by Jennifer Wake
When I was a little girl, I did not dream of my wedding; I just knew I would marry someday. Through high school and college, I had lots of friends but I did not date much. Boys were strange. I could understand animals, but boys…. I could not figure boys out at all.
When I finished college, I moved away from my family and friends. I moved to West Virginia to become a science teacher. I did not know anyone. I met some people and gained friends. But dating… how does that work? I did not go to bars. Churches had lots of older people or people who were already married. Work was full of teenagers and older teachers. I struggled with meeting men to date.
In my mind, the countdown clock started ticking louder and louder. I wanted to marry. I did not want to be alone. I tried so many ways to meet men but I still could not figure them out.
I kept hearing “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make a helper fit for him'” (Genesis 2:18 ESV) in every sermon, even ones on Revelation. Obviously, God said I need to marry. I started adding the word NOW. I needed to marry NOW.
I started praying to marry NOW. I prayed that God would bring my husband to me. I prayed (ok, not really like a prayer, more like I begged), I begged God for a husband. I begged him every day and often in the evenings when I was alone. I pleaded with God to take away my loneliness.
God was silent. He did not speak to me. Instead, he worked inside of me. He started changing my heart. I was a strong, independent young woman who really did not like following anyone. Looking back, I realize I was not open to having anyone really get to know me. God sent me a friend, a spiritual mentor, who encouraged me to follow God.
I changed from pleading and begging to asking God to change me. I prayed for him to change me, to become more like him. I started reading my Bible more. I desired more time at church and with people who loved God.
After two years in West Virginia, I moved to Virginia, right outside of D.C. I shared a house with a group of girls. We were all single Christian girls. We went to different churches but loved sharing a house. Through this time, I learned to pray differently.
I had changed from pleading to asking. But I kept wanting a husband. I kept asking God for a person to make me feel complete. God wanted me to be complete by spending time with him. During this season, I studied the book of James. My memory verse for this season was James 4:3:
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
I realized that my passion was to avoid loneliness. I hated being alone. I had friends, but few really knew my heart. I did not like being alone. I avoided being alone. Yet God wanted me to spend time getting to know him, and being alone allowed me to do that.
God gave me the ability to meet and connect with people.
Some of the girls I shared the house with were my age. We were in our late 20’s. We did not say “almost 30,” but really we were closer to 30 than 25. We decided to spend six months praying for each other and holding each other accountable to spend time with God. During this time, we were studying about loving God. Loving God more. This taught me about waiting for true love.
We studied the book of Psalms. The psalms are full of verses about waiting and about longing. I started desiring time alone with God. I allowed him to fill me and lead me into deeper understanding and deeper love.
How to Flourish While Waiting on God:
- Look for a person, or two, to help you wait. Accountability partners or Bible study members can help you learn to grow closer to God. Waiting alone is hard. These people can be far or near. They just need to be willing to call you and ask how you are doing with waiting. “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14 ESV).
- Begin each day in prayer. Praying while waiting is very important. If you start each day with prayer, it reminds you who is in control of your life. “O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch” (Psalm 5:3 ESV).
- Keep serving God. Sitting and saying “woe is me” does nothing. I know. I used to lament about being single. Then God taught me to serve him. The more I served him, the better my days became. I still serve him and I look for ways to serve more when he calls me to wait again. “Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us” (Psalm 123:2 ESV).
I did get married after choosing to wait on God. One of my prayer partners married after I did. Unfortunately, her spouse was abusive so she is alone again. God has brought her a new way of having a family; she does foster care and has a house full of kids, which was her heart’s desire.
Another prayer partner never married. She works with single women who escape abusive situations. She is serving God by being a role model to these young hurting women. Each of us is flourishing in our own way. None of us are alone because we know God.
Dear Lord, please guide us each day to become the woman you want us to be. Guide us in our choice of friends. Teach us to wait on you and your timing. Amen.
Verses to Ponder:
I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope. Psalm 130:5
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10