At some point we have all made these wonderful plans of where we’d all be in ten years post high school or college. And, it’s only proven unsuccessful, as we often look at where we are now and realize that our lives are nothing as we had planned so many years ago.
For me — and maybe your dreams were similar — I imagined being married with children, living in a huge house etc. with a high-paying job as an artist. That was my dream. However, the expectations didn’t quite match my reality. Today I’m still single, living in a small apartment, teaching art to pre-k kids. While I’m still waiting for a life-long prayer to be answered, I’ve witnessed many friends living the life I prayed for. Like many of you, I asked myself why. Why am I still single?
It wasn’t until my first heartbreak that all of my questions came into perspective. It was during that period that I began to seek God. A pastor from my church often reminded me that God is a jealous God. Anything we seek before Him will never last, and will only lead to pain as we wouldn’t be aligned to God’s perfect will for our lives.
After my breakup, I attempted to date again — with no success. It felt like I had a barrier around me that repelled anyone I showed interest in or who showed an interest in me. This is where I fell in love with the book of Job. He was a man who lost everything he had, only to regain it tenfold. I totally felt as if I could relate to his experience. Then I was introduced to David, Joseph the dreamer, and Ruth.
Now I know you’re asking, “How are these people helping you find peace in your singleness?” Simple …
What if God has you where you are to prepare you for where you’ll be? David started out as a shepherd leading sheep and became a king leading a nation. Joseph was placed in a pit only to end up in a palace.
As a shepherd, David learned how to lead. Joseph, due to his gifts, became the second most powerful man, right under Pharaoh. These men had to endure the wilderness in order to reach their promised land. It was in their wilderness that they became prepared for their blessing.
Speaking from my own experience, it’s so easy to desire a person because we think they will heal us by replacing what we once had. And if not a breakup, it’s so tempting to embrace anybody just to have somebody. It’s so frustrating when everyone is coupled up and it seems that you can’t find anyone.
But there is a reason. Perhaps there are parts of us that need healing that we may not know about. This is what I learned in my wilderness. God not only revealed His heart and love to me, He also revealed parts of me that I needed to work on to become a better bearer of the blessing I prayed for.
Parts of us must develop to better house the family God has in store for us. Perhaps God needs us to Himself to fulfill a greater purpose. Either way, we must stay in God’s perfect will. He doesn’t want us to lose anything that He gives us. He’ll refuse to place it in our hands until we are ready. Not only does He love us too much to withhold His gift to us, He loves us too much to allow us to invest our hearts into just anyone, especially if our heart is first and foremost pursuing His heart.
God will keep you hidden until the right eyes are ready to see you. God will keep you hidden until the right rib comes along to not only protect your heart, but also your life purpose. God closed that door because He knew that we were worth so much more than what we failed to see behind it.
Your season isn’t meant to punish you but to prepare you. In my season I learned many challenging things about myself, and that is fine. Much like fire tests gold, and pressure creates diamonds, our wilderness tests us. God will test you before blessing you to see if you are ready. In my wilderness I found purpose by helping others heal through my experiences. God allowed my “go through” to help others get through.
Our wilderness is about finding our purpose that brings God glory. When we chase after God, good starts chasing after us, but only in His time. And soon, His perfect love will lead you to a “worth it” love. Don’t allow your wilderness to drive you back to Egypt. Keep walking through the wilderness and into your promise.
Corey C. Johnson is a contributing writer for the TOU article team. He was born and raised in Greenville, Mississippi where he is a portrait artist/illustrator and full time pre-k art teacher. During this season, he received his confirmation as both an artist and writer which prayerfully he'll be a vessel that God can use to help others and lead them towards God as well as discover their unique gifts and calling. This current season has throroughly shown him just that.