I guess I could write a list of all the traits you should look for in a man. After all, I am a list person. But when it comes to God, I’m learning His plan is usually a lot bigger and a lot more creative than a tidy list.
Though it was popular in the church culture I grew up in, I never wrote down a “list” of all the traits I expected to find in a man. With my perfectionist tendencies and past temptations, writing a list would have been a lot like building an idol. Of course, I studied my Bible and I prayed that God would bring His will for me in His perfect timing. I just didn’t want to confine God to a list. I didn’t want my expectations to get in the way of His plan.
So, this is my advice: look for God’s will and love a man who loves God. Dig in your Bible and love a man who follows the way God asks us to live. Love a man who lives in light of God’s grace. Love a man who makes you better too, who gives you passion for the things that eternally matter. But most importantly, look for God’s plan and God’s timing. It’s not about finding the right man, but about God’s will for you being done.
In November 2015, I begged God for strength and wisdom as I wrote this prayer in my journal:
“Crucify my plans, my desires, so that I may find my life in you alone. Grant me wisdom so that I may follow your plans. Please give me patience to trust your timing. Help me not to try to create my own plans, but to pursue yours.”
I believe surrender is one of the most powerful and painful prayers to pray. It goes against every fiber of our human nature. Our brokenness is inclined to run from God and live how we want to. Surrender is a fight.
That November prayer has taken different forms through many big decisions in my life, but when I wrote that specific prayer I was praying for wisdom on whether to date my boyfriend, Philip. I was searching for God’s plan. I wish I could tell you God wrote “yes” with the stars or I heard a booming voice. Instead, God answered me with a quiet feeling of peace.
It would have been easy to follow my own plans, but God gave me the strength to wait on Him. I’m confident that if God had answered my prayer differently, my faith would not have wavered because I felt sure that His plan was perfect. That kind of peace and strength come only through our weakness, our awareness of how fallen our own plans are. Only when we look beyond our own plans do we get to experience the fullness of God’s will.
I kept surrendering. I kept praying and seeking God for wisdom. I asked Godly people I trusted for advice.
God answered my prayers. He filled me with peace and showed me the way. God just gave me a deep feeling of knowing. When Philip asked me to date him, I confidently could say yes. I took one step of faith at a time, one date at a time, still surrendering to God’s will. That’s still what I’m doing, walking in surrender one step at a time.
I’m thankful that God cares about every aspect of our lives. If He knows the number of hairs on our head, surely He cares about our relationships. James tells us that when we need His wisdom, all we have to do is ask:
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
Dear girl, don’t ever settle for less than what God has for you. Even when we can’t see it now, His plan is always perfect and His ways are always good. Wait on Him. The world will try to tell you that you are not worth it, but rest in God’s truth. Don’t just choose this path because of what I said, what your parents said, or what your church expects, but learn to know the God who loves you. Live in freedom and peace in His plan. Surrender your own plans. Stay strong in Him. It’s never easy, but I truly believe that it’s worth it. I pray for you, that you will have the bravery to choose God’s best.