If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know at times I’ve felt the pangs of singleness and wondered if the Lord would be so gracious to grant a simple prayer I prayed back in Fall 2004, a few months after my husband passed away. The prayer was that when it came to relationships, I had pretty much only known wrong and I desired to know something right. By right, I mean first and foremost a Christ-centered relationship, followed by mutual respect and shared values. Though I was married, it’s not something I’ve known and I’ll just leave it at that.
Recently, the Lord has been so gracious to bring a wonderful man into my life. Funny thing is that the prayers I had prayed for a godly mate had a diminished a bit as other areas in my life rose to the forefront and which occupied more of my prayers than this long-standing request. To be honest, I was getting to the point of wondering if God just wanted me to stay single and praying that I be content with that. Needless to say, this latest development kind of took me by surprise.
Little did I know this past Christmas eve Sunday, that tall, dark and handsome visitor to my church was there specifically to meet me. It wasn’t long after the service ended that someone came up to me and indicated this gentleman had been asking for me by name. I figured it had to do with my blog. Sure enough, I learned that he was visiting from out of town (though he used to live in the DFW area and attended another PCA church) and he was sent a link to an article I wrote. Shortly after that, his friend (playing match makers of sorts) sent him another article. Why? Because he knew the things I wrote about would resonate with this gentleman…and of course, he pointed out that I was single. Thankfully, I only knew at the time of our meeting that he had come across my blog and was very appreciative of the kinds of things I wrote about. I figured he just happened to be visiting the church and since he knew I was there, asked about me. I would come to find out several weeks later, after an initial “coffee” ask, phone communications and another trip back to Dallas, that he intentionally came to church that day to see if he could meet me.
If you have any idea about my personal history, words cannot express how refreshing this beautifully growing thing has been. For the first time in my 54 years, I feel like I’m experiencing the kind of relationship sung about in those love songs. That we have Christ as our solid and primary foundation makes it all that more special. Somehow, we’re managing to navigate the 1,100 miles distance and intentionally moving forward. Being intentional is key, I think. I am so very thankful that he was courageous enough to pursue me as he did.
What has struck me most about his respectful intentionality towards me, is how he became intrigued about me: my writing, my thoughts, my reflections on the Lord and his world. For in it, he saw something reflective of his own heart and priorities. It never once occurred to me that as I’m writing, it might trigger the kind of encounter I have experienced for the simple reason that is not my focus. I’m not writing to attract a potential suitor or even to try to impress anyone, really. I pretty much write for an audience of One as I ponder his work, wonder and world and share that with others so to hopefully evoke the same kind of response.
The more I reflect on how this blossoming relationship started, I’ve become more mindful of Jesus’ words in Matt. 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these other things would be added.” Regardless of intense my desire has been in the past for God to grant me a godly mate, it’s interesting that it was not in the midst of that intensity but in the throws of pursuing the Lord that this thing began to emerge. Now, I’m not saying that in any kind of formulaic prescription but simply to reflect on the fact that God is quite serious when he tells us the greatest command is to love him with all our hearts, souls and minds. He truly wants us to pursue him above all else and let him add to our life what he wills. After all, human relationships can come and go.
And so with this personal refection and update, I can only encourage single Christians who have shared the same desires as myself to focus on pursuing Christ, even when that desire rages and you wonder when or if God will ever move. Place him above any other pursuit and desire. After all, he is ultimate source of all our satisfaction. Consider what he has placed in your hands today to use your gifts, to glorify him and encourage others. You never know who might be paying attention to it, who shares your same desire for the Lord. Ultimately, as Christians that’s what we want anyway.