The Waiting Period.
“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof; and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” (Ecc. 7:8)
It is the classic part of the story, insert dramatic music; suspense has been built and right at the climax of the story love finds a way to bring the couple together. We come away from our movie or book very satisfied with the ending.
However, life often doesn’t give us such a quick sense of understanding. So what do we do when we are ready for the person that we will share our everyday joys, struggles, accomplishments, and failures with? We wait… (I know, I know, I know; I am not the most patient person so I do understand — you feel like you just grabbed ticket number 4 and they are calling number 7 and the line is out the door).
Ah, but the waiting period does have some incredible memories and opportunities up for the taking.
HOLD THE ROPE
You are not alone. It is hard when your close friends and family are paired up or getting paired up. You look around and feel like “Hey what about me?” But wait…..look around, okay take a closer inspection there are often people who are in our lives that we have not truly invested into or explored a relationship. Some of the best advice I have received and regularly have to put in practice was from my mom. She would always tell me, “When you are truly down or discouraged go help or encourage someone else. Then slowly your present circumstances and difficulties will not feel so heavy or consuming. We are creatures of habit and sometimes going out of our comfort zone can be uncomfortable, difficult, or even scary.
Look beyond your peer-group, church family, co-workers, or neighbors. The wonderful thing about friendships is that it knows no bounds; age differences are nullified and state borders are crossed. Who is that older lady/man in your life that might need someone to encourage and be their companion? Believe it or not you can have several common interest and strong bonds with an individual that is 20, 30, 40 or 50 years older. Who is that younger person in your life that you could invest some time into building a mentor-like relationship? You will find if you find a wise older companion to be your counselor and a younger individual to cheer and encourage will help hold you up when life bring you down. Discouragement is a slippery road and it helps to have older and younger friends holding the rope of hope on either side of you.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”(Johann Wolfgang van Goethe) I remember thinking during my senior year of college that I certainly had not followed the typical cookie cutter life plan. The idea kept running through my head…..what now?
I knew that I did not want to sit around and watch life zoom pass me. So I started compiling a list of all the things I would love to experience; my list had things on it like: run a 5K, work at a Christian camp for a summer, sky-dive, visit New York City, graduate college, direct a play, work with a youth group, visit the Holy Land, and the list goes on. As I reviewed my list it reminded me a lot of a bucket list. I loved the idea of a bucket list; please do not misunderstand me. Marriage does not equal death. However, once a life-time commitment is made your priorities change.
I believe the most important thing I learned was how to look forward to other things rather my heart’s biggest desire. I became fulfilled with working in the children and teen ministries in my church. I turned into a healthier individual as I strove for my fitness goals. I learned more about God, a love for others, and myself when I worked in the mountains of North Carolina for a summer youth camp. Plus, while pursuing all my goals it aligned my life with the most amazing man to whom now I call my fiancé. He worked at the same summer camp, and even went on the same trip to NYC.
One of the college pastors reminds us, “To attract the right one you must be the right one.” So what are some of your dreams or goals? You may not accomplish everything on your list before you marry but that is when you can join your life aspirations with his/hers. You might even meet along your journey to complete your bucket list.
READ & PRAY
I leave the most important point for last. You can fill your life with worthy causes, a core group to encourage, and big goals yet still find times of loneliness for which no comforting words will help.
Holidays always seemed to be the time where I was keenly aware of my single status. It was such a relief when Valentines Day would pass and there would be a reprieve from the “special” times of the year. What do you do when you have holiday blues or just are plain down after another bad date or failed relationship?
READ. PRAY. READ.
Do you ever have difficulties praying when you are discouraged or emotionally drained? A car without gas will not get far right? Your spiritual life is often the same. First get fed, go to His Word. Find a book that is encouraging or a character that underwent similar struggles. I love the Psalms; it ministers to the broken heart in such a powerful way. God is near you in your sorrows and desires to uplift your spirit. Pour out your concerns, fears, frustrations, and ask God for guidance and peace.
Also, make a list of friends you are in the same stage of life and pray that God would direct their life and bring them fulfillment. Do not be afraid to voice your hope to marry. It is a natural God-given desire and it is encouraging to share your burdens with someone that understands.
Lastly, Read again. Except this time find some good Christian authors who have written on the topic of being single. For example, Suzanne Hadley encouraged me on numerous occasions and pushed me to keep life with passion for Christ. There are multiple books motivating young people to make good choices and develop their personal relationship with God. These steps will help ground your thoughts on God’s love and His purpose for your life. (Jer. 29:11)
If I can leave you with any last words of encouragement it would be: Do not give up living a holy life and do not settle for someone who has zero desire to know God. The Bible is full of God’s promises towards those who walk uprightly and seek after His will.
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About the Author: Julia McClaran is a 25 year old accountant living in the Metro-Detroit area, and is one of my most favorite people in the world. She graduated with her masters and is planning on using her schooling and experience for teaching in a college setting. She is an active member of her local church with children’s, music, and drama ministries.
She loves the outdoors: hiking, running, kayaking, and tennis. She is the youngest sibling with 3 older brothers. She is blessed with 5 nieces and nephews. She will marry her fiancé Wes this coming Summer and they both look forward to their lives together as they strive to serve God.
Posted on March 23, 2011, in "Guest Post" March, Guest Post, Relationships and tagged "Guest Post" March, Boundless.org, God's Will, Life, Love, Marriage, Prayer, Relationships, Waiting, Weddings. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.