I used to hate and mock this statement...But love does happen when we least expect it. It happens when God says it will. It happens when we live in a state of His surrender.
Editor's Note: This article is part of our Valentine's Love Letter series. Check out the next letter here.
I see you.
I hear you.
I remember what it is like to feel that ache in your soul that craves for a little bit more.
Every Christmas romance movie stings a little deeper.
Every couple holding hands makes you jealous and insecure.
You wonder when your Prince Charming will ride in on his white horse to save you.
You begin to question if maybe God's plan for your life is to keep you single forever.
And I have one question to ask: Are you okay with that?
What if God's Plan Is Singleness?
From 2014-2019 I attended a private Christian college just off the coast of country roads and blazing skies. Our mascot was the Trailblazers for a reason, and for another reason, I only ever knew how to pioneer or set trails in my personal life too.
As a freshman commuter, I missed out on the yearly "mating season" but gladly accepted the uninvited mishap when dozens of my friends began their sophomore year in tears and broken hearts. By the time I was in my fourth year, I noticed a trend at my school. Everyone knew everything about everyone, and if you didn't have a ring by spring of graduation, perhaps your call was singleness. At twenty-two, all my friends graduated, but I had to attend a fifth year due to my new program. I felt isolated, bitter, confused, and of course, very, very single.
With glassy eyes and a shaken heart, I experienced my share of heartbreak in those five years. I only had a crush on two to three people, but I had never gone on a date. At twenty-two years old, I broke down in fear. The number of hours I prayed and cried on the floor about my singleness could surpass those in a year. I did not understand why no one liked me, but more than that, I desperately feared that once I graduated and began teaching high school students full-time, I would eternally be alone. I felt guilty that God's love did not feel enough for me.
Give Him Control
It wasn't until a good friend sat me down and told me God was asking me to give Him control of my relationship status that I noticed my control issues. For decades, I had been trying to pursue the guy. I had attempted to share feelings and force feelings when emotions did not replicate. I had tried to be the one in charge.
It was time for a change.
Although it was not easy, I bowed my head toward heaven and surrendered control. I said, "God, you know and see the desires of my heart. You know how much I long to be in a relationship here on earth, and to have someone pursue me. I do not know why things are the way they are, but I trust you. If you want me to be single the rest of my life, I trust you." And as I cried those words, I meant every single one.
Not Now, Lord
Just two weeks later, I met someone special. He pursued me, but I told God, "Not now, Lord, I am focusing on you and only you." I was in denial that anyone could like me, and I certainly was not going to be the one to make a move.
One month later, that someone special told me he was interested in me. Two days later, he asked me on my very first date. I accepted, and I cried.
Our first date was not fireworks or anything out of this world. But by the Fourth of July, I told him we could be dating. That night lit up the sky in my heart.
And at first, things were bliss. We got along great, and I thought, "wow, dating is so much fun!" That lasted for a week.
A little over two months later, however, tensions were high. The playdates were over. Things were dull and certainly not fun. We mutually broke up but remained friends. He cried, and I didn't.
A Broken Heart
By this point, I was frustrated. I trusted God and I trusted this man, yet here I was with a broken heart and fractured plans. The plan was to date one person and marry him. The plan was to live happily ever after. The plan was to be in control.
Clearly, God was laughing at my naivety.
Through bitter emotions, I scrawled in my journal how lonely I was. How forever alone I felt and that maybe, yet again, I would be single forever. I tried to distract myself, but nothing worked. Once I tasted earthly love, I did not know what to do without it.
I did not realize the value of the one who wanted to hold my hand until I could no longer have it.
A Change of Plans
One month later, I had an odd conversation with the Lord. Through a shared hobby, my ex and I continued to engage with one another. He was different. He was intriguing. I wondered why he did not act this way when we were dating. I asked God the same.
As our friendship continued to blossom, I quickly realized that I was starting to fall for this guy for real this time. He was finally himself, and I was no longer afraid to love. Yet I did not dare think of the possibility of getting back together. I had written the relationship off as a lesson learned. I still struggled with control... until the day he asked me if I'd ever considered getting back together. Then, my world turned upside down.
On December 16th, 2019, the Lord brought us back together, and by "the Lord," I genuinely mean His power and His plan.
It was never in my plan to break up with a guy and get back together with him.
It was never in my plan to fully surrender control of longing for love in order to finally receive it.
It was never in my plan to learn that God wants us to be in fellowship and communion with others and that although His love sustains us, we were not created to be alone (even those of us that are called to singleness).
But all of these things were His plans, and I know and am confident that He is not finished working them through me yet.
On December 26th, 2021, my boyfriend decided he wants to marry me.
In 2022, we plan to get engaged and are excited to get married.
Today, we laugh that in 2017, we never took second glances at one another. Our mutual friend introduced us, but it was not God's plan for us to be romantically interested until 2018, and righteously restored until 2019.
Our love story has not been typical, but it has been what God planned all along.
Something I could not conjure up.
Something I could not plan.
Something I would never trade or try to compare to my plans and ideals.
To the Woman Who Feels Single Forever
To the woman who feels single forever, I promise you that God has a plan for you. And while I wish I could tell you that you will meet your Prince Charming on January 25th at 4:05 p.m., I simply cannot.
Only God knows the plan, and only He will be the one to orchestrate it.
But I can tell you this:
Do not grow weary in the waiting.
Do not ignore His promises.
Press into the Lord who calls you by name and has beautiful plans to prosper you no matter where He leads.
Looking back now, I am so grateful for all the relationships I thought I wanted that the Lord protected me from. But I will be honest in saying that I was not grateful at the moment. I cried a lot. I yelled at God and questioned Him daily. Yet through those raw emotions, He heard my prayer. He saw my heart. And today, I know He hears and sees you. He loves you just as much as He loves me.
"When the time is right, I the Lord will make it happen" (Isaiah 60:22, King James Version).
The State of Surrender
I do not know the plan God has for my future.
I know that I want to marry my boyfriend, and I am excited.
We are planning for our future lives together.
But we are also fully surrendered to whatever the Lord has in store.
I trust that He hears my questions. I know that He sees my tears. I believe He will fulfill His promises to me.
And at the end of the day, single or dating, engaged or married, widowed or divorced, I know that He sees all and has a plan, even when we do not. Our conditions may feel permanent, but God is not slow to keep His promises. We are the ones who try to rush things. We are the ones unable to maintain his perfect peace and patience.
As you wait and pray today, be encouraged that my story is one of many. It has often been said that love happens when you least expect it. I used to hate and mock this statement. Eye rolls and all. But love does happen when we least expect it. It happens when God says it will. It happens when we live in a state of His surrender.
Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Kristopher Roller
Amber Ginter is a young adult writer that currently works as an English teacher in Chillicothe, Ohio, and has a passionate desire to impact the world for Jesus through her love for writing, aesthetics, health/fitness, and ministry. Amber seeks to proclaim her love for Christ and the Gospel through her writing, aesthetic worship arts, and volunteer roles. She is enrolled in the YWW Author Conservatory to become a full-time author and is a featured writer for Crosswalk,