Two years ago, I wrote a blog post about waiting. My twenty-two-year-old self brought up some interesting points about how waiting reveals who we truly are, and how waiting doesn’t have to be boring. Now, in the present, I have everything I had wanted when I had written this post. Shortly after writing that post, I had been offered a job as an Administrative Assistant, a job I never thought I would have, but I feel was created for me in this season of my life. A few months after that, I met a man that swept me off my feet, a man who broke the walls down I had built around my heart. This man helped me move into my first apartment several weeks after we had started dating. Five months after that, he asked me to marry him. We had an eleven-month engagement period, all the while advancing in our jobs, finding a place to live together, and making new friends.
These two years of my life have been an answer to the prayers that I had prayed in the waiting period.
My husband and I dated for six months before getting engaged. In the middle of our six-month dating period, my boyfriend confessed to me that he was planning on asking me to marry him very soon. I thought to myself, what’s the rush? But I sought out the wisdom of those older than me, and their response was the opposite: Why the wait? While driving to work one day, I heard a speaker refer to Joshua 1:7, where Joshua receives instructions on how to lead the people: “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” In that moment, God used that verse to tell me: “If I’m calling you somewhere, do not doubt! Go for it!”
On the day that signified our sixth month of dating, my boyfriend pulled out a ring and became my fiance. Since we had gotten engaged in December, we wanted to take the time to enjoy the holidays before diving into wedding planning. Then, in February, we decided to sit down and plan a wedding date. We had two options that worked for us: wait two years and get married in February of 2018, or wait a few months and get married in November of 2016.
The conflict I had felt before our engagement came up again. Our initial thought was what’s the rush? But then I felt an even deeper conviction over the second question….Why the wait?
I mean, really, what would have been the reason for us to wait? The reality was: we were already in love with each other. If we had waited any longer, we would have compromised our morals and potentially given up on each other. We had already developed a mindset of working together, so why would we wait to start officially living life together as a couple?
The only two reasons that came to our attention were: 1) We didn’t have enough money; and 2) I was intimidated by the idea of entering into a covenant relationship with someone I was not allowed to leave. After serious praying and discussion, we realized that those reasons were motivated by fear, and not by faith. We decided to set our date at Saturday, November 5th, a mere nine months away from the day we had set it.
As a result of not waiting, we as a couple had seen many blessings. We were worried about the finances, but after ditching the unnecessary stuff and asking for help from others, we were able to have a very affordable wedding. Now that we are married, we are able to live together as a committed team, faithful to one another.
If I had hesitated for even a second to jump on the plan that God had for me, I could have missed the blessings I was able to see in this season. God is sovereign, but He does not force us to follow Him. Sometimes He asks us to wait, but sometimes He asks us to move. The Bible portrays waiting as an exciting and growing time. However, when it’s time to move, suddenly life changes drastically.
In today’s world, it is difficult to know exactly where God is leading us. But once we learn that God is calling us to make a move, it takes faith to obey Him and go. If you are in a season of waiting, and you feel God calling you to take a big step of faith, here are some tips to remember:
- Don’t settle. When I first felt God leading me to date my now-husband, I still wanted to make sure that he met my standards. We met at the diner one day, and I told him that I expected our relationship to be Christ-centered. I told him that God was #1 in my life, and I wanted to make sure he was okay with that. Not only was he okay with it, but he also said that God is #1 in his life as well. In that moment, I realized that there was nothing in the way of us dating. We had similar interests, and we had the same spiritual goals. After years of waiting for the right guy to come around, I jumped on the opportunity to be with a guy that met all my standards. You do not have to settle either. Know what you want, and reveal the desires of your heart to God. Whether it’s a job or a potential partner or a house, wait for what you want. Your standards may not be met in the way you expect, but if God is actually calling you to make a decision, He will provide exactly what you need.
- Find Accountability. This was a deal breaker for me. I had had feelings for guys in the past (obviously not as strong!) but I wanted to make sure that the mushy gushy butterflies in my stomach weren’t dictating my decision. Both my best friend and my mother, people who were outside the situation but who knew me, encouraged me to date him. These two watched me grow up, go through the frustrations of crushing on guys, and then find a man that actually made me happy. In order to make that step of faith, find someone who has walked with you and is willing to give you an honest evaluation of the situation. It is possible that this person is not your friend, but a parent, a teacher, or a pastor.
- Pray. This should clearly be the first step that we take. However, I think sometimes we use the phrase “I’ll pray about it” as an excuse not to answer God’s call. That’s why it is important to have standards and accountability. You have to know what you are praying for, and you have to pray for it. You have to know what God’s voice sounds like. You must first abide in Him, and He will direct your paths.
- Understand that it isn’t going to feel right at first. In my first few weeks of marriage, I have enjoyed every moment. However, there is this feeling that something isn’t right. I wonder when things are going to go back to normal. Then I remember: this is my new normal. I don’t know what it’s like to be married because I’ve never been married before. I’ve been to weddings, and I have family members who are happily married, but I have never experienced it for myself. When God calls you to do something different, it will feel different. But different does not necessarily mean wrong. Trust that if God is leading you, He knows what is best for you.
- Enjoy it. As we were preparing for our wedding, everyone’s advice was the same: “Make sure you stop for a moment and take it all in.” It happens so fast. After months of planning, in a few hours, it’s all over. We did not have time to get upset at the little slip-ups that took place. We did not have time to worry or get upset. We only had time to enjoy it. If we took time to do anything else, we would have missed the blessings that God had for us that day, the blessing of feeling His love and remembering our love for each other. In life, it is so easy to overthink things. Whether God provides a job for you, or a house, or a new man, it is tempting to question. Is this really God’s will for my life? Do I even deserve this? Will this be taken from me? And the answer to all of those cannot simply be answered. The truth is: life is short, and things in this life do not last forever. As Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes, God calls us to enjoy our blessings while we have them. Instead of questioning why you have them, thank God that He has answered your prayers.
For those in a season of praying and waiting, do not give up! It does get better. For those who feel that their season of waiting is over, do not delay! Enter into the promise that God has given you. No matter where you are in life, God is with you, and He is able to provide just what you need.