Saturday, September 26, 2009

Her Testimony

Andrea and I spent most of the afternoon together. She is giving a talk in church tomorrow and wanted me to help her with it. We were at my place mostly sitting on the living room floor just bouncing ideas off of each other.

I get really bored in church, and will often complain about the speakers and talks and lessons being given. The first time I did this Andrea quoted Brigham Young who said something to the effect, "If you ever propose to criticize someones talk or lesson you should go up and take their spot." To which I responded that is something I would gladly do, and that I would definitely not be boring.

Andrea has decided to put this to the test by getting my input. Her talk was about obedience. She had a barrage of scriptures and quotes from General Authorities all ready to go. I looked over her outline, and lovingly rolled my eyes and told her that this would easily put everyone to sleep. I told her that she needed to tell stories and apply them to the topic. Explaining that when a personal story was shared that people could often relate and were not only more prone to listen, but by listening would be more likely to feel the Spirit.

We talked about some times in her life that she was obedient. We stumbled across a great story about how she and her dad were trying to train their dog not to eat off the table when they weren't in the room. It was a funny story, and it went right along with obedience perfectly. I told her that she should tell that story. She started writing frantically, and I left the room to make us some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When I returned she was still scribbling away at this page.

I asked, "What are you writing now, I thought we were done." She replied, "I'm writing out the story." I sighed, "No, you definitely don't want to read the story, you just need to tell it. It's far more interesting told then read." She said, "but I don't want to forget anything." I said, "Tell it a few times then, to your dad, and your sister, but you gotta tell it not read it, trust me on this." She stared at me. I could tell she wasn't convinced so I continued, "I mean look at bearing your testimony, nobody writes out their testimony, they just say it, it's more genuine, it is easier to listen to." Half way through that sentence Andrea got a pretty embarrassed look on her face. I stuttered, "Uh, did you, uh, did you write out your testimony?" She pulled a page out from under the page she had been writing on and held it up. I smiled and started to laugh a little bit. Her head dropped and she said, "You're not very helpful, you're just making me frustrated. I'm not good at this. I get so nervous if I don't have it written out. I am afraid I'll freeze."

I realized that she had already put a lot of work into this and I was just mockingly tearing it to shreds. I tried to console her, but the damage had been done. I was telling her how instead of writing out the story maybe she could write major points to work towards as she told the story like a connect the dots. She listened while frustratingly crumpling up her written story and her testimony and throwing them across the room. She sat there for a sec looking at the ground, then she smiled sort of deviously and said, "Fine Jake I am going to try it your way." She stood up and grabbed me and kissed me and said, "Thank you for helping, Can I tell you the story a couple times?" I agreed, and she told me the dog training story.

After fine tuning things a bit and suggesting some parts where she could be funny and stuff she said, "Okay, I need to practice telling my testimony, can I tell you that a couple of times?" I said yes. I sat on the couch in our front room, and Andrea proceeded to bare her testimony to me. It was simple and direct. She laid out very clearly how she felt and why she felt that way. She was minutes into it, and I actually felt a very peaceful spirit. I watched as she lit up with the glow of something greater then herself. I got uncomfortable... I don't know why exactly, but I kept thinking, "This girls testimony blows mine out of the water." I started to think about my date with Harper, how I was so willing to kiss her even though I had decided I liked Andrea better. I started to think about how selfish I was.

Andrea continued and started tearing up as she expressed her love for Jesus Christ. I was listening but my mind was elsewhere. I was feeling guilty. I didn't even know exactly what I was feeling guilty about. The thought popped into my mind. This girl deserves someone better than me. I thought, sure being with her would no doubt make me a better person. I know that's good, but what about her, I wouldn't be making her a better person. She needs someone better than me, I will only drag her down.

After finishing her testimony, she wiped a tear away that made it down the left side of her face and skipped to the couch and plopped herself next to me. She smiled her big perfect smile and said, "Well." I smiled back, "That was beautiful, you bare one of the best testimonies I've ever heard. You don't need anymore practice." Her face lit up and she threw her arms around me. We held each other for a while and I couldn't get the thought, "She deserves a better man than me" out of my head.

