Aug 30: She was the one.
Her name was Holly. We had Biology Lab together. I was – what’s the precise word – in awe of her beauty. I was a second year junior by this time. I was starting to get my act together with school and life in general. I wasn’t perfect, but I was headed in a good direction. When I met Holly, I was smitten. When I found out she was a Christian, I was hopeful. When she told me she wanted to visit my church, I decided she had to be THE ONE.
You see, since I was 4, I knew I wanted to be married. My intention was to be a husband by the time I was 21. I met Holly at 22. The clock was ticking and I was more than ready to settle down to start a family. All the things seemed to be lining up. Holly was the one. And that was all I could think about.
Holly wasn’t the one. Actually, Holly was dating a guy who wasn’t a Christian. It became clear she just wanted to be friends. And I was heartbroken. How heartbroken you may ask? So crushed that I arranged with the professor to transfer to another lab section. I could not be in the same room with her. It hurt too much. I’m not being dramatic; I had really placed all my bets on Holly and I was so wrong.
There are many things I learned through that mini-crisis. And there were just as many things I had to ‘un-learn’. Here’s one: being someone’s boyfriend or husband does not make me a person of worth. Life doesn’t start when you say I do. Happiness doesn’t begin once there is a ring on your finger. You do not need a spouse to live a full life; and your value is not based on when you’ll be married. At age 22, I wouldn’t have disagreed with any of these statements. But it’s amazing how one girl who wasn’t who I wanted her to be could make me feel and think less of myself.
Some of us have wanted to be in a relationship more than anything else in the world. It looks so easy for others, and yet it feels so elusive for us. We can count every blessing and can acknowledge every privilege; but they all pale in comparison to having that one special person in our lives. These feelings are real and should not be dismissed. Prayer, supportive community, and emotional healing are needed so that a deeper trust in God’s provision can be gained.
At the same time, the value God places on you is significant and exists outside of your relational status. This also can’t be dismissed. In fact, it’s this value that brings health & sustainability to any relationship, romantic or otherwise. Think about this scripture:
“Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…” – Isaiah 43:4 ESV
This is an example of the many scriptures that affirm God’s love for us. And friends – there is no greater love than God’s love for us. Full stop. I can only speak from my own experience, but dismissing God’s love caused me to place too much of my hope in someone else’s opinion; the rejection inevitably led me to devalue my own self worth. The more I have focused on realizing and accepting God’s love for me as greater than any other, the easier it’s been to accept where I am in life.
Yep, I’m still single y’all – happily single. Do I still want to be married? Kind of. You know what I want more than marriage? A deeply abiding knowledge that the love of Jesus will carry me through every season of my life. If I take that knowledge into a romantic relationship, everything will be better. So wherever you find yourself today, remember that the greatest love the world has ever known has already placed high value on your existence. May the knowledge of God’s love for you take priority over any other form of acceptance or rejection. You, my friend, are loved and valued.