My boyfriend finally turned back to look at me, and I was able to breathe again. What did he see in these other girls anyway? What did they have that I didn’t?
Oh, right. They were thinner. Prettier. Better outfits. Better hair. Basically, they had everything I thought I didn’t.
And that’s why I stayed with him—with this man who flirted with the waitresses on our date nights, who checked out every pretty girl we passed, who seemed to forget about me when we were in a crowd and only be interested when we were making out. That’s why, when he told me no other guy would love me like he did, I believed him.
I didn’t think I was worthy of love.
If I had known back then what I know now, I would have stood up in that restaurant and walked out the door, never looking back. Because this is what I learned over the next 10 years:
My Father God owns the cattle on a thousand hills—and He loves me. Deeply. Powerfully. Beyond anything I could imagine, He loves me.
For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine. (Psalm 50:10-11)
But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.” (Isaiah 43:1)
When I finally gathered the courage to leave my boyfriend (more than a year later), I was broken, like a walking dead person. I felt ugly, worthless and empty. I was drowning in disordered eating. I felt hollow inside, craving another relationship, but scared that I would spend the rest of my life alone.
Over and over, I asked God, “Will another man ever love me?” God never answered that question directly. Instead, all I’d hear in my heart was this:
I love you.
I will fight for you.
I have to be enough for you.
It seemed like a non-answer. Little did I know, it would change everything.
Over the next few years I came to know that my Father God delights in me. He’s not tolerating me. He’s not waiting for me to get my life together before I come to Him. No, He is holding out His arms and calling me to come closer.
I came to know that not only does He love me, but He is also all-powerful. He created this world we call home, and He can and does provide for all my needs in the right time.
You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Psalm 145:16)
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
When you know your Father loves you, there is no need to settle for a guy who doesn’t treat you right. That’s the last thing a loving Father would want for you.
And it’s not like your God is devoid of resources; in fact, He is King of all. So there is no need to fear being alone. After all, you are never really alone, because He is with you. He will never let you walk alone. And even in your singleness, He will take care of you.
During my mid-twenties, I finally reached a point in which I knew I would never settle for a guy who didn’t treat me right.
I was going to wait for a man with the heart of my heavenly Father. And even if that meant I never married, I had learned that the greatest joy comes not from a man in our lives, but from going on adventures with the God who has already spoken for our hearts.
I waited three more years before I met my husband. Three years to be single. Three years of Father-daughter time. And those years are some of the sweetest of my life.
When I met my husband, he was different from all the other guys because of how much he loved people. We’d walk down the street and he’d greet businessmen by name. In the next breath, he’d greet a homeless man by name. He made me want to love people more. He had the heart of my Father: brave and kind.
My first boyfriend was right about one thing: No other guy has ever again loved me like he did—no else has loved me that terribly! Because I am worth far more than that counterfeit love full of lust and selfishness.
And so are you.
Remember who your heavenly Father is.
Know how much you’re worth to Him.
And never settle for a man if you can’t see the heart of your Father inside him.