Day 17: What Are Your Spiritual Beliefs and How Do They Impact Your Relationships/Relationship Status?
My spiritual beliefs are pretty simple. Jesus is Lord. And it impacts every single thing that I do, big or small…simple or complicated. You know how at the end of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy turns to the Scarecrow and says: “I think I’ll miss you most of all”? Well, I think my walk with Jesus impacts my love life most of all.
God has saved me from toxic, damaging relationships. He has protected me from the wrong men. He has fiercely guarded my purity for the past several years since I decided to abstain from having sex again until I am married. (It’s no big secret that my standards were not always as high as they are now, as you can read about in detail in my book Never Been to Vegas.) As recently as three weeks ago, He plucked someone out of my life and definitively closed a door that I had struggled to close for eight long years. I get frustrated and simultaneously humbled and grateful that He is so present in my love life. At times it feels like He might want to keep me to Himself forever. Something I know He’ll give me the grace to walk out should it be that I am meant to remain single for the rest of my life.
It hasn’t always been this way. Actually, it’s only been this way for about three years. You can do the math and figure out that even after I started The Single Woman, I was still doing things my way when it came to my romantic life. And by “doing things my way” I mean “dating the biggest losers I could find and basically making a complete and utter mess of things.” I was thinking about it the other day and it occurred to me that in this quest to maintain control of my dating destiny and refuse to relinquish it to God, I’ve only ever dated maybe two guys that actually treated me well. So why was I so hesitant for so long to trust God with my heart and let Him decide who I should hand it to? I don’t know. Perhaps had I done that a long time ago, I wouldn’t still be single right now. But I trust His timing and His plan and I know that no matter how bad I’ve managed to screw up my love life over the years, He is still daily redeeming my story and using my stumbles to prevent other people’s falls.
A few weeks ago I sat outside on my deck looking up at the stars and I whispered to Him, finally…
“Lord, my heart is yours. All of it, in its entirety. Please hold it and keep it safe and don’t give it back to me until it’s time to hand it to the one you have for me.” And I meant it. And literally about 2-3 days later He removed my long-suffering “Mr. E” from my life completely, in such a way that there is absolutely no doubt, no questions, and no going back. (The full story of what exactly happened coming. Eventually.) Which lets me know that He’s there, He’s listening, and He’s honoring my surrender by bringing me closure I had sought on my own for almost a decade.
I truly believe there is someone out there for me. Someone who will love God as much as I do. Someone who will honor me and value me and respect me. Someone who will pursue only God more than he pursues me. Someone who will carefully take my heart from God’s hands and protect it as fiercely as He did. Someone who will make my destiny even greater. Someone whose destiny I will make greater. Someone who is waiting for me just as patiently (and sometimes as impatiently) as I am waiting for him. There’s a quote by Carolyn McCulley that says: “Men trust God by risking rejection. Women trust God by waiting.” And that’s what I’m doing. Waiting. And hoping. And trusting. And trying to pursue God in the meantime in the way that I would want a man to pursue me.
How do my spiritual beliefs impact my relationship status?
In every way.
And though it’s often a struggle to let go of my hopes and dreams of someday having a husband and family and trusting those hopes and dreams completely to God…I know that everything I have ever relinquished control of and handed to Him has only been made greater.
So I wait. And I trust. And I surrender.
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ALSO: If you want to read more about my walk with God…you can get your copy of my latest book and New York Times Bestseller, I’ve Never Been to Vegas But My Luggage Has, an any bookstore.