Well, it’s summertime, and the teens of America are rapidly pairing up. At least, the ones in this small town are. I suppose I wouldn’t really know about what’s going on elsewhere. But among people I know, the last two weeks or so everyone seems to have gotten couple happy. Yet here I sit alone, utterly single. Today I had a conversation with a friend of mine who’s been away for a couple of weeks that went something like this:
“Wow, I come back and it seems like suddenly everyone has someone.”
“I promise I don’t!” I said quickly.
“Oh… I’m sorry. You can smack me now for not thinking.”
I laughed it off, but it reminded me again of a thought I’d been avoiding… everyone has someone- everyone but me.
I started asking God why. Why am I alone? Why am I almost always lonely? I’m so much older, more mature, more ready for a relationship than most of them. All my life I’ve longed for love… when will my prayers be answered? Will anyone ever love me like that? Why do guys never even look my way? Why am I still alone? Why?
Of course there are moments when I’m content. I’ll see a girl pining away after her absent boyfriend and thank God that I’m not dependent on anyone like that. I’ll get caught up doing something and be grateful that I’m free from the complications of a serious relationship. There are times of being so ravished by the endless love of my King that I can’t imagine wanting anything more. But those high points rarely last long, and next thing you know I’ll stumble across someone’s old wedding pictures, or notice the tenderness with which a man looks at his wife, and once again find myself yearning for someone to look at me like that, to slip the ring onto my finger, to promise he’ll never leave me.
So I’ve been struggling with the proper way to deal with this. I mean, I don’t want to completely cut off these emotions. They’re natural, they come from God, in the right context, they’re a beautiful part of His plan for mankind. However if they’re misused or given control, filth and wretchedness must follow. But where is the balance? How can I nurture these feelings in a healthy way?
I decided to stop and thank God for the feelings I’m having, for this wondrous capacity to love. Then, I began praying for my future husband, the man my Father has chosen for me will bring into my life in His perfect time. I reminded myself that until then I must wait, saving myself wholly for that day when I will leave the authority of my earthly father and be given to the man I’ll spend my life with. I also began to feel convicted… how prideful of me to tell God how much more mature and deserving I was than others! How could I tell Him I was more mature, and who am I to judge? And even if I am, does that really mean I’m ready? Ready to unconditionally love and respect an imperfect, sinful man? Ready to submit to him as the head of the household even when his decisions seem foolish to me? Ready to follow him to the ends of the earth even when he can’t always promise a warm home or food on the table? Ready to always be there to help, serve, and love, regardless of his response? No… I’m not ready yet. God still has a lot of work to do on me.
I don’t know what God has planned for my life, but I do know that His plans are so much more than I could ever dream of. He’s not up there in heaven wondering I’m going to get a move on and get a guy in my life. Instead, He’s gently whispering to me, “Be strong, My daughter. I know it seems hard. I know the road may be long. But it’s worth it. I have better things in store for you. I love you, precious child… when have I failed you? Do you trust Me?”
I still long for marriage. I look forward to spending my life with the man I love. I want to be his helpmeet, the mother of his children, the bride of his youth, the companion of his old age, his fellow traveler on the path God lays out… yet I’m content to be single for now. Faithfully waiting, growing closer to my heavenly Father, knowing that when the time is right, He will send me love… love that will be all the sweeter for the wait.