Waiting is hard.
Can I be a Debbie Downer for just one minute? Maybe Debbie Downer is the wrong phrase… Can I just be honest?
The one thing that irks me most about relationship advice is all of the “fluff”. I don’t like pep talks and I don’t like it when people try to “encourage” me with their own personal love stories. Thanks, but your words aren’t helping. I smile and pretend like you’ve just told me the greatest advice I’ve ever been given, but honestly, you’re not helping. I don’t want a pat on the back and being told to “just keep waiting because your turn will come”. When it comes to relationships, there is no other word that is more disheartening for me to hear than the word “wait”. Unless God specifically promised marriage to you, waiting has no expiration and has no guarantee it will ever happen.
From a woman who has been very close to getting married several times, it’s hard to believe that someone is out there who will actually follow through with a commitment to me. After enduring so much pain and rejection, I don’t want to be told to wait and I don’t want to listen to your story about how you found love. No, I’m not bitter, but marriage is not my story right now and it might not ever be. Instead, the best thing you can do is this,
1) Tell me I’m amazing and that there is nothing wrong with me (I already know this, but who doesn’t like being buttered up?)
2) Remind me that I am released to accomplish all what God has for me as single person, and that it’s a lie to believe that my “real life” will begin after I get married
3) Tell me the best thing for me to do is surrender marriage, not wait on it
That last one is not for the faithless or the immature because it’s such a difficult thing to do especially when it’s a true desire in the heart of most women. I know that God knows my heart, and that He will give me the desires of my heart when I delight myself in Him. However, the more I delight myself in Him, the more I realize that the truest desire of my heart is to do His will and be close to Him. My desire is to be and do all that He desires, and if I marry in the process of that then great. I really do believe that I will marry one day, but regardless if I do or don’t, I am learning how to surrender it to God and just be completely His.
Surrender is easier said than done because you can’t just immediately shut up those deep desires in your heart and keep on going. In fact, you shouldn’t shut up any desires in your heart – It will only make you sad, bitter, and a God-hater. Instead, let it go (just like the song). Surrender is a process of relinquishing control over your future. It’s okay to wrestle with God through it, and ask yourself questions like, “Although I tell God that I surrender, if I never actually marry will I still trust and love Him?”
True surrender is hard. I get it. You’re not alone.
Every new years eve when the clock strikes twelve I declare something prophetically that I hope to see happen in the coming year. In 2014 I remember whispering to God, “May 2015 be a year of marriage”, He gently whispered back “No, wait until 2016”. When 2016 rolled around God was faithful to fulfil His word, but it looked different than what I expected. It was a year of pursuit between He and I – a marriage if you will. He took my broken and messy heart and put all of the pieces back together. He wooed me and drew me near to Himself. It was a year of knowing His heart and experiencing how jealous His love is for me just like a husband is jealous for His wife. During that time I remember being tested with the possibility of a relationship. It was something I definitely wanted but I knew that in this particular season I was to remain hidden in the Lord. I didn’t listen. I remember going out of my way to speak to this individual and afterward the Lord spoke to me and said very plainly, “You are acting like a prostitute”. His words convicted me and allowed me to see just how jealous He is for all of my attention. A few days later I ran into the same guy again but instead of trying to talk to Him I sat nearby secretly hoping He’d notice me and come talk to me. “Good job” I thought, “You’re not acting like a prostitute”. Then the Lord spoke to me again and said “No, you are still acting like a prostitute. You may not be acting like the girl who approaches her clients on the streets or in their cars, but you are acting like the girl parading herself in the display window.” OUCH! God knows I don’t like fluffy words, so He gave it to me straight!
Surrender is a process, and no matter how much I fail at giving myself completely to the Lord at times I know that He loves me just as I am and that He will endlessly pursue my heart. Yes, marriage will always be a desire in my heart, but if that never happens for me then I know that I will always be fully known by the love of God.