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What’s a Girl to do When God Forgets to Write Her Love Story?

By: Bethany Baird

I grew up reading (and rereading) the insanely popular relationship books on courtship and dating. Titles like, “When God Writes Your Love Story,” “When Dreams Come True,” “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” “Boy Meets Girl” and several others were well worn books on my bookshelf.

As a 14,15,16 and 17 year old girl I was gung ho on board with the idea of “leaving the pen in God’s hands.”

I trusted God big time. I wanted Him to write my love story. I wanted Him to show off in a mighty way in my love life.

I was a “leave the pen in God’s hands” groupie like none other.

Year after year after year went by and I was still holding on to my teenage dreams. I believed that, at any moment, God would bring Prince Charming along and everyone would “oooh and awww” at how beautiful God had penned my love story.

Well…several more years have gone by and I’m now facing my 27th birthday, utterly and totally single.

Questions have started churning through my mind. Has God forgotten me? Has He lost the pen? Has He forgotten that I am the perfect candidate for a God-written love story? Has He forgotten that I soooo desire to get married…like yesterday?

As I thought through my past, present and future, I decided to pull out my journal and get my heart on paper. I wanted to sort through my thoughts and figure out what went wrong.

Here’s what came out:

“I’ve been thinking. Like a lot. When it comes to my future (marriage, future husband, etc.) am I trusting God with my life because of what I think God might give me in return? Am I praying, serving, and remaining pure because I genuinely love God? Or, am I doing those things in hopes of what I think God might give back? Am I feeling disappointed, at times, because my future didn’t line up according to my expectations?”

Before I share the next part of my journal writings with you, I want to expound on that first part. I have a feeling many of your girls can relate to what I am about to share.

I’ve slowly, but surely, been realizing just how wrong my thinking has been about God, romance, and obedience to Him.

When I read through those relationship books as a teen girl, I found it easy and exciting to want to leave my love story and future in God’s hands. I wanted Him to have the pen. I wanted my future to unfold in a way that I would know God was working.

Little did I know that deep in my heart there was a big, unknown, lurking expectation.

Looking back, I now realize that I one-hundred percent expected God to write my love story according to my hidden dreams and ideals.

I believed that marriage was God’s best choice for my life (God surely knew I was sooooo not cut out to be single long-term) and I trusted that He would make marriage happen no later than 23-24 years old. At the late, late, latest!

Marriage needed to be a part of His best love story for my life.

I now totally realize where my thinking and expectations went wrong. When I read through those books as a teen I said “yes” to God having the pen in His hand, but I secretly wanted to control it. I wanted Him to write what I wanted, not what He knew was best for my life.

Are any of you guilty of wanting to control the hand that holds the pen?

As I go into my 27th birthday, I’ve decided that I don’t want to be a controlling girl anymore. I want to fully give God control and freedom to write my love story (aka life story) however He sees fit.

He’s God. I’m not. I can fully trust Him. You can fully trust Him. His plan truly is best.

The title of this blog expresses how many single girls are feeling. I can’t encourage you enough to take a step back and realize that God hasn’t forgotten you. He is writing your love story.  He’s writing out His best plan according to His will, not your own. He is doing what He thinks is best.

I’ve seen many girls grow anxious, upset, bitter, and angry because their story didn’t get penned the way they wanted it to. I don’t want that to happen to me and I’m sure you don’t want that to happen to you.

I want to have the joy and radiance of a girl who loves her Savior and totally trusts in Him to write her story however He sees fit.

Before we finish, let me share the rest of my journal entry with you.

“God, please help me to fix my thinking. I don’t want to be a doer of good, solely in hopes of what I might get. I don’t want to remain pure, work in ministry, dress modestly, study my Bible, and pray, because of what I hope you will give me in return. I want to do those things because I genuinely love you and trust you. God, I know that your plan is SO much better than mine. Your story for my life is sooo much better than anything I could dream of. Help me to leave the pen *and control* in your hand.”

If you can relate to my journal entries in any way, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

Please feel free to make that last journal entry the prayer of your heart as well. God hasn’t forgotten you. He hasn’t looked over you. He has the pen and is writing Your story. You (like me) just need to let go of the pen and fully trust and rejoice in the story He is choosing to write for your life.

His story is so much better than the one we could write.

