It's no secret that, for about as long as I can remember, my heart's desire has been to be a wife and a mom. I used to dream about the day that I would walk down the aisle, the day that my husband and I would welcome our babies into the world, and the days that would follow in my life of complete bliss! However, I have to admit that, if it had gone according to my own plan, I would have married the wrong man. I was so determined that my destiny in life was to be a wife and a mom; it was that determination that lead me in the direction of taking control of my life out of God's hands and putting it into my own, seeking first the fulfillment of my plan and ignoring God. You see, I was engaged to be married when I was 18 years old. The man I was engaged to was very nice and I truly cared for him, but the more time that went by the more I realized that, had we been married, my life would have gone in a direction that I really didn't want it to. I had the idealistic perception that marriage would change things - that we would focus more on going to church and sharing a relationship with God, and that we would focus less on everything else. Can I tell you that I am incredibly thankful that God got a hold on me when He did? It was during this engagement that I realized my life was not headed in a direction that would be pleasing to God, and it was time to give up control back to Him. Though the decision was not easy, we agreed that it would be best for us to end our engagement and go our separate ways. He remained in my hometown, and I moved a few hours away to live with my sister and her family and begin my fresh start on life.
I began attending church regularly and even joined a couple of small groups within the church. I allowed God to heal my heart from the pain of this lost relationship and turned my attention to Him. Unfortunately, in doing so, not only did I turn my attention to Him, but I turned my attention on the guys in my small group. You see, I was still determined that becoming a wife and a mom was my life calling and I was still trying to maintain control of the "when" and the "with whom" this would be fulfilled. Now, looking back over those years, it amazes me how much time I wasted focusing on the wrong things in life.
It wasn't until a couple of years, a few jobs and a lot of houses later that my priorities changed in the right direction. At this point, I was living with my brother and his family (after having moved four times within the course of a year, I decided that move number five needed to be a bit more permanent, so when my brother and sister-in-law offered to let me live with them, I took them up on it pretty quickly). I wish I could say that my priorities immediately changed and God had complete control of my life, but that is not the case. I still spent the course of about a year still hanging out with the wrong crowds, dating the wrong guys and doing things that I knew weren't the way I wanted my life to be. It amazes me so much how easily I let myself continue doing these things, even while knowing that they were not good for me, but not caring because it was instant gratification. Guess what? Instant gratification pretty instantly leads to long-term pain. When I took the time to reevaluate my life and my priorities, it was very quickly that I knew I was not where I wanted to be and not where God called me to be. I made the decision that it was time to stop focusing on what I thought I was supposed to be and to turn my focus entirely on my relationship with God.
I found a new group of friends, a couple of them having been friends from the first church I attended in the cities, and began spending time with them. We made it a priority to get to church together every week and to really lift each other up in our relationships with God. Through time, I began to find that my heart was so happily lost in God that my cares about being a wife and a mom were minimal and I rarely thought about them. If single life is what God was calling me to, then so be it! I truly had finally come to a point where I had a healthy attitude and outlook about where my life was going. It was amazing to finally know the love of God to such a capacity that it consumed me!
I can't really tell you how long it was between the time that my heart transformed to being lost in God and when Monte and I went out on our first "non-date", but I can tell you that I was so focused on my relationship with God and where my life was going, lead completely by Him, that I never suspected that I could ever have feelings develop for any man. To read about our (Monte and my) love story, click here. All I can say about it is that, as I am reflecting on my relationship with God and my relationship with Monte, two things have proven to be very true, and they are two of my most favorite sayings: Love comes when you stop looking for it / Love comes when you least expect it and possibly my favorite: A woman's heart should be so lost in God that a man needs to seek God to find her.
My prayer is that, if you are walking in the shoes of seeking a future spouse, seek first a relationship with God and let Him take care of the rest. His designs are far better than what we are capable of drawing, anyway!