The holidays have passed and the midnight kiss that didn't happen still lingers in the single's soul. No more hesitation to show up to another family gathering alone and having to explain why the last boyfriend or girlfriend "wasn't able to make it". No more pressure to get engaged or give your parents grand babies, until the next holiday at least. Being alone is the only thing many single people can think about. I was there, and it was all that consumed me.
Getting pregnant at 16 and again at 18 was NOT on my 'Where do you see yourself in 20 years' list that you write in 5th grade. I was going to graduate high school with all of my friends. I was going to go to college and be a Pediatrician, no, Fashion Designer, wait, maybe a Teacher. I was going have a great job, find a husband, travel and then settle down and raise a family.
Having babies, when I was still a baby changed everything. My list was out the window and nothing happened as I had envisioned they would. I did graduate high school at the top of my class, but it was with people I barely knew. All of my friends, who I thought were my friends, had forgotten about me when I changed schools to graduate early and begin life as a teen mom. Raising a baby, working a serving job, and being in college was tough. Homework piled up, mom duties called all the time, and work left me smelling like chicken fingers after each shift. This was far from the glamorous life I thought I would have at age 10.
Being a young mom was the hardest thing I have ever had to endure. But it wasn't for the reasons many may think. Sure, I changed my mind about what I wanted to be when I grew up numerous times, and I often imagined my self traveling but I had idea to where. One thing I did know for certain, though, even at a young age, was that I wanted to get married so bad. I knew I could be a great wife and mother. I knew I longed to grow old with someone. Being a young mom with two babies though, does not usually put you on the list of woman most guys want to date.
I had many failed attempts of dating. I searched for my future husband in all of the wrong places. I was looking for him around every corner and I would lose sleep over where I needed to find him next. I worked out to make myself more desirable. I dressed how I thought men wanted me to. And I acted out in ways I hoped would attract men to me more. The more failed attempts that occurred, the more hardened my heart became. I grew angry, bitter, I felt unwanted and ugly at times. I was mad at God for a long time.
Why would he give Eve to Adam, but leave me hanging? Why would he dangle this desire in my face and allow me to suffer over it? Why am I not good enough for anyone? I go to church, I read the bible, I'm a great mom and hard worker, but why am I not able to find my husband.
God was not my focus. My idol had become my husband, who wasn't even in my life, yet. I worshiped the idea of being married. I fixated on finding the perfect man, and I did not prioritize becoming a Godly woman.
After several years of changing my focus and talking about the possibility of marriage with a couple of men I had dated, I felt like I was on the right track. Until, those failed relationships consumed me again. I wanted to be married so bad that I almost settled for a marriage where God would not have been the center. I almost settled for a lifelong commitment with men who did not accept my children wholeheartedly. I almost put myself into a relationship where mine and my daughters safety was not ensured.
I felt God telling to run from the last relationship. But God, he wants to marry me, and he says he will be good to us. And he goes to church, sometimes. He's a pretty good catch, do you think? My child calls him daddy. Her heart longs for that space to be filled. Don't you want that for us? But God said, run. And I did.
As heartbroken as I felt like it was going to be, I was relieved. My daughters did not ask about him once. It was as if, I just needed to see what was not right for us for my focus to be fully on God. God reminded me over and over again that I was a treasure. I was his adopted daughter, and that my fatherless child has him to rely on as well. We moved on, together. I knew the closer I grew to God, the more evident his presence would be visible in the eyes of my children, the more secure I would feel in his promises, and the more I would desire a life that reflected Him.
A few, short months later, I got it. My eyes were opened. My heart was filled with the love I have longed for. And none of this because of a man, but because of my heavenly Father. I was in awe. I was in tears praising the name of the Lord, by myself in my car on March 28, 2014, at the age of 25, I surrendered everything to him. I had makeup running down my face on my way to one of my dear friend's birthday dinner. I had even bough the book "The Single Woman", that night, ready to take on the world, living life daily for God, and enjoying every second of the time my daughters and I had until God saw it was time for my husband to enter our lives. I knew this desire was on my heart and that God was going to fulfill it in the most perfect way possible.
Two days later, YES, TWO DAYS LATER, less than 48 hours, less time than it took for Jesus to come back from the grave, my husband had entered our lives. We were both broken, he from a failed marriage that he prayed over and begged God to mend, and I from a long list of names that the enemy tried to convince me that defined me. Two days after I threw my hands up in surrender to God's will, He answered my prayer. After just 6 months of spending time together, and growing closer, we got engaged and then 9 weeks later, we got married in January 2015.
I cannot sit here and say that God will bring your future husband or wife to you when you pray a simple prayer. But I can say, that when you choose to surrender your plans, your timeline, your life to him, He can do anything. It will be even better than you ever envisioned and it will be more beautiful that your mind can comprehend.
Surrender is my word for this year. Surrender my human desires to what God desires. Surrender arguments that I want to win for the sake of showing God's love. Surrender my plans, control, and anything that holds me back from growing closer to God. Waving a white flag does not mean you are weak; It means you are allowing God to do what you cannot.
What do you need to surrender this year? Whatever it is, know that God has something greater in store for you.
Matthew 16:24-25 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."