Why Hasn’t God Led Me to My Spouse?


Suvcon

Several years ago, I was single and questioning why God hadn’t delivered my spouse in a neatly wrapped package like I always assumed He would.

During Lent that year, I recommitted myself to a focused prayer life and to identifying a greater purpose than just finding my match. This year, reflected on not only Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross, but the sacrifices of husbands to wives and wives to husbands as I prepare for the sacrament of marriage.

I’ve had a different perspective on life each Lent. Those experiences shaped my faith life and celebration of Easter.

A guest priest at my parish recently focused his Sunday homily on the idea of perspective and how your frame of thought can impact not only your day-to-day life, but more importantly, your spiritual life. The priest asked simple, yet poignant questions to the congregation:

Who do you think God is? What role does He play in your life? Is He just out there somewhere or residing deep within your soul?

The way we answer those basic questions directly correlate with our faith life, he said, leaving all of us with a clear message—don’t ever dismiss the importance of perspective.

Those words settled deep within my soul as I left Mass and began to evaluate my perspective on many aspects of life, including my journey to CatholicMatch and in a few months, to the altar. As a single woman post-college, I approached dating with the perspective that my future spouse was out there—somewhere—and it was up to me to find him before he slipped out of sight. It was a challenge I had to overcome, and I didn’t have the perspective that a larger, more beautiful plan was unfolding.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

When I began blogging for CatholicMatch and eventually joined as a member, I consciously let go of my own plan and let God write my love story, which quickly led me to George. During this time, I encountered many readers that seemed to approach online dating the way I approached dating prior to CatholicMatch—as a chore and a burden to bear. Interesting perspective, I thought, with online dating opening the doors to dozens of faithful singles also looking for the right match.

Now that I’m engaged to my once CatholicMatch boyfriend, I, too, see myself falling victim to the power of perspective. As I wonder how I can possibly fit in buying a home and moving in a year overflowing with events and change, I have to realign my thinking and remind myself that I’m now living out all of the dreams I’ve had since I was young.

It’s all about perspective.

In the book “Why? Trusting God When You Don’t Understand,” author Anne Graham Lotz illustrates the impact of perspective through the story of Lazarus from the Gospel of John as she explores the difficult questions of why God lets bad things happen in our world. She specifically calls out Mary and Martha’s plea to Jesus to heal their dying brother and asks:

“Are you interpreting His love by your circumstances instead of interpreting your circumstances by His love?”

So often, we ask questions like why hasn’t God led me to my spouse? Why am I not married when everyone else around me is? By looking deeper through a different lens, we should see the Holy Spirit working in every aspect of our lives, pointing us down the road of life experiences (and CatholicMatch!) to eventually lead us to where God has planned. It’s about Him, not about us.

During this joyous Easter season, I encourage you to reflect on the many perspectives you have—on dating, relationships, spirituality and love. By evaluating how we view the world around us and the faith within us, we can journey through our single lives with our eyes and hearts open, trusting exactly what God has prepared for each of us.






40 Comments

  1. Maritza-1081062 April 22, 2014 Reply

    On a day when I too was questioning, “what’s taking Him so long” I was attracted to your post! I thank you for your honesty in sharing. You said, just what I needed to hear. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials.

  2. Maria-155872 April 22, 2014 Reply

    Your share has given me food for thought and I thank you. I have recently turned 43 and am still hoping for marriage. God has taught me much about perspective, specifically through circumstances in my life the last few years. In 2008 a life long disability forced me to retire from my career at 37. I had to sell my home, move in with family, and thought this was Gods way of giving my body some much needed rest. That perspective took two years to acquire. In 2010 I began to suffer spontaneous bone fractures starting with a very traumatic femur fracture to include six more in following years. I am now recovering from the seventh. I do not know where God is leading, but I know if my perspective on what makes a successful life had not changed, I would probably be in some psychiatric hospital. Thank God I am not. I see God in the circumstances of my illness, but what I have had to let go of is the notion that giving over to God my plans on finding a mate and marriage will not guarantee that I will meet someone soon after as you and many others have done. This is a hard pill to swallow. Stop looking and you will find. It will happen when you least expect are two other well intentioned pieces of advice that have gone by the wayside. In my battle to regain health I have met others, many worse off than me. What it has taught me is that indeed life is unfair and for some the best advice is to ask God for peace and happiness in whatever should happen in life. I am there in regards to working, but not in regards to marriage. I do not want to be a downer, but thought a different kind of story on perspective might be useful to others. And I do not write off the possibility that something good will come my way, I just realize that it is not as simple as I once thought.

