To You, Forever
In my 31 years, I have heard every encouraging comment, piece of advice, and sarcastic comment in regards to singleness.
“It’ll happen when you least expect it.”
“I was 35 when I got married! Hang in there!”
“Still no man, hey? I’m sorry, that must be hard. God’s timing is perfect!”
“When you stop looking, that’s when he will find you.”
My all time favourite: “Why’re you still single?!”
Through the course of time, my frustration elevated, my resentment grew and somewhere along the line I decided that it was easier to believe that it was not going to happen for me than to try and keep hope alive in a dead end. The tension between desperation and keeping your hope alive is tight and the road is narrow. Continually I found myself ignoring the desire within and pretending that it wasn’t there. When anyone would ask, I would shrug it off and change the subject.
Several months ago I was in target with a friend when we came across a mug that said “wifey.” Half jokingly, half serious I told her we should get them in faith that one day we would be wives. She hesitated but then agreed to my insanity. We said that we would use it as a reminder to start praying for our future husbands. For months the mug sat on my counter, almost in protest and day in and day out I just stared at it mocking me. 3 weeks ago, that same friend asked if I had started praying for my husband and as conviction hit the bottom of my stomach like a rock I said no. The following weeks her question followed me around like a plague that I couldn’t get rid of. I’ll be honest with you, the idea of praying for this unknown man freaked me out. I allowed the doubts and fears of my lost hope to fill my mind and I handed them my disbelief. The pigment of this unknown man that I so longed for haunted me. Every time I would celebrate a new relationship for a friend, write a wedding card for another, or flip through insta stories of “first christmases as husband and wife” this ghost of a man would haunt me, calling my name. But scared, I stood on the shore of my own dreams and allowed them to sail me by. Never giving words to my thoughts or hopes to my dreams. Last week the Lord caught up with me and no longer could I run from Him. I opened my jewelry box to find a ring that I’ve had for years (a simple silver band with diamonds in it). I placed it on my ring finger and began to weep. As I stared at it, I felt Him speak so gently to my heart “you’re running from the place I’m calling you to. Don’t be scared, this hope will never disappoint.” As I stood weeping in my room, I made a covenant with Him that I would wear that ring on my finger until the day that it was replaced with an engagement ring. Not because I loved the idea of being 31 with a promise ring, but because I knew that it would serve as a daily reminder that there are promises waiting for me to step into. Because I know that He is not a cruel God, he doesn’t dangle dreams in front of us to rip them away out of maliciousness. It would serve as a daily reminder to pray for this ghost of a man that would one day appear in my life. It would serve as a reminder to keep hope kindled even when the fire has been extinguished.
Romans 5:5 “Such hope [in God’s promises] NEVER disappoints us, because God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has given to us.”
I don’t tell you this story to point out the intense vulnerability of my covenant (in fact I would love to have hide it). I tell you it because I know someone needs a reminder to hope. To remind you that hope is a choice. Sometimes painful. Sometimes uncomfortable. Sometimes even silly. This hope that we have in God’s promises sometimes doesn’t make sense to our human minds, our logical brains or our cultural way of life, but it NEVER disappoints. Talk about money back guarantee. I don’t know where you are today, what hope you’ve lost or what you’ve been running from. Maybe you’ve been in a place similar to me where dreams that felt so achievable now feel like they were in a past life. Maybe you took a step out in faith and it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to. Do not give up. Do not lose hope. You are not alone my friend.