Dating by Natalie Gibb
I love you, Lord. You are my strength. Psalm 18:1
I just finished a year of not dating. Well, I should say that it was really a year of choosing to date Jesus. Initially, I decided that this would help me focus more on myself, but then I realized it wasn’t just about not dating, it was about dating Jesus to find out what He wanted for me. My dating life had become a nightmare of settling for dates and men that I knew in my heart of hearts were not sent from God. I decided that I would let God lead me and I would spend this time with Him. I desperately wanted to be released from the bondage of loneliness and disobedience. Ask and you will receive, right? I had no idea how faithful He would be or the things that would He would reveal!
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
I am not going to sit here and say this choice was a piece of cake or even that most of the time I liked it. It was hard and some days I wanted to give up. You have no idea how many times I went to download match.com only to delete it the next day after the weight of conviction had fallen on me. It wasn’t a pretty journey while I was on it, but now that I am on the other side, I can tell you that I see some of the most breathtaking landscape that He has ever walked me through.
I surrendered to His work in my life. I surrendered all areas of my life to Him and His healing. I began to obey when He told me to let go of something or do something differently. I handed my dating life over to Him and it was a HOT MESS. I said, “Okay, Lord…do your work whatever that looks like.” I had no idea the lies and wounds that would be revealed that I had allowed to become part of my identity. I could finally recognize the patterns of behavior and see the roots exposed. Being the good Father that He is, He not only exposed them, but He helped me rip them out and replace them with His truths. After a year of spending time with Him in His Word, I can see my worth and my value as His beloved child, His chosen. I can see that I am not “less than” because there is not a man in my life.
As I became aware more deeply of His love for me, a wellspring of joy popped up in the desert of my heart where before there had been loneliness and despair. I could lift my head and look around and not be searching for what I thought would complete me, but instead take in my surroundings and the blessings that were right in front of me. Parenting became a joy again. My boys made me laugh again, not that we did not laugh before but now it was different. I guess the best way to put it is I got over myself and what I thought I was entitled to, and I found gratitude for what I had graciously been given. I started to have fun again and enjoy my life!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
All of that to say that I found freedom! I used to always hear people say you will find a man when you stop looking for one. I used to think how in the world do you get to that place?!?! I could not imagine not being consumed with weeding through profiles, or walking into a room instantly sizing up every man that did not have a ring on his finger. “Is that him? Is he the one?” Now, I can tell you that it is possible if you seek the Lord…
And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27
I wish I had a magical formula for you. All I can tell you is to lean into Him. Spend time with Him. Get really raw with Him and ask the hard questions. Surrender completely and follow Him wherever He leads you. Surround yourself with Godly sisters that will lovingly advise you in your pursuit of Him. But most importantly trust Him! Wherever He takes you and whatever He reveals to you, He has a plan for all of it and it is unimaginably better than you could have ever dreamed.
Jesus said: "Come, follow me." Luke 18:22
Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Do I still hope that one day I can get married to a Godly man and do this marriage thing according to His plan? Absolutely I do! But on the flip side of that I know and I trust that if that is not in the cards for me then Jesus will fill that space with something beyond my wildest dreams, and I am completely ok with that! Until then, I choose joy and gratitude for the redemption and restoration that He has brought into my life.
I choose joy.
I choose gratitude.
I choose Jesus.
This place is a really sweet spot to land! I pray today that you search your heart and allow Him to reveal what it is that you need to lay down to find freedom. It is the greatest gift that you could give yourself sister!
Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you! Isaiah 43:4