    • Tara-916139 April 22, 2014 Reply

      Maria, have you read St. Faustina’s Diary? My journey has been similar to yours, and I am finding that the perspective of the Saints (specifically those who suffered greatly with illness) has helped tremendously. Shifting my perspective to one that embraces suffering, rather than comparing my life to those of others, has born in me both a deep trust and a peace that God is keeping me tightly in His endless love and mercy.

      “Oh, if only the suffering soul knew how much God loves it, it would die of joy and excess of happiness! Someday, we will know the value of suffering, but then we will no longer be able to suffer. The present moment is ours.” (693)

      Shifting our perspective in an attempt to better understand God’s love and infinite wisdom completely transforms our experience! Another quote that comes to mind (source of which I am not certain) is: “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change.”

      And yet another I can’t help but recall, by Maria Shriver: “You have to be willing to let go of the life you planned in order to make the life you’re meant to live.”

      God’s ways are better than our ways, His plans better than our plans. Suffering is such a gift, a truly transformative blessing! Trust fully in where He is leading you, and I will remember you in my prayers.

      • Julie-434302 April 23, 2014 Reply

        Tara,
        Great quote from St. Faustina. Thanks for sharing! I’m going to read more about her.
        :)
        Julie

      • Maria-155872 April 24, 2014 Reply

        Tara,
        I have not read St Faustina’s diary. I think it might do me some good. I appreciate you taking the time to write a post with many thought provoking ideas. I generally am better at not comparing my life with others. Something about this blog triggered an old attitude of self pity and anger at my life. I have worked hard at addressing these emotions and God has been faithful in helping remove many of my character defects. But I am human and get lonely. I now see my need for more prayer that God reveals His plans in a way I can recognize and gives me the strength to accept His will. God Bless

    • Kevin-1079779 April 22, 2014 Reply

      i like what you said Maria. Facing life on life’s terms is being realistic and honest with yourself.
      There is no Tooth Fairy.

  3. Carole-1080999 April 22, 2014 Reply

    I to ,needed to read your post today . Things happen in Divine Order ! Ive learn that in the last several years ,It’s Gods way and time ,not my way,and my time. But I keep needing to be reminded of that premise ! Human beings can never have a (Good Plan ) We think our plan is good of our wants and needs . Gods plan or plans ,,always is better .I know that from my own life. Seeing what transpired after my husbands death I couldn’t work it all out,so perfectly,and I know God totally took over control of my wants and needs , and made things right and good. For this I AM GRATEFUL. CONGRATULATIONS. GOD BLESS. CAROLE

  4. Carole-1080999 April 22, 2014 Reply

    To Maria,what a strong ,wonderful, person you are . What hope you give to others reading your post ! You definitely have the right stuffs and I believe you’re headed in a good direction with a (good heart ) . God directed you to pour out your true feelings,I believe. And thank you for sharing . He will lead you,pay attention ! Good luck and GOD Bless you always . CAROLE

    • Maria-155872 April 24, 2014 Reply

      Thank you Carol…It is a blessing to hear that I can give some others hope, esp when mine is dwindling. But this is life with chronic illness. Body in pain=mind in pain=negative thoughts. I know this well. I also know God will carry me through this flare up to a calmer state

  5. Steven-427874 April 22, 2014 Reply

    This was timed perfectly with how I have been feeling the last few weeks…. Thank you for this.

  6. Jennifer-397634 April 22, 2014 Reply

    Such a perfectly timed post. This is something I struggle with, and I’m still learning how to let go and trust in His plan. Thanks for your wisdom. And congratulations!

  7. Tom-542036 April 22, 2014 Reply

    Well written. Thank you.

  8. Susan-930985 April 22, 2014 Reply

    Dear Carole, Thank you for what I read today. It was in line w/what our priest just said at daily Mass about prayer . My husband died 2 years ago. Though I still miss him, I too, wonder when God is going to send me my new partner. Rather than spending more time searching online and thinking about finding that person, my time would be better spent praying daily for knowledge of God’s perspective on my life.

  9. Kauna-821868 April 22, 2014 Reply

    I thank you for your post. I am 33 and will be 34 in May, and I ask those very questions more often now. I have learnt over the years that it’s not way and I’m not the one in control of my journey, God is. When people ask why are you not married yet? I am learning to say God is not done with me yet, nor is he done preparing the right spouse for me.
    God is amazing and I know, and I am standing on his word that he will grant the desires of my heart according to his great plans and purpose for my life.
    Congratulations and God’s anointing and blessings on your marriage.

