All of my life I have put so much value on relationships. I saw the significance and importance of healthy, Godly relationships and refused to settle for less than that. So, as a fourteen-year-old girl, I made a vow to wait. I decided to wait for dating, that first kiss, and to hold onto my purity. It wasn’t because I thought boyfriends were a sin to have. It was because I wanted to find myself in God first.
I believe that relationships are important, but it’s not the most important. The most important thing in my life is to pursue God and reflect Him to those around me. When I was young, relationships with boys were just a distraction and not worth compromising my relationship with God for. I decided that I would only be in a relationship with someone if it brought God more glory if we were together than we would if we were apart.
There were definitely seasons of loneliness and the wondering that comes with being single. Thoughts like:
‘Am I enough?’
‘Am I worthy of love?’
‘Will anyone want to be with me?’
‘Will I be single forever?’
‘Why her and not me?’
‘What is wrong with me?’
All of these questions can come flooding the depths of our hearts. Those are hard questions to face in seasons of uncertainty. However, those thoughts aren’t a reflection of how those around you see you. It’s a reflection of how you see yourself. Do you think you’re enough? Do you think you’re worthy? Do you feel like you’re missing something? Do you feel like you have massive flaws that make you unlovable?
Those are the thoughts and questions that I have spent a decade filtering through. And maybe you have felt the deep ache of these questions, too. Don’t be afraid to face them. This may be a season that you need to heal from the self-hatred and dislike. This may be a season where you have to learn how to have a healthy relationship with yourself. Being with someone else doesn’t take those insecurities away, ladies. You’re just putting Band-Aids over bullet holes. You’re expecting someone to heal you when in fact, the only one who can heal you is the One who created you.
I had gone through the “talking” stage a few times, but never had the peace of God to move forward and commit to someone. At 25 years old, I decided to pursue a relationship with someone who at the time seemed like the perfect fit. However, it left me with a lot of turmoil to journey out of. All of the insecurities that I had spent a lifetime filtering through were quiet… at first. Him and I were best friends that made a decision to date. Many have tried to date me, but this was the first time I felt peace to move forward. I wasn’t in a rush and didn’t decide to throw away my 25-year streak of singleness away for just anyone. I truly cared for this person and trusted him with my heart.
The actual relationship part didn’t last long, but the turmoil afterwards did. On top of all of that turmoil, I had this pit of frustration. Did I miss God? What was the point of this season? I am a leader in ministry and just had hundreds of people watch me walk through what seemed like a joke of a season. I wanted to make it look like I had it all together and I was doing well. I wanted everyone to see that I was healed and okay. But, on the inside I wasn’t. I was so gripped and crippled by the lies I was believing about myself. Every insecurity I thought I had overcome came flooding in.
I just wasn’t enough.
I wasn’t worthy.
I wasn’t beautiful.
I wasn’t worth it.
These lies crippled me. And to make it worse I was caught in a manipulative game of yo-yo because I was the girl in the back pocket in case the other girls didn’t come around. I was the best friend until I wasn’t. I was the ‘maybe one day’ girl but the ‘not good enough for right now’ girl.
And ladies, if you’ve been there, then you know. The silence of night can be deafening and deadly to your soul. At some point, the shift changed between missing him to missing myself. I had to stop replaying everything in my mind like a movie and questioning every situation. I had to make the choice to find my footing and rise. I had to make the choice to allow God to dig out the depths of dirtiness out of my heart and remind me of the growth and life that resides within me. I was so confused because I thought this was my person for life. But he wasn’t and that is okay. Do you hear me, sis? It is OKAY that you didn’t end up with who you thought you would. You didn’t miss God. Sometimes rejection is the sweetest form of protection from God. Trust His ways; they’re higher than yours.
Relationships are hard to navigate through. They can be lonely and confusing, but I know and believe that they are worth the fight. I may not have found “my person” yet, but I have found that my relationship with God is much sweeter and deeper. I have found wholeness and contentment in my singleness. I have found the strength to walk away and trust that God has more for me. I have discovered who I am in Christ and have this unshakable foundation in Him. I have found my worth and value. I have found my voice and purpose.
And that my friend, is my prayer for you. Whether you are single, dating, or married, I pray that you find whose you are and who you are in God and God alone. I pray that your heart is so set on God that you refuse to settle for anything less than His best. I pray that you find peace, healing, and wholeness through God’s unwavering love for you. God doesn’t play games with your heart. He doesn’t tease you and trick you. His love for you is steadfast. Seek Him, first. Put Him, first. Run so hard after God and don’t settle for anyone that isn’t running just as hard as you are. You are worth the wait.
I want to leave you with some truths for your journey:
- You weren’t created to be married. You weren’t created to be single. You were created in the image of God to reflect Him in this world. You can’t reflect who you don’t know. You can’t reflect God well if your heart is full of turmoil. You can’t reflect God well if your insecurity is crippling you. Relationship with man isn’t your answer. God didn’t promise you marriage. He promised that He would never leave you. Your priority should be relationship with Him first. Be secure in Him. Be secure in your identity. Don’t let opinions of man cause you to waver and wonder.
- Don’t settle. Make a list on non-negotiables and do not waver. It doesn’t matter how great social media makes it look if you’re crying yourself to sleep at night, sis. The hype is not worth it. It doesn’t matter if you have one good day in the middle of six bad ones. It’s not worth it. It’s not enough that he loves God. Does he have good character? Does he treat you kindly? How does he treat the staff at a restaurant? Does he pray for you? Does he impart wisdom and Godliness? DO NOT SETTLE FOR LESS.
- Don’t compromise. Your holiness and purity matters. Don’t compromise your beliefs, standards, and desires. Don’t look at behavior modifications. Look to see if he is a reflection of true Godliness and holiness. Sacrificing your communion with God is not worth you giving into compromise.
- Guard your heart & purity. Don’t make it so easy to let someone in. Your heart is valuable and someone who is worth your time will seek it like its hidden treasure. They will pursue you and protect you at the same time. Your purity is not just your virginity. Purity also refers to your heart, motives, thoughts, and actions. Be pure of heart. Remember that he is human, too. Respect your partner enough to remain pure towards them. Respect yourself enough. Respect God enough. You may not end up marrying this person, but your goal in healthy relationships should be to help lead them towards God and leave them whole, not broken.
- Seek wisdom. Surround yourself with strong men and women that you trust to speak into your life. Relationships can be hard. There is a lot of denying yourself, growing, learning, and change. Have people that you trust to speak into this season of your life. Have people who will help keep you accountable, refuse to let you settle, and who want you to succeed. Also, when they speak into your life, trust them and their counsel.
See you next week for Week One on Red Flags to Look For in Dating by Grace Valentine.