Waiting on God- Part 2

Part 1 is here in case you missed it: https://maddprofessor.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/waiting-on-god-part-1/

That Christmas I had started looking at eHarmony again. I’d been on there almost a year and no one had contacted me at all. It was free communication over the holidays so I got on and looked at some profiles but no one was interesting enough for me to get over my shyness and contact them first. None of them had contacted me. There was just one day left of the free communication and then a new match contacted me. On New Year’s Eve. The last day of the year. I had forgotten about my hope of meeting someone that year but was excited to meet someone. We messaged pages and pages of emails through the eHarmony website, met in person, and started dating. At first I liked him well enough as someone I could be friends with but I had to get to know him for a little while before I knew that I was attracted to him. I had no idea at first if it would really go anywhere but as I spent more time with him I liked him more and more. Through dating him I realized I actually have a lot to offer. For the first time in my life, a guy told me I was beautiful. God fulfilled that promise to me from 5.5 years before. I had my first kiss, and my first Valentine. He treated me better than I ever would have dreamed someone would. He was very respectful of me and we enjoyed a lot of the same things. We talked about getting married. Neither of us were sure yet if we wanted to get married but we were both leaning that way. I was so happy and thanked God for bringing me such an awesome guy. And then he broke up with me seemingly out of the blue.

I was completely heartbroken. I experienced depression for the first time in my life. I barely slept or ate anything for weeks. I lost 15 pounds in about 2 weeks. I didn’t cook anything for myself for over a month. I couldn’t sleep past 6 am. I cried and prayed more than I ever have in my life. I thought that my wait for a lasting relationship was maybe over and then a door was slammed in my face. How could God let this happen? I prayed several times while dating checking in with God if this was ok. At the beginning of the relationship before I was attracted to him I asked God “Should I keep dating this guy?” When the infatuation stage faded a bit I asked God “Is this ok? Should I consider marrying someone who I don’t feel head-over-heels for every minute that I’m with him?” (It was my first relationship. I don’t know what feelings are “normal”). If it wasn’t right, why didn’t God tell me to break up with him? Or at least warn me?  Oddly enough I didn’t know if I remembered that I thought I would meet my future husband in 2013 until after the breakup.  I don’t know if I did meet him or if the whole thing was wishful thinking.  In the time since then there’s been a lot of crying, praying, and talking to my mom and friends trying to make sense of it all. I’ve struggled with trusting God. What if He leaves me single and I live the rest of my life alone with no one to hold me or kiss me? Why would He make me wait so long to begin with? As a Christian I’m supposed to believe that God is good and he wants what’s best for me but how can God let me go through something so painful?

So here I am. I’m 32, single, and wondering why most of my friends are celebrating their 10th anniversaries while all I have to show is one relationship that lasted less than 5 months. Posts that should make me happy for friends’ relationships instead seem to sting as I think about how many years I have been alone. I think about how every year that passes is one year less that I get to spend with my future husband, assuming that by some miracle someone wants to marry me someday. I read stories about Abraham waiting years for a son, or Joseph waiting years for the dream that God gave him to come true. I hope and pray that God is working behind the scenes to let me find someone for me even though right now it looks like nothing is happening. It’s a struggle. Some days I trust that God’s plan is best and that he has good things for me. Some days I cry and question if God is going to make me suffer my entire life with loneliness. As I get older I wonder if I’ll ever have kids and lament that my “plan” of how I wanted to be married a few years and later have 2 kids spaced out by 4 years doesn’t really work when you are 32 and there’s no wedding on the horizon.

I am blessed with good friends, a close family, and a good church. My relationship with God has grown a lot over the last few years and I have a better grasp on how to live as a Christian. I enjoy hiking, baking, brewing, and having friends over. I have a good job and a nice house. I know there are a lot of good things in my life. I have some close friends but I want more than a friend who I spend a few hours a week with. I want someone to share my daily life with. Someone to tell me I’m pretty and to sleep with.  There aren’t many good single guys at my age, even fewer who are Christians and share my values. I pray every day and ask God for what seems like a miracle. I don’t know what God is doing and if or when I’ll be in a relationship again but I hope it’s soon. I wish I had a “happily ever after” or a “God gave me more than all I could ask or imagine” story but right now I’m still waiting and hoping and trying to trust God.

