I never thought that when I reach the age of 24, I would long for affection, love and security from a man.
I’ve been working for True Love Waits Philippines for almost 2 years and I thought I knew everything about True Love Waits. But there’s really a big difference between knowing and feeling it. When I entered the ministry, I was sure that I don’t want to be in a relationship until I’m ready for marriage and have lived a fulfilled single life—which would probably be when I am almost 30. At the beginning of this year, a friend asked me, “Why do you always say that you are not ready?” I answered, “Maybe because I’m still young. I want to do a lot of things, and I am not ready for the responsibility of being a wife and mother. Plus, I haven’t met the one yet.” Then my friend said, “Well, last year I thought I want to marry this girl, but we were both young and there are a lot of things that we have to consider. Then after praying and thinking about it, we broke up and God changed my heart. I don’t want to marry that girl.” Then he continued, “You’ll never know when God is gonna change your heart, and you have to be ready.” That statement stuck in my head and true enough, after two or three months, I felt ready to be in a relationship.
I even thought I was ready for marriage. The only problem was that no one was seriously pursuing me at the time. I told my trusted friends how I feel and most of them were shocked to hear me say that I am ready for a commitment and the possibility of marriage (I was getting ahead of myself). I cannot blame them since I have never been in a bf-gf relationship and always see me as the “Maria Clara” of the group. Just when I thought I was ready for a commitment, a lot of challenges came up. I lost focus on important things in my life and found myself always excited to watch romantic movies or anything that has “love story” in it. I sometimes found myself wondering what it would be like to have someone hold my hand, buy me flowers, or just have a guy who would take care and love me more than a friend.
There had been times when I felt pressured to initiate a conversation to a guy I like, and it really surprised me because it’s a total opposite of what I believe—that it’s a guy’s job to pursue and lead a relationship.
The greatest challenge I had during these times was neglecting to put God first in my life. I was so busy thinking about myself: what I want and how I would get it. I had forgotten about my First Love. I had forgotten that I first found my ultimate satisfaction in God two years ago when I completely surrendered my hopes and dreams to Him. It was like finding the greatest treasure you can ever find that gives you joy, satisfaction, and peace.
I am not proud to say that God was replaced in my priorities for a short time, but I am always grateful to say that He is always faithful, patient, kind and very understanding. I was constantly reminded by people around me to keep my focus on God and continue my intimate relationship with Him.
He greatly used the TLW staff and resource materials we have in the office to constantly remind me that our ultimate goal as followers of Christ is to have an intimate relationship with Him and everything will just follow.
I thought I was ready for marriage. But God revealed to me that I still have a lot to learn: There is a time for everything under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3). I never realized how immature I was until God taught me through my struggles and challenges that love is not about yourself but about other people. I thought I knew a lot of things about love but God displayed aspects of love by disciplining me and showing me that I have yet to learn so many things. There’s a void in our hearts that longs for love but no one in this world can really fill and satisfy it except God, the Creator of Love.
Now I am certain that it is our relationship with God matters most because love from people comes and goes, but only God’s love never fails and would last for eternity.