Hey friends! I’m excited to introduce you to Alicia, a faithful TrueLoveDates.com reader! I’ve gotten to know her over the past few months thanks to her wise and encouraging interactions on our Facebook page, because TrueLoveDates.com is more than a website, it’s a community of amazing people. Her heart for Jesus and her mature perspectives inspired me to ask her to share her message with you today. I pray you’re challenged, blessed, and encouraged. And then wish her a happy birthday below! — Love, Debra
I’m celebrating my Birthday today, and I am officially 36 years old. Doing the calculations, that means that I am older than Moses.
At least it feels that way sometimes.
I’m sure many of you can relate. The flipping of the calendar causes somersaults in your stomach bigger than a gymnast at the Olympics ever could do and leaves you wondering, “Will I EVER get married? Am I going to be single for forever? Have I been waiting for something that is never going to happen?”
I don’t know about you, but the idea of turning another year older often ushers in an onslaught of fearful thoughts and shame each time the birthday calendar flips another page.
But this year is different.
Something has transformed that old fear into a new sense of anticipation and joy. Hope has birthed itself from the cocoon of expectations that have surrounded my life for so many years. I wanted to share those things with you with the hopes that it will encourage you and help you to squeeze out all the yummy goodness that life has to offer.
Not someday, but RIGHT NOW.
When I was younger, I was under the impression that with one glance, my Prince Charming would sweep me off my feet, that we would ride off in his white pickup truck (it’s kind of like a white horse…work with me) and that we would live Happily Ever After…
[Cue the singing birds.]
…Because that’s how fairy tales work, right?
Not so fast.
I’m all for fairytales, but needed to look beyond those instant romance stories to something even better. Something with substance. What was better than a fairy tale?
Being written just for me, penned by the Savior Himself.
Awesome. Bring it to me NOW, God! (I can almost hear God saying, “Patience, my daughter.”)
Only, what I didn’t expect is that God works on a different timetable because He doesn’t haphazardly write a story. When He writes a love story, He is deliberate in writing it out in detail and writes a whole story, not just a part of it.
What story would be complete with just “The End?” Boring. There has to be a beginning and middle too.
He is writing a whole story for our lives, not just a part of it.
I love Jeremiah 29:11, because it promises that God not only has a plan for our lives, but that it is a good plan. He also promised in Romans 8:28 that He will cause everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes for them.
This means that we can rest in the NOW while we are waiting for the THEN.
If God has us in a place or season of waiting, then it isn’t because He has put the pen down and is thinking about what to write next. He is actively writing the middle of our story.
Why? Why do we have to wait so long?
It may be that God is working on things in our life—areas that He wants to grow—or He may be working out things in our life—through opportunities that He wants to use if we will let Him. Each of those things is being used to write an even better story for our lives.
..and one of the secrets to joy during this time of singleness is to see it as just that–a blessing.
It’s usually a matter of perspective that causes our feelings to rise or fall towards the situations that we are in. Allowing discouraging thoughts in will only bring you down and cause you to focus on what you don’t have. Having a right perspective can make these years of our lives so beautifully full and wonderful, even when you don’t have what you desire yet.
Why not have an amazing single life AND an amazing married life?
These single years are a time of opportunity that will never happen again. Right now, we are unhindered. We have an opportunity to live our dreams. There is something so rich in that! When we offer God our “in the meantime,” He expands our dreams to not only include marriage someday, but to involve so much more. Instead of having a single rose in our hands at the end of our lives–a single dream–He expands our dreams and we are left holding an entire bouquet.
I want my cake and eat it too.
Pursuing a relationship with God:
Most important is to continue to dig deep into our relationship with Him and connect with Him every day through daily prayer and Bible reading. We get to know someone by spending time with them and we get to know God by investing into our relationship with Him and by making it a priority.
Staying connected with community:
Surrounding ourselves with meaningful friendships and getting connected by serving at church. We are made to be in fellowship with other believers and God designed us to bless one another. Connecting with others will help us to feel less lonely while we wait for God to write our love story.
Don’t just life for “then.” Live for “now” too:
God wants us to be multi-faceted people. When we dig inside ourselves to find out why He created us and invest this unhindered time into pouring ourselves into those dreams, He brings dimension to our lives. Don’t settle for being monochromatic. This time of life has so much potential wrapped up into it. Be a kaleidoscope of color and live life for all it has to offer now.
Nurture who God has made us to be on a personal level:
We are unique and purposefully designed by a God who loves us so much. Remember that feelings come and go and we can be up and down daily. If we are thinking discouraging thoughts about ourselves because we are single, then we need to re-tune our minds to focus on who He says that we are in Him.
Don’t cross a bridge before we come to it:
There are times where we will be tempted to think that we will never see our dreams fulfilled. But we can find encouragement in the stories of Zechariah and Elizabeth, Abraham, Joseph, David, Ruth and so many others in the Bible. God worked out some pretty amazing things in spite of their circumstances. We need to remember to not take the pen from God’s hand and write in “The End” in a place where He may just be at the start of writing something amazing for the next few pages. We can rest in knowing that God has our best interests in mind and that whatever He works out will be amazing.
Believe that God is working out good things in your life:
Hebrews 11:6 says that God rewards those that earnestly seek Him. When God takes something out of our hands, it’s either because He wants to reshape what we’ve got in our hands to be something even better or because He wants to put something entirely new in its place. Like Abraham, when we give something to God, He pours something back into us that is even more amazing if we had just held onto it. We think we are resigned to swimming in a fish bowl, but God has the entire ocean waiting for us.
When we focus on trusting God with writing our NOW, we will have an even more amazing THEN someday.
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