I went through a desperate time in my life when I turned 30. I was not married yet and I was sure God and I had a “supposed-to” deal that I would be married before 30. By that time I had already served in churches for 12 years. In exchange for that I was supposed to be married by then. Especially so because some people in the church and a lot of people outside of my church family had a big problem that I was single. There was always suspicion. Suspicion with no grounds because I had pretty big boundaries. Yet I still had to navigate suspicion simply because I was single. As you know, too many people don’t know how to handle strong single called people.
Turns out God and I didn’t have a deal. Now with hindsight wisdom there were a ton of reasons why I had to wait til I was 33 to get married. With hindsight wisdom I’m so glad I waited for the right one.
But six months before my 30th birthday I was desperate. My “supposed-to” didn’t happen. I took my desperation out on God.
In my desperation I didn’t contort myself into a lesser quality relationship so I could be on my way to marriage. I didn’t try to get back together with a lost love. I threw all my anger back at God. After all, he is the one who broke the deal.
I was angry. I prayed. I fasted. I vented. I would not rest til I knew I had the blessing. It was a painful time. It was a memorable time. This time actually increased my confidence, increased my vanity. I turned 30 unmarried and pretty sassy about still being single. When John made his intentions very clear to me that he wanted to marry me, I hesitated for a long time because I was pretty content and sassy about being single. All of this was birthed out of my time of desperation.
What desperate behaviors are a part of your life right now? Should you be more desperate to God?
Why does your being desperate lead to God which will then lead you to your spouse? Because of the beautiful growth that then grows out of you. When you become so vulnerably broken because your hurt is so raw…
When your “supposed to” doesn’t fit the box you want your life in and you are so painfully disappointed…
When your desperation leads you to finally be honest with God…
you survive the pain.
You learn new truths about God. These new truths about God often lead to new understandings about yourself. And you might become sassy in that good way because you know know know that God is for you.
When you have learned this about yourself, your faith and your God then you won’t accept those unhealthy relationships which you’ve desperately contorted yourself to make work. You see the truth of these unhealthy relationships and you find the bravery to make that ending, hold to your boundaries and trust God to bring the right one for you.
Warning. Don’t shame yourself too much when this truth washes over you. You could shame yourself for the sad and desperate choices you made to force a relationship. Forgive yourself. Move on. You didn’t know what you know now. What you know now because you desperately unleashed your fury at God and learned so much. This braver you can forgive the sadder you.
This braver you is happier. There’s happiness to be found in any season of life, even this too long and painful single season. Because being happy is not a state God reserves just for marriage. (You needed to be reminded of that, didn’t you?)
Be proud of this braver you. Recognize that you are not married yet because you have made godly and wise decisions. Good for you! May I also whisper this truth into your ear: Your decision-making brings God pleasure. Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you. Proverbs 4:6.
You know this because you are desperate. Desperate has never looked so good on someone.
Embrace the vulnerability. Unleash your fury at God. God has a lot of things he (and she) wants you to know. Things that surpass your “supposed to’s.” Don’t be surprised if you also dance in that rain a little bit.
(photo credit: https://thoughtcatalog.com/koty-neelis/2015/05/when-you-love-a-person-who-comes-from-a-broken-family/)