The past couple of months, I have been doing a lot of introspective evaluation of my dating life. The past two years of dating has left me depleted and hopeless of ever finding a genuine relationship. And during my praying and seeking, I have felt like God has been showing me to wait and re-focus my priorities.
Life is filled with waiting moments…from the time we wake up, until the time we go to bed. We are waiting for coffee to brew, for kids to get out the door to school, and at the stop light on the way to work. We wait for the microwave to warm up our lunch, for the clock hand to reach quitting time, and in line at the grocery store. We wait for after school extra curricular activities to finish up, and for everyone to finish their night time routines…then we wait to fall asleep.
Aside from the daily routines, there are much bigger waiting periods. Waiting for the college acceptance letter, the job interview, the proposal, the birth of a baby, the biopsy results from the doctor, the military family member to return from deployment, and the inevitable death of an elderly loved one.
God encourages us throughout scripture to be patient, not to worry, and to trust in Him. But it is far easier said than done. As a person who struggles with anxiety, depression, and PTSD, a time of waiting can be agonizing. The overthinking of every possible uncertainty of the unknown future. The overwhelming emotional heaviness that looms over every present responsibility. The fear of past traumas that fuel insecurity and the inability to fully trust.
I want to find my soul mate who I can spend the rest of my life with. My past dating experience leaves me wondering if there is anyone out there that would actually be compatible with my children and me. Part of my problem is that I care too much too soon…whether dating or not. I pour into people…love, support, etc…and if I get emotionally entangled I end up hurt when it becomes obvious the relationship was one sided. As much as I would like to get married again, I fear it because I do not want to end up in another toxic marriage. It seems better to live a life of loneliness then to risk another divorce.
These reasons, among others, lead to me deleting all of my online dating accounts. I also talked to a few of my guy friends who I talk to and occasionally hang out with who may have an interest in potentially dating, and told them that I’m not looking for a romantic relationship, sex, etc. I do not want to lead anyone on. I told them I’m only interested in friendship right now. While doing all this may set myself up for a successful waiting period, it does not stop the overthinking, worrying, and fearing of the future.
So how can I transform my human nature to do something such as waiting…with grace? The truth is, I can’t on my own. And that is where Jesus comes in. He never promises that we will not have trials but He does promise that He will never leave or forsake those who love Him.
As a single mom of three, I do not have a lot of spare time. But, I have been taking steps to fill what spare time I do have with new habits. I am cultivating relationships with my friends and family by trying to spend more focused time with them. I am studying scripture more on my own and in a new Bible study group which is bring me closer to God. I am writing more which is working towards one of my life goals of someday writing a book. And I am trying to do more self- care.
I do not know when my time of waiting and not dating will end. I just know that after so long of me trying to figure it out on my own and failing miserably, that I am willing to wait for what God has planned. God may send someone new into my life or something significant may happen with someone I already know. In the meantime, I am choosing to wait while reflecting on His promises.