I can honestly say that God’s story for my life has totally blown me away. It hasn’t included a guy (yet) but it’s been an amazing ride and I wouldn’t change it one bit. I am excited about my future and I can’t even imagine what my 27th year will hold. God has written an incredible story for my life and I pray that I’ll can continue to leave the control in His hands.

I challenge you to choose to serve Him wholeheartedly, knowing that He will write a much better story than you could ever write. If you will fully trust in Him, you will experience life and joy in a way you’ve never experienced before (whether a guy is in the picture or not.)

Will you join me in leaving the pen and control in God’s hands?

photo credit

What's a Girl to do When God Doesn't Write Her Loev Story? Girl Defined

 

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  • Brigid

    Thank you so much for this encouragement Bethany! I know I don’t comment very often, but the subject of today’s post really spoke to my heart, and the resolution I have come to over the past week. I am only in my late teens, but I am sure you know how impatient one can feel, especially when you think you’ve met “the one”. But I have realized that my expectations were wrong, and I just need to let God do the work and write out my story. The thought that has comforted me is, in the end we are all going home to be with Him. What happens to us in this life, whether sorrow or joy, is just a fleeting moment in Eternity, an eternity that will be spent with our Lord and Savior! So, by God’s grace I am going to let go and let Him write the story, and not I. He knows what is best.

  • DK

    Wow! Never thought about this! I feel that I have same thoughts like you – keeping purity, leaving God to write my life story, but deep inside having expectations for God, or wanting to be in control. This definitely will change the way I look at this topic. Thank you 🙂

  • Tanya

    This post encouraged me once again Bethany! I truly believe that God is speaking to me through your posts! And this is exactly what I needed to be reminded of again.
    I turned 24 this weekend, and I let myself fall into desperation, and I spent most of my day crying and feeling sorry for myself, and thinking like you said that God totally forgot to write my story.i want to trust God with all my heart but sometimes it’s so hard, especially when people ask questions that make me feel like I’m a total loser. please pray for me. I want to learn not to react to those kind of comments. I know it’s the enemy who whispers in my ear about God forgetting about me, but I know He will remain faithfull if I let go of my worries.
    God bless You!
    Keeping you in my prayers!

    • Katie

      I know I don’t know you, but you are SO NOT A LOSER >:( ((hugs)) God made and is making you fabulous, and you’re not single because you’r “not good enough”. Like you said, that’s a lie of the devil >:( I hope you have an awesome day <3<3

    • Tanya, I’m so glad God used this blog post to speak into your life. He is so amazing to direct us to read exactly what we need when we need it 🙂 I can guarantee you that God hasn’t forgotten you.

      “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:29-31).

      God is completely faithful and cares about you even more than you care about yourself. He will do what He thinks is best in your life. You just have to choose to trust and obey 🙂

      -Bethany

  • Katie

    UGH. Story of my life lately. I came to a sort of similar realization– almost like I’d been sold a bill of goods in my teen years, that if I focused on my relationship with God, my family, and doing well in school when I SHOULD be (high school) instead of doing what most of the other girls were doing (spending a lot of their time on and with guys) that God would work everything out for me (probably like you, according to my timetable lol) Yet, here I am, 5 years later, and nearly all those girls are married, engaged, or already having babies, and I’m as single as single can get. And it hurts. I realize “I’m young- there’s still time” blah blah, but I still FEEL (yes, I know, He hasn’t) like God cheated me– or more like the books/teachings I swallowed as a teen taught me that if I did ”this this and this” that God would do XYZ or that it’d work out for me for being faithful to him instead of off chasing guys. Which I guess can still happen 😉 but it has been SO. HARD. 🙁 lately b/c I truly desire to fall in love, get married, be a mom, but everyone else is doing it lol. So, this post was timely, encouraging, and “relate-able”. Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Bethany. ((hugs))

  • Clarissa

    For those of you who follow setapartgirl, Leslie had a conference speech posted on her website (before they changed to the new site) about “Answering the Guy Questions.” The part in that speech that inspired me so much was about her sister-in-law, Krissy, who committed her love life to God at 12 years old, didn’t have a boyfriend throughout her entire 20s (she wanted only a truly set apart guy, and refused to settle for less, although she did come across other less-than-best options at times, and I assume declined them), and met a truly set-apart Christian man her age in her mid-30s while ministering in rural Michigan, the least likely of all places! And yes, they did get married. But in their 30s… wow! I was stunned at her patience in holding out for God’s best… it just amazes me beyond words!