  10. Carole-1080999 April 22, 2014 Reply

    What wonderful posts,we’ve all shared our hearts. Do I think GOD had his hands in all this., YOU betcha ! He directs us daily,while we don’t always pay attention, he’s there. After my husband passed ,I didn’t know which way to go, no money, sick and unable to go back to work but have always been strong in my faith but not always attending church.I had lots of direction from others ,that lead me here ,where Im today ! As I look back , its miracle after miracle happening. When your are most desperate fall on your knees give it to him. I had tried to plan, and hurry up things,but ,it didn’t go my way.Its so hard to let someone else take over our lives. If I can help someone in life,I Am happy! So very happy. I am a Cancer ,and otherwise ,survivor . I look for my truth, life’s purpose,my passion and direction …….and highest good .Im continuously looking for my highest good,what God wants me to be .Thank you. CAROLE

  11. Diana-715574 April 22, 2014 Reply

    Well written article. I personally learned that the first step to find peace with one’s marital status is to surrender your will to God. Once I stopped struggling with what I didn’t have and focus on all His blessings in my life I was able to see what He had in store for me. I’m currently engaged to be married in December to a great man I met on CM. For me, it was about letting things happen on His time and not mine.

  12. Juliet-913466 April 22, 2014 Reply

    Thank you for such an uplifting and enlightening post, we all could use this one. I am at peace with myself waiting patiently for that special someone to come into my life on God’s right timing. I trust and believe in him. I have met some men who are interested but I don’t feel the connection with them. I will continue to wait for him according to God’s plan and will.

  13. Carole-1080999 April 22, 2014 Reply

    Diana,good luck , many Blessings ! Great posts everyone ,it’s a wonderful learning and growing experience ! (LIFE ) Religion ……. Gods Ways ! CAROLE

  14. Henry B. April 22, 2014 Reply

    I have been divorced for 6 years (not by MY choice ). I have remained faithful to my wife,and forgiven her for the emotional pain she caused me. This year I have been feeling a strong need for a good Catholic woman as AT LEAST a CLOSE friend even though I am 66 years old with some medical handicaps that prevent me from being as active want, I pray about this almost daily. I often feel lonely. Do you think God will answer my prayers in a positive way ?

  15. Patrick-341178 April 22, 2014 Reply

    I think people need to stop thinking God is the reason they are single or God is the reason others are married. God gave us free will to find our own way in life. Joining catholic match is just one vehicle to try to find that person. Trying other online sites is another. And all the other non internet ways everyone pre 1998 ever met someone…

    I say just keep putting yourself out there and try to meet as many people as you can. Also, if you meet a member of the opposite sex that you like, possibly more than a friend, ask that person out ASAP, so you dont get stuck in the friends zone. I know guys that have a lot of female friends, which I suppose is ok, but are we called to make a lot of friends or meet a spouse? Sometime risking friendships by dating is worth it. (Although I am well aware sometime it is not… believe me I know).

    Also, if you meet someone on this site and you think it has relationship potential, concentrate on the one person until it has run its course or God willing, married. One issue online is I think too many people keep their options open too long. (I am certainly guilty of this.) I wrote a post a few months ago about “the one that got away.” Although it is a long story, one of my regrets is I was too passive in my pursuit of her. When I met her at a Christmas party, I had just re-upped my CM membership. I was more in the testing the waters phase rather than relationship phase. Big mistake. Always be open to relationships and love… you never know when that special someone will come into your life….

    • Jheff-890967 April 22, 2014 Reply

      i agree with you Patrick..like i always tell my friends here..the right one wont just fall on our laps by just sitting there waiting…we need to really go out there and do something. I, for one am very optimistic about this site or any other means of making myself “reacheable” specially with the distance issue I have, but that doesnt stop me from trying. Who knows I might come across someone who will really pursue me no matter what. So, i suggest we all do our part. “Do your best and God will do the rest”..:)

    • Magdalene-1086172 April 28, 2014 Reply

      I agree with what Patrick said…Because I was in the zone of friendship previously because of not daring taking into another step. But now I realized it’s the time…thanks

  16. Elynne-747744 April 22, 2014 Reply

    Thank you, Jessica, and all the other posters on this site for sharing your stories. Like many of you, I know the feeling in the title (and, I must say, as accurately represented in the photo above) all too well. I’m 31 years old, a woman, and single. I know all about “Let go and let God”…I’ve read *that* book about surrendering the pen…multiple times. I’ve been to the mountain and the valley and the river. I’ve played that song from ‘Frozen’ and belted it out karaoke-style. I try to be the person who could be completely fine if she’s single for the rest of her life…but I cannot shake the feeling of “But…no…that’s not quite true, is it?”

