SPOTLIGHT - Even in the Waiting
About the Spotlight Writer
Hey y’all! My name is Mallory! I am a graduate of Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!) and I am currently in my first year of law school at the University of Oklahoma College of Law (Go Sooners!). I currently have no idea what direction I want to go in law, but I know the Lord will show me. I absolutely love spending time with my family and you can always see me enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee on any type of day! Now, I’m no Bible scholar or Sunday school teacher and I have no magical words about the Word, but what I can do is tell you about what I’ve learned from God in this season of my life…
Even in the Waiting
by Mallory Stender
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
It always seems to be that time of year, doesn’t it? All you have to do is look on Facebook and you see two friends have gotten engaged, three more are in the midst of wedding planning, and dozens more are celebrating anniversary number 1, 5, or 10! And yet, there you are. Waiting.
Waiting for something. Anything. Yes, I know. I’ve been there. Actually, “there” is where I am now.
Every girl is painfully aware that we spend the majority our lives from the age of 15, (sometimes earlier) dreaming about the perfect husband. The caring, spiritual, hardworking husband, who, let’s face it, the most handsome man you’ve ever laid eyes on. We wait and we look. No matter how many times we tell those around us, “Oh, you know, I’m not in a rush. I’m just patiently waiting for God to bring him into my life.” “I’m fine being single right now, I’m really busy anyway.” Our hearts tell a different story.
I recently turned 24. [That’s four years older than a few of my friends were when they were married, but who’s keeping track?] I look around and ask God, “um…hello? Where is my awesome husband?” “Why can’t I find the love that everyone else around me seems to have found?” I ask these questions no matter how many times I am told: “Don’t worry about it! You’re so young! You have plenty of time to find someone!”
I know these things are true. Yet, I get impatient. I date a guy I know is not the man God has planned for me, but instead I think, “God, you are taking too long, I’ll just take my love life into my own hands. How bad could it get?” The answer is very. Very bad. When my heart inevitably breaks again, I start to blame God. But why? I’m the one who took love into my own hands. Why do I insist on not taking the responsibility for these choices? There is no answer.
Can you relate to my story?
How many times have you been told, “God’s timing is perfect and all you have to do is just wait”? . . .Just wait? . . . Really? Here is where we get the old adage, “that’s easier said than done.”
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Oh no, not another blog about ‘waiting for your husband.’” Just bear with me…
In the verse above, from Psalm 27, we are told to wait for the Lord. There is a reason in this verse that it says; “let your heart take courage”, and wait. It takes bravery, dedication, patience, and courage to wait. When the world tells us to date who and how we want, it takes discipline and faith to wait on God. To choose to live your life dedicated to living for Him, means we do not live of this world. We get our instruction from an all-powerful, all-knowing God. Not from a magazine or from our friends. God’s timing is perfect. It’s perfect because he sees everything that we don’t! His love for us is so powerful He wants us to wait until He gives us someone who attempts to love us like He does. Time means nothing to Him and everything to us. That is why we are blessed when we do wait for Him because He knows how hard it is for us.
After weeks of prayer and a few discussions with those in my life who love me, I decided that for the entire year of 2018, I was not going to date anyone. That might sound weird coming from someone who has just confessed they’ve been aching for love. But for some strange reason, (in hindsight I know it was the Holy Spirit) I thought that because I was so afraid of being alone I should force myself to…well…be alone.
This journey hasn’t been easy and has taken a lot of dedication, but I knew that this year was going to be a tough one for me due to some big changes in my life. I was starting law school and moving to a new state, all within a few months. Dating someone at this time would only distract me and take up time I needed to prepare for these changes. So, I went for it.
It’s already October and I have been successful and not been on a single date this year. (And I’m not even embarrassed to admit that!) There have been temptations, of course. Getting through those temptations have not always been easy, but here’s where my lesson comes in. This time to myself was not about me simply counting down the days until January 1, 2019. What took me awhile to figure out was that this journey was about finding out who I am in the Lord. Before these last 9 months, I always thought that I lost myself in my last relationship. That I gave up everything about myself to become whatever he wanted me to be. But I was wrong. I had never known myself. I was whoever the world around me wanted me to be and I had never known who I really was without being told. Now to be honest, I still haven’t quite figured it out, but one thing I can say now is that I find my identity in Christ.
I only came to this realization when I noticed I was no longer looking for my future husband in every man who crossed my path. I no longer had someone in my head telling me who to be, what to wear, what hobbies to pick up, and what interests to have and I somewhat panicked. But instead of turning to the world and asking it to tell me who to be, I turned to the one who knows me the most. He told me that I am strong. I am beautiful, brave, and smart. And so many other things that I had never accepted about myself before this time that I chose to wait on Him.
I don’t know how long the Lord is going to keep me waiting. But what I do know is that I don’t mind the waiting. It’s a strange feeling to be okay with being single, and not many people understand it. But I don’t need them to. I am choosing to make the best out of this season. To learn what God wants me to learn about myself, others, and the world. I encourage you to do the same.
I’m not perfect. There are days I still cry when I feel alone. Those days are rare and getting rarer, but they happen. There are even days, I hate to admit, when I question God and His path for my life. I do not expect those feelings to just go away, but what I have learned so far has helped equip me in dealing with those feelings with guidance from God. I know that I can be disciplined when I get my strength from Him.
I only learned all of these lessons when I accepted that this is the season I am in. I don’t know what lessons you might learn in your season of waiting. But what I do know is that the season of being single is not a wasted one. God has some powerful work for us to do in our lives and learning courage, strength, patience, and dedication will help equip us to complete the ultimate goal. I pray for you in that you accept your season of waiting and look to the Lord to direct your path instead of being anxious for the season to be over.
My church (Life.Church) wrote this beautiful song titled, You Are. I believe that anyone from any season of life can relate to it. I recommend listening to it and taking a few moments to be still in God’s presence. Meditate on the thoughts of what you are waiting on, and how you can be faithful. “Oh, even in the unknown. Oh, I know that you are good. Oh, even in the waiting…You are good…” https://www.life.church/worship/you-are/.