When God Says Yes: My Heartfelt Journey Through Singleness

I waited. Waited in loneliness, in tears, and sometimes fear. I waited on God, whether His will was yes or whether it was no. I waited and trusted. I poured out my heart. I even pleaded. For four silent and sometimes downright painful years I wrestled with God. It was my will battling His timing. It was active trust battling the fear of life lived alone. My heart ached for companionship, but, God told me to wait. Through the fog of long felt emotion and tears I found contentment. Contentment in Christ. Contentment in being alone. And I found peace in His will. Then God granted me joy.

And then God said yes..

how-to-find-hope-in-singleness
This post has been a long time coming. I wrote it, almost published it, and then rewrote it with a more open hand to what I felt. I want to share my heart. Being open and transparent has always
been something that I struggle with. Maybe it’s out of self-preservation;
protecting myself from the judgement of others or perhaps it’s simply out of
the fear of being truly seen. In the last year I have learned that being
transparent with people is freeing, and builds the sweetest and most real
connections. So, here is my heart, friends. I am excited [ and a little nervous
] to share my journey, but, I hope that through this I can encourage you,
relate to you, and build a stronger connection. 




FINDING “THE ONE”

When I was a young girl I imagined what my life
would look like in the future, as I’m sure we all do. I knew I would be married
and have a couple of children. I would be the best mother that I could possibly
be, and grow to be old and grey with my love. Those things may yet be a reality in my life, but, perhaps not in the timing that I thought.


I always thought, or assumed, that I would be
married and have two children by the time I was twenty-three. I am now on the
cusp of twenty-five, unmarried, and.. childless. I say that with a thread of humor
because I see now how unprepared I was for those things in my baby-twenties.
God kept closing that door and telling me to wait, but, I was too naive to
understand it. I wanted my life to begin. What I didn’t understand was that
life does not begin at marriage; life is in full swing and marriage is another
branch, another path, and it is one that we may or may not take.

I grew up in the church during the time of I
kissed Dating Goodbye
; a book that birthed the idea that your one and only
was somewhere out there. That idea, the notion of the one, settle into my heart and birthed an insecure search and longing for “the one“. I longed for companionship. So many people that I knew were
pairing up and I couldn’t help but wonder: where was my one and only? I remember feeling so confused and anxious. How am I supposed to know which one is “the one”. I felt alone, and, at times, forgotten by God.

 

Romantic love for the one your heart will find kinship with on this earth is merely an inkling of the love that Christ has for you.

Over the course of six years [ age 18 – 23 ]  I was approached by five young men. Five young men that claimed to love the Lord  [ I do not question that in their lives ], and some that claimed to love me. I did not have five relationships [ one of the five was a real courtship relationship ] but the process of getting to know one another took place. Due diligence was done, lots of conversation was had, dates were enjoyed.. but always something was missing; a seriousness about their walk with Christ, no real connection, dishonesty – It felt like a myriad of things had halted my future. With each disappointment came more loneliness and the agonizing question: What if God does not have someone for me? Four of those six years were my crawling years – years spent crawling toward God with my heart in my hand, bruised and broken. Prior to my “crawling years” I had my first truly serious relationship – when I was twenty. It
ended poorly, and honestly, it tore my heart to pieces. It was
everything that our tender hearts long for; guy meets girl [ in sunday school
no less], sparks fly, the proper permissions are given, courtship
begins, and I love you starts to creep in. Emotion
guided my naive heart. Everything seemed right. He was on fire for the Lord, he
said the right things about our future and our family, he made the most beautiful professions of love. Surely this guy was “the
one”
.

But he wasn’t. He was far from it. His words and actions in the beginning backed up his proclamations of love, but, ultimately he was not truthful, he was distant and unfaithful, he was verbally demeaning, and physically hurtful. I walked away from that young man and I never looked back. That period of time and the painful experiences that I went through confused my heart even more, and left me with a tiny emotional scar to mark my
journey. It was not only a scar that marked hurt, but it was a scar of
maturity. Pain grows us. Loneliness that is only remedied by Christ grows
us.As hard as it is to admit, I descended into a pit of despair fueled by the deepest longing and loneliness. I hesitate to say that because I know how that sounds to those who may be struggling through their own despair – being heartbroken over a lonely heart can seem trivial. In my life, it was the greatest pain. I have lived my life with the expectation of being a wife and a mother. Staring into the void of an unknown future shook me, shattered me, and settled a shadow over my outlook.


