The Love of my Life
Growing up I had the events of my life charted out. Graduate from college, get married, have kids. So, once I received my BA in Liberal Studies, I felt as if the clock started ticking. After all, several of my friends were already married and I hadn’t even dated in college. Without a doubt, I had a lot of catching up to do.
Anxiety can cause a person to do some pretty crazy things. For me, I went out with just about any guy that looked my way. My friends tried to warn me that military guys stationed in different cities, atheist Jews, and men twice my age weren’t a good fit for me, but I didn’t care. I was on a mission to find the love of my life. I figured the only way to do that was to date. It’s not like he would just show up on my doorstep.
Fast forward seven months. November, 1996. My heart had been broken yet again. I felt stupid for believing his lies. Ridiculous for thinking he was the one. Suddenly it wasn’t about one guy rejecting me – it was about all the guys that had hurt me. After seven months of living in the party scene, searching for love in all the wrong places, I finally realized I was completely broken – and alone.
I cried and cried, not knowing where to go from there. Obviously my method of finding a spouse wasn’t working. As I reached for a tissue from my nightstand, I saw my Bible. It had been months since I had opened it to read on my own. I still went to church occasionally, a church of thousands where I could blend into the background. I knew I wasn’t living right, but wasn’t ready to stop…until now.
“I’m sorry, Lord,” I said, picking up my Bible. “Forgive me for the way I’ve been living. I’m tired of getting hurt over and over again. I give up. Just bring the perfect guy to me. I’m done looking.”
True to my word, I abandoned my hunt. I spent time reading the Bible rather than going out dancing. I called my girl friends instead of old boyfriends. I waited and prayed when anxiety arose.
“Bring him to me, Lord. Just bring him to me. And give me patience while I wait.” The prayer was simple, but sincere.
About a month later I was having dessert with my former master teacher, now good friend, when she made an announcement.
“There’s this guy I want you to meet.”
She assured me he was a nice guy. I trusted her and her judgement, so I told her to invite him to my Staff Christmas party at my house the next day. I figured if he wasn’t Mr. Wonderful, I’d rather be surrounded by other people so it wouldn’t be too painful.
He called later that night. Jeff told me about himself and asked about me. He seemed to be a nice guy from a middle-class family. He had a college degree and a job with no noticeable baggage. I was excited, but tried to keep my expectations low. It would be easier that way, I told myself. The last thing I wanted was to be hurt again.
Friday, December 13, 1996. I opened the door to his smiling face and in that moment, the Lord whispered to my heart “He’s the one.”
I didn’t understand it at the time. I had never really “heard” the Lord speak to me. But there was something about the way he looked at me, the way he could make me laugh, the way we fit so perfectly together on the couch with his arm around me, that had me wondering if he could be the answer to my prayer.
“Lord, if he’s the one, you have a lot of work to do,” I told God that night as I laid in bed. “He’s not even a Christian, let alone a spiritual leader.”
Three days later he professed his love to me, along with confusion as to how he could be feeling this way so fast. I told him I loved him too, but he would never be number one in my life. God held that spot. And I told him I’d like him to go to church with me.
Three months later when he accepted Christ, I realized I had heard the Lord right. God had been preparing Jeff for me all along. I wasted months and caused myself pain trying to do something I was incapable of. God was just waiting for me to stop dating and trust Him for the love of my life.
I’m teaching my kids to wait on the Lord for the person they will marry rather than date to find him or her. It’s not a popular concept in this society, but I’ve experienced the truth of it. When I first started having these conversations with my kids, Becca asked me an important question.
“So, I don’t get it. Is it bad to date?”
I smiled at her question. “Think about it this way: how many people does God want you to marry?”
She giggled. “Just one.”
“Exactly. When people have a boyfriend or girlfriend, they usually end up falling in love with that person. But what if that isn’t the person God wants you to marry? What if you have a boyfriend and after a while he decides he doesn’t want to be your boyfriend anymore?”
She stuck out her bottom lip. “I’d be really sad.”
“It hurts,” I told her. “God doesn’t want us to hurt. He wants to to trust Him to bring the right person at the right time. You just need to pray and when He brings that person, you’ll know.”
Somehow I love my husband more every day. Sure we have our moments that aren’t so great, but he completes me. He makes me laugh and holds me just right when I cry. He knows all my favorites and can make me smile like no one else. My hand fits perfectly in his and when he kisses me I feel so beautiful and loved. Without a doubt, he was created just for me.
If you are single, trust God for your spouse as you should trust Him for everything. He will connect the dots to bring you together. All you need to do is be patient and pray. If you are married with kids, teach them to be different. Encourage them not to believe the lies of this world, but to guard their hearts. It’s not an easy job – our culture is saturated with TV shows, movies, and books that encourage dating, kissing, and premarital sex. Seek out those good influences and teach them about the providence of God. Will you join me in creating a legacy for your family that will be blessed for generations to come?