Hi MRP. I am about to turn 35 and I am seriously discouraged about my prospects at getting married. I feel like I have done everything to put myself out there. I have asked friends and mentors to introduce me to people. I have never turned down a blind date. And at the insistence of a close friend, I tried online dating and have been doing it on and off for several years. I feel like it has gotten me nowhere. The last guy I dated through Match I thought was the one – he seemed like a great match and everything seemed like it was going perfectly until he suddenly told me that it was over. It was heartwrenching. I am tired of going on first dates. I am tired of being hurt. I know that sitting on my couch waiting for someone to show up at the front door probably won’t work, but then I feel like I have tried everything already. Should I take a break or is that giving up? The time is ticking!! Help!
Dear Seriously Discouraged,
I think what you’re going through involves weight and wait.
First, let’s talk about the weight of a letdown.
It is a special kind of hurt when our best efforts result in battered emotions. And the Lord understands this pain well for it’s written, “Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12 The Message). Imagine your heart laboring to keep faith renewed and a mind hopeful while cinder blocks of disappointment pile on. Like any object under enough strain, the heart will become crushed, sick, and weary.
Rest is restorative for the weary. Which is why I think it’s OK to take a breather from dating. Spend time with God and recover from the bruises. Let Him remind you of His love, purpose, and plan for you. Hang out and laugh with good friends. Let them remind you that rich friendships and sisterhoods make days sweeter. Do and discover fun activities by yourself. Be reminded of the joy that comes with accomplishing a self set goal. A break from dating is only a comma in the story, not a period. Once you feel refreshed and your heart is rested, by all means, let your love journey begin again.
Now, about the wait for marriage.
Sometimes, singleness can feel like you’re living in a waiting room without a clock. No digital ticket counter. No calendar. There is no chronological instrument to tell you when your time in the waiting room will be over. And that makes waiting even harder.
But it is encouraging to know that while we live linked to literal, biological, and cultural clocks, God doesn’t. And since time is of no consequence to Him, neither are any of its constraints, snags, or limitations. His answers never arrive decomposed or rusted, but brilliant and shining.
“So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.” (Galatians 6:9 The Message)
Don’t become disheartened by how long you’ve been waiting or another birthday on the horizon without an answer. Where we see days, He sees His design. Trust that His design for you includes His best at the best time.
I pray that this encourages you in your walk and wait for love.
–Jen @ MRP
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