Wait Well

This is merely a small, small, small idea of what I would like to maybe write a book about someday. I’m in a season of life where almost all of my friends fit into one of these three categories: Single, Dating, or Engaged. A few are married or getting close to it, but there’s still a lot of singleness. I’ve read a really great book Single, Dating, Engaged, and Married by Ben Stuart that has helped me and a lot of my friends navigate these fun and sometimes tumultuous waters. However before I read the book and even now, I feel like the topic of contentment needs to be addressed among single and dating women specifically.

Our relationship status shouldn’t define our joy or our purpose, but I think a lot of girls my age allow it to because that’s all they know. All some girls know is that their mom got married when she was in her late teens or early twenties, had babies and settled down. That is a wonderful way to do life, and that’s exactly what my mom did. If that had been my life, I would have been so happy and satisfied. But the fact of the matter is that it’s not. I’m a thriving 21 year old, soon to be graduate of college, with no ring on my finger. I’ll be honest because someone has to: sometimes it stinks. Sometimes I want so badly to be married and when I see friends’ posts about engagement I feel that little green monster inside. When I am on Pinterest and the only things on my timeline are rings and dresses, I get annoyed and want to throw my phone at the wall.

While I hope marriage is around the corner (maybe months, maybe years, God knows), I don’t want to look back on this season and feel it was wasted time because it wasn’t what I expected my life to be like. Sometimes what we expect isn’t what we need and it’s not what is best. I believe marriage is a wonderful thing and I’ve had incredible, godly models of marriage all around me that I hope to emulate someday. But I also believe that God’s plans are the best, and whatever He gives or doesn’t give me is for my good and His glory. He hasn’t given me marriage yet. I’ve been dealt that, and I want to learn how to deal with that with joy and grace and peace, and help other girls too. Because who ever said single women can’t be beautiful, have a purpose (according to God’s will of course), and be content and confident?

So that’s the point and this is how I hope to do it. This is a loose idea of the first two chapters of my hopefully one day book. Let me know what you think and if it offends you…sorry, not sorry?

Wait Well:

How to Practically Wait and Date When You’re Ready to Be Engaged/Married

(Work on title-don’t want it to sound like a book about abstinence. Abstinence is great but the book isn’t about that)

Chapter 1 – You Have a Purpose (Even if you don’t have a husband)

  • What’s your purpose? (use Calm My Anxious Heart)
    • Ultimate purpose: Give glory to God. That’s all of our purposes, whether you have a husband or not. 
      • You were made specifically for that by God. 
    • Your specific purpose. 
      • We all have activities that bring our souls joy. Find out what yours are, and do that. It doesn’t have to be your job, you major, but if you love something, make time for it. (Use the soul thing part from “The Best Yes”)
      • Make a Mission Statement. (Use “Calm My Anxious Heart”)
        • Have Focus Days to remind yourself of what your purpose is. Write it down, have it everywhere to remind yourself of what it is. (Ask Derik & Kacy about why they have Focus Days)
  • Choose to have joy in your purpose NOW, not when you get married. You are in the time of your life, the season, the relationship status you are in now, not for later. Seize the day, you don’t have much time. 
  • Your purpose won’t change when you get married. It may adjust, but it won’t change. 

Chapter 2 – Contentment is a Command and a Choice

  • Contentment is a command, (Philippians 4:4-8)

Thus choosing discontentment is a sin. And you may think, well, it’s not that bad, it’s just a part of my season of life, but that’s a lie from Satan. Granted, sometimes, God uses discontentment to get you out of a bad relationship, or launch you into a new job, new city, new marriage, or new parenting style. All of that requires prayer and discernment. However, relationship status is a status you ultimately cannot change if want a Godly husband. He’ll pursue you, propose to you, and marry you on his timing, and the Lord’s if he’s following the Lord’s. The Lord wouldn’t make you discontent unless He was trying to get you out of the situation and propel you into something better. So, you know what that means: you’re choosing to be discontent. 

  • Contentment is a choice.
    • Why are you not content? Recognize that and confront it. Is it a fear that you’ll never date or be married? Is it that you think you’ll date your guy forever and he’ll never propose? Define your fear, and write it down. Then search, search for a long time through the scriptures on what your fear is or what is causing your discontentment.  
    • Practical ways to be content. 
      • Memorizing scripture. Okay y’all. Memorizing scripture is tough, and you won’t reap the benefits from it for a long time. But I get sick and tired of hearing girls talk about how hard it is to memorize scripture, yet they know every T-Swift song verbatim. I love jamming to T-Swift, but, that might not be the most wholesome thing to solve your discontentment. In fact, maybe listening to songs like that give you false expectations of what your life should be like. But that’s for another chapter. Memorize scripture, and you’ll see the importance. Ask anyone who has been memorizing scripture for a year or two, and they will probably be able to tell you time after time how it has impacted their life. Memorize scripture about contentment, fear, peace, and joy. (Psalm 119:11, “sharper than double-edged sword”)
      • Journal. Do you ever feel like you have thousands of thoughts swirling around your head in an endless circle? You’re not the only one. That comes with being a female. The only way I have found that helps me organize my jumbled thoughts is by writing them down and praying through them. I have journals upon journals stacked up in my nightstand. If anyone read them, they would probably think, wow, she’s a nut job. Do you want to know what I think when I read Psalms sometimes? Wow, David was a nut job. But he was honest with the Lord and with himself. He found peace, contentment, and joy through writing to the Lord. Maybe your journal pages won’t become songs, but they can be therapy for you and provide processing and self-reflection. (Verses from Psalms, Hannah’s prayer in 1 Samuel, Martha’s honesty with the Lord in Mark 10, Mary (?)’s honesty with the Lord when Judas died)
      • Another way to process through discontentment is by telling someone. I’m not telling you to share your deepest darkest secrets with the cashier at Walmart. I’m saying go to a wise person in your life who you trust and share with them the necessary details for them to have the information to help you work through those thoughts. But let them talk and listen. Sometimes we like to talk, talk, talk, but never listen to others. I’ve learned that I learn the most when I shut up and let my mentor, my parents, my siblings, or a wise friend speak into my life. (Wise counsel from Proverbs, Paul counseling Timothy)

Aaaaand that’s all I’ve got, folks. Sorry, I feel like that was anti-climactic. Oh well. Let me know your thoughts! -HJM

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