I’m an experienced wait-er. Honestly, not a very good one though. I’m always looking to what’s next. I have spent the better part of my almost 21 years on this earth single. And I have hated almost every minute of it, of the waiting, that is. I hate waiting. I’m not patient. But I was told time and time again to wait for the right guy. That I should focus on being the kind of person I’d want to date, and then God would give me a great guy who I would marry and live happily ever after with.
So for most of my middle and high school career, that’s what I did. I waited. I kept praying for the type of guy I wanted. I dreamt about him and built up this idea of what “my guy” was going to be like. But man, was I frustrated. I developed a cycle of meeting a guy who seemed to fit most of my criteria, trying to make something happen, and then ending up disappointed when it didn’t work. I would wait, think that I was done waiting, then grit my teeth and resume my waiting.
Then one day I met him. That guy. My guy. He was amazing; smart, athletic, loved Jesus, and just plain nice. Slight problem, I couldn’t seem to claim my patience prize quite yet. He didn’t want to be with me. He wasn’t interested in me. He was interested in different girls. I was so frustrated with God. I had waited for so long, why wasn’t I able to cash in my well-deserved reward? Was I not praying enough? Was I not yet the kind of person who I would want to date? When would this waiting finally end? I finally was able to see my guy, my goal, yet he was just out of reach. What the heck, God, didn’t I deserve this?
Therein lied my problem; I got the message so very wrong. I misunderstood what waiting was supposed to look like. I misunderstood what the point of singleness was. Singleness was a special, uninterrupted time to pursue the only one who will love me the most in my life. I wished away most of my single life. I spent it building up what my life would be like once I was in a relationship. Then, when I finally reached the Promised Land of couplehood, I realized it wasn’t all I had made it out to be.. Relationships take hard work! They are rewarding, for sure, but they aren’t always as fulfilling as I thought they would be. In part, this has to do with the fact that only God can fulfill us, but also has to do with my heart being in the wrong place when it came to relationships. I wasn’t truly waiting on God’s plan. I was waiting for God to give me something that I thought I deserved.
My patience was self-serving, with the wrong end goal. My (admittedly small) motivation for practicing it was that someday I would have an amazing husband. That is not true patience. We don’t practice patience with the hope that one day we will be rewarded with no longer having to wait. We practice patience because that’s a valued characteristic in God’s eyes. We are patient because God is patient. We are patient because then we leave more room to let God work his plan, not for us to further our own.
In my case, the end goal was my guy, not my God. But marriage isn’t the end goal of my life. Sure, it’s a beautiful gift from God that I really hope to take part in one day, but it’s not the point of me being put on this earth. I was made to worship my Creator, to spread his light as far as my influence will go. A relationship can be a part of that, but is not the completion of that.
So then how do we “get through” this stage of singleness? How do we wait?
Stop waiting for the right guy, but rather wait on what our God has instore for us. Wait actively. Wait excitedly. Waiting is a choice to live in expectancy of what God is going to do every day. Instead of sitting back and complaining that you still don’t have what you want, waiting is looking to God each morning and asking, “How can I be used today?”
That is the goal.
Not the amazing guy who loves God and you.
The goal is to live into our waiting. Embrace it, enjoy it, and strive to fully embody it. Waiting for a guy can be hard, disappointing, and even heart-breaking. I know. But waiting on God’s plan is exciting, fulfilling, and life-giving. Waiting on a guy may be worth it one day, but waiting on God’s plan is worth it right now, and every day. So wait, be expectant, but don’t let the goal stray from your Creator, who knows your heart better than you do. He knows you want that relationship, and maybe you will get it one day, but maybe you won’t.
And that’s okay.
Because that’s not the goal.
So stop waiting for him, and start waiting on Him.
words by Breanna Maier and photo by Sara Beth Pritchard