February is that month when love is undeniably in the air and for us singles it is that one month of the year in which our singleness stands out the most. This week I have not only faced another year of being single on Valentine’s Day, but I will have also celebrated my birthday the very next day. Yep, a double dose of joy, Valentine’s Day and my 37th birthday back to back. I’m not only reminded that I am single on Valentine’s Day, but I’m also that I am still single and now thirty-seven. Ouch.
Naturally this would lead anyone to a little time of reflection. It is a time to look back and reflect on my experiences, some of my mistakes, but ultimately land on my hopes and dreams for the future. It is in these disappointments, heartbreaks, hopes and dreams that I find my story of faith, hope and yes, even love.
I have always believed, but had never committed my life to my faith until I was in my early thirties. I didn't commit until God made it painfully evident that something was missing in my life. I was running on empty and seeking desperately to be filled. I spent much of my adult life searching for my worth in things, relationships, experiences or anything that would fill the void I was feeling, all the time not realizing the void I was feeling was one that only He could fill. This was the point in my life that He pursued me the most. It was in the moment that I felt like everything in my life was falling apart that everything was truly beginning to fall into place.
God was pursuing me in probably one of the most difficult times in my life and during this time I was praying some pretty big prayers. I honestly believed that He would step in and repair all the damage that was done, fix everything and life would go on as it always had. But God, had something else in mind. Those prayers went unanswered, so I thought. God did not answer in the way that I had hoped for in that moment, but He had moved enough in my heart and in my life at this point for me to remain steadfast and faithful. I held on to my faith down to the final moment. Even in the disappointment, even in the heartbreak and the confusion I could feel His Presence in my life. I didn’t understand His plan, but I held onto my faith in the promise that He had one. I placed my faith in Him and where He was leading me. See He always answers and this time His answer just happened to be “no” and that disappointment turned out to be the best thing that could have ever happened to me.
I can look back on so many prayers through out my life and thank God for the “no” that I was blessed with and this occasion was no different. I may not have gotten the answer I prayed for, but I can now see where His answer has brought me and how much that “no” has grown my faith and deepened my relationship with Him. I can also say that if I had gotten the answer I was looking for I don’t know that I would be where I am today on my faith journey.
He is my Heavenly Father, He is my Creator and He always knows what is best for me. He may not always change my circumstances in the way that I expect, but I can trust that He is continually changing me. See the freedom I have found in Christ is just that. My situations may not always change or go as I have planned, but I can find hope in a bigger plan, in His plan. I can know without a doubt that He has not and never will leave my side. He will sometimes deliver me from the storm and He will sometimes carry me through it, but He will never leave me in it.
He is and has been with me in every moment. His plans for me have always been better than anything I could imagine, so as I reflect on this season of being single and I prepare myself for this week I can remember once again that He knows what is best for me and trust Him in the wait. I can trust that even though He has not changed my circumstance yet, He is still continually changing me. He is not only changing me but, preparing me, preparing my heart for the plans He has for me. He is preparing a heart that at one time was not ready to give nor receive the kind of love He created me for. The best part of this time of reflection has been recalling all the twists and turns in my life and seeing how far His love has brought me and to know He’s not finished with me yet.
While I pray the plan He has for me includes marriage, I can trust whatever He has in store for this heart of mine. I can trust it, because I am already in the midst of the greatest love story of all. I have a Savior that bore the weight of my sin on the cross to bring hope into my life. He offers me love, grace and mercy each and every day. I find a comfort and peace in Him that is like no other. In Him I find my confidence, in Him I have found my purpose, in Him I find fulfillment and most of all, in Him I find love, a love that endures forever. Out of His love the desires of my heart were born and I can trust that He will never let them go unfulfilled. He may not answer the way I expect, but I can trust that He will lead me to my greatest desire of all, a life grounded in faith, hope and yes, even love.
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)