Childlike Faith – Living and Loving Your Life With God's Perspective

When You’re Struggling While Waiting For Love

I’ve been thinking a lot about boy and girl relationships recently, as most of my single friends are in that place where they want it to happen pretty much right now.  I am probably not in any position to offer advice or guidance, and I definitely do not have a lot of experience, but I still wanted to write out my thoughts about some aspects of it.

Obviously, we know that we should be patient and wait on God to bring us the right girl or guy.  We get that, and we don’t need even one more reminder from well-intentioned folks.  But during desperate and lonely moments, our head starts to spin with questions.  “What if it doesn’t happen for the next few years?” “What if I am supposed to be “doing” something because God helps those who help themselves?” “How am I supposed to know what I want if I don’t get out there and spend time with a lot of girls (or guys)? “  “What if it <gasp> never happens to me?” And so we start to panic, and those panicky emotions begin to shape our actions…especially our choices related to socializing and hanging out and being with the opposite sex.

Maybe we choose to hang out pretty much all the time when we are not working, put ourselves into as many social events as possible…just in case the right person is at one of them.  Maybe we go to them just hoping, hoping for a connection to be made.  Maybe we have a good time, and meet some cool people, but it tends to leave more to be desired.  Because in the back of our mind, we are like…come on God…do something….do something now…I just don’t want to be alone anymore….I want my big love…I want what everyone else seems to have….  None of this is inherently evil or sinful or dishonoring to God.  It’s real, it is our reality, it is our humanity.  But it could lead to us getting in the way – and staying in the way – of what the Lord wants to bring about in our life.  And for me personally, I am so tired of trying to bring about things in my own life – I so want Him to just take everything out of my hands, and take over completely.

I am so tired of trying to bring about things in my own life – I so want Him to just take everything out of my hands, and take over completely.

I really believe for my friends that God is going to do it.  The statistics – according to Census Bureau Statistics – indicate that nearly 100% of Americans over the age of 70 have been married at least once in their lives.  I’m not making this up. The odds, if nothing else, demonstrate that it’s pretty much going to happen to you.  But there is something else – we have to remember that we have the Lord on our side, and He knows our heart, and He has placed these desires for marriage on our heart.  I think we get into trouble when we compare ourselves to other people we know who haven’t yet met their dreamboat.  I know I used to do that all of the time – “Jane has served You soooo faithfully all these years, and You know how badly she wants a husband…why won’t you do it for her, God? Is that how it is going to be for me, too?”  But I don’t know all of the facts, and I don’t know Jane’s story, and I don’t know the story of the guy God has for Jane…and so I just need to focus in on my story, and my relationship with God, and not compare my situation to others.  It does no good.

It’s funny that we are quick to compare ourselves to others in ways that make us feel like we are missing out on something good that God should be giving us – “Bob has an awesome family whose parents don’t fight, why don’t I?”….or, “Jenny keeps having these health problems and struggles daily with aches and pains, and my body is starting to fall apart, and so I guess I’m going to suffer the same plight….”  We so much less often compare ourselves in ways that remind us how good we have it…”Austin can run fast on the soccer field and so can I, thanks God for both of us!”…or “Brooke just worked through a miscommunication with a friend, and God helped her, and I believe that God is going to do the same for me the next time I have a miscommunication!”  Nope, we just don’t see things like that as often as we’d like.  We are grateful when they are pointed out to us, but the eyes of our heart aren’t naturally wide open to see them….  I sure wish mine were, all of the time, so I could see what He sees, and be so much more thankful and content, and not so much thinking about what I still need and want in my life – related to the relationship in my life, or not related to the relationship in my life.

It doesn’t matter if you are doing it at a bar, or a club, or at church get-togethers, or online – the bottom line is that often it is prompted by fear, and chock-full of human effort.

Anyway, the problem I see in all of this is that our actions and choices seem to be laden with striving.  Human striving.  Our lives seem to absolutely brim over with it.  Human arranging and maybe even human manipulating (just a little) and human “gotta-get-what-I-can-get-while-I-can-get-it” thoughts and notions and behaviors.  Just to cope with the waiting.  Just to get by.  It doesn’t matter if you are doing it at a bar, or a club, or at church get-togethers, or online – the bottom line is that often it is prompted by fear, and chock-full of human effort.  Even though we’ve been praying to our God to supernaturally  {*outside* of our natural ability and actions) to bring along the one for us that only He could create and bring, and to exceed all of our expectations.

But we forget about that.  It’s easy to do – I know I’ve done it.  And so we spend ourselves directly or indirectly, overtly or subtly, and *try* to make something happen.  Something, anything.  Because oftentimes, especially with the way we’re feeling when our *singleness* gets the better of us, anything is better than nothing.  And you know you won’t go too far sexually, so it’s okay.  You know you won’t give him or her all of your heart, so it’s okay.  You know that God will understand because He knows you’re human and you’re doing the best you can. 

But even as you’re trying (and especially when you’re by yourself again and have time to reflect), you feel somewhat drained.  You are feeling like this shouldn’t be so difficult – that you and him (or her) should just slide together, that you both should “click”.  And you struggle with confusion, and you wonder if you’re reading his or her emotions and actions right, and you think, maybe next time, maybe it was just an awkward day, maybe he or she needs another chance, maybe I need to do more, maybe I need to be more.  But no matter what, you realize in time that your efforts to make some kind of match only lead to short-term improvements in your emotional state.  And they never lead to your true desire being fulfilled – in this case, a heart-level intimacy with another, deeper than any other on earth – a love relationship to last an entire lifetime.

We are not supposed to “arrange” life – it cannot be arranged, and every time we try we end up mucking everything up.

