I was a teenager during the “True Love Waits” movement. There were books, devotionals, jewelry, T-shirts — you name it. When I was in Bible college, my mom bought me a sterling silver ring with the word “FAITH” engraved for all to see. I wore it on my ring finger. One day while working at Pearle Vision, one of my co-workers turned to me and said, “Maybe you’re single because every guy thinks you’re married because of that ring you wear.”
The ring wasn’t meant to be a deterrent to men as much as it was meant to be a constant reminder to myself that I needed to “keep my pants on.” A guy asked me recently why I’ve chosen to remain a virgin this long. Believe me, at 31 years old, it has felt like an eternity. I didn’t rattle off a long list of Bible verses, which many people might have done, but I told him that it was an intimate act that I wanted to share with someone special. Not just any guy, which with apps like Tinder could be arranged.
Instead, I wait. Not that waiting has been easy. NOT AT ALL. There are days where I feel strong and controlled and not tempted in the least. And then there are nights when I see Adam Levine singing on the Grammy’s and my body reminds me my hormones are alive and raging. Those are the days I feel like I’m losing my patience while I wait for my husband. So, I decided I should let him know.
So, whoever you are and wherever you are, here’s what you should know:
Patience is a virtue that I haven’t quite mastered yet. I know this because when I put something in the microwave, I never let it count down all the way to zero before I remove the contents. There’s also this person who calls my office occasionally who talks so slow that I have to get up and walk around just to remain calm. When a light turns green, if the car ahead of me doesn’t move immediately I get agitated.
My lack of patience isn’t all bad, though. I always give presents early because the birthday or holiday can’t come soon enough. It also means that I’ll pick the shortest line in the grocery store.
It’s been hard waiting for you.
I’m writing this to you on a Friday night. I’m home in my sweats with my hair pulled up into a messy bun. In between writing articles and washing dishes and scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I’ve thought of you. Being home alone tonight feels lonely and I’d rather have you here. I’m not longing for fancy dinners or trips to the movie theater. I’m longing for you.
Earlier this week I wrote some devotions for a children’s camp. In them I describe the love of God using the verses found in 1 Corinthians 13. In my Bible, the very first description of love is that it is patient. There really is no wiggle room. No way I can just white-out that portion.
If I’m going to love, I’ve got to be patient. And being patient means that I am willing to wait. You can’t force someone to be patient. I’ll admit that at times, many many times, it has felt like God was forcing me to be patient. Yes, He’s teaching me to be patient through this waiting. But He’s not forcing me to do it. At any time, I could choose not to wait.
I’ve considered not waiting. I’ve got some phone numbers saved for that “just in case” day where I fall off the patience wagon. Some people would say I should just delete those numbers. But I don’t because they’re a good reminder of what I could have but don’t want. I’m not waiting for just anyone. I’m waiting for you.
There’s a beauty in the willingness. One day, I’ll be able to let you know that I didn’t give in to what would have been easy, but held out for the best. Not because I’m holier than anyone else — please reference my previous examples of impatience — but because I knew there’d be a day when I could give you all of me.
Before we even met, God had been using you to refine me in areas that needed some work … like my impatience. Obviously, I’ve still got more work to do. But in the meantime, would you please hurry up!