Jake

43 comments:

kelleidoscope said...

I've just got to say.. I was with a guy that always told me I deserve someone better than him and it is beyond frustrating, for a girl to know a guy thinks this. He even ended it, telling me that I'll find someone else, and he'll be so much better.
Give yourself more credit. I'm almost positive that if she's with you, she certainly doesn't think she deserves better than you. Get that thought out of your head. If she's as strong as you're saying, you won't be able to drag her down. She'll be able to lift you up.

Cassee said...

But she wants you.

Kelly said...

She should inspire you not make you feel crappy. No one is better than anyone else.

If you turn away now and look for someone less intimidating what does that say about how you feel about yourself?

I vote to improve/repent/whatever you have to do to keep her.

Alexis! said...

This tears a lot of couples apart, one of the people in the relationship thinking they don't deserve the other. As harsh as it sounds, I'd just get over it and be grateful she wants to be with you. Bringing it out into the open has only caused problems from my experiences.

JjHansen said...

I dated a guy in college that used to say I deserved better, just like kelleidoscope did. It drove me nuts. Who was he to decide for me? I love him, and he was who I wanted to be with. But ultimately, his insecurity ruined our relationship.

Don't let the same thing happen to you.

Amy said...

I think many of us have moments when we feel undeserving of the other person. This could come from guilt, low self-esteem, or just seeing a strength in the other that you think you don't have. There's not much to do except realize that nobody is perfect...not you, not Andrea, not anyone. One may have a strength in one area that the other may be a little weak in, and may be weak in areas that the other is strong. That's a big part of a relationship- putting strengths and weaknesses together in order to build one another. And remember that just because she may be strong in one area, that doesn't make you weak. I think in order for you to feel like you deserve her, remember that you really do mean so so much to her Jake. And because of that, you do deserve her.

Alexandra said...

There's obviously something she sees in you, Jake! There's a reason she wasn't all that interested in the fireman guy and why she wants to continue to spend time with you. Maybe you should try seeing yourself through her eyes.

Karen said...

Seriously, all smart men marry women who are better than they are - It keeps them on their toes and makes them strive to be the person these women think they are. Do you really want to date/marry someone less than you? As stated above, we all have our highs and lows and even sometimes when we stay steady but when someone loves you and thinks the world of you it is the best.

Kristin Lee said...

So what if she 'deserves better than you'? Why don't you man up and be that person for her? She wants you. Not someone else. So make yourself that man for her.

Nikki said...
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Mini Mac said...

Maybe she really is too good for you. The only way for her to figure it out is for you to be yourself, don't lie or keep secrets ***Harper**cough***. Then see if she still wants you for who you are.

Good luck, I'm sure you really are a nice kid. Entertaining, at the very least :)

Anonymous said...

You are 100% right. You aren't good enough for her. I think this is a very good humbling experience. This shows that not everyone thinks like you guys. There are very good people in this world who don't fake cry at testimony meetings. You guys might say you are just telling how it is and how guys think. And yes, guys think the way you do, but not good guys. You justify a lot of your actions. A humble good person DOESN'T do that.....But..I still think you should still be with Andrea. Even though I was a little harsh back there. She inspires you to be a better person. But I would be 100% honest with her. She needs to know more about you, so that she can decide. Let it be her choice.

JawnZ said...

Alright Jake, you've got 2 choices.

1) Break-up with her because she "deserves better". She will almost certainly be crushed and confused, and then eventually move on and find someone else (hopefully deserving of her). this will leave you where you are, only single, sad, and alone,.

2) Man up, and become better. Look, no one is perfect. The whole point of living is a test, and what we get to take with us is what we learn. So learn something here, and become someone better. Little steps is what will do it. Heck you took the biggest step in realizing that you need to become a better person.

the President of the temple near me told a group of us something that really stuck with me: most of the time you are 99% good. The other 1% we will work on. on the days you're only 98% good, well that gives you twice the opportunity to shine.


dont do the cliche stupid guy thing. you (yeah, even "imperfect undeserving" you) are better than that.

JawnZ said...

BTW props to Karen and Kristin Lee.

Even a little bit of props to Niki. While you're beyond uber cynical, your point has a bit of validity. At least the part about stop being insecure and search for something real =P

Anonymous said...

Nikki, YOU are seriously calling ANDREA a drag?? That's rich. If your husband is so perfect, maybe he should give you more attention. It's obvious you need it.

Nikki said...
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20 Something said...
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20 Something said...

Blogger 20 Something said...

Jake-

I think Andrea see's more in you then you see in yourself, and I don't think she is seeing something that is not there.
You could break up with her so she could find the guy she deserves, or you could strive to be the better guy.

I think you know what to do. And I think you have already made a decision.

-Lindy

That Chick said...

"But, I get tired of hearing about the birds that accompany Andrea to bed at night"

But, I get tired of listening to Nikki piss on everything someone says. :)

Jake, I think it says a lot that you are humbled by Andrea. It sounds like she's really good for you. Don't let those thoughts bother you too much all the time, or you'll just go crazy. instead, try to do whatever you think will help you 'deserve her' or whatever. You'll feel better about yourself and your relationship.

Nichola said...

Jake, Firstly dont put yourself down, obviously Andrea does not believe she "deserves" someone better than you, if she did she wouldnt be with you. maybe she sees you more clearly than you see yourself. to me it seems that Andrea is really good for you. if you believe that she deserves someone better the answer is simple - strive to become that someone better.

RuthAnne said...

I've already said something on this topic, so my comment is directed at Nikki.

I've never really said anything about you or your posts before, but I'm pretty over one thing about you. "Gay" is not a synonym for "lame" or "stupid." I would hope someone who is always bragging about all her life experience would know that. Grow up, and stop saying that most of us learned was childish and hurtful years ago. I know you don't care about anyone else's opinions, but if you don't care about hurting those of us with gay friends and family members (or, yes, even gay people who might read your comments), at least consider that your behavior (however seemingly insignificant) reflects poorly on a church membership that has gained (rightly or wrongly) a reputation for hating gay people.

Otherwise, I generally find your comments very refreshing and interesting.

Nikki said...
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Nikki said...
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RuthAnne said...

Whatevs, dude. I knew it was a lost cause when I wrote it because, based on your posting history, even briefly considering someone else's point of view is not what you do. Well, I've learned my lesson now.

Don't feel the need to post a reply, I've given up and handed you the victory. You're awesome. I'm overly sensitive, morally and intellectually inconsistent, and egotistical. Game over.

Nikki said...
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Anonymous said...

Jake,

First, I wish that every member would read this post before giving a talk in church. You have nailed the right way to do it. Engaging an audience is something a lot of Mormons never think about.

Second, I get the whole she deserves better thing... I have been there. I don't know, at your age, what your relationship experience is. But in my experience if you dwell on this thought long enough you will end this relationship. If you end it for this reason you most certainly will regret it.

Sadly, in my experience I had to learn this the hard way. Perhaps you do too.

-Blazzer

anna said...

is she "better" than you in every way? what i mean is....it's not just about testimony. i'm pretty sure she knows the truth about you and your testimony. my guess is, she's not looking for a peter priesthood, she wants some fun in her life. trust me, she probably thinks that she is also "dating up" with you. if you don't recognize what you bring to the table for her...you might not think you are worthy of her and you will lose her.

maybe you should just tell her about harper. tell her you want to be exclusive with her. and tell her that she's awesome.

Andee said...

I just think you should be honest with her. seriousy.

If you break it off with her, you will just end up breaking her heart and probably yours too.

Just be 100% honest with her.

f1trey said...

well.....I f she decides to become a nun youre in trouble...LOL... seriously life is multipolar....love is something cultivated with many dimensions......"deserving better" makes the experience one dimensional.....life is NOT that simple and neither is love.....compatibility is what your after........