    Many of us know the feeling of wondering where we’re missing the mark. i will be honest– when I saw the headline of this article in my inbox, my first thought was, “Great, not another one of those miraculous ‘I simply exhaled and found my husband five minutes later’ stories.” But then I read it, let myself have the feelings, and kept working through the feelings.

    One of the many things Jessica’s article does so well is that it reminds us that there is no ‘mark’…there is no ‘bingo’ or ‘dingdingding’ or doing it right, or mystical other side of whole human-ness where all the enlightened married folks go when they find each other. If, like me, you feel as though you’ve done your best to ‘let go’…perhaps what you (and I) need is a little reminder that trusting God is a lifelong lesson. That, no, the credits do not roll on your life when you meet “the One” and the question “Why Hasn’t God…” does not end with marriage. Yes, you may be one of the lucky ones who reads this, exhales, and meets their spouse tomorrow. You may not. Either way, you are blessed. You are loved. You are on *God’s* path, working towards *Him* every day of your life.

  17. Rachel-984949 April 22, 2014 Reply

    This post has given me insight I had forgotten. It is not all about me and when I see it is all about Him, I may forget myself enough to find my mate? Whilst I am focused on myself I am blocking God’s will maybe…

  18. Linda-255387 April 22, 2014 Reply

    Yep! I never thought I would be 55yr. old and NOT married. God has a plan He just won’t let me in on it. God bless you, Linda

    • Amy-969358 April 23, 2014 Reply

      Never loose hope linda.the right man is coming your way….very soon.just dont stop praying and ask intercession from the Holy Spirit.GOD bless all the hopeful singles…

  19. Mary-925899 April 22, 2014 Reply

    Making friends and being friends first is detrimental for any serious relationship. One really needs to take the time to get to know about your potential spouse in every aspect to include; background, family, upbringing, morals, values and most importantly having God as the center of one’s life. Through prayer and patience, God will bless each and everyone of us with the sacrament of marriage if it his will, not ours and in his time. Let his will be done! Amen and keep the hope and faith!

  20. Erin K. April 23, 2014 Reply

    I am no longer focused on “finding” anyone. I will be 32 in a couple weeks, never been married, never had kids. I have learned to accept my future and that plowing through life alone may be what God wanted for me. I’ve adopted a new approach to life in the past couple of years that in turn broadened my motivation to live my life as if I only have one more day left here on earth. Sounds lame perhaps, but it really has catapulted me out of feeling sorry for myself, and I know God has a more exciting plan for me than I would have had…even if I had been married by now. Sometimes the single life really is more rewarding than being married! It just reinforces a certain motto that I have carried with me through the years and it applies to me now more than ever: The day that I finally meet God I want to be able to say “I did everything I could with what You gave me.”

  21. Tina-687323 April 23, 2014 Reply

    Great article and some good points here. I also wanted to add that as Catholics, whether single, dating or married, our most important relationship is – or should be with God. Even if we are sure the person we have met is ‘the one’ we still need Jesus to help us discern or for guidance or support or strength or simply to help us retain our sense of perspective, especially for those of us who have met and feel called to be with someone who is not – and most likely never willbe of the faith. As another article in this newsletter put it: Jesus is the perfect Bridegroom

  22. Jorge-1076997 April 23, 2014 Reply

    Very, very helpful. An inspiration from our Lord!

  23. Marlyn-1066007 April 23, 2014 Reply

    Last holy thursday i was in confession room with our parish priest, I confess all my sins my worries & insecurity in life, then our priest gave me an advice and counselling as will. bcoz I was confuse why I’m still single? what is my purposes here on earth. I am a 100 percent woman. but still asking God many why”s in life… I hope God will answer my prayer. I dont want to be alone, I want to have partner for a lifetime…

  24. Rachael-862011 April 23, 2014 Reply

    A very wise priest once said to me, ‘ask God for a Joseph-like man.’ And for the men I add, ‘ask Our Lady for a woman like her… We as singles must ask for grace to have the right perspective and purity of intentions when seeking out our future partners. During this time we must enjoy every moment of being single which is also a vocation. We do not want to waste all this precious time waiting only to go into marriage thinking, ‘what have I done with my life?’ We want to go into marriage as compliments for our partners and not as incomplete needy people. I know what it feels like to feel lonely being single but can you imagine if that were the case even in marriage? If you cannot be happy, fulfilled and complete now, not even marriage will do the magic. Accept who you are now and enjoy every moment and pray a lot to Our Lady.
    God’s peace and congrats to you Jessica!

