Engagement season is among us. My timeline is filled with girls with cute boyfriends, captions about how in love they are, and occasionally a picture of a left hand with a big diamond ring on it.
I've been single for a while and the other day I found myself complaining (again) to God about my "singleness." I wanted a boyfriend, but not just any guy. I wanted THE guy, the one I would say "forever" to, the one who would be my partner for life. I wanted the father of my future kids, the one who would watch Netflix with me in our PJs, and hold me when I got scared during a Law and Order episode or cry because someone else died on Grey's Anatomy.
I began stalking girls via Facebook who had already found their guy, had cute engagement pictures, and were making their Pinterest wedding dreams come true. (And to make my emotions worse, Sean and Catherine from the Bachelor are about to have a kid, and they are just relationship goals to the extreme.)
However, as I was praying to God, I felt Him tell me something important. "Be patient Grace, and in the meantime grow..."
I was mad because I have this cute thing a lot of us high school and college girls HAVE where we pretend we know better than God. Couldn't God tell I was ready??!!
The truth is, I am not ready. There are certain aspects I need to love more before I can love the person God has prepared for me. God has blessed me with this waiting time not to work toward perfection, but to grow into the person who He created me to be. And I must become that by loving these things before I can love a man romantically:
- Myself: God isn't asking us to love ourselves when we are in a tight dress on a Thursday night with alcohol in our system. God isn't asking me to love the me who changed her voice and personality every time I talk to the hot guy in my Biology Lab. God is asking me to love the me He formed in my mother's womb. God wants me desperately to be confident in who He created me to be. God wants me to look in the mirror and admire His masterpiece. How can you love someone else, if you haven't learned to love yourself?
- My Friends: "Sisters before misters". We say that daily, yet do we mean it? Instead of focusing on getting in a relationship, maybe us girls need to focus all that energy and love into pouring into our friendships we have. You can't have a wedding without bridesmaids by your side.
- My Brain: Although I get giggles when I see the many "hopefully my future husband is doing well on his exams 'cause I'm sure not" tweets during finals week, as a woman you should have confidence in your intelligence before allowing a relationship. So many guys out there these days act more important, powerful, and independent. It is important to have confidence in your intelligence before allowing a relationship so you know, you are better than a guy who doesn't appreciate and notice all you do, and have the potential to do. Love your brain and all its potential before you let any man walk into your life.
- Family: If you are lucky enough to have someone related to you who loves and cares for you, focus on appreciating and loving them. While you are waiting to create a family, appreciate the family God has given you. Why get upset when a boy doesn't text you back, when you have blood who loves and sees how wonderful you are?
- Your Creator: It is common to see tweets saying "#relationshipgoals", with a sweet text message from a significant other or a expensive gift for no reason. But the real relationship goals was created over 2000 years ago when the guy who Created you sent His Son to die on a cross for your sins, and raised Him from the dead, so that you may be forgiven. That is love. If you don't know the guy who created love how can you ever fully know love? I'm not saying "if you don't believe in God, you can't experience love". However, I am saying that knowing that the same guy who hung the stars and painted the sea, loves you and me more than we can ever comprehend, does help you get a true picture of what true love is.
Instead of complaining about being single, why don't we ladies focus on growing more into the person God has planned for us to be? After all, I heard that God writes better love stories than Nicholas Sparks. Trust Him to write your love story and in the meantime focus on enjoying life, growing in confidence, and becoming better friends with your Creator.
Never settle because you are tired of being single. Keep growing until the man who God has planned for you comes into your life, pursues you intentionally, and loves you like Jesus. Make sure you can replace his name for "love is" in this verse, and make sure your momma likes him so you don't end up singing "Love Yourself" by Justin Bieber, wasting tears on a guy who never deserved your love.
"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." 1 Corinthians 13:4