Reminder: We fast on Mondays at lunch (or longer) to ask that God would raise up godly, courageous men to move toward relationship, that He would show us where we need to change, and that He would grant marriages to those who desire them.
Some friends and I have an informal prayer group around singleness which has been a great source of encouragement to all of us. Seriously, everyone needs a place to say: “At Thanksgiving, my mom said the thing she was most thankful for was her kids’ spouses. I’m the only one not married.” Everyone realizes that would feel bad, but only a room of single women can viscerally understand.
In any case, we’ve recently lost a bit of steam, and I asked my friend why she thought we had lost that energy. Her answer was brutally honest: I hate to say it, but I think I’ve lost some of the urgency because I feel discouraged. I just don’t see God answering prayer in this area. I just hear silence.
Bingo. I couldn’t agree more. I just got tired of banging my head against the reality that I can’t see what God is doing here, and I’m so frequently faithless in believing that He’s doing anything. I just see ever larger potholes of fear, resentment, selfishness and jealousy in my sinful heart. I see other people’s fabulous, life-altering romantic relationship go from zero to engaged in the space it takes me to get one (mediocre) match.com date or get marginally less distracted by the ex sitting in the next row at church or restrain myself from packing all my stuff in boxes four months before my roommates’ wedding. Small wins, people. Small wins.
And each passing milestone (the end of grad school, another birthday, oh-look-my-childhood-best-friend-has-two-kids) underscores the panicky feeling in my stomach that somehow this whole praying for a husband thing is going to require an actual miracle, because statistics and time and the current dating pool aren’t getting more encouraging.
It’s easy to be discouraged when those sorts of things are filling my head. It starts to look so absurd: why am I still telling God about desires that might not be met soon? Or ever? There is a deep lie that my story is off track and that God’s not listening.
But it’s not true. It’s simply not true at all.
First, yes, my story is going to be different. It just is and I’m accepting that fact. Is this the story I imagined for myself? Uh, not exactly. But it is my story and I believe God is intimately, clearly involved in its daily details. My story, including singleness, is not because I got the leftovers of God’s goodness. My story is because of God’s goodness, sovereignty and love. I can pray so much more boldly in that context.
Secondly, I’m going to remind myself that discouragement is human and is not limited by marital status. And I’m going to remember more often that our God is not limited by our humanity or our marital status or our atrociously sinful hearts or statistics or the timetable on which it often seems everyone else’s life operates. He sees our hearts, knows our rawest pain, hears our unspoken prayers. And because He loves us, we can come – even with our discouragement – and pray boldly.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5)
Praying with you – to see all things made new,