Is there anything I’m not doing that I should be doing?
I was speaking to my pastor several years ago about being in my early 40s, single, with no prospects and no understanding of the “why behind the what.” For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why an attractive, godly, fun, strong, intelligent, fit and fabulous human being like me couldn’t get a date! Making myself vulnerable, I asked her if she saw any blind spot I was missing that nobody was bothering to tell me about?
She then asked if I had ever posed the above question to God.
Waiting is an interesting season. You feel inept to move forward, yet unsettled to stay put. At times it feels like life for others is moving 100 miles per hour around you while your own blessed wheels are stuck in the proverbial mud. Considering your waiting season, one preacher says to, “Be still and know that He is God,” and another says, “Faith without works is dead.” Guys, seriously, am I supposed to wait or work?
Not only do we struggle to know what to do—or not to do—in the waiting, we often find ourselves feeling guilty for whichever choice we make, certain that it’s the wrong choice. If we do nothing, then we are afraid we’ll miss the breakthrough because of our passivity. If we work to see change, then we are afraid of taking matters into our own hands causing the answer to wait until we learn not to strive.
Honestly, being a Christian sometimes is exhausting.
After a few days of not being able to shake the words of my pastor, I finally sat down and asked God the question.
Ummm, Lord, it’s me, Jen. Hi. Well, you know that question I’ve been pondering? Well … um … right … so here’s the thing … (deep breath) … is there anything I’m not doing that I should be doing?
Whoa! Wasn’t expecting that. OK, remember He loves you, He is for you. Don’t choose offence, whatever He says.
Okay Lord, what is … WAIT! Before I say anything else, I need You to know, Lord, that whatever You say to me, I promise I will do. I’ll obey You no matter what. It doesn’t matter if I want to do it or not to do it. I trust You and [meanwhile all of Heaven is yawning just waiting for me to get on with it] …
So, okay, right. What should I be doing?
(Breathing a sigh of relief He didn’t say Speed Dating).
He’s right. I hadn’t been believing. I thought I had, but after 20 years of waiting the belief level had seriously deteriorated without me realizing it, like a tiny hole letting air out of a tire one unnoticeable breath at a time.
How are you doing in the belief department? Are there areas you’ve stopped believing because it hurts too much? Or you’ve waited too long?
In seasons of waiting, we can get so focused on the breakthrough that we miss the breakout—breaking out of our harmful habits, misplaced priorities, unspoken fears, expired routine and cultural pressures.
God was more concerned about my dwindling belief than about my marital status. Because if belief goes, then hope begins to fall; and without either of those, disillusionment and discouragement are simply waiting eagerly in the wings for their grand entrance.
So I chose to believe again. Really believe. I declared it loudly and proudly … I BELIEVE there is a man out there for me … I BELIEVE it’s not good for man to be alone, and that there is a man alone right now who shouldn’t be … and that’s NOT GOOD … and that our paths will cross … and … on it went, declaring and praying and prophesying to my future with gusto!
I left my flat and walked to a meeting—via Starbucks, of course—and on the way a young 19-year-old kid with his trousers halfway down his legs looked up at me and quite loudly said, “Whoa! Hello. I think I’m in lovvvve!”
Relax kid, I could be your mother.
I picked up the pace and ran into Starbucks for refuge. And then I smiled. OK, so he was a bit young for me (a lot young for me). But five minutes after declaring I believed, someone was declaring they were in love. It was as if God applauded my prayers, enjoyed my renewed faith and rewarded my boldness. Because it was never about the guy; it was always about my God. Truly believing that He hadn’t forgotten me, He loved me, and that His ways were far greater than my own.
Waiting in the Starbucks queue I asked Him if my husband could please wear normal trousers and be a tad older than 19. We laughed. And I never needed to ask my initial question again.
Because I honestly don’t need to know the answer anymore. It never even crosses my mind.
I believe. And that is enough for me.
And yes, I’m still single.
And no, I’m not going speed-dating.
Jen Baker is an inspirational communicator, author, and leader who is passionate about seeing people live in freedom. She has Directed a charity working to fight against modern day slavery, authored two books focused on freedom (Untangled and Unlimited), been in pastoral ministry for over 20 years, and is a popular speaker at conferences in the UK and abroad. Jen has a passion for the Word, freedom, influence, running, and coffee – usually in that order.