I remember being 23 and having a conversation with God about my husband: what he would be like and what we would do together. I also remember the shock I felt when He told me I would have to wait 4 years before I would even meet him.
After I pulled myself together, I shrugged it off and said, “Eh, it’s not that bad. It’ll be four years before I know it.”
Then my 25th birthday came around…
Now here’s the thing about that. When I was in my teens (maybe 16 or 17, somewhere around there,) I had made up my mind that I would be a lady and follow all the rules: let the man make the first move, wait until marriage, no kissing on the first date, etc. etc., all that good stuff. If prince charming hadn’t shown up by the time I was 25, then I would say to heck with the rules and go get him myself. My lone stipulation being that I would still wait for marriage (and no kissing on the first date–still a stickler about that.)
Even after I gave my life to Christ at 19, even after hearing God tell me when this man was going to show up in my life, deep down in my heart I was still set on what I had sworn to myself from my younger years.
Back to 25…
I remember sitting with my sister in Christ (who I so affectionately dub my other sister/extroverted version of me) and she shared with me how one of the men at her church didn’t meet his wife until he was 34 years old. I recall exclaiming how crazy long that was!
34 bruh? THIRTY FOUR? More power to YOU.
So she asked me, “How long would you wait?”
“Well, I’d say,” and just like that, 25 was about to roll right off the tongue out of my mouth.
Or at least it would have, until the Holy Spirit brought back the covenant the Lord and I had made. See, I had told God that I wouldn’t date until the man He sent came for me.
Not gonna lie…some days I regret making Him that promise…but we’ll get to that in a second.
(Right now,) “Um…twenty…seven.”
It was at that point I realized I messed up. In my rashness I completely disregarded God and said in my heart, You can take that promise and that covenant and go on somewhere with that Lord. I’m gonna do what I want to do from here on out. YOU, Jesus, can take a seat over there. So seeing what I had done, I tried to remove the foot I had spiritually shoved down my throat by saying the year my guy was supposed to come anyway.
However, that was even worse, because that was telling God that if the man He had for me didn’t show up right away I was going to do what I wanted regardless.
The end result was that 27 changed to 28. God then reminded me of Ecclesiastes 5:2 (a verse I had actually studied much earlier that week,)
“Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.” (Ecc. 5:2 KJV)
In other words…SHUT. UP. Stop talking out the side of your mouth and SHUT. UP.
So the next day, I get up and try to refresh God’s memory, as though He had made a mistake,
“Whoo—can’t wait til I meet my husband! Two more years—” Three.
“Um…heh-heh…yeah, so uh, 27 right God?” 28.
“Twenty…twenty sev—” Twenty. Eight.
(After a long pause) “So 28 huh, God?” 28.
(Sigh) “Twenty eight.”
Since then, it’s been hard. I’ve written something similar about this same struggle earlier in this blog. On the surface I kept running across guys who appeared to be everything I could want in my future husband, but once I started digging and God started revealing, I came to find they were an “almost” or a “not even close.” Many of them had a lot of issues naturally and spiritually that Jesus was still bringing them through.
Then on the other side of that, I’ve run across guys who catch my eye (and while they’re all pretty great, stellar dudes) none of them are the right man for me. Or rather, as the Spirit told me, “You keep finding better, each one better than the last, but your better fails in comparison to God’s best. God is trying to give you His best–the BEST man for YOU. Be patient and wait on Him.”
So, yes, sometimes I regret making the promise that I would wait to date until this man whom I’ve never met nor seen shows up. I look and see my friends, acquaintances and other people in general, all going out/booed up/in relationships and feel as though I’m missing out. “What was I thinking? What I have been doing all these years?” That’s what I asked myself about a month or so ago, “What kind of burden have I placed on myself?”
While I found myself determined to go back on my word, it always amazes me how God will not only stop me but He’ll step right in and keep me from doing something that could end up destroying me or the “potential boyfriend material” I’m chasing. Especially this year, because I was ready to totally say to heck with this promise, “So what if what I’m chasing after with this guy is just going to fade anyway? I just want to experience what it’s like to finally say I’ve got somebody!”
Yeah—like I said, it’s hard.
But then, I have a day like today where I look back at every guy I ever thought about pursuing or wanting to chase after and think about how God told me each time, “The man I have for you is going to be even better than him.” That makes me smile and say, “WOW—my husband is going to be SOOO awesome! WHOO!”
I imagine the joy he’ll have on his face when I am able to tell him that I not only waited for him, but I am bestowing him the gift of being able to say he’s the ONLY man I have ever been with, he’s my first everything and will be the LAST and the ONLY man I’ll ever be with.
One more year…and I probably won’t meet this guy right away, but…
I’m looking forward to the day when I do.