How to Find your Soulmate Without Losing your Soul

Book club on love puts Christ first

By  Eunice Hii, Youth Speak News
  • February 8, 2012

VANCOUVER - As Valentine’s Day gets closer, a common message in society seems to say that if we’re not in a relationship, we can’t be worth very much.

But two university students in Vancouver are trying to change the way women view themselves and their relationships. Every Thursday evening, Carissa Benavides and Elizabeth Krump lead 14 women in a discussion of the book How to Find your Soulmate Without Losing your Soul.

Started in January, the group is made up of women from Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia.

Benavides and Krump said they started the group for different reasons.

“All the girls I was talking to were struggling with men and waiting for a guy that God wanted for each one of us,” said Benavides. “At the same time, a friend sent me a link to this video. It was an interview with Jason and Crystalina Evert promoting their new book. I felt like a lot of women’s hearts were seeking this and needing truth.”

Krump said she wanted to begin the study because translating Catholic teaching — especially in areas of chastity and purity — is a struggle.

“I wanted a place where we could come together, hold each other accountable and establish the fact that we do hold these common standards in our relationships and we should encourage each other in holding real, tangible standards in the way we interact with our men,” said Krump.

After watching the interview with the Everts, Benavides turned to Krump.

“I joked and said, ‘Liz, let’s do a book club.’ ”

It may have begun as a joke, but the book has now served as a platform for learning priceless lessons in chastity and understanding what God’s intentions are for women.

“We read the first three chapters and we realized we were already changing,” said Benavides. “The one thing that stood out for me is from Crystalina. She says that the desires of your heart are there for a reason because God placed them there so you shouldn’t be afraid of them. Your standards are high because He wants the best for you. It has everything to do with focusing on God first.”

At a meeting Feb. 2, no one put it quite so clearly as Jen La Rosa, a second-year student at UBC.

“We need to date Jesus first,” said La Rosa.

At the end of the evening, Krump said this was one of her favourite moments.

“It’s true. We need to spend a year dating Jesus. We spend so much effort getting to know people especially when it’s a guy we really like. Jesus is the perfect man and He loves us perfectly.

“Imagine if we spent that time getting to know Jesus. It was cute the way Jen said it and it makes so much sense.”

Only in its third week, the study is getting much attention. Women across the city are looking to begin similar circles of accountability and sharing.

“Liz ordered 45 books and she was worried that she wouldn’t be able to sell them all, but there’s only two books left. It shows that so many women need to hear this, not just my friends but women across the country need this too,” said Benavides.

The remaining books were sold to women at SFU, UBC and parishes in the Lower Mainland. They are looking to begin their own studies or read for their own interest.

“I really want women to know that God loves them and He has a plan for them,” said Krump. “So all this worrying and heartache is another stress in our lives that we don’t need to have there. Women are not of any less value because they’re not with someone right now and singleness in life is a wonderful, beautiful period where we can experience the Father’s love.

“When you’re not dating you’re not living a loveless life, you can still be so filled. This book is meant to be shared. This is its purpose. I think it’s neat that we’re fulfilling the purpose of the book.”

(Hii, 21, is a human resources and international relations student at the University of British Columbia. View her full Q&A at youthspeaknews.org.)

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