“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
I got a call from my friend Lauren the other night. She had been at an Open Mic Night for Singles at her church and she had met a guy. I got all excited!! Ever since I have known her we have wondered together about our future husbands. We would talk about our “must haves”: love Jesus, have a job, love family, be funny and want kids. And we would also talk about our “nice to haves”: tall, attractive, with no criminal record, and Lauren preferred no baby-mama drama. While I eventually met my husband, she has yet to meet hers.
I could tell on the phone she was still taking it in. She was “hospitalitizing” (her own word, meaning helping to serve food for the event), when Matthew came up at the end of the night and offered to help clean up. Acts of service just scream Lauren’s love language, so it was love at first chore.
While they were talking, the pastor’s wife came by and they joked for a minute. She seemed to know him well and like him. He was white, and wittily snuck in that he liked chocolate girls, which was great because that is what she is. “I could tell he loved Jesus, but wasn’t one of those fake, overly religious, too holy for his own good kind of guys” she said. Afterward he walked her to her car, even opened her door for her, and asked for her number. She liked his chivalry.
While on the phone with Lauren, I was sure to let her know that I was going to be praying about Matthew. I liked the sound of him already. I checked out his Facebook page, which was flooded with his love for God (a “must have!”) and also showed that he was decent looking (a “nice to have”). I could tell that he and Jesus were tight, and he wanted everyone to know. I liked that. I was even happy he was white, as we could take some really cute couples’ pictures later on with Fred and I and the two of them.
The next day I got a text from Lauren that Matthew wasn’t going to work out. I was surprised to hear that so soon. It had only been one day! She went on to say that she googled him and found out that he is a registered sex offender. Devastated, Lauren went on to tell me that after meeting Matthew she found herself longing for a relationship. Prior to this night she was content with being single and waiting on God for a husband. Starting her Master’s degree took much of her focus; having a boyfriend was still a desire, but it was not at the forefront. But now that the hope was awakened, it was hard not to think about whether it would ever happen.
She said “It is one of those things - out of sight, out of mind.” Lauren related it to being on a diet. When someone sets potato chips in front of you, you long more for potato chips than you did before they were in your view. “The possibility of a relationship was in front of me, and therefore I found myself longing for one, even though it wasn’t with that person.”
While Lauren is still feeling discouraged about her relationship status, she knows God has a Master Plan. She believes that God has placed that longing in her heart to be married and that if she trusts Him, He will take care of it. She knows this because of the close relationship she has with him. She can also see how God spared her from more pain by allowing her to know early on about Matthew’s past.
When we are discouraged by our own failed plans in our jobs, our living situation, our finances, or our relationship status, can we continue to trust that God’s plan is good even while we wait.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9