There have been so many times over the past four years that I have sat alone in my prayer corner pouring my heart out to the
Lord through tears. I reached the point where I could be surrounded by some of my closest friends and
feel lonely. We are made to pair up. God instituted marriage! He is for
marriage, and I believe He has knit into our being a desire for that
companionship. It is that God given desire that makes our hearts ache when it
is not fulfilled. I truly believe that there is a unique loneliness that can
settle over your heart when you are walking through singleness.
That loneliness gripped me and brought me to my
knees.

 

 

The worst part about being strong is
that no one ever asks if you are okay

 

As time passed, and a few years ticked by, my
sadness grew. I kept my heart-pangs to myself, putting on a brave face over my
fear of a life lived alone. I never told a soul about the fear and doubt that I was wrestling with. Carrying an emotional burden alone is taxing. It wore me down. I regret never sharing my heart with anyone close to me. If I could rewind time, I would open up and seek counsel and comfort. In it all though, God used every aspect of my wrestling to teach me and mold me into a wiser woman, and a woman who understands His comfort, grace, and sovereignty more fully.


I was so hung up on my future that I could not enjoy my present. There was so much that I could have enjoyed and experienced, but, I let a heart of discontentment hinder those things.It took time for the Lord to peel away the layers of fear, discontentment, and hopelessness. He peeled back each layer, exposing the deepest parts of my heart, and then He washed each layer away. God doesn’t just solve our problems or give us immediate answers. He works on us – refining and renewing.

And that is exactly what He did. He renewed my mind and my heart, and He renewed my attitude.

LESSONS LEARNED 
What I learned, what my fear, my loneliness, and my
hurt taught me, was that I am made whole in Christ. We are made whole in
Christ. Contentment does not come from another person. Happiness and true joy
do not come from our significant other. Those things are found in the freedom
and security of our relationship with Christ. When I realized that, and took
hold of it, I found contentment. Contentment does not wash away loneliness or
longing, it simply puts those things in their proper place.. behind Christ.God is sovereign, friends. His ways are not always known to us [ that’s more often then not ] but we can trust Him completely! He knows our hurt and He knows our heart. Wait on Him. You will never regret it.

When I came to the place of finding contentment in my relationship with Christ, and living in the present, rather than a potential future – a future that only God knew – I found hope again. Hope for new adventures, friendships, and hope for God’s plan – whether marriage was a part of it or not.

We can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps -Rest and be faithful

BLESSING BESTOWED
 

Two years ago, God was leading, He was
constructing, and He was guiding me toward yes. I had no clue, not even
an inkling at the time. God truly knows best – today I get to enjoy the
sweetest relationship with my Austin.I met Austin two years ago at our gym – He was there as a personal trainer. We started working out together with mutual friends and developed a friendship ourselves. He liked me, it was clear, but, I did not think much of it at the time. I was walking my road with God. Austin, never pressured me for anything beyond friendship. He was truly willing to be nothing more than friends – That impressed and intrigued me. He expressed his desire to build a friendship with me and I agreed, but, still thought very little of it. Over the course of two years I got to see his character, his integrity, his humor, and his love for the Lord. Austin treated me with real care and real patience, he prayed with me, he purposed to now my heart, and he treated me with real love – But he expected nothing in return. As I got to know him I grew to admire and respect him as a man, and wouldn’t you know it.. I grew to love him fiercely. Deep into our friendship [ one year and five months to be exact ], Austin, shared his heart with me and expressed his love fully over a birthday dinner – still he expected nothing – he simply wanted me to know how he felt. It took more time for me to be brave enough to express the feelings that I had grown into for him, but, I eventually did find the words to tell him how I felt. We have been inseparable ever since.

Our relationship abounds in purity,
patience, seeking Christ, a lot of laughter, and yes, love. This love, though,
is like no other I have experienced. This love is intentional, it is selfless,
and it is raw. There are no secrets or unsettled scuffles. Do we always get
along blissfully? No. We are sinful. But we seek Christ, we make amends when
necessary, we act silly when no one else is around, and we share from the
deepest wells in our hearts. We are like puzzle pieces crafted by God for one
another. It’s a good match, friends.. it is a God match.

My journey through singleness has been a long road,
but, one I would walk again in a heartbeat to enjoy what God has constructed
with this precious man! The best part? Austin’s heart is ALL the Lord’s. That,
my sweet friends, is worth every lonely hour and every fallen tear.


If you made it to the end of this post – Thank you. Thank you for reading, thank your for allowing me to bare my heart.. thank you for giving me the opportunity to step out in vulnerability. Life has its bumps, its twists, and its turns, but, in it all God is sovereign – If you are wrestling, seek Him and He will direct your steps. Rest and be faithful. God has not forgotten you.
Where are you in your journey?All my
heart,

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