I want to start with these words because they are real. They are from a writer who’s every words I read. She’s so brave on her journey so when she wrote this I stood up and clapped for her. Because I have these questions for God on her behalf also. I shake my fists at God on her behalf. Maybe on your behalf too.
A long time ago, I reasoned that my waiting was a time for healing, maturing and learning my identity. I understood that some people are called to do this work with a partner in their marriage, however, I was called to do it beforehand. In all honesty, I feel that at this point in my life story, those things that God wanted to work out in me in my youth, He has done. I feel that the level of healing, maturity and understanding of purpose and identity have been reached. And that causes my own eyes to tear up with questions. Why am I waiting? –Nicole Miller https://betterthanwine.net/2021/11/29/why-are-we-waiting/
There is real holy tension in that question. Holy tension is the discomfort of being stuck in between but knowing that if you can make a brave vulnerable decision something holy is going to happen. So I don’t have answers here. Just venting what you are venting hoping you don’t feel alone in the waiting as you continue to make the brave decisions to find your love of a lifetime.
Because can’t God bring you that someone to at least help you move that couch? Or to ask about that car question? Or come with you to that doctor appointment? For me in my long years of singleness I was on staff at churches. I was so tired of the looks and whispered questions because I was a pastor who was dating. Couldn’t God just bring me my partner now so I can focus on the real of ministry and not on other people’s small-mindedness?
These are real needs. I also desperately wanted my someone to take me to that doctor appointment instead of the random person who signed up to drive me. I was sick quite a lot when I was single and had to share processing the news from that appointment with someone who I knew wouldn’t be with me at the next appointment. Some of them were the same ones who were gossiping about me being a single pastor.
The longing to have someone whom you know is your first phone call or who will partner with you in the logistics of life is why you feel this waiting time is unfair. What is wrong with these longings?
These are the right things to ask God for. There is no selfish motive in them. This is nothing about loneliness or other needs that you might regularly shame yourself for having.
This isn’t the only shame you struggle with. When you are asked to have dinner with friends from your small group or that great Godly older couple invites you to their home, you are that odd-numbered plate on the table. No one ever says anything because they really are glad you are there. It is you who feels the odd one out with that single place setting. You hate it so much that sometimes you turn these good offers down.
You suffer from shame for this longing for a love for a lifetime because of a teaching from your church or youth group teachings that are still stuck in your head. Or from reading some of those Christian books or listening to some of those Christian podcasts. All things you should be doing to grow yourself along the way. But sometimes these people do shame you for wanting that love relationship. Right? This is so wrong.
You can long for love companionship without the shame. Because this longing is good. Infuriating at times too. It is this longing that is leading you to make the brave decision to brave decision to brave decision to wait for the right match. I honor you.
Some of those brave decisions are you deciding to grow and heal now before marriage. You have come so far and still no match. Why God?
Then you go to the wedding of a couple who you know has a trainwreck of a relationship. Why does she get to be married while still having so much growth work to do and here you are sitting at another odd-numbered place setting for the reception?
Another reason to dread that wedding reception (but still go to support that friend whom you love)–the stupid advice married people will give you. Such as how they found their partner when they weren’t looking. Which properly interpreted means I should stop this longing in order to “trick God” into leading me to someone. What a stupid thing to say. It is also probably untruthful because this how they choose to remember their single struggle. The worst of this advice is compiled here.
Good things come to those that wait, right? That’s a platitude and I wrote a book about how platitudes are said not to help you but to remove the one saying it from your pain.
Maybe the waiting is because your right match is still growing. This is the one answer I have learned from my love story. It is an answer that does not satisfy me at all though I do love my love for a lifetime.
I got married later in my life to John. I dated a lot. I turned down marriage proposals (though they were all nonsensical ones). I lived our Brave Dating mantra:
Live your life to the full bravely following after Jesus. Now. As you are living bravely, who is keeping up with you? This is the match for you.Brenda Seefeldt Amodea
This is how I ended up with John. He kept up with me.
But I’m John’s third wife. That’s a whole other article about how God and I wrestled about my faithful waiting to end up being a third wife. Which means I had to wait to get married later until John found Jesus and was divorced…again. So why did I have to wait so long because of John’s mistakes? John fully sees the Holy Spirit wooing him to Jesus through all of those years. He sees that now. Meanwhile I was waiting and dating and waiting and dating trusting God for the right match.
I have no doubt that I married the right match. We are celebrating 25 years of marriage. But to have an answer that I had to wait til John was catching up to me does not rest well in my soul. I don’t have any other wisdom on this. It is an answer that just doesn’t rest well in my soul.
So waiting friend whom I honor, I understand. As I cheer you on. Keep on making those brave decisions. God will give you this desire of your heart. You won’t forget about what you’ve learned in these single years and you won’t forget about your loneliness and your frustrations with God over it. But to wait for that love for a lifetime match is so worth it. It is worth every brave decision.