Feelings of heartbreak, sadness, and fear swept over me as I scanned the mountain range. I breathed in the fresh air hoping the great outdoors would do me some good. Life was hard at this moment in time—really, really hard.
I was in my mid-twenties and completely distraught over a life-changing decision. My choices were to move forward in my relationship and get married or to end the relationship and enter back into singleness. Deep in my heart, I knew what I had to do. I knew I couldn’t get married out of the fear that this guy was “the last boat leaving the island of singleness.”
After much praying, crying, and more crying, I finally surrendered my hopes and dreams to the Lord and said, “Not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).
The relationship ended soon after I prayed those painful words.
The days that followed the breakup were some of the most transforming of my life. I went from being a girl who placed my hopes and dreams in marriage, guys, and relationship status to a girl who was desperate to find rest and contentment in the Lord.
God has been so good to me in the wake of that transformation. He has given me abundant peace, rest, and contentment. Despite the fact that the past several years have been a guy drought of sorts, they have truly been some of the most fruitful years of my life.
But What If He’s My Last Hope?
I imagine that many of you are thinking, I don’t want to give up the guy because he might be my last option. You want to be in a relationship. You want to be married. You want the guy. You want the attention, and singleness sounds like a nightmare. You feel desperate. You feel sad. You feel fearful. You worry over your future. So you consider settling to avoid prolonged heartbreak and sadness.
I get it. I remember those feelings all too well. And that is why I’m writing to you.
- I don’t want you to settle for a guy out of fear or desperation.
- I don’t want you to justify a guy’s poor character because you like the relationship status.
- I don’t want you to compromise on your convictions because he flatters you.
- I don’t want you to marry a guy simply because you’re fearful his proposal will be “the last boat off the island of singleness.”
Whether it’s a current relationship, a potential relationship, or an unknown future relationship, I want you to consider these three things:
1. Am I willing to seek out and listen to outside counsel?
If I had not sought out and listened to the wise counsel around me, I would have made very foolish relationship choices. Although I didn’t appreciate the wisdom offered in the moment, I’m deeply grateful for it today. I challenge you to seek out and listen to outside counsel. (That means voices outside the one in your own head.) Ask your parents for their input. Consider the wisdom they have to offer. Ask a wise older woman to mentor you through the relationship, and seriously take to heart what she has to say.
Don’t assume that you are all-knowing and will make the best decision. Trust the wisdom around you and seriously consider the advice of those who love you most.
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. (Prov. 15:22)
2. Are you holding the relationship with open hands?
My hands were closed tightly around my hopes for my relationship. I held those hopes in a death grip for many months. I wanted what I wanted, and I wasn’t willing to give it up. It took me way too long to finally open my hands and tell the Lord, “Not my will but Yours be done.”
I challenge you to evaluate your heart and ask yourself if you are holding your relationship/guy with an open hand or a closed grip. Do you truly desire God’s will above all else? Or do you just want what you want? If you truly desire God’s will above all else, you need to relinquish control. You need to be willing to give up the relationship/guy if that needs to happen. Open your hands, and tell the Lord that you want what He wants for you.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. (James 4:7)
3. Are you willing to be honest about the guy?
I’ll never forget my parents telling me, “A guy isn’t who he says he is. He’s who his actions say he is.” They were reminding me that talk is cheap. We all need to back up our words with actions. If you’re like me, you’re a master at making excuses for the guy you’re interested in.
- “He’s trying.”
- “He didn’t really mean it.”
- “He said he was sorry.”
- “He will do better next time.”
- “He has a good heart.”
It’s time to be totally honest about your guy. Don’t sugarcoat his actions. Don’t justify his behavior. Don’t imagine him to be the guy you dream of him to be. Accept the facts of who he is right now. Be totally honest about his strengths and weaknesses. Base your views of his character on facts, not emotions.
A Page from My Journal
Here is the prayer I penned the day after I ended my relationship. I encourage you to make it your prayer as well.
Lord, I surrender my hopes, dreams, expectations and desires to You. I pray You will fill me with wisdom and help me to follow hard after You. Please open my eyes to truth and help me to seek You as I would buried treasure. Lord, You have such a better plan for me than I do. Please help me to run to You and seek Your will above my own. Show me truth, and give me comfort. Please help me to run to You and focus on You. Amen!