I had been sitting at the airport restaurant waiting for my flight to depart when the waitress approached and asked if anyone would be joining me. To which I responded, “nope, just me.”
For the majority of my life that phrase has been a normal part of my vocabulary. In fact, thinking back, the longest relationship I ever had in high school lasted three months and I can hardly call it a relationship because I was barely 16 years old. In fact just a couple of months after I broke up with him he started dating a really good friend of mine and they have been together ever since. Today he and my friend are married and have a child together. What a blessing that it didn’t work out because they are the perfect couple. God had it planned.
College wasn’t any better. For four and a half years I devoted my life to education, basketball, business and work. The last thing I cared about prioritizing into that schedule was a man. Once I graduated I realized how lonely life had been due to the poor relationships I had with people and many years of isolation; that loneliness led to a period of desperation where I just wanted to meet someone. A good friend of mine from college was in a similar boat so we willingly agreed to try online dating together. Both of us were too prideful to admit to our friends and family we were doing it and our lack of success in the process proved to be accurate as we both failed miserably… but, formed a library of funny stories in the process.
About a year after that experiment I took it upon myself to give it another try. This time though I had been starting my spiritual journey and I could see more clearly the type of man I was looking for. Another friend had referred me to a Christian dating website that she had found success in and it had led me to my first official adult relationship at the age of 24 (nearly 8 years later). The person I met had every quality I had been looking for but I realized 9 months into it that we had no chemistry so… we broke up. Six months later he met the woman of his dreams and he too is now married with two children. God had that one planned too.
Ever since then I have been single. In fact when people say they have been single their entire life, I hesitate to believe them unless they have a track record as slim as mine (less than 12 months of relationship experience in 28 years). I am still not sure if I should be proud or embarrassed of that. For as long as I can remember I have questioned what was wrong with me as I patiently sit on the side lines lovingly watching my friends walk down the aisle and bring children into this world with tears of joy streaming down my face but tears of sadness filling my heart as I question whether it will ever happen for me. I jokingly embrace my single-ness to other people but deep down I long to meet that special someone. I confidently express my patience to the public as I wait on God’s timing but deep down I continue to question if God really does have someone for me.
Psalms 145:16 says, “You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”
I read this verse as if it says, if you desire to be married, if in your deepest of hearts you desire a mate, then God will satisfy that desire. It wasn’t until I started to grow closer in my relationship with God that my patience grew stronger. Granted, it is easy to lose that grip when the temptation and pressure to be in a committed relationship gains weight and you start to lose your patience. But, my single friends, you are worth more than a casual non-committed relationship. Don’t lose your grip. You are valuable, you are precious. You deserve commitment and stability and God promises that. It’s funny because I often tell my friends that when I find ‘the one’ he better be ready. I don’t have time to waste in the normal two years of dating and another two year engagement. Ha, but then I am reminded of how naive that statement is. It isn’t my timing, it’s God’s timing. (Oh, and I suppose he has to know to).
What I have learned is that when we pursue a relationship for the wrong reasons we ultimately fall into relationships that are drenched in drama. God does not want us to ‘settle’ for something less. It is finding that place of peaceful existence with the person God has prepared for us. I want to be in a relationship that doesn’t compete with my relationship with God. I know it exists. We can have both. We don’t have to choose one or the other. We just have to have peace in knowing that it’s out there for us.
The purpose of this article is to encourage other single men and women to be patient and find peace in being single. I promise that the plan God has for you is worth waiting for.
In the meantime, God promises this: