Anyone who has known me for a short amount of time has probably heard me talk about how I was convinced that God’s plan for my life was to never be married. Let me go ahead and tell you…that’s totally okay! Marriage doesn’t define who we are as a person. However, let me fully disclose (since we’re friends right?) I have had a many of a lonely night and breakdown crying to God about why I just wanted someone to love me the way His word says they would. Besides those few weak moments, I spent most of my single life focused completely on what God had planned for me and living out the purpose He had and that’s exactly what I want for you.
It does not matter how old or how young you are. It honestly doesn’t even matter if you’re currently dating someone. What matters is that you’re determined to keep your relationship with Christ at the center of your life and that you focus on Him more than anything else.
The truth is that I am incredibly grateful, honored and humbled that God chose to give me Nicholas. The truth is also, that if He hadn’t, I would still be okay. Having Nicholas as my life partner has already (in just a few short months of marriage) forever changed my life and the trajectory of where I was headed. Even still, marriage has already taken some of my normal time with God away and I’ve had to fight to keep God at the center of my mind and heart. I love my husband more than I could ever put into words because I don’t have the vocabulary, but I love God even more than that.
So what can you do to stay focused on God until this love you’ve been longing for comes along?
- Pray Unwavering
What I mean is that you cannot stop trusting in God just because things don’t look in your life the way you thought they would. You have to keep praying and believing that God is providing what you NEED not just what you WANT. God is all knowing and way more stable emotionally and mentally than us, which means that He knows what or who we need in our lives more than we ever will. The type of guy I was into in high school is nothing like what my husband turned out to be and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that. Don’t let any type of disappointment or plan that you’ve set for your life keep you from trusting your God.
- Be careful who you spend time with
Honest moment, even though it’s kind of embarrassing. I went through a time in my life where I hung out with a pretty wild crowd. They did not want the same things as me, they did not encourage me but constantly wore me down and truth be told I knew they weren’t the type of people I should be spending my time with. To this very moment not a single one of them is married (not judging, but stating a fact). You know what happened when I started spending time with the people who loved God, loved me and who were like minded to me….I found my husband. This isn’t to say that this will happen immediately but it is to say that the people you are spending the most of your time with are the people that you’re agreeing to spend your life with. If they aren’t drawing you closer to God in someway, they aren’t worth your time. End of story. When I stopped spending time with people who weren’t encouraging I was able to refocus my life and God opened a door for Nicholas and I to start a relationship.
- Be in the right places
Just as important as WHO I’m with, is WHERE I am. That wild crowd I was spending time with, wasn’t spending time in places where I was going to find a decent man. Those places weren’t places that God wanted me to spending time with Him. If I hadn’t stopped showing up in those places, I may never have come across Nicholas. My husband is a man with strong values and morals as well, which are characteristics that God knew I wanted and needed. Had I still been spending my time in places I shouldn’t have been, it’s likely that Nicholas wouldn’t have been interested in getting to know me. See how that works? Because I had become a woman who spent time with Godly people, and was found in the right type of places, my now husband was interested in knowing me better in the beginning. I’m intentionally being vague because I want you to spend time with God, asking Him where you should be spending less time and with whom you should be spending less time.
- Listen to God
When God opened an opportunity for me to start working for the state of NC, I was so confused. No part of my dreams or plans had anything to do with working for the government and certainly not at the place my mother had retired from. Regardless of how confused I was, I knew in my spirit that God was telling me to do it. We all know that I could have easily said no to God and stayed where I was. In case you’re unaware of this, I met Nicholas at this job. We didn’t start dating until after he had left that division but LOOK AT GOD! If I had decided to ignore what God placed on my heart or said no to an opportunity that made no sense to me at all, I may have never crossed paths with Nicholas. My life today would be nothing at all like it looks now. There is so much wisdom and maturity in doing the hard things that God calls you to, even when on paper it makes absolutely no sense at all, you HAVE to trust God. There’s no way around it. I promise you it will always turn out for your good.
- Set habits and routines
Part of continuing and cultivating a relationship with God that will last in every season of life is by setting habits and routines. Part of the reason it’s still easy for me to spend time with God daily is because it’s been a habit of mine for years. Part of keeping focused on your relationship with God beyond everything else is the intentionality it takes to do so. I schedule time in my day to read my Bible. I schedule time in my life to attend Church. I surround myself with reminders (like following certain Instagram accounts) to spend time with God. When I got married, all of these were already habits that I didn’t have to learn how to fit into my life.
- Learn to Trust
As previously mentioned, I was fully convinced that I was never getting married. I just couldn’t see how marriage was going to fit into my life and where I felt God had me headed. There was still that small part of me that prayed constantly and had others around me believing for me that one day God would provide my husband. What ended up happening over years of discouragement, was that I started to trust that no matter what, God had my back. If I ended up being single for my entire life, then it meant God had a plan and a reason and a purpose for it. I HAD to trust Him. It was almost the exact moment that I had finally settled in my heart that God was going to take care of me, that Nick asked me out on our first date. When I decided to stop worrying about what God had planned for my life, He provided something I wanted for a long time.
- Serve God
One of the biggest ways that I kept my mind focused on God and not on my singleness was serving. I started serving in my local church when I was 11 and I never stopped. What really got me out of the dumps on most days was the sense of purpose that I felt in staying connected to my local church. There is something incredible about focusing more on others and less on yourself. The days that I felt the lowest have always been the days that God allowed me to serve someone else in a beautiful way. I encourage you to sign up and join a team at your local church. Keep your eyes on the calling that God has set before you and I promise you’ll see a major shift in perspective.
On Sunday, Nick and I will have gotten engaged one year ago. Something I never saw for myself or thought would ever happen in my life, but now here I am. God is so faithful and loving.
I pray today my friend that you will keep your mind, heart and spirit focused on God and that above all else you will trust that He loves you deeply enough to never let the desires of your heart go unnoticed or unfulfilled. Life will never look the way we want it to, and Thank God for that.
If this is something you’d like to keep talking about or have questions about or honestly just need someone to cry with or listen to you, I would absolutely love the opportunity to speak with you or if you’re local grab a cup of coffee. Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk!