Do you remember the story of Jacob and Leah and Rachel? He loved Rachel and did not love Leah. And this tore Leah apart. Every time Leah had a child, she thought "This time my husband will love me." and finally, on the last time, she quit thinking it would end in the result she wanted and she would earn his favor. Instead, she boldly proclaimed "this time I will praise the Lord"
I heard a sermon by Tim Keller on that a few months ago, and I realized that every time I quit dating someone (especially if he ended it), I get upset and start stressing about no prospects left. I automatically assume the Lord is not looking out for me, that no good things will ever happen again....
And to be fair, I have a track record of bad things happening...but you know what? I also have a track record of some pretty big blessings, some which come during hard times. And, even if the situation appears only bad, my God is working for me.
(sidenote: I do this in all of life- every time there is a job that falls through or a friend that betrays or a failure in school, work, etc. I always think, "well why was I hopeful or content in my circumstances? things ALWAYS fall apart...)
So, when I heard this sermon, I promised myself that I would make a committed effort to praising the Lord when circumstances fail -- particularly in dating. I told myself that instead of getting negative like the past, instead of trying to fix everything on my own, I would try to remember Leah and how she finally quit trying to make the situation perfect and finally surrendered, saying "This time I will praise the Lord"
And, its good that I was scheduled to write about this too, because the past couple days I have been a little mopey. Not because I think this was the right guy for me, but because now I am alone and there seems to be no one on the horizon that I can see... I have been dating a few different guys since march and after each one, I never really had time to think, "Well is there someone else out there for me?" because I immediately met someone new. I never had to stop and worry if I would ever meet the right guy. Now, I have to. Now, after all the laughter and relief that this last guy is out of my life, I have time to stop and worry.
And, a little time to bounce back is fine, its natural, but falling into a pattern of negativity is not. So, right now, I am fighting with everything in me to say "This time I will praise the Lord" I committed to saying that a few months ago and now the Lord has allowed me the opportunity. All circumstances -- singleness, barreness, sickness, heartache, loneliness, disability, etc come from our Father - and all can be used for our good.
So, I choose to believe that this too is an opportunity to praise the Lord-- for his protection, for his provision, for his soverign control of my current, very single, circumstances. It takes reminding myself of this a few times daily, BUT if Leah can praise the Lord in a loveless marriage where her sister was adored, I can praise the Lord in singleness.
So, this time, I will praise the Lord. I will be dissapointed, I will be frustrated, BUT I will not quit praising and trusting.