When Life Leaves You Waiting
"God, I want you to write me a crazy love story, one people will look at and say, ‘only God’ because it’s just that crazy."
I was fourteen when I prayed that prayer and handed God the pen to write my love story. As a high school freshman, too many of the romantic relationships I’d seen in the school hallways seemed so shallow and filled with unnecessary heartbreak.
Couples would get together, spend all their time together, develop a physical relationship, and then break up two weeks later.
I wanted more than that.
My heart was set on marriage, not a two-week fling, and even as a teenager, I knew there had to be more to relationships than what I was seeing.
So, I gave God control of that area of my life.
For the first few years after my prayer, I dreamed up all sorts of wild ideas about what kind of guy I would marry and what it would be like for someone to show interest in me.
I decided that I wanted the first time he saw me to be when I was in basketball shorts and a t-shirt so he could fall in love with my heart before he fell in love with my body.
As time went by, expectations took root in the back of my brain of what it would be like and when it would happen. By the time I got to college, I fully expected to meet someone before graduation. After all, college is the place where many people meet their future spouses, so I expected the same to be true for me.
However, with each new semester, my heart started to grow bitter.
Each fall and spring I’d watch couples pair up while I remained alone, and an angry sort of jealousy would stir up in my gut. More than once I had to force myself to look away from couples holding hands or cuddled up close to each other because I couldn’t stand the fact that they had someone, and I didn’t.
I kept my discontent hidden, though. I stuffed it down and poured into my studies, hoping God would bring someone soon.
The thing with bitterness, though, is that it grows like a parasite, undetected at first until it entirely takes over.
I didn’t realize how bad things had gotten until my final semester.
It was January and I was trekking across the cold, snow-covered campus to grab lunch at the cafeteria. And I was fuming. Something had happened that left my heart reeling and angry about the fact that I was still single.
I had been doing everything right. I was the good Christian girl who signed the True Love Waits pledge and kissed dating goodbye, trusting God to give me His best. I was set on doing things God’s way. And yet, here I was, painfully single. It didn’t seem fair. I had given that area of my life over to Him and he’d done nothing with it.
On that walk I realized just how much I blamed God for my singleness.
And the truth is, sometimes I still blame Him.
This year I’m twenty-five and I still haven’t been on a date. Not one. Not because I keep turning down endless amounts of invitations, but because I’ve never been asked, and that hurts.
Eleven years ago, I asked God to write me a love story and it feels like I’m still staring at a blank page.
Often, I’ve wondered if maybe there’s something I’m missing, something else I need to do or fix so that God will deliver a man into my life—as if I can somehow earn God’s favor so He’ll do what I want Him to do when I want Him to do it.
There are times I’m tempted to give up on this whole thing, take matters into my own hands and go meet a guy. I know I could. But then I think back to why I made this decision in the first place, why I chose to wait.
Because this was a choice. Sometimes waiting is something we’re thrust into; other times we choose to wait because we believe there is something better ahead.
I chose to let God work out my love life because I believed God had better things for me than the empty relationships I saw throughout my high school years.
That’s something I have to remind myself of when things get hard—when the lies begin to whisper that I’m not enough or too much or just plain uninteresting for a guy to want to pursue me.
That’s what I remind myself when I feel shamed by others for being single—when they offer to fix me up with someone or just plain fix me as if my singleness somehow makes me broken.
That’s what I remind myself when I’m tempted to think that all of this is only about the fact that I want to be married, because it’s much more than that.
What many people don’t understand is that this is a trust issue. This is about whether or not I’m going to trust God to do what’s best for me.
That’s what I committed to eleven years ago—to trust God—and that’s a choice I still stand by now. Even when it hurts, even when people don’t understand, I’m trusting God to do what’s best for my heart.
One thing I’ve clung when the waiting gets really hard is a verse from the Psalms:
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:13-14, ESV)
This verse reminds me that God’s goodness isn’t just a future thing, but a present thing. It reminds me that the choice I make daily to wait on Him and seek His will for my life is worth it, because in the seeking I see His goodness.
While I won’t deny that the waiting hasn’t been easy, it has grown in me a love for God and an awareness of myself and my heart that I don’t think I would have found if I had been dating.
This season of waiting hasn’t helped me escape pain, like I thought it might—rather than heartbreak, I’ve experienced a different level of heartache and longing. But it has made me stronger. It has given me the words to express what I’m feeling even if I don’t share those feelings with anyone but God.
I know He could have worked things out differently for me, but in choosing to trust Him, I surrendered to His will, His way, His timing. I may not like His methods, but I have to trust His heart behind it—that all of this is for my good and His glory.
That’s why I’m still waiting, because I believe God’s going to come through. Because I believe I’ll be able to look upon His goodness right here. Because I believe that even in the midst of hard waiting I will see Him doing good things in and around and through me.
If you’ve made a choice to wait, hang in there. Stand firm in your decision and keep pressing all the more into God. If you’re in a season of waiting that you didn’t plan for or want, know that the waiting doesn’t last forever. Like anything in life, it is a season. Take courage, be strong, and keep waiting.
God will show up. Maybe not in the way or in the timing you expect, but He will show up and you will see His goodness.
Jazmin N. Frank is a Christian-living blogger and active dream-chaser. She has a deep passion for God’s story and helping others study the Bible for themselves. You can often find her curled up with a stack of books or creating hope-filled content for her blog. Learn more about Jazmin and her blog at jazminnfrank.com
Thank you Jazmin for sharing your beautifully written and so candid love story. You are such a strong woman of God! Such a beautiful soul on the inside and out. I know that God has such big plans for you in all areas of your life. It is so much easier said than done (and trust me I have to give myself this pep talk A LOT) but please continue to trust that He has someone out there made especially for you! And guess what? He is waiting and looking for you as much as you are him!
Thank you so much for writing this. I am in a similar situation except that I am about 20 years older than you. I was married at 21 and widowed at 27. My husband died of leukaemia. We did t have a very good marriage and I thought I would find someone right away but it’s been 20 years and I’m still alone. Not one official date. I do feel like God spoke to me years ago that I would get married again. But after so long it’s hard to believe. Anyway to make a long story short that verse from Psalms was what I needed to hear today. It brought me to tears. God has used this to confirm some things in my heart. Thank you for being obedient and writing this.