A year ago, I was about a week away from our Labor Day trip when my now-fiance Trent would ask me to court him. I was in a precarious place with my heart. I was totally submitted to God’s plan and knew that it was best. But over the course of a year and a half, my heart had become so attached to Trent that if he’d started courting someone else at that point, I would have been pretty hurt. I was so tired of the “not knowing”, and pleaded with the Lord that He give me some direction.
And He did!
You might expect the year that ensued to be one of courted bliss.
God had to turn a selfish, intense, impatient 18-year-old into a less selfish, less intense, and much more patient 19-year-old. And God doesn’t usually do His work painlessly while we’re off humming on another trail. He challenges, lets us fall, picks us up, teaches us the same lessons over and over, and refines our heart.
This has been a challenging and very tearful year. Lots of hard things to deal with. It was like God’s marriage counseling crash course! Too much of the year, I practically ignored God. But ever since the end of this spring, God has been so obviously central in my life that there’s no way I can ignore Him now. He was patient to walk with me through this year, even though I was such a unwilling student and follower.
I want to encourage you, single friend. God is sovereign. He has a wonderful plan for your life! But His highest goal for each of us is that we learn to love and submit to Him more fully as time goes on.
But don’t idealize romantic relationships. Don’t imagine that when you are in one, you will all of a sudden know just what to say, have a designer wardrobe, straight white teeth, and romantic background music playing everywhere you go (especially when he is around, of course).
The reality is that you’ll still be you. You’ll still say dumb things. You’ll still have that same wardrobe and your clothes will still fit you not as well as you wish they did. Your teeth won’t change, and not every moment you spend in fellowship with your loved one will be wonderful. (There was a point in our relationship when I wondered if there was an even count of the amount of days when I cried and didn’t cry on the phone with Trent!) You will still struggle with the same spiritual issues that you struggle with now. You’ll still wonder if people like you.
You won’t even always like the one you love. Sometimes he will frustrate you to no end. Sometimes a sharp word will flow out so much more easily and willingly than the loving word you should have said.
Your life will never be perfect. Each season brings its own blessings and challenges. Make the most of these days when you can have such un-distracted singleness of heart for God.