Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
There’s a very beautiful prayer (often attributed to St. Anthony of Padua, but no one knows who wrote it), called “Be Satisfied”. The essence of the prayer is seeking to be satisfied with Jesus, and once you are satisfied, and both of you are ready, He’ll lead you into a relationship with your future spouse.
I might be being a little nit-picky (a bad tendency of mine) with this stuff, but when I was single, this mentality was mildly frustrating to me. Setting the prayer aside for a second, (disclaimer: if this prayer is something that you love, please don’t be offended! It’s not wrong to want to be satisfied with Jesus, and to seek to do that in singlehood– more on that in a second) there’s something that can be incredibly frustrating
Because, actually, I spent more physical time with Jesus when I was single than I do now as an engaged woman. I spent more nights in the chapel and longer mornings in prayer. Part of that was what my college schedule lent itself to it (post-grad is crazier for me), but…
I was always frustrated when I would get advice like, “Oh, He’s just using this time to purify you. Once you stop wanting it, it will come.”
Meanwhile, I struggled to make peace with this reality. I knew I was called to marriage, and knew that homeboy wasn’t in my life, and there was a HUGE ache there. Even in the midst of pursuing the Lord, growing my ministry, and absolutely loving life.
There’s a beauty in the tension here: these two things can exist. We can be totally satisfied in our singlehood, while also longing for more. Because guess what? Most likely, you’re not called to be single forever. So it’s natural to experience unrest, and that doesn’t mean that you don’t love Jesus.
It made my prayer life feel like it was never enough, and as though my end game was to be satisfied with God so that I would be enough someday to get married.
Friends, if you struggle with that mentality, of needing to be enough, or reaching a certain level of spiritual maturity to earn Prince Charming, let me tell you: it’s a lie. You’re already worthy, and sure, God has a plan and a timeline, and he’s definitely working in you right now– but that work doesn’t stop once you start dating. Entering into a relationship is not a reward for having a deep prayer life.
Everyone’s story is different, and there’s not a formula to being ready and, thus, convincing God that it’s time for you to begin your relationship with your future spouse. Goodness gracious, in my singlehood, I put so much work (still imperfectly) into healing and self-awareness, and when my fiancé and I began dating, I discovered a whole new depth of me that needed even more healing, self-awareness, and Jesus.
When we started dating, and I thought about what attracted me most to this incredible man: it was his desire for more. That was why I wanted to be friends with him in the first place: because I saw him grow exponentially in a matter of days, every time he saw something good that he wanted to chase after.
He wasn’t satisfied with the mediocre, and he wasn’t satisfied with the mundane. His crazy desire for greatness and goodness and God propelled me to want to give up selfishness, self-sufficiency, and fear to more deeply move into the depths of greatness Father was calling me into.
And you know what? On our way to those depths (gosh, we’re still on our way), the imperfect parts of our souls began to show. Scars and battle-wounds and tendencies that were based in fear surfaced, but we didn’t run.
Well, we did, but we didn’t run away from each other. We ran to Jesus.
I don’t think that you can fully experience your own imperfection until you’re in a relationship. Not necessarily a romantic relationship, but any relationship, because it all comes out, eventually. You can’t hide, and it’s okay. Because in the experience of our own imperfections, there’s endless opportunity to experience the grace of God.
Something that I learned fairly quickly was that just because something was hard, doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. Just because I experience my own inadequacies and imperfections (and those of another) does not mean that we’re not ready; it means that we need grace.
Obviously, sometimes, the Lord calls people to end a relationship in order to grow more with Him. But at the end of the day, we can’t run from a relationship because we experience the discomfort of humanity, and recognize more of our need for God.
We don’t need to go into a relationship as this picture-perfect package of future wife / husband material. We go into a relationship as imperfect human beings, bravely choosing vulnerability, aware of our need for our Savior.
I experience the love of the Father on a totally new level through my relationship with my future husband. I see grace working tangibly, and I experience the pursuit of Jesus more and more every single day. I have encountered the acceptance of God through my fiancé; not an acceptance that merely leaves me where I’m at, but an acceptance that knows my worth, loves me in my weakness, and calls me on to more healing, more greatness, more grace.
Relationship is not an arrival point. Relationship is not a graduation from imperfection. Relationship is not the reward for having a great prayer life. Relationship is merely an extension of our intentional Father’s beautiful plan for your heart.
I want to AFFIRM your walk with Him, and your run after Him. Whatever you’re called to, He has a plan for your life, and it is unfolding right. now. Sure, more is coming, but more is coming for everyone. Your life is full and good, and the Father is just going to keep painting a masterpiece with that beautiful life of yours.
Regardless of what your season looks like, the Father is here and present, and there are boundless opportunities to receive His love. Nothing is wasted; there’s no season that exists simply as passivity or a go-between. It’s all for you, for you to experience the radical love of Jesus Christ.
If we live our lives searching for an arrival point where it’s all going to “begin” for us, we’ll forever be dissatisfied. Perfect satisfaction comes when we’re in heaven. The purpose of your singlehood is not to get ready for your vocation; it’s merely to encounter His love right now. There’s a depth of purpose that exists in every single moment, because of His Presence.
How beautiful and relieving is it that He doesn’t require perfection, He doesn’t require for us to be “enough”. All He wants? Is for us to surrender to control, to trust in His love, and to fully embrace the wild, intentional adventure of this life, on the way to eternity.