There I was, single and away from everyone I knew and loved. I had started a brand new life in Arizona, and I wasn't quite sure about it. My days were spent in a classroom teaching thirty-three fourth graders. With my free-time, I plugged into a local church and taught Jr. High Sunday School, a Wednesday night girls' group, and helped with Awana Cubbies on Sunday nights. I was in a Marine-base town, but there were no single guys around in the places I hung out. Bars weren't my thing. From the suggestion of a friend, I went online.
Then I started dating the wrong person.
Oh, on paper he seemed like he would be the right person. Youth pastor. Just a couple of towns away from my new home. From the Midwest like me. Played guitar. All of the things every Christian young woman has put on that list. The list we are told to pray over as we wait for him to show up. The future husband list. Sadly, I trusted that misguided list more than I trusted God's timing.
Pretty early on there were red flags. Not only was this not the right guy for me, this probably wasn't the right guy for anybody. But because I was afraid that this might be as good as it would get I ignored the voice inside me that said break-up with him and wait for someone who would treat me right. Once again I feared missing out. I figured God was holding out on me. I ignored the few people in my life that knew the circumstances and were telling me the relationship was not healthy. Instead of walking away and waiting for something better, I plunged ahead with a whirlwind relationship. In the end I was left alone, with only broken promises and the shattered pieces of my heart.
Fast-forward several years. I don't often think about that relationship. By the grace of God, it rarely haunts me. Yet here in the present I still easily I forget that often times I have a choice. I can wait and trust, or I can do my own thing. Each choice has consequences. Waiting has benefits that I don't always see when I am wrapped up in my own wants, needs, and discontment.
If only I could remember the times in my life that I didn't wait and the heartache that followed. I don't want to remember in order to beat myself up over past decisions. Rather I want to be encouraged to not lose heart. I need a frequent reminder that there is a purpose for every season of what seems like a delay in plans. I need to keep in mind that waiting is sometimes the best thing a person can do.