My name is Janette. Otherwise known as Honey (in church) and Jad (in school).
I am a junior college undergraduate student taking up BS Biology majoring in Zoology. I am 19 years old. I never had a boyfriend, never went out on a date, never been touched, never been kissed. Suffice it to say, I have been single all my life.
My single life is not that interesting but it’s not boring either. I do have crushes and guys being “overly-friendly” towards me from time to time but ever since I read Josh Harris’ book on dating (I Kissed Dating Goodbye), my eyes were opened to the consequences of pursuing romantic relationships at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons.
But knowing better doesn’t mean acting and doing better.
Whoever said only those in a relationship got their hearts broken?
In high school, when it seemed as if everyone has someone they’re romantically involved with and none for yourself, it really does come to a point where you begin to ask yourself if there is something wrong with you that keep the guys away. When somebody does come along and notice the little things you do or say your name a little differently or look at you with a sparkle in their eyes, you take the leap (without calculating the cost) thinking that you can fly only to realize midair that you can’t and the only direction you’re going is downward. To the ground.
I know what it’s like to have a crush, get infatuated, and invest deeply on romantic attachments that never quite reached their full potential. I have also had my heart bruised, cracked, and broken by guys I’m not in a relationship with. It was awful: feelings were on the line despite the lack of commitment. Sure, you get giddy, you get to have someone whom you can call pet names with and greet you ‘good morning/evening’ or ‘have you eaten?’ text messages and almost 24/7 texting and all that schoolyard romance stuff, but behind all that rhapsody of emotions, you always end up wondering where all of it was going or if it was even going anywhere in the first place.
I admit: those so called “romances” (M.U. would be the right word for them) made me happy at some point, but if I were given a chance to do them all over again, I would choose not to. Instead, I would tell myself to make the run for it, to escape while it was still possible.
God does not intend for us to have our hearts broken.
In those situations when I allowed myself to invest feelings for someone, I wish I turned around and fled. I wish I heeded advice. I wish I drew my hand away and kept my heart to myself instead of handing them over to boys who didn’t cherish it. I have gotten my heart back, but in shreds, in pieces; not quite the same as it was in the beginning. While the other party remained unbruised and oblivious of what I was going through when they waltzed away with no reason. No explanation at all. Well, not that I had the right for it in the first place though.
Now that I’m in college, a few years far from high school and its folly, I have come to appreciate for myself the value in waiting for the right time when pursuing romantic relationships. Romance can wait, I have learned, even when it seems to be the most essential thing in life next to food, clothing, and shelter… well, according to the world, that is.
Yes, it is nice to have someone to share all that romantic movie clichés with. Yes, it does get lonely sometimes. It is tempting to give in and succumb to our emotions especially when the world celebrates it and encourages us to do the same. It does make you wonder if there is anything wrong with you when love evades your path, but if the Lord wills that we should spend our lifetimes with someone He has prepared for us, then that person will come at the right time, at the right moment.
That’s the reason, I have learned, why we are discouraged from playing the dating game and instead preserve ourselves and our hearts until the right person comes along. That is why romance is associated with fire because it burns everything it touches and nothing is ever the same. There is no going back to the way things were. A heartbreak is a crushing experiencing and it scars us. It scars us for life and we are never the same person again.
A year ago, on my eighteenth birthday, I made the commitment to God to a lifetime of purity and sexual abstinence until the day I enter a biblical marriage. It’s not something we usually talk about, but I will be honest in telling you that the struggle is real. I may not be struggling with sexual abstinence, but a thousand times, I have failed in keeping myself pure in the other aspects. I will also tell you that while I am weak, He is strong. It is from Him that I get the strength to say ‘no’ to things I would not be able to say ‘no’ to on my own. The Lord has rescued me many times from circumstances in which I would have not wanted to be rescued from. The Lord has redeemed me when I stumbled over and over and over again.
I don’t know about your struggle, but I will tell you that you are not alone. You will be surprised at how many people are actually going through the same thing you’re going through. Your situation isn’t also hopeless. What helped me was that I shared my struggle to someone. I unburdened myself to godly people I am close with and through them I have received priceless advice on what to do. An accountability partner is wonderful to have. The idea of telling someone something not pretty about ourselves diminishes our desire to do the thing again. I also prayed and asked God for help, for strength to the right thing even when it is difficult, even when it hurts. We place our hopes in the Lord that He can and He will deliver us from our predicaments. We only need to ask.
The struggle is still there. The temptation is still there. It whispers. It calls out to me from time to time, but it is only because I look at the Lord that I am able to flee from the temptatation. It is only because of Him that I walk again even after stumbling. It is only because He holds my hand that I continue to run the race despite difficulty. His grace has brought me safe this far and it will be the same grace that will lead me Home.
There is a purpose for our singleness even when we don’t think there is. Instead of focusing on what we lack, instead of looking for that boy or girl, let us pursue the Lord in this season of our lives. Let us seek Him first above all else and everything else will fall into place. And if not, if the Lord wills no one for us, our cultivated relationship with the Lord will make us realize that despite what the world dictates about relationships and how we need someone to complete us, we are no less of person if we are single. It is not in our partners that we find our identities in, but rather we find our identity in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let’s fall in love with God. Let’s read and study His word. Let’s cultivate our relationship with Him.
Let’s pursue Him first before anything else… everything else will fall into place.
I bring back to God all the glory and honor.