Waiting: {the active pursuit of God}

Photo by Nancy Ray

This post is for those of you waiting on a husband. This is for those who feel lonely, alone, unwanted & confused over your singleness. You. Are. Not. Alone. (If you would like to read the e-book I wrote on "A God-Sized Love Story", click here for the Kindle and here for the PDF version) Images by of Greg and I were taken by Nancy Ray Photography - the BEST photographer!) On November 17th, 2012, I committed before God and an audience of about 400 to give my life to Gregory Loius Saffles. Needless to say, at that very moment, my life changed.

But that’s not the beginning, or the end, of this story. Many of you reading this are already wondering why a girl who has been married two years is writing to single women. Your heart may even sting a little at seeing another girl get married. I had everyone of those feelings. The hurt, the despair, the discouragement…the lies I let creep in and wreck my heart at times.

For so long, I’ve wanted to fight against the victory Satan is having in paralyzing girls and young women from living for the glory of God. He keeps whispering lies to us that we unknowingly receive as truth

  • “You aren’t enough if you are single.”
  • “You haven’t been a good enough Christian, or surrendered your singleness enough, for God to bless you with a husband.”
  • “Once you find a husband,  you find life.”
  • “You are worthless. You are unwanted. You are alone. You aren’t beautiful enough.”
  • “Wait. Don’t do anything risky because you might miss meeting your future husband..”
  • And so many more!

In middle school, God spared me from making so many decisions that would have harmed my life and my witness for Him. By the grace of God, I had an older sister who modeled a life recklessly abandoned to Jesus, and by His grace, she taught me that I didn’t need to waste my time “dating around.” I committed to the Lord at that point… to wait.

But what did that really mean? How was I supposed to “wait” on my future husband? What if God called me to Africa to be a missionary where I would never meet a man and get married? Or, better yet, what if Jesus came back before I got the chance to ever be married or have children?! (I know many of you have had this thought once or twice.) How do I become, in a sense, “qualified enough” to meet that man God has for me?

This question began a pursuit of God that truly changed my life. As I sought an answer to this question, I studied, I cried, I embraced wisdom, I went, I did. I committed to not miss out on life fearing a life of singleness. And through this belief that I didn’t have to do a thing to meet my husband, other than be obedient to the Lord, I met my husband. This post isn’t about finding the “key” to meet this man, because in so many ways we’ve missed the point. This blog is about getting back to the point–our life is ALL about Jesus. And whether, through our obedience, He brings us a husband or doesn’t, He is still just as faithful. We have got to believe His Word and that He is GOOD. We have to rid ourselves of the standards of the world and treasure God’s truth & affection above that of a man. I want to share with you a few things God taught me through my years of loneliness and adventure with the Lord.

Photo by Nancy Ray
Photo by Nancy Ray

I’ll never forget being on a girl’s trip with my sister in high school and her asking me, “Who is God to you right now?” I simply replied, “He’s my shoulder I cry on.” I was fighting the discouragement of the world. I was fighting my feeling that I needed a boyfriend to be complete. I was fighting a battle I couldn’t win alone. I needed Jesus to fight for me.

God created us with core needs that only HE can fill. Ever. He created us with a longing for beauty that only comes from a pure heart that seeks Him. (I Peter 3:3-4Just look around. Really, don’t look at your computer screen for a second and take a glimpse out of the window nearest you. Do you see it? Do you see the glory of God? But there’s so much more than just your eyes can see! He wants your heart, to see, too! He created us with a longing to be loved, because He knew that only His agape (never-failing, unconditional) love could ever love us the way we needed. (John 3:16I John 4:7-20Colossians 2:10) He created us with a longing to be taken care of. Thankfully, He is El Shadday, the God who can do anything, He is Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider, El Olam, the beginning and the end. (Philippians 4:19)

He is the reason we exist. (Colossians 1:16) He is SOVEREIGN. We truly don’t understand this. I struggle everyday to fully grasp and praise His sovereignty! Yet over and over again, He proves to me that He is better than anything I could imagine. Have you ever gotten something you thought would complete you or make you so happy, just to realize it left you empty still? Many of you have thought that having a boyfriend or sleeping around would fill that hole, but it only tore the wound open more. Dear sisters, there is hope! He is still God and He stills fills those holes in our hearts.

And even better yet, HE is our Husband! Isaiah 54:5 says “For your Maker is your husband–the LORD Almighty is his name–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” I don’t know if you’ve realized this treasure of truth yet, but the Bible is one incredible LOVE STORY! It begins and ends with God, our Perfect Love, faithfully pursuing us. It even ends with a marriage supper that we, believers in Jesus Christ, get to attend! Plus, we get a new name!!

Never in the Bible does Jesus say, “You must be married to truly be a woman.” Or “You are only desirable if you have a wedding ring.” Or “Life get’s better after marriage.” He is zealous for you. He is jealous for your love and attention. WhenPsalm 130 says ” I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope,” He doesn’t say, I wait for a husband. We wait for THE LORD.

Marisa in Haiti
Marisa in Haiti

Oh, girls, and young women who are reading this, I pray before God our Father at this moment that you’d know that YOU are COMPLETE in Christ. Don’t put off life waiting. Pursue Jesus with every fiber of your being. Go where He says to go! Whether it be Africa, New York, your neighborhood coffee shop, or to your bedroom and on your knees. He has called you to do something for Him. Let Him take care of the details of your life and trust Him that His ways are always best! You are loved more perfectly than any man could ever love you.

Your love story is right now. Proverbs 31: 12 says “She brings him (her husband) good, not harm, all the days of her life.” First and foremost, the Lord is your husband who deserves your submission, your love,  your time, your talents and your affection! Your life will never be the same the day your start trusting Him and realize that He is the giver of good gifts and that He is enough to satisfy your soul.

Even in getting married recently, I have realized that even in this exciting and wonderful time, nothing has changed. Jesus is still the only one who can satisfy my soul. Jesus is still the only reason I live and move and breathe! I just now have a partner to live for the glory of God with!

Let’s join together, sisters-in-Christ, and live for the glory of God. Let’s not allow Satan to steal our joy any longer! Let’s GO anywhere for Him! Let us live the ABUNDANT life that Jesus tells us is ours.

Abba, Father, our Bridegroom, You are so good! there are no words that can adequately sum up your greatness. We are at a loss when we truly see how sovereign You are. We admit that we have wasted so much of our life waiting on the world. Abba, YOU are our Creator. You created the longings and desires of our hearts. So we delight in You and we trust You to change our desires to line up with Yours as our delight begins to overflow and fill us with Your presence. You know all things, Your ways are higher than our ways, Your grace is deeper than our sin, and Your love is wider than we can imagine. We surrender all and we embrace where you have us, whether single, married, widowed or dating. You are God alone, and we ask you to be glorified in us always.

In the precious, powerful name of Jesus, Amen. (So be it.)

All my Love.

Gretchen Saffles

(to read more about my God-sized, God-written love story after years of singleness, click here, and be reminded that El Roi, the God Who Sees, always sees you and He is ALWAYS faithful.)