By Hannah Suttle
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: — Ecc. 3:1
As any young girl might dream of their future, I had a dream for my future as well... I dreamed of the day that I would meet my handsome prince and be swept off my feet. I wanted to go to Bible college to learn more about the Bible and ministry. I assumed God would probably have my husband in the same place He’d called me to learn.
I might finish college; I might be too in love to finish and just get married instead. It didn’t matter. My love and I would get married, and quickly start a family. He might be a pastor, an evangelist, or a missionary. Whatever God called us to do, we would be all in. In my dream, I envisioned a hand printed sign inscribed, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” right in the entryway of our home. My dream was to, alongside my husband, build a Christ-honoring family whose purpose was to reach people with the Gospel and the love of Jesus in a personal way.
The four years of college have come and gone. God’s will for my life has turned out to be quite different than that little girl’s dream. I knew I was where God wanted me to be, and have spent the past year after graduation teaching in the Christian school and serving in our local church.
Yet, this season still continues.
To be honest, I was not excited about graduating college and still being single. I was not happy about living a year after college and still being single, but that is where I am. That wasn’t the way I had planned it. I got discouraged about why most of my friends had a boyfriend, a fiancé, a husband, and maybe even a baby at this point. I felt like something was wrong with me or that I was doing something wrong. The desire to be married and have a family was still in my heart. I was delighting in the Lord in every way I knew how, so why wasn’t God giving me that desire? Psalm 37:4 “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
I knew how to keep a happy face, and knew how to react when people made cutting jokes or gave their opinion on why I am still single.
But inside, I was frustrated, lonely, and hurt. I was left wondering why God is making me wait.
In all my frustration and pondering over this verse, I neglected to meditate on the next one... “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” I obviously had not yet fully committed this desire to the Lord, because I wasn’t fully trusting His timing. I realized I wanted God’s will, but I wanted it with my demands and in my timing.
The desire I had was not wrong. In fact, it was godly. God made the man and woman for each other, and a God-honoring marriage and family is His plan. His timing, however, is just as important as His will. After some tears, a lot of prayer, and seeking council from my spiritual authority, here is how the Lord has helped me. My prayer is that it can be an encouragement to you as well.
1.) My purpose in life is to honor and glorify the Lord in my thoughts, actions, lifestyle, and life choices. God has me in this season of life right now because it is how I can bring the most honor to Him. I must determine to not let the devil distract me from that purpose with thoughts of discouragement. When I can bring more glory to God by being married, then God will bring that season of life to me. Until then, I will honor Him in this one.
2.) Every season of life is a gift from God, so I must treat this season as a gift too (I Corinthians 7:7)! Look for opportunities to give, serve, and minister. In your next stage of life, you will not have the same opportunities or capabilities as you have now.
3.) God is a God of order, and does nothing without a purpose. Where God has you and what He is doing in your life now is to prepare you for something He has in store for your future. Use every opportunity you can to grow your character and capabilities. Always be learning!
4.) There is no room for misery in the company of God. This is something the Lord spoke to me in my devotions a couple of weeks ago. Waiting can feel miserable at times, but there is truly no misery in the company of God. If I am walking daily with Him and closely by His side, then there will be joy (Isaiah 26:3)! My joy should not be fulfilled through other people, and will not be fulfilled by finding a mate. The Source of my joy is Jesus. Any additional joy I have will be through things He has chosen to bless my life with (James 1:17). My focus should be on my relationship with Him.
As a disclaimer, this was not written to be an emotional outcry or pity party. I wanted to be completely vulnerable with my struggles while writing. I know I am not the only one who has struggled with patience and trust in this season of life. Christian young lady, you are not alone in your struggle! Patience in this season of life is not easy. I want you to know that you are in my prayers.
When God brings that man into your life, the waiting will be worth it. You will be glad you did not settle for something other than God’s will.
In the meantime, make Jesus your best friend and take advantage of the time you have now to serve the Lord. Make your relationship with the Lord your utmost priority. Look for opportunities to serve in your local church, and be a blessing to those around you. Know Jesus and make Jesus known. The Lord has a perfect plan for you.
“The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: Thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: Forsake not the works of thine own hands.”