It was one of those nasty, rainy days where you envision yourself drinking hot tea at home with a good book. I was on my way home when some stupid country love song came on and knocked me to my knees. I pulled over on the back mountain road and gave in to the ugly cry of the century. I was utterly confused as to why, out of nowhere, I was breaking down about this…about this feeling of loneliness and being single. Not even just being single, but not being married. I was overcome with the desire to be married and the hurt that came along with just simply owning a fat cat named Carl.
I sat on the side of the road, with my head on the steering wheel, searching for an answer as to why I was being consumed with loneliness in those moments.
In the span of two months, I’d be going to five different weddings…all of which I’d been so blessed to be a part of and was looking forward to attending and celebrating with friends. But my good thoughts and prayers toward their marriages still couldn’t keep at bay the feelings a single person feels when they are having couples paraded around them at a wedding.
That was coupled with the fact that a side trip to Nebraska to see a dear friend was undeniably confusing and left me with more than enough to think about on the 20-some-hour drive back to east Tennessee.
I’d felt myself being more and more distracted with thoughts of marriage and being single. Was it the fact that I was five short months away from ringing in the big 3-0…or the fact that the community around me was being joyfully filled with loving marriages…or was it my lack of trust in God and my desire to seek out love without God’s blessing?
I went with #3 on this one.
I’d let my time become consumed with worrying about dating and my spare thoughts had been taken captive with uncertainty of a lonely future.
I pulled back onto the road after my mountainside breakdown and put in motion the ways I could remedy the constant fear that I kept hearing in the back of my mind.
The next few days were spent drowning myself in romance movies from Redbox and chocolate…things that obviously help the heavy heart of a single gal. Okay, I lied…these things are the WORST. Now all I have to show for it is a few zits, thanks to those Twix, and an unrealistic expectation of how a man should woo me based on Victorian England standards. Perfect.
That’s when it happened. I’m not exactly sure how it happened…like if God just kinda sighed and thought okay…enough is enough…you clearly haven’t trusted me with this so far, so I’m trying something different.
It was when I was at our junior high small group at church when I realized that I probably wasn’t being the best example of a Christian woman when it came to dating. I began to think: How am I supposed to guide and pray for these 12- and 13-year-old girls when it comes to dating woes when I’m having breakdowns on the side of a North Carolina mountain?
My desire for these young little ladies is that they find their worth in their Father…that they don’t spend time mulling over why a guy does not find them worthy enough…or why all their friends are dating and they aren’t.
My desire for them is that they prioritize their relationship with Christ over their relationship with a guy.
My heart’s deepest desire for these girls is that they don’t make the same selfish mistakes I did. That they don’t feel the pain I have suffered by my refusal to allow God to govern my love life.
During this thought process I realized what God was asking me to do. I needed to give up dating…I needed to give up going on dates…I needed to give up this pointless banter back and forth with setups from friends. If I was truly going to see the desires and best intent for these girls played out, I needed to make a sacrifice and place my trust in God. I needed to get rid of the thing that haunted me the most and consumed my innermost thoughts.
In those moments where I feel my mind turning toward thoughts of loneliness and dating, that’s when I will turn to praying for these little young ladies.
In those moments when I am wanting to say yes to a blind date set up by a college friend whose friend they think is perfect for me who is NOT perfect for me in any way, that’s when my mind will need to busy myself with things that will encourage these girls to grow in Christ.
Our children’s minister told the girls last night that she told her husband not to use the words “I love you” unless he was going to back it up with a ring. Why didn’t I think of that? Oh yeah…because I wasn’t listening to God.
I told God (like I’m the one who needs to be calling the shots here) that if I were to give up dating and give up my searching and longing, then the man He intends for me needs to come with obvious intent. I told Him that if I were going to finally give in and let His plans come to light, then I needed Him to make this man fierce in his pursuit. He needed to be clear in every single way. He needed to basically come with a sign that said “God has sent me to be your husband.”
Like I said, I’m not in any position to be telling God what to do, but I prayed that this will be how this is carried out. I have no idea how long it will be…I have no idea what it will look like…but I know that God will honor what I have asked for and He will give me the spirit to hold steadfast in what I have promised.
I pray that God lets me love and be loved when I am ready and not when I am lonely.