A couple days ago, I reposted my blog entitled "Romance and Relationships," in which I share about waiting upon the Lord to send me a husband and surrendering my future and hope of marriage and more children to Him.
This is the comment:
"But Hannah, do you meet any men at all, except for your brothers? I don't mean dating, but just being part of groups that are not all-female. If so, very little of it is seen in your blog. Obviously this is your private life, not necessarily blog material - but I do not see how God can send you a man unless you go places where you may meet one."I trust that this comment came from a place of genuine care and concern, and it is why I'm responding. I want to explain my heart in this and hopefully help others respect where I'm coming from, even if they don't fully understand.
Firstly, as this person stated herself, I share only a part of my life on my blog. I think it becomes easy to assume that we know all of what makes up who someone is and what their world consists of, based upon what they present online. I have passions, interests, dreams, and activities that I don't share here.
Secondly, yes, I do indeed meet men who are "not my brothers." I've been around young men that are "potential husband material," in many different settings. I have been interested and have thought that my interest was reciprocated. But, I can't force anyone to pursue. And I believe that as Christians, we are to demonstrate a different pattern in relationships than the world, a pattern that proclaims our trust in the Lord. I believe it is up to the man to lead. That doesn't mean that a woman can't show a spark of interest and act warm and friendly... in fact, I think we as women shouldn't act cold and aloof. We don't need to hide away from guys and act afraid of them. We can act ourselves and get to know them in a non-threatening way. We also shouldn't act flirty and try to get them to notice us. Ultimately, it is not up to me what a guy does. The guys who have shown interest in me are not men who I'd consider marrying because they don't love Jesus.
I pray and ask the Lord to close the doors entirely if a certain man is not the one He has for me. As I shared before, I have prayed that God would only allow one man to pursue me - the man I'm meant to marry. Just because a woman is single in her upper 20s, 30s, and up, doesn't mean she is doing something wrong. I think people (even Christians) all to easily judge and assume that there must be something the woman is doing or not doing that has lead her to remain without a ring on her finger... Could it possibly be that it's not in God's timing? Could He possibly be answering her prayer and protecting her from heartache or rejection?
I am constantly asking the Lord if I'm missing something, if I need to go somewhere different, or do something different to meet my husband. That can be a heavy weight of burden for a single person to carry, to feel like it's up to us to "make it happen." I know that my heart is in a place of surrender and I have asked God to lead and direct my path and every aspect of my life, therefore it is in His hands.
I love, love, love and am deeply encouraged by this quote I recently shared about this very thing:
"One of the biggest struggles we face as Christian singles is wondering whether we've messed up God's plan for our lives. It seems we don't fit into the prescribed pattern for the Christian life, so perhaps we took a wrong turn somewhere - went to the wrong school, took the wrong job, turned someone down for a date when we should have said yes.There are testimonies of men and women who have trusted the Lord in this area and these stories I carry in my heart and find great encouragement in them. I know I am not alone. One such story is of a woman named Krissy who longed to be married all her life. This is how Leslie Ludy, Krissy's sister-in-law, described part of her story:
The Bible is completely absent of an admonitions to worry about missing God's will. We are instructed to follow Him, but we're never asked to fret about it.
To the contrary, we're presented with a picture of a God who's quite able to move us from place to place if we're not where we ought to be, whether by natural means (as He did calling Mary and Joseph back to Bethlehem for the royal census) or by supernatural means (as He did with Philip when He supernaturally transported him after his meeting with the Ethiopian eunuch).
If you're following God and obeying Him, you have no need to worry about whether you've missed His will for your life." -Lori Smith
"As her twenties passed and she embarked upon her thirties, people began to pressure her to try to snag a guy while she still could.Krissy trusted the Lord. She trusted that He was guiding her, she trusted the place where He had her living, she trusted that He was capable of bringing a man into her life in His perfect time and way, and she trusted that He was enough for her. One day, a young man went to a Bible study that Krissy was teaching and was captivated by her beautiful heart for the Lord. It was then that a love story that could only have been scripted by Jesus began. Krissy's story brings me hope.
"You should move to a big city where there are more available men," some suggested. "Why don't you start trying a little harder to get guys' attention?" others urged.
It was tempting to listen to these well-meaning words. She wasn't getting any younger, and she longed for an earthly love story. Most of the godly men she met were already married. What if she never met anyone? What if she never got married?
But the gentle words of her Lord resonated through her soul, "Am I enough?"
Even if He never brought a man into her life, Krissy resolved to remain fully set-apart for Him. Jesus Christ, not the hope of an earthly romance, was the focus of her existence and the source of her fulfillment. Even without an earthly love story, her Heavenly Prince was more than enough. She wasn't living for guys. She wasn't living for an earthly romance. She was living for Him."
"Obedience isn't based on a certain future; obedience is based on our certain God." -Whitney Capps
One of my favorite books about trusting the Lord with one's love story is "Quest for Love" by Elisabeth Elliot (cheesy title, amazing book lol). This is a quote from that book that is applicable here:
"My advice to singles who want to marry is: hang on. Don't despair of God's resources, so infinitely greater than ours. Don't limit His capacity to bring a mate out of nowhere, when the pool of candidates seems small and hopeless. Don't chafe at Scripture's stress on waiting to know God's will in the matter. He has a will for you, whether you follow it or not."God is not hindered by what may appear to others to be my lack of wanting or trying. We may be encouraging someone to manipulate their circumstances when God has clearly asked them to wait upon Him. Do you think it's easy to wait? To trust Him in this? When it would be much easier to do things my way, but I've seen where "my way" gets me, and it's not somewhere I want to go again.
I know that not everyone, even some close family members, understand my philosophy on matters of the heart, and that is okay. Ultimately, I must follow the Lord in this and not be concerned with what people think or say. But I did want to speak out about this to perhaps encourage young girls/women to follow a different path, to let other young women know they are not alone, and to explain it to those who don't understand.
As the years pass and I remain single, the Lord has been purging me of what I want and giving me the desire for what HE wants for my life, however that looks. I am open to however He brings a man into my life, even if it's in a way I'd never had imagined and anticipated. And I am open to marrying any man from any country, ethnicity, background, etc... I only want him to passionately love the Lord and clearly be the one God created with me in mind. I won't put the God of the entire Universe in a box of my own making and understanding.
May we trust the worthy One.