasing him 24 hours a day. You don’t need to be texting him 24 hours a day. What we control and manipulate as women, we must maintain. So if you chase him and get him and drag him down the aisle, guess who gets to convince him your entire marriage that he actually really does love you? And it’s in our nature as women to take over, it totally is. We’re not getting our way; we know how to get our way. But, the best is that epic love.
I am not of this world. And I am telling you I would rather die with none of my desires fulfilled (which won’t happen but I say the worst case scenario). I would rather die that way than live some mediocre, gross, love story that I had to settle for or make happen just because I couldn’t stand being left behind. That would drive me insane and the Lord knows that about me. And he knew that I would be able to persevere to 39-years-old because I am so passionate and because He would uphold me. Is it fun? No, not always. But am I so excited about that epic love God has. Will He reward me? Absolutely. He will not fail, he will not mock me. I’m trying to get this across to women at 21-years-old: you are so going to change by the time you are thirty. I am not saying you shouldn’t get married but I am saying there is some value to growing up.
[Continuing her thoughts on epic or average love]
There is such a profound difference between a fine marriage and a passionate, “I will love you to your very last breath,” marriage and that comes through suffering and usually suffering comes first.
[On waiting for epic love]
I think the Lord is stunned and it makes him want to cry because there are only a few men and women who give Him everything.
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