I’m almost twenty. I feel so old. People hear me say that and they laugh. They find that thought ridiculous. But to me, I’m far behind where I thought I would be by now. I thought I would be in a relationship years ago, engaged by 17, and married by 18. But I’m still single. I find myself feeling lost because the path I had determined for myself swerved off in a direction I had never intended to walk.
I never thought I would need to go to college or pursue a career because my husband would provide for me while I stayed home with the kids but I’m officially starting college classes in about a month. I never thought I would be a nanny—I thought I would have my own children by now. I never thought I would still be alone. But I am.
I had preconceived ideas of where my life was headed. I still do actually. I have lots of dreams and hopes. But for whatever reason, God has decided it’s not time. He hasn’t said it won’t ever be the time. For now, He’s just saying wait.
Shortly after graduating high school, I sort of put my life on hold. I thought Prince Charming was right around the corner. Any second he would come into my life, sweep me off my feet, and we would live happily ever after. I was living as if getting married young was a right that God owed me, something I deserved because I felt I was ready. I would read Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” And I would think “well I love God and He knows that I want to be married by 18 so He’s going to make it happen.” Or I would read Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I would get so excited because I desired marriage and I thought I delighted in the Lord so this was going to happen just as I wanted!!
Now, two years later, I look at Romans 8:28 and it holds an entirely different meaning for me. Just because something works out for good, doesn’t mean we will like the circumstances that bring the end result. It doesn’t even mean that the “good” will align with our plans or desires! What this verse is saying is that God can use anything for His glory, to accomplish His plan. Think of Joseph’s response to his brothers in Genesis 45:5-8, “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God…” Joseph’s brothers had sold him into slavery because they were so jealous of him. And look at his response! “God sent me here.” Joseph sees that God had a plan in spite of all the pain. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph says, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” We are too quick to see something in life and feel that God is being unfair. He can use anything, even singleness, for good.
Even Psalm 37:4 has come alive to me. A synonym of “delight” is “captivate” which means to attract and hold the interest and attention of something. If God is truly holding my interest and attention, then what will be the desire of my heart? God Himself. If God holds my heart, then my heart will long for that which He longs for. My desires and hopes and dreams will be that His will would be accomplished in my life, that He would be glorified. If I am delighting in Him, I will long for Him and what He wants for me.
Don’t get me wrong. Waiting is hard. There are times that I feel so empty and incomplete. I want someone to be at my side to share my whole life with me, every single millisecond. I want to be loved just as much as any of you.
But no matter how badly I want to be married, I know that waiting is important in life. It’s often in these seasons of waiting that I find I grow the most. My 20th birthday is around the corner and I look back two years and I am so glad that God’s time frame is different than mine. I was so not ready to be a wife when I was 18. In these past 24 months, I have grown and matured in so many important areas in my life. I feel like an entirely different person than who I was then. I’m not saying that I’m ready now because I know I still have so much left to work on.
When I get really sad or lonely, I try to remind myself that I don’t want to settle for less than God’s best just because I don’t want to wait any longer. I would much rather have to wait years to be become Mrs. Right and find Mr. Right than be Mr. and Mrs. Wrong now. It’s the things you have to wait for the longest that are the most beautiful and the most treasured..