  25. Michael-369664 April 23, 2014 Reply

    Years ago a friend told me
    ‘if you’re not happy as a single person, you probably won’t be happy as a married person.” Good advice.
    My younger brother told me–”you will miss some things not being married, but you might not miss as much as you think.” I think many of us have great angst about being single over 30 since in our culture being married is seen as such a prize, If you’re not married, you’re seen as flawed or have sexual issues. If you live in the South like I do, the pressure to be married is very intense, and the divorce rate is high! We celebrate weddings with so much hoopla, but we forget a wedding is not a marriage! The media leaves us with the impression, once you’re married, it’s life happily ever after. How I wish that was true. I only wish this culture would value and appreciate single adults just as they are, and stop demanding they change their marital status. I know years ago many companies would not promote single men. The thinking was:
    if you’re not married, you’re not responsible. I’m sure it still goes on too.

  26. MariaTeresa-648966 April 24, 2014 Reply

    I enjoyed reading all your comments, and I am happy to know and was affirmed that I am not alone in feeling left out as single till this time. Yes indeed being single is a vocation and a time to enjoy the opportunity of being single. I truly believe that we are destined into something only its not yet our time, just have faith for it is written Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”. For all of us and this I kept in my heart always 1 Corinthians 16:14 “Do everything in love”;
    Thank you so much for the inspiring article.

  27. MaryAnn-1066903 April 25, 2014 Reply

    Jeremiah 29:11 ,,,I copied & keep for a daily pray.

  28. Janet-1083900 April 26, 2014 Reply

    Hello

    I would like to introduce myself as a new member on Catholic Match. I want to share my story about trusting God for a husband. My parents were divorced and I did not want the same thing to happen to me. I asked God to pick out a husband for me. I met him on my way to a prayer meeting. We married in 1985 and he just passed away in 2013. He prayed the rosary for me to be willing to convert to the Catholic faith. We converted as a couple. I love Adoration and Jesus is real to me in the Blessed Sacrament. Now I am open to whatever the next adventure God brings into my life.

    There was a point in my Christian walk where I got tired of waiting and began to date someone. God told me that was not the person He had in mind for me. I obeyed God and quit dating that individual.

    If you let HIm, God will get you ready and also get your future spouse ready.

  29. Michael-369664 April 28, 2014 Reply

    I know now at 58 I had several good spousal choices open to me had I pursued them decades ago.
    My problem was chronic illness and not having the resources to date anyone. With time those prospects moved on, married, divorced etc. I never considered marriage since I didn’t want children for many reasons.
    I don’t think I would have been successful or happy as a parent, and I don’t regret that choice. I think if you are under 40 and still lukewarm or undecided about marriage, please know this. Your prospect pool is shrinking fast, after 40 it will be very tough to find undamaged or solid marriage prospects anymore. If you want to trust in God fine. I am a firm believer in trusting in him while I’m rowing to shore. I can see now my marital status isn’t going to change. I wouldn’t expect that this late in life. At a certain point you age out of the dating market, and once it happens you can’t keep chasing rainbows.

  30. Chavel-895977 May 12, 2014 Reply

    Off hand cause you want a perfect package…Been my experience that women, and men, want a perfect mate, so they overlook the wonderful God Loving Person in front of them…

    My 2 cents…
    Chavel

  31. Nancy-467036 May 27, 2014 Reply

    Hello! I have been on Catholic Match for a while and want a men’s point of view. How does a smart, energetic, personable woman go from first to second base? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  32. Michael-780154 July 27, 2014 Reply

    Very nice blog. I needed to “hear” this, as it further drives home the point my priest made during a talk he and I had yesterday. Thank you!!

    I think the bottom line is that we must happy in ourselves and not allow ourselves to wallow in self pity. Self pity is the devil at work. I got mass every Sunday and see all the married people with families and wonder why I do not have a wife. I’m better looking than most of those guys, love children, and want to share bringing up children and live life fully in the Church with a Catholic lady. Self pity is an easy trap to fall into…

    So… joyfully turning outward and serving, while keeping one’s ears to the ground listening for a future spouse, is the way ahead. I think we all have ups and downs, but for the long term the priest’s message to me is that we can’t stop living because of feelings of emptiness. Fill that hole with the power that comes from learning how to be joyful despite the absence of a spouse. It is a hard, hard thing to do…but to do less is to not fully tap our gifts.

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