Waiting on God- Part 1

I was 31 years old before I was ever asked out on a date. I was 32 before my first kiss. As a teenager I read “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” as well as heard from others how it was important to guard your heart. Broken relationships cause broken hearts and leave baggage and I was in no hurry to acquire either so I was intent on waiting on God’s timing for a relationship. I didn’t really want to date in high school because I knew those relationships almost never last and I figured college was a better time and place to start a serious relationship. I was sure I’d meet some awesome guy at my Christian college and we’d become friends, realize we really liked each other, start dating, and get married shortly after graduation. While there were a few guys I liked, and a couple who seemed interested in me, it never seemed to work out that there were any mutual feelings and I never dated anyone. I had some amazing friends, lots of fun with them, and enjoyed college. I was kind of sad and wondered why I hadn’t met anyone while all my friends got married but overall I trusted God.

I was planning on going to grad school and maybe it was best anyway that I meet someone there since I was moving to a new state. I signed up on eHarmony, moved to Tallahassee, joined a church, and started graduate school. I made new friends and there were a couple guys who I liked, but nothing happened. I still trusted God. I would prefer to be in a relationship but I had a fulfilling life and really loved the church I was a part of. I made elaborate meals, had several hobbies, decorated for Christmas, hosted dinner parties with friends, went out with friends to movies and dinners and random activities. I had a lot of fun and did what I wanted and didn’t feel like I needed a boyfriend although I did want one. I wondered why no guys ever seemed interested in me but I never wanted to date around anyway so I was happy at least that I had never had my heart broken and didn’t have any relationship baggage. While at a church retreat many of the older ladies there told me I was beautiful over and over all weekend. Eventually I broke down crying, telling God, “That’s nice and all but if I’m really beautiful why don’t any guys think so? God did tell me that one day he would give me a guy who thought that I was I was just as beautiful as these ladies kept saying I was. That was in 2008. Years went by and still, nothing. As I got closer to graduation I figured I’d have to move again to find a job so maybe it was best that I not find someone until after graduation. Much to my surprise, I found a job in Tallahassee and so I was able to stay here with my family (who had moved down here while I was in grad school) and stay with my church I loved.

After I started my post-doc, I bought a house and since I was settled here for at least a few more years I started thinking a lot more about wanting a relationship. I told God several times, “I trust you, but can we hurry up on this relationship thing?” My church for whatever reason never seems to have more than one single guy close to my age and I just hadn’t met anyone at church or school who caught my interest nor had anyone expressed the slightest interest in me. Of course everyone suggests that you try online dating, get out there more, etc. I signed up again for eHarmony, made an effort to actually talk to people who I didn’t know at Fermentation Lounge (sort of a pub that I frequent), I went to parties friends invited me to and actually talked to people I didn’t know. I joined the homebrew club too since I do brew my own beer but also most homebrewers are guys and I thought maybe I’d meet someone there and hey, we’d have this great hobby in common. Well a couple years went by and while I had made new friends and met a lot of people still nothing happening as far as a relationship. It got harder and harder to be content with my singleness. Most of my friends were not only married but had multiple kids by now. The social life I had in college and the early years of grad school had faded into a more adult life where most weeknights I was home alone and my friends where busy with their lives, jobs, and kids. There were a few nights I cried,  telling God I’m lonely. I want someone to share my life with. I want someone to go to that new restaurant with me. I want someone to cuddle with and share my daily joys or frustrations with. I went from feeling like although I’d be happy to have a boyfriend, I was perfectly fine on my own, to feeling like I was done with this single thing. Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt and the souvenir mug. I started actually talking to friends about my desire to be in a relationship and unfortunately no one seemed to know of any guys they thought I should meet. In the fall of 2012 I was particularly discontent and praying about it a lot as well as just talking to friends a lot about it and telling them to keep an eye out for a guy for me. I remember having a feeling that “I’m going to meet my husband within the next year.” Well month after month went by and nothing happened. In one of the brew club meetings a couple guys were talking about this girl at work who was single and the one guy said “…but I think she’s still a virgin and wants to wait till she gets married. I can’t hook her up with any of my friends. What 30 year old guy is going to be ok with that?” I remember hearing that and thinking, “Great. Even if by some miracle I meet some guy who would be willing to date me, he would never be ok with saving sex for marriage. It’s hopeless.” That may have been one of the nights I cried myself to sleep. Somewhere around mid-December 2013 I decided the whole “I’ll meet my future husband this year” thing wasn’t from God, must have been wishful thinking, and I gave up on the whole thing. A friend offered that maybe I had met him but that just nothing had happened yet. That wasn’t what I believed though. I believed I was going to start a relationship that year. Nothing had happened and I figured it was nothing more than wishful thinking.

(Part 2 to come later)