    • Katie

      I remember that one! 😉 What spoke to me most about that talk was the way, when asked if she thought God wanted her to be single, Krissy took a moment and thought and then said, “TODAY I am.” She just took it a day at a time with God’s help.

  • Liz

    This is sooo true. Thank you for sharing so honestly, Bethany! It is tempting at times to think of God as a vending machine in the sky (as horrible as that sounds)–give Him the proper payment, and He will deliver.
    However, I find that I struggle with the opposite mindset. For years, I didn’t really believe in much circumstantial intervention on God’s part at all. Now that God is starting to increase my faith, it is still easy for me to underestimate what He CAN do in my life. I tend to think that it’s all up to me, or that it will never happen. I find myself often praying (as a reminder), “Lord I believe–help my unbelief!”
    Anyway, this is a great encouragement for all of us to trust God and serve Him out of love for the rest of our lives, married or single.
    <3

  • Rachel

    I’m eighteen. I start college in three weeks. Practically and technically speaking, my future is wide open. Lately, though, I’ve been struggling with this very thing. I know it sounds silly, but I have two (possibly three) really good friends who are my age who are either contemplating or planning marriage within the next year, as well as my older brother. They’re godly people who are following his plan–for them. Yet I find it so incredibly easy to be unsure about my own future because I forget that God’s will is perfect for each of us. That must invariably mean His will is not the same for each of us. I find most of my struggle comes from the only relationship I’ve been in, two years ago lasting over a year. Because of the words that guy, who was supposed to be godly and great and awesome but turned out to be a human being who has struggled and sins too, I felt hopeless sometimes. When you’re told by someone you care about at that too-young age that no one will ever love you, it’s difficult. I’m trusting God now because I know he loves me more than anyone else could or will, but I fail a good bit of the time. Thank you for sharing your struggle, and thank you for standing apart, even if it was for the wrong reason a lot of the time. The fact that you’ve discovered your own motivation makes me more eager to discover mine and return my focus to God instead of my friends, so that I can be happy for them and patient for God. Really patient, not anxiously patient. Thank you!

    • Rachel, Thanks for opening up and sharing your struggles and worries with us 🙂 I can only imagine how difficult it must be to wait patiently when your close friends are in serious relationships. Remember that God promises, “No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” If your life focus is on Christ, you can be confident that He won’t withhold any good thing from your life. 🙂 -Bethany

  • Kaitlyn Burdick

    Wow. This is so me. And I never even new it! Thank you bethany. THANK YOU!

    • @kaitlynburdick:disqus So glad this helped you 🙂

  • Elyonara Borges

    Thank you so much for this post!
    I’m leaving the pen and the control in God’s hands right now.

    • So glad you are choosing to leave the pen and control in God’s hands 🙂

  • Holly 110

    Wow, so relevant for me. I am 28 and still waiting too. It has been really difficult lately partly because I went against my better judgment and listened to others, because they are godly people in my life. They encouraged me to try online dating, and after much resistance, I finally did. Unfortunately it has only made the desires for marriage stronger and now I have all of these guys I am talking to and not sure that any of them are worth it or that I should be. I don’t know where to go from here since I feel like I just took the pen from God’s hand.

    • CT

      This may sound over-simplistic, but there is no better way than to give the pen right back to God! It may require abandonment, but it is worth it! I don’t know your situation specifically but if your conscience tells you that a particular guy(s) are clearly not up to the standard of the Godly man that God has in store for you (if that is His will for you to be married), then don’t be afraid to end the communication. Bottom line, do what it takes, don’t settle for less, and trust God’s leading 🙂

    • @holly110:disqus Hey! Thanks so much for opening up and sharing your story with us. As a single girl myself I can relate to a lot of what you are saying. I’ve personally never done the online dating thing, but I’m familiar with how it works. To be totally honest I’m not a huge fan of the online dating scene. I believe that God can (and does) use it for good, but I have several cautions as well.

