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The Gift of Thriving While Single

"From time to time, God reminds me that He hasn't forgotten about my desires, but He also won't let me worship them more than His presence in my life - that's the gift."

Most women have dreamt of being married and having a family since childhood. Many of us have thought of ways to be better than the women in our family that came before us as if their experiences weren’t valid – it can’t be that bad, right?

 
I remember being as young as 12 years old realizing I wanted a family of my own. That desire was so strong because it stemmed from childhood trauma and simple growing pains. I wanted better for me and I wanted to be the one to create happiness in my life. I wanted validation that I was worthy of love, affection, and someone prioritizing me over everyone else. So when I found myself heading towards 30 and going through a divorce, I was completely devastated. I married a man I met in church who seemed to really love me. We were both broke and trying to create the life of our dreams (so I thought).
 
In reality, I settled for someone younger than me who was also not quite ready to make such a mature, lifelong decision. But how would I have known? I did not have any examples to compare to and God did not blatantly say ‘no’ when I asked about marrying him.¬†
 

When my ex abandoned me, I begged God for answers. I apologized for anything I might have done wrong and begged for my marriage to work. It was during this time when I finally got fed up and prayed…

 

If I am not supposed to be married at this time of my life, please show me what I am supposed to do in this season.

 
I was angry and confused. I felt like my entire faith had been attacked and I wanted answers. God was silent about marriage but was loud about other things in my life that I could control. I took that as a sign that He was responding to my prayers in a different way. Was my life about more than just marriage? Was I focused on the wrong things? Was my season of divorce actually about something else entirely? Would I have peace in it? Would I feel fulfilled? Would I still find joy? Was it still part¬†of the ‘abundance’ God promised in His Word.
 
Much of my prayers during this time were about reading God’s Word back to Him – repeating scriptures that were promised to God’s people and requesting that God manifest those things for me personally. I was mad. I was eager to get answers.
 
Lord, please help me submit to Your timing for marriage in my life. I want to marry but I want Your will for me more. 
 
As I walked away from the judge alone with my signed divorce papers in hand, I decided that God had some explaining to do and I was committed to the process (whatever it was) of hearing Him out. I held God personally responsible because I believed I was being obedient to Him and Him alone. But what if marriage wasn’t the main point of discussion?
 
I realized that since God wasn’t responding specifically about my marriage, but He was still responding, maybe I should be willing to shift my focus to what God did want to talk about. Maybe I should stop being a stubborn daughter having a tantrum and just submit to the things God was willing to talk about in this season…but I would NOT be able to do that on my own. I needed God’s help to even obey Him. I had to admit to myself that maybe I was wrong and that God was in fact correct…good…smart…and trustworthy.¬†
 
Lord, please calm my soul so that I can patiently wait on Your good and perfect plan for me.
 
I realized that it was mainly the timing that I struggled with. I submitted this thought to God and asked that He help me be content with the work that He was doing in me, around me, and ultimately for me. I needed help to submit to God and His plans for me.
 
I wish I could tell you that my ex rededicated Himself to Christ and that we reconciled…nope. I wish I could tell you that I remarried and lived happily ever after despite my time of heartbreak (like a reward for my patience and prayers)…nope. I, instead, took a vastly different direction in my career and started realizing the joy in serving my community and my church, while advising future leaders. I learned about healthy boundaries and have more joy and feel more freedom than I ever have in my life. I am now a single Mom, published Author, Founder, and industry leader being exposed to bigger tables than I ever imagined. I have joy and look forward to the future.¬†
 
It has been exactly 10 years to the day that my divorce was final, and I am thriving as a result of my submission to God’s redirection during that season. From time to time, God reminds me that He hasn’t forgotten about my desires, but He also won’t let me worship them more than His presence in my life – that’s the gift.

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