Letting Go and Waiting on God
“Lord, is this my husband?” “God, I want your will for my life so if he isn’t my husband, please reveal it to me.”
“God, I want to get married. Everyone around me is finding love. When is mine coming?”
“Lord, are you hearing my requests?”
These are just a few of the conversations I found myself having with God. I talked to Him often, but I rarely stopped to listen to His response. It was all about me! I wanted to be married badly. I prayed about it all of the time. I waited, waited and waited. When God wasn’t working according to my timeline, I attempted to make it happen on my own. I took back the very thing that I was praying for from the hands of the only One that could make it happen. It wasn’t because I didn’t believe that He would. It was because of my impatience. I was in my fleshly desires and never considered the reasons why my requests weren’t being fulfilled. I dated a wonderful man for a long period of time. I was certain that he was my husband. I was beyond-a- shadow-of-a doubt certain. I went back to that place so many times because he was a godly man, he was faithful, kind, good to me and because it was comfortable.
But the truth was that deep down inside, the Holy Spirit was tugging at me. God was pulling me away from every thought, desire and situation that kept me from developing a deeper relationship with Christ. I loved God tremendously, but I had not yet submitted this area of my life to Him. It got to the point where I could not ignore God. He wanted my attention. He wanted all of my heart and all of my trust. He wanted to know that I could be totally content in Him. He wanted me to lean and depend on Him in such a way that if I was never blessed with a husband, I would still be fulfilled. God wanted to be more than enough for me.
I remember the day that I cried my soul out to God. I shared my frustrations, my impatience and my fears. I was honest with God. I wanted to feel a sense of love, completion and joy. I thought that what I needed could only be found in earthly companionship. On that day, God hugged me and gave me a sense of peace that I have never experienced before. I was living for Him. I honored Him with my body, my actions, my words and my thoughts. But I had not gotten to the place where He was all that I needed. It was that day that God clearly said this to me:
“Tanika, you are too focused on finding the love that you need when you already have it in Me. You love Me, but you haven’t placed Me above everything else in your life. I want your time, your heart, your mind and I want to use your life for My glory. I will never bless you with anything or anyone that you will place before me. If I bless you with a husband today, he will become your idol and you will look for Him to fulfill needs in your life that only I can. Once you become totally submitted to Me and fully content in me, then and only then will I bless you with every desire of my heart.”
Those words pierced my heart like a sword. Had I really become so consumed with wanting love that God had become second in my life? Did I really only seek Him to get the things that I wanted rather than seeking Him because of who He is in my life? I realized that I didn’t have a husband because I wasn’t ready for one.
As women, we can become so absorbed in having our emotional needs met in a man that we forget that God is the one who created those needs within us. We want God to bless us with a husband when we aren’t ready to be a wife.
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and receives favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22)
When our husband comes along, we should already be a wife of noble character. We should already be found faithful to Christ. He must be first in our lives. It’s impossible to submit to an earthly husband without being able to submit to our Heavenly Father. We walk around claiming that we are the epitome of a Proverbs 31 woman, but we aren’t walking in virtue and aren’t interested in greatly enriching the life of a man that comes along. We seem more concerned about what he can add to our lives rather than preparing ourselves to be his help meet. We walk around with a list of all the characteristics that our future husband must have, but can’t fulfill half of the things on that list ourselves. We say we want a Godly man, but are we really ready for the responsibility that comes with that? It requires first having total reverence for God. It requires living a life of prayer, submission, selflessness, compromise and faithfulness. I honestly wasn’t ready for the blessing that I was seeking from God. Had God honored that request, I would have experienced unnecessary struggles.
So, I stopped focusing on marriage and sought God deeply. I did not date anyone, nor did I entertain any type of interaction with a man for a year. I just wanted to get closer to God. It helped me to build a deeper relationship with Christ. I became so content in Christ that I was no longer focused on a husband. I was dedicated to glorifying God with every aspect of my life. Did I have weak moments? Absolutely! Once I felt that the blessing of a husband would no longer be an idol, I went back to God, but my prayer was different. I let my desires and expectations go and I said, “Lord, I desire a husband. But I want him to be what you know that I need rather than what tickles my flesh. I want Him to be someone that submits to you in every area of his life. I want our coming together to glorify you and nothing less.”
I let go and I waited! I continued to enjoy the season that God had me in at that time. I no longer viewed being single as a disorder, but rather a blessing. I always had time for God! I was happy just knowing that I was pleasing God. I still wanted to be married, but I was committed to waiting on God and his timing.
In the summer of 2013, I received a text message that changed my life. My cousin sent me this message:
“I am at a wedding and I found THE man for you.”
She told me all the great things about him. She called me the next morning and told me that the Holy Spirit told her to connect us. I finally gave in. Our first conversation was wonderful and I immediately felt something different in Maurice. We talked for hours over the course of a week. Our first date was to the Marvin Sapp concert in Chicago. I was deep in worship as tears flooded my eyes. I caught myself and remembered that I was on a date. I wiped my eyes and looked over at Maurice. He too was deep in worship with tears coming down his face. It was then that I knew that he was from God. On our second date, he made it clear that he was looking for a wife, not a girlfriend. Neither of us was looking to date for kicks, but rather with the intent to move toward marriage. We immediately made the commitment to honor God with our bodies, our thoughts and our actions. Maurice told me that it was his responsibility to protect my virtue. Every day, I asked God to show me Maurice’s purpose in my life. God gave me a sense of peace that I cannot explain in words. I just knew! Seven months into our courtship, he proposed and I said, “YES!”
When God blessed me with Maurice, he exceeded my expectations. He gave me everything that I wanted and everything I didn’t even know I needed. He pushes me toward Christ, prays with me and for me, supports me in all that I do and makes me a better woman. I can’t imagine living life without him and I am so excited about all that God is going to do through our union. On October 25, 2014, we will stand before God, family and friends to unite in holy matrimony. It is our desire that our marriage will glorify God and that our story of commitment to God, trusting His timing and honoring His Word by staying pure will encourage others to do the same. I am ready to be his wife. I will forever forsake all others and be joined ONLY to him for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health with no reservations. I am thankful for him and blessed to be his help meet--his good thing! We are perfectly imperfect for one another.
Pray for us as we journey to the altar. Find more about our story by visiting our wedding website at www.tanikaandmaurice.com.
Tanika & Maurice
Photo Credit: Steve Gabrail at Studio 41 Photography www.studio41photo.com