I was twenty years old. I was young, full of spontaneity and fire, yet I felt that I was beyond my years. I was a hopeless romantic once before. As a young teen I found what I thought to be love in all the wrong places. Darkness and brokenness covered with a mask that resembled refuge and promise. I was led down a hard path of heart break, disappointment within myself and a hunger for real love.
I found Jesus when I was eighteen years old. Within the arms of my Heavenly Father, I clung to the truth that the desires he planted in my heart would come to flourish, but that if not, I would have Him and He was all that I would ever need. After finding perfect love in my creator, love with another man seemed helpless as it looked all too different than before. I knew my worth, I knew who I was and whom I belonged to. When a young woman knows who she is, it seems that any man who is unsure of himself and whom he belongs to is far too intimidated to pursue anything worthy of that woman and her time. Dating was out of the question, and so God himself would have to deliver a man after His own heart, or I would stay single and jokingly have ten dogs by the time I was thirty. My heart did want all the things I desired, a husband, children, two dogs and a red bricked house that had trees all around it and a tire swing in the backyard. However as christians we have to remind ourselves that our own hearts desires might not be Gods, so we pray and we wait.
I found what it was like to solely rely on the Lord for my sense of companionship and belonging. I began volunteering with my churches youth group and discovered my drive to “mother” children and serve Gods people. I found happiness when my arms were empty and I was almost completely friendless. I learned to completely love my circumstances even when they were not what I desired them to be. I found joy in the waiting.
One day, I was out with the youth group and the youth pastor jokingly says to me, “Hey, I know your future husband.” He and his wife continued to joke and share with me all the details about this young man and insisting that he really was a perfect match. I felt my heart hope for this man to be real, but I quickly reminded myself of how messy and hurtful love this side of heaven can be and I shrugged it off. Two weeks later, it was a cold December night and I was looking for any reason to not have to go to the youth group meeting that night. I bundled up, grabbed a cup of coffee on my way to the church and felt every nerve that you would on a first date, but I wasn’t sure why. The kids finished playing a few games and worship was about to start. The door leading into the churches sanctuary opened and quick footsteps came from behind me and into a group of the kids. This guy wearing a bright blue puffy jacket, a cap, chacos and dinosaur socks comes barreling into his two brothers and right there he came right into my heart. It was the same guy that I was told about before, I knew what he looked like and his name from some good stalking and being around his brothers for the past four months, but boy I had no clue how much I already cared for this person until we spoke for the first time.
A few weeks had passed and he snuck his way into some events that I had planned with some of the upperclassmen like his brother. It was completely inevitable, I was falling head over heels in love with this man and I was terrified of how he felt towards me. Well, one night we ended up running some errands before a church lock in and he opened up about his feelings for me and asked me if I would be alright with him pursuing me. I am not sure if I even said anything back to him at first, but one thing led to another and we were out on our first date a few night later. On our first date, we sat and talked for three hours and shared our stories, dreams and passions with one another. It became so evident that he was the man I had been praying for. A man who feared God and simultaneously sought after Him.
Four months later the love of my life got down on one knee and asked for me to be his bride. One year after that, we got married and have been living our best life together and growing immensely ever since. Ryan was well worth the wait and while I was waiting God was working. God was molding Ryan into a leader and a man who loved Him and was worthy of a wife. God was molding me into a secure woman who would be capable of loving and was worthy of a husband.
Within four months I went from giving up on my own love story, to planning a forever with the man of my dreams. If you are in the midst of waiting for your groom, or you are unsure if marriage is something that God has planned for you, cling tight to Him. As a happily married woman, I will say this, God is still better than it all. Isn’t that good news? That if you do happen to fall in love and get married, that even when your marriage gets hard or you realize that it’s not enough nor is meant to be, that God is better than it all! That if you do happen to be called to the life of singleness, that you lack nothing because God is better. He is so much more than our relationships here on earth, yet He prepares and refines you specifically for them, and with that simple truth my friend, I hope that you choose to find joy in your waiting.