I have a lot of memories from my post annulment days of being single and dating, and when I look back at them, I can often see a lesson learned, or a teachable moment in even some of the smallest things. What’s funny about that is, I couldn’t see it at the time. That’s one benefit of growing older; you get to look back at your life and see what was really happening at the time, how God was working in your life when you didn’t even realize it.
One day after Mass during those single years, I was walking out of church with Marie, an older and wiser friend of mine who had been through the divorce and remarriage process 10 years before. I said with all the strength I could muster to not break into tears, “Why is God making me wait? Why haven’t I met the right guy, yet?” Her answer still rings in my ears… “Because one of you isn’t ready, yet.”
This was hard to hear at first, because I felt I was ready and had been for a long time. What more was there for me to do? Well, it was a wise answer indeed, because after all, isn’t there always room for personal improvement?
If you’re having a hard time being patient while you wait for Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful to walk through the door – and don’t be hard on yourself if you are because those feelings are normal – a good way to lessen the anxiety you are experiencing is to distract yourself by doing something productive. What better way to be productive than by doing something to improve yourself. Every period of your life is an opportunity to do something great. This period of your life you’ve been given for the time being – the single life – is a gift to you from God. You might not feel like it is a gift at times and that’s completely understandable. Like every state in life, being single has it’s share of hardships and crosses to bear. But you must keep in mind that despite those hardships, it is a gift because it is a special time of preparation.
It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are that have led you up to this point; maybe you’ve lost a spouse through death or have been through the divorce experience, or maybe you just haven’t found Mr. or Mrs. Right, yet. It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are, if you’re looking for a lasting relationship, you need to prepare yourself. So the question is, what can you do to prepare? Here are some suggestions:
1. Get Comfortable In Your Own Skin
Many single people have this mastered, but it’s amazing how many don’t and are actually experiencing the distress of loneliness because they don’t know how to enjoy their own company. If this sounds like you, then there’s no better time than the present to start getting comfortable with yourself. An easy way to improve your rapport with yourself is by creating a mini-bucket list and taking action on each entry. Start with adding things that you’ve always wanted to do and instead of waiting for someone to do them with, go for it on your own. This can be a good way to start, but it’s also important to recognize that being uncomfortable when you’re alone might be a sign of some deeper problem. You may have unresolved issues that need to be addressed. In this case, I recommend seeking out some spiritual direction and some time in Eucharistic Adoration. Both can be extremely helpful in resolving something like this.
2. Discover Your Mini-Mission
If you feel confident you are called to be married, congratulations. It’s great to have that self- assurance in regard to the direction in life you will take. But, what is God calling you to do in the meantime? What is the mini-mission He wants you to fulfill while you wait? Now there’s some food for thought. Could this be the reason you haven’t met the right one, yet? Only you and God know, so you should take some time to discern this if nothing readily pops into your mind.
Don’t let this great opportunity pass you by and count on my prayers for you as you continue your search.