That girl said...
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That girl said...
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That girl said...
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That girl said...

totallly agreed with what Nikki was saying in her first post.. Up until she swore. So.
No-one is better than anyone else -what if Andrea's only the person she is, because she's been through some crazy stuff.
Sayy for example.. she used to be a total slut a couple years back, went completely off the rails, and then repented, turned over a new leaf and then became miss perfect, would you still feel like you didn't deserve her?

Of course, maybe she's just a good girl, for no other reason than the fact that she's a good girl. But what I'm trying to say is, no one can really know what Andrea's totally about or where she's been, or why she's such a good person, but, whatever the reason, it doesnt make her better than anyone. She's just trying to be her best, isn't that pretty much what Mormons are about?

Nikki said...
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Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHA wow.... I love how offended people get when Nikki swears... she does it to drive her point home... and yet you guys still don't get it...

You know what I think Jake... I think you're a cop out.... this boo hoo she's better than me bullshit is only an excuse for you to sever ties...

Theres too many things reading in your posts you simply want something else.... because really who the hell spends their entire saturday writing/reading/reciting their talks... what kind of bonding is this? really, wheres the fun in that? and i dont really want to know how she'll react when the wedding night comes...

If you want to be more for someone you just will be... not feel like you should be... people are telling you to man up and blah blah blah and for why? So over time you can continue to beat yourself up and not feel "good enough" for her?

stop making excuses for the way you feel anf walk away...

--Slick

Anonymous said...

"One good yardstick as to whether a person might be the right one for you is this: in her presence, do you think your noblest thoughts, do you aspire to your finest deeds, do you wish you were better than you are?"
Ezra Taft Benson Ensign, May 1988,53

That girl said...

Ahh, thanks for the blog advertisement Nikki, that's so perfect!

Slick, you know, I think we all 'get' that Nikki swears to 'drive her point home'. We're not stupid. We're all quite capable of writing rebel swearsies to get our messages across, the point is we choose not to, and the writers of this blog have asked people not to do it. So why do it?

lifechick said...

I agree with whoever said it was for the attention. Kids do that, too. As soon as they catch on that something's a swear word, they say it over and over again.

lifechick said...
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lifechick said...

Some have commented that no one is better than anyone else, or that Andrea being good doesn't make her better than Jake.

I have to disagree a bit. I don't believe this notion that no one is better than anyone else. I know a lot of people I consider better people than me.

Jake, if Andrea's better than you, so what? I don't think you realistically believe that only people of equal goodness should pair up. Is this really the issue?

I could be way off, but I suspect your real problem is your own guilt. I think you believe Andrea wants to be with you only because she doesn't have the full picture. You've hidden things about yourself that you think might make her dump you if she knew.

I wonder that if in your mind, you feel that if Andrea knew the "real" you (warts, Harpers, and all), she would automatically realize she's too good for you. I can see why you'd be feeling guilty; you may feel that you're withholding the whole picture. And because of this, that the guy she likes isn't really you, but a sanitized version of yourself you're portraying, and can't live up to.

Jake, has it occurred to you that you're largely seeing Andrea's best self, too? I'm not saying that the girl isn't sweetness and light and all that. But since I'm assuming she's human, know that she, too, has flaws and weaknesses that she's hasn't shown you yet, in the same fear of rejection.

If you continue in this relationship, these are the things you'll both discover, but only if you're more honest and open with each another. Andrea has already shown that she thinks you can make her better; otherwise, she wouldn't have asked for your advice to begin with. It's obvious she sees something of value in you, as you do in her.

You have to decide if you're willing to take things to the next level. If you want the relationship to deepen, you have to show her more of yourself (not just the good parts). Otherwise, you'll continue to feel like a fraud, and the guilt and feeling of being "not good enough" will not go away.

Sorry this was so long!

Anonymous said...

If you feel like Andrea is better than you then maybe she deserves better. It seems like Andrea deserves to be with someone who is sure of themselves and not someone who has a lot of hangups.

Get over it. Either be that person that Andrea sees in you or walk away and let her be with someone who is deserving of her.

Alice

Anonymous said...
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Rissy said...

aren't couples supposed to bring out the best in each other? I know this was months ago but I hope ya'll are still together