The following are highlights from the life of a lady in waiting; looking at some of the struggles a single woman encounters on the single journey while trying to walk in the light:
"Why can't I have a man?"
"What's wrong with me?"
"You don't know what it's like being thirty five and going to bed holding my pillow at nights!"
Then the table turned and she had what she had been craving for:
"He's so fine!"
"I know this is the one!"
"Girl, he brings me flowers!"
"He picks me up at work!"
"Mom and Dad seems to like him"
"We talk for hours on the phone"
"He takes me to the restaurant and picks up the bill"
"We went on a cruise last week, girl! This is the life"
Ok, my girlfriend is happy. Finally, she is with a man who cares for her. I'll give her some space.
Two months later we had a conversation which led me to believe wedding bells were next. "So, how is it going?" I asked and the following responses came:
"How could he?"
"I thought he loved me?"
"Why do I always go for the same type of men who keeps letting me down?"
We both believed it was a trying period and needed prayer, a forgiving heart and a willingness to work at the relationship. I might not be single but marriage is a relationship and that's advice I could stand by.
She worked at that relationship with all the Christian values in her, but it was a one-way relationship or rather it wasn't a relationship. Why? Well, only one person was committed to and working at that togetherness. Eventually the relationship ended. By this time my friend was more cautious in choosing a partner.
Years had passed and she had given up on relationships:
"I'm at peace in my life now"
"I'm happy with where I'm at"
"No man can fulfil me"
"My ultimate joy right now is in Jesus"
"I don't need a man to come and mess up my relationship with God right now"
"Now that's what I'm talking about!" I responded (it reminded me of that place I was, just before my husband came along). But it wasn't to last, a year hadn't passed before I was hearing old familiar phrases:
"I need a husband"
"My biological clock is ticking"
"I need a baby"
Well, things were quite calm and before long 'Rev. Charming' walked into her life but his talk didn't match his walk. Soon after, 'Mr. Right' came along. He seemed to have had the right walk, the right attitude towards finance, responsibility, commitment -- the works! But he couldn't have been more wrong for her, for he was someone else's 'Mr. Right'. When she found this out, it broke her poor little heart and she never quite regained trust in men. When we speak about relationships she would often clothe each sentence with phrases like:
"I hate men!"
"They disgust me"
Now every male God has created is seen as 'evil beasts' all because of the error of one man. She was hurt and she had had enough. So she cried for help.
"I need help don't try to encourage me -- no scriptures. Just pray for me for my faith is growing weak."
We've been friends since school and we've gone through some storms individually. Together we've had many happy moments, bringing laughter with them over the years but this was certainly not one of those moments. That cry for help came via an email message and I will never forget the feeling of helplessness and despair that came over me. I knew I had to respond but words failed me. I also knew I needed to respect her wishes or I could easily make matters worse but the words jumped off the screen like a dagger to my heart.
I wept inside: "it cannot be that faith is failing!" I thought to myself. I can handle the men talk. And the memories that often bring laughter are always welcomed but this is way more serious than anything I've had to do before. I always seemed to have the right things to say before but now, I was stuck because it called for the right response which I just didn't have. I prayed and asked for guidance.
Thankfully, through my own struggles, I had developed a personal relationship with my Master, through prayer. I had a secret weapon and now I was required to use it. So, I interceded on my friend's behalf.
When I was through, I emailed to let her know I was thinking of her and praying for her. Then I left her for a week. It was hard staying away but obedience was called for. I was obedient in prayer. I respected her wishes and because God had never failed me before, I knew my prayers were answered and so I took comfort in that knowledge; knowing my friend would be okay.
Two months later there was another friend of mine going through a similar situation. After speaking with her and reflecting on what my other friend had gone through plus some scenarios I was called to shed light on in the past as well as past circumstances in my own life, it brought me to the following understanding:
1. Too often we have too little of what we need and far too much of what is not good for us;
2. The devil doesn't wait for an invitation, he enters without a knock and at the time you least expect him; equally
3. The Holy Spirit is here to guide us. But if we don't seek His guidance; inviting Him into our lives to be our guide, He won't come in. He's always there ready to lead and direct us but He stands at the door and knocks, waiting for an invitation. Recognise a spirit for what it is and if you're entertaining the wrong one, it is time to run.
As you reflect on the year gone by, if you find yourself in this position, it is time to drop the excess baggage.
"Each of you must turn from your sins and turn to God" Acts 2:38.
Then comes the purging:
You need release from all that bitterness; all the hurt and pain of past relationships. It is too much responsibility for a man to take on. Until you are free of this excess, you're not ready for marriage for there is no room in your life for a husband.
The emotional burden has to go. But you cannot do it alone you need the help of God. So get back to basics and do it the right way this time.
Invite the Lord into your life and allow Him to take you through the process. You need cleansing, deliverance, healing and training or re-training depending on your circumstance and how much hurt and pain you are carrying around with you.
You need to allow God to take you to that place of total dependence on Him; trusting Him, totally, to provide for your every need. Once you achieve this, you'll automatically trust God to do the choosing of your mate and more importantly in his timing (if that is His will for you).
'True, the past can hurt but you can either run from it or learn from it'.
The wise choice is to learn from your mistakes so you won't keep making the same errors each time you enter a new relationship.
"People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord"
Make the decision to allow God to take you through the process so your beauty can shine from within and your prince will find favour in you.
Copyright 2007, Janice S Ramkissoon
Further reading: Matthew 19:12; 1st Corinthians 7:7-8 & 25-35; Proverbs 21:19
Janice, a freelance writer, lives in the UK and enjoys spending time with her husband, Vince and their son, Javin. She uses her gift to encourage others towards a deeper relationship with God, through her inspirational pieces while her travel articles provide general advice for the holiday-maker.