I made a decision to not date for a year. I wanted to focus this next 12 months on getting good at the basics in my life, like budgeting and reaching my ideal weight, and to let the Lord speak to my heart without the distraction of chasing after a relationship.
The last two years have been intense: from going through cancer treatment, fumbling through a would-be relationship and bundled with the hardships of sorting through the financial fog after going through almost 15 weeks of not working. Some of you might know what I’m talking about. Even though you’re back at work, things don’t quite go back to normal right away.
The Lord has already showed me really amazing truths about my past, the way I grew up, my deep insecurities and most of all, about who God is and how I can trust Him at His Word. Here are five “aha” moments that God gave me in my first month of not dating.
1. God cares about my relationship. // I may not be in a dating relationship now, but He cares about my relationship even before I get into one. I honestly used to think that I had to be married to “qualify” for a relationship miracle. It sounds silly, but I think a part of me figured that God didn’t take notice of dating situations. I learned that His attention doesn’t have prerequisites. Maybe some of us feel like our situation has to be good enough before it can be presented to the Lord. He blessed me to realize that He cares about everything I go through.
2. My daughter needs a father.// I don’t mean a replacement. She has a dad who is now saved. Through candid conversations with my daughter about what it would really mean for us and our home if I got married made it all the more real and clear that she needs a loving father figure in the home. I think because we typically do well with getting through our days, it doesn’t always occur to us what we’re missing/ needing. With Jesus as the head of our home, we can rest in the assurance of His love. This also means that we have a pattern that would only allow a godly man with the right heart to protect, guide and lead us.
3. God can answer prayer while I’m dating. // I heard about the painstaking prayer of a burdened wife for her husband to make wise choices. But I seem to miss the stories of answered prayer of dating couples. It could be a softened heart to help in the other person’s ministry, or even a basic faithfulness to church. It could be a wiser perspective on fundamental issues like having children or money management. This lesson ties in with my first item, where God opened up my understanding that He has all aspects of the relationship covered and wants to hear our prayers every step of the way.
4. I hid behind ministry to drown out thoughts of dating. // This is true workaholic reflex. If I bury myself into some kind of work, then I won’t have to deal with it. Truth is, I have many belief systems and patterns about relationships that had not been dealt with or washed against a biblical truth. I threw myself into ministry because I figured keeping busy would mean that I wouldn’t notice some empty spaces of my heart that needed confessing to the Lord. He already used conversations and experiences in other ministries to bring up my true feelings and to follow His loving plea to bring all those things to Him.
5. I could be wrong.// With a quick-witted mind, I can backfire on myself. More than once! The Lord showed me that my need for a conclusion is a symptom of a need to be right [a.k.a. Pride —> sin]. I get caught up real quick in what people intended to do and surmise their intentions, sometimes even rationalizing their shortcomings to avoid the truthfulness of a rotting situation of convenience. The Lord gently showed me: when I start to think what I think that I think, just pause and consider that I could be wrong.
I pray that if you are dealing with something that you think is too big or too small or too unimportant or too significant, then please consider taking that situation to God and allow Him to steer you to the right decision. I pray that you can hold on to His truth instead of shaping your own conclusion.
More lessons to follow.
See what happens in Month 3!