Last year, while processing a breakup, I decided it’d be wise for me to take some time away from the dating scene. Then, I read this book that challenged me to commit to the break as a year-long endeavor. Currently, I’m in the middle of the tenth month.
During this season, the Lord has created space for healing and processing to take place, and I’m forever grateful that He “caught me” during a time of sorrow. Honestly, glory to God for a joy that I feel, knowing that, through prayer, counseling, and community-building, He is still Lord over all.
Meanwhile, I’ve really never been great at waiting. I usually laugh when people comment on my level of patience. Somewhat jokingly, I respond, “It’s either God or stubbornness.” Thus, I’m surprised (but also not so surprised) by the intrigue I feel towards the possibility of dating again, sooner than later.
Yes, I desire to have a partner in life, a wife. I believe God knows this, and I’m expectant that it can happen some day. But, I also believe that I’m fully known and complete in Him, which at times can be difficult to celebrate and communicate. Regardless, I can’t deny the peace and liberation in knowing that God knows me and loves me, in singleness and in marriage.
LEARNING #1 // GOD IS SOVEREIGN AND LOVES YOU REGARDLESS OF YOUR CURRENT RELATIONSHIP STATUS, AND NO PARTNER/SPOUSE CAN CHANGE OR COMPLETE THAT. GOD WAS, IS, AND IS TO COME!
At times, I’ve questioned, “Am I doing this hiatus thing to bring attention to myself or as some kind of cop out?” It could be very easy to use as a line to avoid dating someone, to avoid trying. That being said, I’m thankful that the book offered up a clear timestamp.
In addition to that, it gave pointers on what to do to fill the time of waiting. I haven’t completed everything, but I also don’t think that was the main point in suggesting these “life tips.” Instead, it points to a far greater goal: to trust God with every part of life.
Someone said to me once, “I hope you trust me enough to know that I’ll let you know if there’s something to let you know.” I’m sure you may read that and think, “Woah! That’s a pretty vague, cryptic statement.” Maybe it is; but in that moment, I felt at peace to hear it. And I still do.
You know why? Because, regardless of where life takes me, I trust that person. Similarly, I hope to trust God in that same way but also in far greater amounts.
LEARNING #2 // USE YOUR TIME OF WAITING TO, AS ANDY STANLEY PUTS IT, “BECOME THE PERSON THE PERSON YOU’RE LOOKING FOR IS LOOKING FOR.” THAT DOESN’T MEAN TO BE INSTANTLY PERFECT; BUT FOR ME, I TAKE IT AS DIRECTIVE TO STRIVE TO BECOME MORE AND MORE LIKE JESUS.
Above, I started to mention a curious excitement I’m starting to feel in regards to dating again. I don’t think I fully know where to start, but I’m at peace with that. I’m at peace because I feel complete in Christ. This then informs the way I pray and look for a life partner in ministry.
“Where does one find this?” Funny you should ask because I’ve been asking myself the same question. In fact, I also sent a survey to my Facebook friends recently, and I’d love for you to take it too (if you haven’t already). Mainly, I’m curious as to the current pulse of the city when it comes to dating.
Furthermore, I’m thankful to be able to say that my friends have been a huge source of encouragement and advice. This dating hiatus has been so gracious to provide opportunities for me to build deeper friendships with some key people, and I trust that they’ll be with me in whatever season(s) come(s) next.
LEARNING #3 // SEEK COUNSEL FROM GOD THROUGH PRAYER AND FROM FRIENDS WHO KNOW YOU WELL AND WHO YOU TRUST. EMOTIONS CAN BE OVERWHELMING, SO LEAN ON KEY PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE TO HELP YOU PROCESS THEM.
Ultimately, I hope you read this and feel encouraged, not by me or my endeavors but by God and His rich love for you. I also hope that you’ll start to see the beauty of that love, to its full and unconditional extent.
In true confession, there are many ways of how I could see (and would like to see) this narrative play out. I might pursue some of those, but I’m not going to do it without praying first.
Remember: God is for you, in singleness and in marriage.
If you have any immediate questions about anything said above (or in previous posts), please don’t hesitate to comment below or email me directly.