It’s no secret that the dating world today is highly dysfunctional. I’ve struggled, my friends have struggled, even single people who are my parents’ age have shared horror stories about their struggles in the modern-day dating sphere. There were countless times during my single years when I asked myself, “Will I EVER find ‘the one’”? It often felt absolutely hopeless.
I’m married now, but if you had told me three years ago that at 25 I would be married to a guy I met in New York City, I would have laughed in your face. A friend recently asked me, “You’re married – clearly you did something right. What is your advice for dating? What did you do to get it right?” Her question threw me. “Hmm, what DID I do?” I responded.
It dawned on me that I didn’t have success in the dating world until I STOPPED “doing.” A few years ago I reached a point in my dating life where I said, “I am DONE. Done with heartbreak, done with putting in SO much effort only to be disappointed and heartbroken in the end.” When I took time to stop obsessing over finding “the one,” an unexpected someone came along and showed me what love was all about.
That “someone” was God. That’s right. I fell in love with Jesus. Before you roll your eyes at me, let me tell you WHY.
For a long time I felt empty, always craving to be understood by a special someone. I wanted to hear those words I had heard in so many movies: “I love you. Just as you are.” It wasn’t until I began reading the Bible daily that I finally realized it was Jesus who had been saying that to me my entire life. Jesus was “the one” who loved me exactly how I was, flaws and all. He loved me through all of my mistakes, and waited patiently for me to figure out it was HIM who would give me that special love I’d been craving my entire life.
My heart was completely melted. I said to Jesus, “Okay. Please take control of the areas in my life you think need fixing up, because CLEARLY my efforts aren’t getting me anywhere.”
My dating life was His first renovation. After reading several books on Christian marriage, I laughed and said, “Yeah RIGHT, God. No way is there a man out there who fits these standards. If You want to me to end up with a guy like that, YOU will definitely have to be the one to find him for me.” So, I stopped looking. I stopped trying. I simply fixed my eyes on Jesus and tried every day to trust Him and to offer Him control over my life.
One day not long after, I met the guy who would become my husband. He was handsome, hilarious, respectful, and was searching for a deeper relationship with God. “Hold up,” I thought. “This guy seems a little too good to be true – I don’t know about this.”
In my doubt, my mom said to me, “Stop overthinking! This guy sounds sweet and respectful. I know you’re trying to be careful and to handle this how God wants you to, but sometimes in life you have to step back so that God has room to move.”
I took her advice; I prayed about it, asked my closest girlfriends to pray about it, and said “Let’s just take things slow and see what happens.” Ten months later, we were engaged. We are living a wonderful life together, all because I allowed God to do the work FOR me.
You can try to find your lifelong partner on your own, attempting to control the outcome of your situation, OR you can chill out and surrender control to God. He has unique plans for each of our lives.
The best thing you can DO is to stop DOING so much. Instead, fix your eyes on Him and trust Him to lead you to the future He has planned for you. Realize that before you can find a partner who will complete you, you must first find God’s perfect love for you.
Stop your search and give God room to move – you won’t regret it.