When I was single, my life was full of well-meaning people asking me when I was going to find someone and when I was going to get married… Oh, that million-dollar question! If only I knew…
For me, finding love was never ever easy: I felt like I was under some kind of curse, (as I searched for over 7 years, wondering who my soulmate would be). I wondered; I prayed; I did purposes of faith; I looked eagerly around. I suffered with anxiety at times, worried that if I didn’t settle down at a certain age, I would miss my chance of having children. Days and nights would be plagued with thoughts of how I could find ‘Mr Right’ and prayers to God to help me find him. I felt stuck. Unlike other blessings in my life I didn’t know how I could bring this one into existence.
Someone once told my family and I that they believed our love lives were cursed, (because each and every one of us had suffered some kind of trauma), and as a result, our family was full of strong women and no men. So, together, we began to fight in the only way we knew how: in faith. We would wake up painfully early to do prayer purposes and ask God to deliver us from any negativity. As time passed I witnessed my sisters and my mum flourish with beautiful marriages… and I, yet to find the right person was left wondering if the curse was really broken. People started to notice and point it out and a couple of times, hoping to ignite some kind of revolt in me, they would counsel me on what the issue could be.
I slept on the floor for 3 years as a sign to God that I was humble to hear from Him and to call His attention. I would make sacrifices, fasts and do prayer purposes – but still there was no answer. When I would seek advice from well married friends the response was: “Just trust…” At first, I took it on board and looking back, I admit, they had a point: being positive about the future and having hope was crucial – however, I did wonder if I was missing a trick. Trust was not enough. Prayer was not enough. I needed action. I just didn’t know what kind.
I forced myself to quieten down on my shopping list of prayers and quietly LISTEN to what God had to say back to me.
I started speaking about myself positively; echoing all the great things that would happen in my life, without me seeing them yet. I started to enjoy my own company and I purposed to really love myself. I learnt how to put God in control when the situation was uncontrollable. I learnt how to take care of my mental health when anxiety and fear for the future would strike. I learnt how to celebrate others who were enjoying the blessing that I so wanted for myself. And above all, I learnt how to go on this journey and leave the opinions of others behind.
I learnt that I shouldn’t have put so many plans on hold: plans to travel; plans to build myself up financially; plans to advance in my career; plans to better myself and learn new things… whilst I was waiting for my Big Day. Life was a marathon and marriage wasn’t the only trophy, so I needed to work on being the best single I could be. Besides, boring was not attractive.
I started to become whole and then, naturally, I had better ideas of how I could act out my faith in this area, instead of just waiting around and hoping for the best. I made sure I looked my best all the time. I created a profile for myself and sent it to the Bishops’ wives in charge of all English speaking countries at my church, asking them to match me with any suitors. I created a schedule to visit different cities and countries where my church were based so that I could search out people that weren’t in my immediate eyesight. I decided to go attend other branches on a Sunday morning where most members would be. I searched online social networks that my church had and friends of friends on Facebook and made enquiries about any potentials. I took up new hobbies and even took different routes home to break routines in the hope of meeting new people, (because I was also open to God helping me find someone that I could invite to my church). I asked family members to tell me what I lacked in my character that was hindering my love life – I truly ate humble pie but I was determined. I started to read books on marriage and develop the skills I would need as a housewife and daily I would pray my husband into existence.
I started to love myself and love my life, understanding that being single was a phase that I shouldn’t be too hasty to get rid of. I was so busy living life that I had no room for anxiety. I was positioning myself for the good things to come. I was not cursed – I had actually become a real blessing.
I stopped praying and hoping that my husband would land on my lap, in the middle of a church service and I pushed myself to make it happen. It was then that I met my husband (who was actually a friend of mine for over 10 years… how did I not see him before?!). When I look at my husband today I thank God for the wonderful man I’ve been given. I’m not better than anyone but I believe that my continuous (sometimes crazy) actions caused God to give me a break!
Fighting for my love life over those 7 years was tough but I wouldn’t exchange those tears on my pillow for anything. It was those hard times of pain and anguish that helped build the woman I am today: a woman that is strong and can face adversity with her husband, without crumbling to pieces. I’m independent in my own walk with God and as a result He inspires me with ideas that bless my husband and my marriage. I also understood that faith is about doing all that you can, so that God can do what you cannot. Praying isn’t enough. Hoping isn’t enough. Attending services isn’t enough. Trusting isn’t enough. They are all important but not enough. I purposed that I wanted to act so much that God could never say that I had missed something or failed somewhere. As long as it was Godly I was prepared to do it. I covered all bases.
I understand the feeling of anxiety, inadequacy and fear when life just doesn’t seem to go to plan. I know that some of you reading this are worried about your body clock or that there are literally a minute number of men in your midst but what I’m proposing is to change gears and push yourself to think of all the things you haven’t done yet. Let the Creator of this beautiful Earth fill you with innovative ideas for this area of your life. AND DO THEM