Until I turned thirty, I’d never had a boyfriend. Up to that point, no one compatible to my future had pursued me. Though I hadn’t been able to use that special “yes” in my vocabulary, I’d had some practice with saying “no.” It wasn’t hard to come up with an answer when a perfect stranger, smoking a cigarette, asked me out at a stop light as I waited for it to turn green (no, I’m not kidding!). I’d had random date proposals in the most unromantic places – a bank drive up, the meat section at Walmart, and the gas pump as I was minding my own business. In all these incidents, no! was the first word that came to mind. I mean, who can trust a man who wants you without knowing a thing about you except that he thinks you’re pretty? When incidents like these far outweigh positive ones, it’s easy to wonder if any good guys are out there.
I’ve never been the biggest fan of matchmaking, but when spiritual leaders whom you respect step in, I felt like I had to give it a try. I was attending a conference when my pastor and a church leader decided to introduce me to a single evangelist. I was so excited when I found out about his character and ministry. He was exactly what I had always wanted! How could I get any closer?
For several days into the conference, this young man watched me. I played naïve, totally “unaware” that I was being observed. The day finally came when you were introduced and we out to eat as a group with some ministers. He drove me to my hotel afterward, all smiles. I went into my room praying that God’s will be done, but deep down, I knew what I wanted.
The evening service was like torture. Would he ask to correspond? Would he even acknowledge me at all? Finally, the service was over and I initiated saying goodbye. Though he seemed a little confused, he wished me the best and you parted ways. I went back home with anxiety attacking my mind. He had acted so interested! Why didn’t he pursue? Had I done something wrong?
For months I mulled over every detail of the event. Thoughts plagued me day and night, disrupting my peace at work, church, and home. No matter how hard I tried, I could never find any answers to settle anything in my heart. The dream I had so longed for had entered my life but had disappeared just as quickly. I was left floundering in self-pity, frustration, and anxiety.
I had never been under so much mental strain before and I hated it. Hope deferred had made my heart sick (Proverbs 13:12). Ultimately, I came to the point that I asked God to remove the memories. All I wanted was my peace back. The only peaceful place I knew of was God’s presence. Day in and day out, I sought God and spent time with Him, determined to find the calm I needed to soothe the whole situation.
Over the next several months, God ingeniously made sure I received every message I needed to hear on the subject. Over and over again, I heard a sermon, taught a lesson, or found a verse that had to do with my situation. I soaked up each message as though it were my only hope. God was faithful. Over time, the memories receded and God’s Word settled into my heart and overrode the anxiety. I came out of the situation a totally different person, stronger and more determined to let God be the God of my future.
To be continued…