      I would just encourage you to take a step back and ask yourself these heart level questions: 1. Am I fully trusting God with my love life? 2. Do I believe that He is totally in control and can bring me a man if He wants to? 3. Am I totally focused on serving God in this season, or, am I distracted with my online dating matches? 4. Do I believe that online dating is God’s very best option for me? 5. If I were to get into a relationship (via online dating) would I be comfortable with the fact that we met online?

      If you don’t believe that online dating is God’s best option for you right now, I would encourage you to get off of it. Don’t delay and question it, just do it. 🙂 I’ll be cheering for you girl! -Bethany (Proverbs 3:5-6)

      • Holly 110

        Thanks so much guys for the response and the advice, I definitely took it to heart and I am getting off online dating and I have ended my talks with most of the guys. Thanks for all you do, it is encouraging to have a resource such as this available.

  • Jeanne Harvey

    I’ll be 50 next year and I’m still single – never been married. But I don’t have the “gift” singleness as I’ve heard many describe. I’d really like to be married. But I’m not so sure that God has marriage in store for me. Yet I’m okay with that! I want what God wants – and it’s taken a lot of years for me to get here with that attitude. I’ve tried to take shortcuts, do things my way – but God has protected me time and again in spite of myself. I’m so grateful. Now I pray that should God decide for me to marry, I ask he bring me a “David”, not a “Saul”. (And I ask for a great, big “Act of God” that’ll knock me between the eyes should my “David” be standing in front of me. lol)

    • @ChefQuilter:disqus Thanks so much for sharing a little piece of your story. I’m so glad to hear that you have surrendered your desires to Him and truly want His best for your life. Keep focusing on Proverbs 3:5-6! Blessings – Bethany

  • Rae

    Thank you for this post. Wow can I relate! Haha I have come to some of the same realizations lately. I want to live for Christ in such a way that if He never did another thing for me, the Cross would be enough for me and that I would be completely satisfied in Him. Oh what a Joy that would be! Be encouraged girls, because what He starts He will finish!! Blessings in Christ!

    • So glad you enjoyed it 🙂 I agree. The fact that Jesus died on the cross should motivate us to love Him and serve Him for the rest of our lives. Thanks for the encouragement! – Bethany

  • Kwini Acosta Altamia

    give me five Bethany! i can relate!I’m turning 25 and never been in any relationship, admit it, sometimes it’s tiring to wait but again God is God and we are not He is wise and we are not. His plans for us are far better than we have for ourselves.and whatever His plans it’s the best. Be praying for you 🙂

    • @kwiniacostaaltamia:disqus This is so true, “His plans for us are far better than we have for ourselves!” It’s so important to remember that God is totally sovereign and perfectly loving. He will do what He thinks is best. We just have to “trust and obey.” -Bethany

  • Stacey Latimer

    Yes, I grew up reading those books mentioned too in addition to a few others. I also grew up in a family and a church where most of the women married early, so it was pretty much expected that I would marry young. I for the longest time thought something was wrong with me after one after another of my friends and even girls I helped babysit started getting married and started having families, and I was left without even an interest in my direction. I did get angry at one point, but God after chastising me, showed me that He had another plan. Let me tell you, it’s been quite an adventure that I wouldn’t trade. I can’t say that I don’t struggle from longing for that chapter of my life, but I know that I will struggle, I’ve come to accept that as just part of my life. So, I just try to pray in those times or call a friend who’s going through something similar to encourage me to put my trust in God. Maybe that time will come, maybe it won’t, but He’s showed me time and time again that He is my Heavenly Father and that every good and perfect gift comes from Him.

  • Dawn

    Thanks, Bethany! I laughed when I read the title of this post. I can soooo relate! I’m only nineteen, but have struggled with the feeling that there is NO WAY that God is going to bring me a husband…there just aren’t any guys! 🙂 I try to stay in the habit of giving the pen back to the Lord, surrendering my right to be married, and telling Him it is okay if I am to be single for the rest of my life. It seems that I give God that pen readily enough, but then somewhere along the line, I take it back! So silly. So reality. Thank you for sharing your thoughts/struggles. I love the fact that you are excited about your life and future regardless of what it may hold.

    I have just been reading your blog for a couple of months, but I LOVE it. Thank you so much for being an oasis to me. It is so encouraging to see that I am not alone!

    ~Love to everybody!

