Saturday, September 8, 2012

I'm changing the definition of "True Love Waits"

So I've discovered that I don't believe in "True Love Waits" like most people believe in it. In fact, I may not believe in it at all.

Now before you continue to read, there is something that you need to understand: I want you to hear my heart in this. To some, this post could sound angry and resentful, but that's not the way it's intended to sound. I want this to be encouraging. I'm in a season of life where I am not looking for a relationship- but I have many friends that are... so I wanted to share my heart and things that God has taught me over the years with them. :)

Yesterday, a friend of mine posted an article on facebook about True Love Waits rings and it really got me thinking.

I received a True Love Waits ring when I was 13. I signed the little contact and hid it away in my jewelry box so I could give it to my husband someday. Just like the lady who wrote the article I mentioned earlier.

I wore that ring faithfully for years, knowing that if I waited long enough, God would send me my prince. Why would I think otherwise- it's what I (and most girls) are taught. It's almost as if love is a fairytale... we wait for a man to sweep us off of our feet and then life magically becomes easier.

I was attending a christian conference in college and, ironically enough, my ring breaks...during a session on purity. Nice. After contemplating whether I was going to get it fixed or replace it, I decided not too.

The article got me thinking about the decision I made to not replace my ring 3 years ago...

It saddens me how many girls today go into crisis mode when there are no male prospects in site. Especially older girls. I feel like society expects every woman to grow up, go to college, meet the love of their life, graduate, get married and have kids. Then society does an awesome job at making some women feel like failures if they are over the age of 25 with no husband in site. Think about it... how many books are out about waiting for "the one," there are tons of step by step books in preparing yourself for marriage some day... it's almost as bad as the number of dieting books on the shelves.

Please understand this: I have no problem with books on relationships, or Bible studies on relationships, or singles groups (heck, I'm in one). It's important to fellowship with people who are in the same season of life with you. But when a season of singleness is something that defines you... it's unhealthy.

We are taught from such a young age that we should "wait" (mostly referring to having sex before marriage) and someday God will bless you with Mr. Right and then you can move on with all of the awesome plans God has for you.

And for the record...I'm not "waiting" because I signed some contract and told my parents that I would wait (that's religious, I don't do religion)... I'm waiting because I love Jesus and want to honor Him with my life by obeying His Word. (That's relationship...the good stuff).

Then we see some single ladies continue to wait as they continue to get older, see many of their friends marry, wondering why it's not happening for them. Some are waiting a lot longer than they thought they would have too, then become tired of waiting, some become resentful of others relationships and some even become resentful of God.

I've heard countless married women say that their biggest realization after getting married was that their husbands aren't God- they are not able to fulfill them the way Jesus can. Life continues to go on after the wedding, hardships are still present. Life doesn't all of a sudden turn into a perfect fairytale. Why? Fairytales don't exist. And that's okay! What a blessing to have a partner, your best friend, do life with you, help you and support you through every season of life. It's meant to be a blessing, but I've learned from so many people that it is by no means easy. Which is also okay!  If it's easy, it's probably not worth working for :)

I mean just think about it, how many times have we told ourselves, "if I just had this, then I would be happy," then we get whatever that thing is and are left unfulfilled and unsatisfied. What makes you think that marriage would be any different? Love and marriage is something that I see idolized almost everywhere I go- I remember my sophmore year of college calling my mom with tears running down my face, explaining to her how I would give everything up just to be loved by a man. (Thankfully, I've grown up quite a bit since then). I was so blind. Yes, I still desire relationship, love and marriage, but it is not on top of my list of things to do. It is not going to dictate my joy...because if it does, it will leave me unsatisfied and unfulfilled.

I want Jesus to be the greatest reality in my life... in my singleness and someday, in my marriage. I want Him to be my ultimate source of fulfillment- because He is the one who can fulfill.

I decided a long time ago that I'm not going to continue to wait for life to happen the way so many people think it should happen. I'm almost 22 years old, graduated from college, in a career... with no man in site.

Am I freaking out and going into panic mode? Absolutely not.

Please do not get me wrong- I greatly desire a husband and a family someday. I strongly believe marriage is a beautiful thing and that God delights in it. But I refuse to wait around letting life pass me by because it's not happening the way others say it should.

I LOVE Jesus. I want Him to have my whole heart. He knows what's best for me and all things happen in His perfect timing.

Friends, please, I beg you, do not ignore what's going on in your life right now because you're afraid of missing your Mr. Right. God is so much bigger than that!

Enjoy what He has for you right now, in this season of your life. Stop playing the waiting game. Jesus gives us a reason to be joyful in every season of life!

My prayer is that you would be fully satisfied in Christ, knowing that He knows what's best for you. I promise you that the Lord will not keep you from a good thing. He loves blessing you. He loves to see you smile and see you full of joy! But don't let your circumstances dictate your joy- there is always a reason to rejoice!