I know we are not supposed to just push through this waiting period – while God is preparing us or preparing our future spouse.  We are not supposed to just endure.  Because when we are just persevering and trying to make it until something amazing happens, we are not “living” as God intended, as we were created to do.  And, we are not supposed to “arrange” life – it cannot be arranged, and every time we try we end up mucking everything up.  You know this to be true in your past relationships, and in other areas of your life.  And this leads to the worst kind of heartache – because all along we have this quiet but nagging suspicion that we need to hold out, focus on something else, expend our efforts in other ways, be still, and just TRUST that He would come through.

Waiting for your love-train sucks.  Waiting is extremely painful,, almost to the point where you can’t take it anymore. Waiting is full of very sad nights, and horrible gnawing pangs of loneliness that seem to burn up the insides of your stomach, and sometimes (often?) giving up the hope that it is ever going to happen to you.  Sometimes it is your way of coping, and other times you really mean it.  It often leads to self-deprecating thoughts where you wonder if anyone could love you past your faults, if something about you is fundamentally unloveable and even repulsive, if it is just not meant to be and you’re destined to be single forever even as everyone else couples up, if the biggest blessing in this world that you’ve waited your whole life for is just always going to be out of your reach.  I know what it is like to wait for a very long time, and I know it often is not a happy time.

Waiting is full of very sad nights, and horrible gnawing pangs of loneliness that seem to burn up the insides of your stomach, and sometimes (often?) giving up the hope that it is ever going to happen to you. 

But I also know we are supposed to live in a certain way while waiting.  This way will not come easy, or everyone would already be doing it, and I would feel no need to think about this or blog about it.  None of us will do it perfectly, but I believe that we definitely can do it.  We’ll talk about it as we continue forward.  I ask for your grace should anything I type hit a nerve.  I am praying so hard that all of my words come across with love, and are God-inspired.

Source for Marriage Statistic: Kreider, RM (2005). Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 2001, Table 3. Current Population Reports, P70-97. Washington, D. C.: U.S. Census Bureau.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Sameer,
    I appreciate the honesty and vulnerablity of this post. It’s so refreshing to hear a man’s perspective in this way about this subject of waiting. You phrased the loneliness well, and also encouraged by reminding us that the waiting time can be good too. I think it reminds me as well that marriage also may be a time of waiting. Waiting to see who that husband or wife will become, or for children to be born, grow, for a move or a job change, or whatever. I look forward to more posts!

  • First off, this is a very insightful and deep exposition that you have put together, Sameer. For that, I congratulate you and thank you for sharing that with the world. Now, onward to the counter-commentary:

    Now, you say that you have many friends that are “waiting on God” to show them the one who will be their “helpmeet” and will allow them to bring the blessing of marriage and intimate companionship into their life and that you go into fully discussing the dynamics of God’s M.O. I must make a counter-argument at this conjecture, because to be honest…what makes you think that God is not calling them to the higher calling of solitude and sacrifice for the sake of His Son? True strength lies in solitude…a solitude in one’s heart and mind solely focused and meditated upon the Word of God. The time given to us on Earth is very limited and should be used for more constructive means. “Waiting for the One” sounds like it is an “end-all-be-all” of life. I have learned quickly enough that the high calling of Christ is the only real answer to any pursuit in life…including pursuits involving personal relationships.

    When you point out the statistic that by the age of 70, nearly 100% of Americans have been married at least once…I find that a cause of despair and grief. It means that nearly 100% of Americans have made an erroneous decision and went ahead without any sort of prompting from the Spirit or logically considering such decisions. This isn’t as if you are purchasing a new vehicle and you can trade it in for a new model in case it doesn’t suit your purpose at the time. God certainly has placed the desire for marriage in many of our hearts. The hope of companionship, of sharing your life with another, of being able to tell someone your feelings, your highest hopes and your darkest nightmares are all yearnings that we have that are godly in their respective right. HOWEVER, God NEVER placed an entitlement and personal rights-minded mentality into people. That is something that must be OBLITERATED from the mind prior to even conceiving the idea of joining hands in holy matrimony. What do I mean by this? Well, look at all of the stacked-up laws against men in any type of long-term relationship. Their entire lives can be ruined because of the way society has cavalierly considered intimate relationships.

    Perhaps the “waiting” that your friends are going through is really something that society has placed upon them due to its unwillingness to acknowledge how God has created us. Ever thought to consider that perhaps He is waiting on us, as a society, to stop being so damn bull-headed about ignoring His mandates regarding personal relationships, amongst other things. The waiting period is probably a sign that the laws in this country need to change…else no man with even a shred of common sense and a modicum of wisdom (especially if he is somewhat studied in the Book of Pslams and Proverbs) will EVER risk being vulnerable enough not only emotionally…but financially and legally. Unfortunately, in this country when a man and woman join hands in marriage…it is not “two bodies becoming one flesh” as it is stated in Genesis…it is “THREE bodies contracted into one legal entity”. What do I mean by three bodies? I am talking about the fact that the government is just as much involved in a marriage as either the husband or the wife. When that “anomaly” has been amended so that a marriage goes back to being a personal union between man and woman…under the guidance of God…then perhaps the blessings shall pour forth from Heaven and those who were seeking shall find the one that God had created for them. Holding out is one thing…fighting actively to change the heinous one-sided FemiNazism laws in this country are another. God is VERY CLEAR about what He considers marriage and a godly union. Unfortunately, when considering long-term relationships and marriages, it is no longer just a matter of the heart..it is also a matter of the law. Emotions must be segregated from the matter altogether if a brighter future is to be established for either man or woman.

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