  • Cynthia Autry

    It really struck me when you mentioned that you might be serving Him, not because you truly loved Him, but for what he would do for you if you served Him. I think — no, I know — that that’s where I am. I read my Bible, pray, and go to church not solely because I love Him (don’t get me wrong, I do), but because I want Him to bless me with a boyfriend and future husband.

    You said that you’re still single after almost 27 years, and literal fear struck my heart. My first thought was, “I’d rather die than go that long without ever being in a relationship.” The fact that THAT was my first thought is sad. Terribly sad. And shallow. I’ll be 19 in two weeks, and I honestly feel like I’ll be a failure if I’m not engaged by the time I graduate college (Spring 2017). I’ve never been faced with the reality of how truly shallow I am, and I’m honestly in tears as I type this. Help…??

    • CT

      Dear Cynthia,

      The best thing I can tell you is to surrender to God. Take all your hopes, dreams, and wishes to Him and tell Him, “this is what my flesh tells me that I want/need, Lord, but I trust that Your plans are better than mine. I ask that not my will, but Yours be done.” The foundation to dealing with our fears of being single is to, really, be satisfied in our Lord only. And if you truly surrender to Him, He will give you the strength, peace, and grace to get through it. I might also add that we cannot do it in our own strength — we need God to help us!

      And remember your identity in Christ! You are washed in His blood, forgiven, and cleansed from your sin. You have a gateway to a relationship with the King of all Kings. What a blessing! You are deemed precious in His sight. If He cares for the plants and the birds, surely won’t He care for you, too? Have faith, do not worry!

      Build a deep and meaningful relationship with your Savior. This will satisfy you way more than a guy ever can.

      And even if all your friends have boyfriends, start getting married, etc, know that God is still in charge of His plans for your life, whether there is a guy in the picture or not. And your friends’ opinion of you don’t matter compared to what God thinks of you!

  • Celtic Princess

    sooo… I know this comment is a bit late, but there have been several issues in my life lately that have brought me a lot farther in my understanding of waiting on God… Right now, I am praying that God will guard against bitterness in my heart towards guys who seem to show absolutely no interest in me and girlfriends of mine whose ‘love story’ is coming into fruition before mine… I know I’m not prepared at this time in my life to have a guy-friend, but it’s like when you can’t have dessert yet, but you don’t want your sibling to either! I guess it should be like a restaurant where other people are farther progressed in their meal (because they ate faster or ordered less, etc.) and no one goes too crazy over when the waiter brings out someone else’s dessert…

  • Lindsay Rogers

    I just stumbled across your blog, and I have enjoyed everything I’ve read so far. I especially enjoyed this post because it hit the nail on the head for I’ve realized that, in my own heart and life, I’ve done the exact same thing. I’ve served the Lord, remained pure(never even kissed a guy!), pray, read my Bible, attend church regularly, and have even told God I give Him the “pen” to write my love story as well, but I’ve definitely realized I’ve secretly hoped that His will would align with mine and He would give me the desires of my heart because I’ve done everything right. I turned 30 this year so marriage and all of those things I truly long for is something I struggle with, almost daily. But, little by little, I’m learning, like you said, to truly surrender and give the “control” to God and trust Him.
    Thank you for your honesty and openness! It’s nice to know I’m not the only woman out there who has struggles like this!

  • Sasha

    Amen Sister! Thank you for posting this, reading your blog is definitely an answered prayer from God!! I would love to join leaving the pen & control in God’s hands with you 🙂

  • Becca

    I can definitely relate. Three of my older siblings got wonderful spouses and gave birth to beautiful children. I’m only nineteen and I already feel the subtle pressure to marry and have children! My blond cousin seduced a potential bachelor aka my former crush at my brother’s wedding reception a few months ago and I got angry at her. I did get enraged at God at one point after the week where my brother got married. My heart healed from the heartbreak, but I did find myself still comparing myself to my cousin from time to time. So I decided to see if it was God’s will for me to find a potential husband. I’m still waiting to see if marriage is in store or not.

  • Zida

    Thank you for your honesty! The truth in your last sentence is incredible. Everyday I am learning to fall more in love with Jesus and at 28 and single I am still in awe of his love, his grace, his mercy and his faithfulness. I have done a full circle, am back at the start and I am letting God write my love story. It’s exhilarating, and feels so perfect and I can’t even put it into words.


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