When I first began dating many years ago I was in search for my Prince Charming- the man who would sweep me off my feet and steal my heart. Sadly, I met guys who didn’t live up to that expectation. I longed to feel adored, cherished and loved. Instead, I was met with disappointment, hurt and regret.
I thought the purpose of dating was to find someone who would complete me.
One warm, summer night at Hume Lake Christian Camp the pastor asked “What is holding you back from being all in with Jesus?” The word “RELATIONSHIPS” came to my heart clearly and immediately. Having just experienced another break-up, I felt hopeless and defeated. That was a pivotal moment, a light bulb epiphany! I realized I was looking to a man to provide my worth, meaning, value and identity that only God could fulfill.
It still hasn’t been a perfect journey. About 4 years later I started dating a new guy. He prayed for us before our first date of mountain biking. He was adventurous, tall, handsome and loved the Lord. There was serious potential and I was a smitten kitten.
I let my thoughts and emotions sprint ahead and outpace the relationship. Then he started law school and left me in the dust with no explanation, completely clueless and deeply devastated. “Maybe I’m not pretty enough or thin enough or smart enough or fill-in-the-blank enough” I questioned. I wondered what was wrong with me that he didn’t want to pursue me any more.
God was near and whispered to my heart “I love you.” “Am I enough?”
“Yes, God, but…” I still wanted to experience intimacy and have a relationship.
“I call you my Beloved. You are precious to me!” He replied.
WOW! God, I have been looking for a man to call me “beloved”, someone to chase after me and cherish me. Yet all along you have pursued me with a greater love. You know everything about me and still choose me.
Very quickly after that I got my first tattoo of “Beloved” on my left wrist.
“He rescued me because He delights in me” Psalm 18:19″
I am free to love others because no longer am I looking for a man’s affections to fill my bucket. My bucket is full to the brim from God’s love and spilling over. My identity is rooted in love as a chosen, redeemed and precious child of God. I don’t need another man to tell me I am beautiful. God delights in my beauty!
My relationship status does not define my worth. I have found the most important relationship- the one with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Let me be clear, that didn’t take away my desire for marriage. In prayer, I lay the request at the foot of the cross and sit in a posture of surrender. The prayer goes a little something like this:
“Lord, you gave me this desire to be a wife and experience intimacy and crave companionship. I know marriage is not a guaranteed promise. So I hold this desire with open hands and not clenched fists.”
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you” 1 Peter 5:7
I have to remind myself God is not a means to an end. He is not a genie I worship so He will grant me three wishes. Neither is He a Santa Claus I appease with good behavior all-year long so I get good gifts. My relationship with God is the treasure!
I remember the sweetness of my singleness season (by God’s grace) where my job provided for my financial needs, friendships were thriving and my church community was growing. I thought “Maybe I won’t get married at all, and that’s ok because there is more to life than just getting married. Marriage should not be the ultimate accomplishment I strive for.” God and I were (and still are) a team, we are in it together.
God brought Blake into my life in the Fall of 2018 (We had our first date on September 30, 2018). God’s timing is perfect! He is never early and certainly not late, but just right on time. Blake is a sweet gift from God that I am so grateful for and humbled by. His presence in my life is a blessing and gift of God’s goodness. But I don’t need a relationship to find joy, love or peace.
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
There are no formulas for securing a godly relationship. God is infinitely creative! I am confident that your love story will be unique, creative and beautiful as you trust the Author of romance and the Designer of relationships.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty Savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17