Awhile back, when I was frustrated about the two recent relationships I've had that haven't worked out, a friend told me, "Did you really think God was going to let you marry the first guy you dated when you started dating again? You might have to do this 15 or 20 times before He sends you the right one."
What!?! What a terrifying thought. Especially for a girl who has a track record of picking the wrong guys and sticking with them for way too long... often because I don't want to start over with someone else. Remembering that advice is almost enough to give me panic attack. His heart was in the right place, it just wasn't what I needed to hear at that moment.
I had coffee with my pastor's wife last week and we talked about similar things. She had some different ideas for me.
She told me to first make a list of the qualities I want in my future husband.
I had actually done this before, but that was back before I realized the possibilities. I can tell you now that my new list is much different from my old list... but no, I'm not sharing it. :-)
She then said to pray about it daily, thanking God for preparing him, wherever he is, whoever he is, to be who I need and thanking God for making me into the person he needs.
When I thought about this later, I started to get frustrated again. Daily? That's no problem. I've definitely been doing that. But why does how I ask matter? Why can't God just answer the prayer because He understands?
But really, I know prayer isn't just about getting what you want from God or thanking him for what He has given. Prayer also changes the person who prays. Thanking God for preparing my future husband is saying that I understand he isn't ready yet. Thanking God for preparing me is saying that I understand I'm not ready yet (even though I obviously think I am.)
I can dissect it even farther and focus on that "thanking Him" part. Being thankful for what I hope God is doing is a pretty big attitude change from being frustrated that He hasn't yet or worried that He might not ever... (something I need to be careful not to dwell on.)
She also said it's okay to pray that the right one, whoever he is, and I, will not have any doubts... that we will know, when it does happen, that God planned this.
Unfortunately for me, I have to remember that just because something is at the top of my priority list, it doesn't mean God is going to hand it over any time soon. But I did come away from that conversation hearing that it is okay to ask God to make the next one the right one (though I know He may have other plans) and to keep the wrong ones out of my path.
Continuing to work on being thankful for what I have and what He is going to do instead of being frustrated and depressed about what hasn't happened yet. Thank you for hanging in here with me, those of you who are. I know God has big plans for me and, I hope, a husband someday soon. Please continue to pray for me, that He will help me keep a better attitude and keep bitterness from slipping in... it's so easy sometimes to lose that thankful heart that He wants us to have.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."