Since the day I began Redeemed Girl Ministries, the Lord has used my season of singleness and waiting for God’s best to minister to others. Jesus redeemed my single years, and I’m so thankful. He uses every season for His glory. I’ve had the joy of walking through the season of singleness with my friend Emily Fernie. Over the past few years I’ve stood in awe as Emily fell in love with Jesus, decided to live for His glory, and desired His best in everything, which included dating, purity and her future marriage. Emily has waited well, and her prayers for God’s best will inspire many women who find themselves in a similar season. –Marian
For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamt of becoming a wife. It is a hope that I vividly remember marking my vision of “grown-up” me as depicted by “little girl” me.
I prayed and hoped and dreamt of a family to call my own and a Godly man to build it with.
My visions as a little girl were wonderful and whimsical; never saddled with the heavy reality for the wait I would be asked to withstand on the way to the altar.
High school crushes and rom-com romance to me seemed simple enough. Boy loves girl, boy pursues girl, boy marries girl, and boy and girl live happily ever after.
But, in a world broken by sin and riddled with hurt, we have done an impressive job turning what was once a bright, encouraging and exciting time in the life of young people into something often wildly complex, profoundly complicated, and overwhelmingly stressful.
“I’ll pick you up at 6:30?” has turned into “Wanna hangout later?”
“Dinner and a movie” has turned into “Netflix and Chill.”
The excitement of moving into a new relationship has turned into fear of commitment and being torn by whether your affections for this person merit deleting your dating apps; instantly narrowing the endless selection of potential partners at your fingertips.
The decency of having a conversation when you no longer wish to continue
a romantic relationship has turned into ghosting.
Singleness and dating can be hard.
As someone who has journeyed through the at times wearying road of waiting for a husband; I won’t say that it’s not. That wouldn’t be true.
I’ve felt the familiar pang of pain as I walk through the doors of church one Sunday morning after another. Still without a husband. Watching woefully through heavy eyes that smile outwardly as other women my age got engaged, married, pregnant. At times paralyzed by insecurity and self-doubt as I pondered the painful question: “when it will be my turn?”
I’ve asked God why and wept in disappointment when my hopes for a romantic relationship fell acutely short of my expectations.
I’ve settled into the deep despair of wondering whether this dream for a Godly husband would ever be mine.
I’ve decided to take matters into my hands and speed up the process. Perhaps, I thought, God needed some help in bringing my husband to me. Surely he didn’t intend to keep me waiting so long for a spouse.
I’ve reasoned in futility with myself and what I knew was going to make me happy in the long-term to temporarily ease the harsh reality of my loneliness at the moment. I’ve widdled down my checklist to try and quiet the still, small voice within that pleaded for me to wait for God’s best
Waiting in a season of singleness can be awful and endless and demoralizing. I get it. I’ve been there. What it can also be is edifying and peaceful and purpose-filled and faith-forming.
DON’T WASTE YOUR SINGLENESS
Use this time to prepare your heart and mind to love well. Put a big mirror up in front of your thoughts, words, and actions. It’s better to make these tweaks now than when you share a sink with someone. Self-reflection and growth can be fostered through spending time in the word, in prayer, joining a small group of people dedicated to holding each other accountable, and serving at your local church. These small spiritual disciplines will compound over time, and cultivate good soil on which to grow love later.
Another thing I would recommend is finding a spiritual mentor.
Proverbs 11:14 says: “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
Use this time to learn from people older in the faith, and look inward. Self-introspection through the lens of faith will create a perspective that causes you to become less critical of who you are looking for, and more critical of who you are becoming.
PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
At the nudging of Marian, in one of her books, I created a prayer list of characteristics that I longed for in a future husband. The following is an actual screenshot of the list I jotted down on an iPhone note in 2015:
That last bullet was a little cut off in the screenshot, but it reads – “A man who is willing and able to commit- and does so early on.”
Matthew 7:7 says “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
This verse has significant meaning to me not only because prayer was such a huge part of my season of singleness, but also because my fiancé’s name is Matthew and I met him on 7.7.17. ( I couldn’t make this up if I tried!)
When I created the list, I remember thinking it seemed nearly unrealistic and almost impossible. It was such a drastic departure from the men I had dated previously. In spite of that, I decided to lean into who God said I was rather than what I believed was true about myself at the time. I decided to take one step at a time toward the kind of love story that mirrored the selfless, sacrificial love of Christ for his Church; trusting God to meet me exactly where I was and fill in the cracks along the way.
My fiancé Matthew is an embodiment of each bullet point on my list. Not to mention, he is tall and very handsome!
Before God moves you into a season of marriage, pray.
When you feel impatient in waiting…pray.
When you feel disheartened in dating… pray.
When you feel lonely and weary and weighed down as you wonder ‘when will it be my turn?’…pray.
Prayer works. Not only to transform your tomorrow but to drastically change your perspective and renew your hope today.
It is one thing to pray and not receive or to receive a delayed response to prayer. It is another thing entirely to not pray at all. Ask, seek, knock. We have a high priest who delights in granting His children the desires of their hearts.
“Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” Psalm 116:2
Photography by: Isaac and Amanda Photography