When Being Single and Waiting Feels Hopeless

So in the last maybe 5 years, the handful of guys I’ve been interested in haven’t reciprocated my feelings. About two years ago I joined Match.com against my own prejuces of thinking that online dating was stricktly for “desperate people over 30”, lol.  After 8 months of subscriptions I walked away with having been on a whopping one date. One. I spent time weeding through profiles to find guys that communicated their passion for or at least mentioned their relationship with God, had at least a couple similar hobbies and then of course basic physical attraction-because let’s be honest, it’s not being shallow, it’s  important. And yes I know that personality helps that attraction grow, but you still have to have “something to work with” when we’re talking basic physical attraction. After all that, there were still a good handful of guys in a 60-ish mile radius that sparked my interest. Most of them I sent either a brief message/greeting or a smile/wink. None of them replied or responded to me. Nothing.

Last year- in a course of about 9 months I had three different people try to set me up with single guys they knew. They were given my name, picture, and/or a little something about me. I waited and waited with anticipation at the possibility of something…again, nothing. None of the guys made any kind of a move.

I’ve always struggled feeling attractive or at least feeling like I was feminine enough for a man to want to pursue. I’m not petite, I’m not quiet, I wouldn’t say I have that “sweet, graceful” disposition. I feel like a bull in a China shop most days. Though there is PLENTY girly about me, I like flipping tractor tires at the gym. I like shooting hoops at the gym with the fellas and I grunt when I lift weights. I like to shoot guns. I don’t mind getting my hands dirty. I like to refinish furniture and create a 50 lb pallet wall hanging that I put up all by myself. I used to tell my mom that I felt like Kryptonite to men. If I liked someone or was interested in them then automatically meant they wouldn’t be interested in me.

The thing is, I thought that I was finally turning a page after this past summer of God moving in my heart to just simply be content in my life. I wanted and was trying to let go of any expectation I had for a relationship and just focus on the Lord. It would happen when God wanted it to. Problem is…I’m still a woman whose desire to settle down and get married is in like my top 5 life goals…ok, like top 3! Since I know I’ve been made for that and it’s on my heart, there’s a part of me that wrestles constantly with seasons of true peace and then seasons of hopelessness.

I was talking to my mom a couple weeks ago and telling her just where my head and heart were on the subject and I just kept telling her I felt hopeless. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe God would be faithful to my waiting or my prayers. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe that there is man out there that will be the right fit for me and be more that I could have thought he’d be (so many of my girlfriends who have gotten married have said this time and time again-that their husbands were more/better than they ever thought they’d find). But what I did mean was that I didn’t have any kind of hopes up that anyone was going to cross my path any time soon. I felt like God has kept me for single for so long and he will continue to do so. There’s no end of my singleness in sight so I might as well not get my hopes up because it would only drive me crazy.

As I was talking, my mom stopped me and told me she didn’t like that I was saying the word hopeless. I explained to her that I didn’t mean it as a negative thing and that I didn’t doubt God, but that I simply was trying to not get my hopes up. Well…after a couple weeks I realize that I did feel negative about it. I was in fact feeling hopeless in a manner that made me want to just throw in the towel. That same weekend I joined ChristianMingle.com for a month’s run to see if maybe a second run would maybe open some doors. This time I was more open to both the height of guys and the distance away that the guys were and found several that peaked my interest again. So again I sent them either an innocent hello message (we’re talking 2 sentences tops) or a smile/wink. And again, all of them opened what I sent by none of them responded. Needless to say…that negative hopeless feeling started creeping.

Today I was praying about it when I felt God’s prompting my heart with an answer (and a blog post). It’s not that I was placing my hope in the promise of a husband over placing my hope in God. It wasn’t that just because I desire this and it weighs on my heart means I’m idolizing marriage. It was my attitude in general. So what if God keeps me single some time longer…I’ve made it this far! And I have a VERY full life. Now I still gravely desire to be a wife, to have a companion, to have someone to carry 10 hot dogs with back to our seats at the baseball game and have someone to introduce to the friend from work that comes up to me while waiting in line at the store. I recognize that God doesn’t owe me ANYTHING and no where in the Bible does it say that God promises a spouse for every person. However, it does say this:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” — Matthew 7:7-11

God is faithful and he gives good gifts to his children. I can have confidence and understanding in that. Today I found myself simply praying for peace by the end of my prayer. Just like any other area in my life, I want to think on the man God has waiting for me in an expectant attitude rather than a hopeless one. The reality is that the guys I was interested in the past have either gone on to pursue other women or time has shown that we work better as friends. God has spared me SO much heartache and baggage by saying no and that is SO easy to forget. I’m not waiting for prince charming. On the contrary, I’m preparing my heart for a relationship full of faults and imperfections. But…as I’ve prayed  most of my life about the person I would one day marry I know that God is faithful and that man will be perfect for me. And I for him.

So I guess I just wanted to encourage any other women or men for that matter that even though God has you waiting…the waiting doesn’t have to be hopeless. I know sometimes it’s easier to deal with the unknown timeline by giving into the negative attitude. Or if you’re like me, if you pray/think about it then you get invested in it and then when nothing happens you feel that much more let down. But there’s a balance of peace to be had. Sometimes God confirms the reason for our singleness and other times we have to lean not on our own understanding but from his. Until then, bask in the blessing that God is making you a stronger person from his refinement. He is making you whole. He is making you confident. He is healing you from your past. He’s using you in the lives of others that you might not otherwise be able to reach. And he IS blessing you in many, many other ways! Jerry MaGuire was wrong. No one but Christ completes another person. The Bible doesn’t say the two halves shall become one. It says the two shall become one. So focus on being one and whole during this season of waiting and in God’s perfect timing… well, in his perfect timing.

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