*This guest post was written by DD, blogger and creator of Singles Redeemed.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jer. 29:11 (NIV)
The face of the man in the car that pulled into my driveway was a familiar one. He was a leader in my church, just like me. He was someone I’d known for nearly seven years. And seven months earlier, he was the man I thought I was going to marry.
I had already picked out a wedding reception spot, created a budget and collected photos of dresses, flowers and party favors. I’d all but named our future children and visualized the rocking chairs we’d sit on as we grew old together.
But on that afternoon recently, there he was, in my driveway – married to someone else who was now pregnant with his baby.
Navigating through singlehood can at times be trying even without the pain of a failed relationship. But for those of us who God has saved from settling for less than His best along the way, watching people we nearly married go on to wed and have children can force us to confront feelings of self-doubt and deep insecurity.
Despite all the red flags and signs God showed me that this person was wrong for me, seeing him with his wife at church every Sunday started me on a tortuous cycle of second-guessing.
The worst part about this mental prison was that it was one of my own making. So afraid of the prospect of being alone, I’d put all my energies into trying to make work a relationship that didn’t fit. When it became unbearable I’d walked away, hoping that it would only be temporary and God would “fix it.” Two months later he was married.
That alone should have been a sign to me that I’d made the right choice, right? Not me. I wondered “what if?”
What if I had accepted his marriage proposal? Sure, he’d told me that he wasn’t in love with me, but maybe after we got married he would grow to love me? He’d promised that the problems we had would get better after we got married, and though I believed the way he and his wife had married was unhealthy, she certainly seemed as happy as could be, especially with the baby on the way. So maybe…
The reality of the situation was that after years of praying, maintaining purity and keeping my hands at work in God’s Kingdom while vowing to wait on my “Boaz,” I had been so anxious to have a husband that I’d put my heart on sale. I was willing to give myself away for cheap.
Even when God intervened to give me another chance to wait on His best, I was still looking back and kicking myself for not settling!
Why couldn’t I just let it go?
I asked God this question one morning, and He spoke this answer into my heart.
If you only knew the future I have in store for you, He said, you wouldn’t worry about what’s going on right now.
I began to cry, half out of gratitude and half out of repentance. I realized that my future – including whether I marry or not – is of more concern to God than it will ever be to me.
No matter our individual issues – even the ones produced out of our shortcomings and bad decisions – God loves us and still wants His best for us. If we want to live according to His will, we must also want His best – the expected end – for ourselves.
I thought of this when the man I’d nearly married recently saw me headed home and followed me there. The last time we’d talked, I’d tried to approach him, shocked after I heard he was married and doubtful it was even true. He responded by reminding me I’d broken up with him and said I was making a fool of myself.
So when he pulled into my driveway after days trying to reach me by phone, I avoided the contact and walked away. Turns out, according to a later voice-mail he left me, he’d wanted to apologize for the way things turned out.
I eventually replied with a text message saying that I accepted his apology and forgave him.
It took a while for my emotions to catch up with that text, and even longer to forgive myself and unravel the mindsets that led to my choices.
The start of my blog, Singles Redeemed, is reflective of this journey as well as the path to wholeness that God desires for all of us.
No matter our pasts, or what decisions we’ve made, God desires for all of us to be whole. More importantly, He wants us to realize that we don’t have to take the journey alone. All we have to do is stop looking around, and look up.
DD is the creator of the soon coming singles blog Singles Redeemed. Subscribe to her blog for more of her story and inspiration. Feel free to leave her a comment down below or contact her by email at email@example.com.
Who Has Your Heart? The Single Woman’s Pursuit of Godliness
Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus
Encouragement Changes Everything: Bless and Be Blessed
Redeeming Singleness: How the Storyline of Scripture Affirms the Single Life