On Mondays, we fast and pray during lunch, asking God to raise up men as leaders in the church and in marriage, to change our hearts and make us more like Christ, and to bring marriage to those who desire it.
About a year ago, after numerous conversations and encouragement from friends, I decided to take the plunge and venture into the world of online dating.
My goal was to go out on a few dates to feel like a woman again. Years of dateless-ness had turned me from an online-dating skeptic (“I’ll go online only if I’m over 35 and still single”) into thinking it could at least help me feel like I had somewhat of a dating life. Going through a few awkward first dates would help prepare me for meeting my future husband, who, as I told God, I would meet 1) through mutual friends, 2) at church, or 3) through having that random, instant eye-lock connection where we know we are meant for each other.
God had other plans.
I met my boyfriend online. On my first date.
And that’s hard for me to admit.
When I tell people that I met my boyfriend online, I feel that I am revealing one of my deepest vulnerabilities – my struggle with singleness. Because online dating represented that “last resort” to me, I automatically assume people are thinking I was desperate with some major flaws and turned to the Internet where I could hide my flaws.
My parents’ reactions didn’t help my insecurities.
My dad immediately wanted to do a background check on my boyfriend, and my mom texted me a while after I told them about the guy I was seeing that she was watching a movie about the old west and realized that online dating is this century’s version of mail order brides.
I’ve struggled with surrendering to God my dreams and plans for my love story. I’ve struggled with feeling guilty about not appreciating as much as I feel I should appreciate the fact that God brought someone into my life because He didn’t do it in a way that I wanted. This is still a work in progress of Him changing my heart and not letting my pride lessen the blessing He has given me.
I haven’t shared about my relationship on Fast.Pray. up until this point because I was afraid I would lose some of my singleness “street cred” and not be as effective as a writer. I wasn’t sure how to share my insecurities about meeting my boyfriend online without sounding ungrateful and whiny and alienating all of you.
However, the other writers encouraged me to share (when I was ready) because they pointed out to me the big picture in all this that I was missing.
Being in a relationship hasn’t taken away my feeling of shame about my singleness. Being in a relationship hasn’t taken away my personal insecurities. Being in a relationship hasn’t diminished my need for weekly prayer and fasting for God to raise up godly men who are leaders and for God to change my heart where it needs to be changed (and there is oh-so-much He needs to change in me!). Only God can do this.
My prayer as I share my story is that you will be encouraged that God is answering our weekly fast.pray. prayers in my life and in the lives of other members of our fast.pray. community (thank you to those of you who have shared your stories via comments on posts and emails – they are a blessing for us to read!).
Be reminded (and warned!) that God’s ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). Pray this week with earnest expectation for answered prayer to our God “who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20 NLT).