On Finding “The One”: Where to Start, Where to Look

// Week 6 of “Waiting + Dating: a 7 Week Guide to Godly Relationships” //

{Links to Week 1, Week 2 + Week 3Week 4 + Week 5}

Hearing my husband say these words, I think back to all the times I doubted anyone ever would.

On the long road of singleness, I doubted there were any men left who actually wanted to commit and didn’t want to just “hang out.” I doubted there were any more godly men who were seeking to settle down. I doubted I would ever hear a man this excited about a commitment, and yet here he is.

Clay truly is the man of my dreams and my one true love. He is without a doubt God’s absolute best for me. And yet the journey to finding him was long and difficult and winding and confusing. And did I mention long?

I often wondered as I waited… Where does one find a godly man? I looked at my friends’ husbands–godly men I admired–and began to wonder if all the “good ones” were taken–especially here in LA.

And well, that was just Satan trying to get me to believe his lies.

As it turns out there are still godly men out there. And women for that matter, men! I did not take the last one. But as you may recall from Week 2 what led me to my husband was actually a journey that began with myself–my heart and reevaluating my approach to and ideas surrounding a romantic relationship.

In the wake of that breakup, I journeyed–well, journaled–through the following:

  • who I am. 
  • who I want to be. 
  • who I want to be with.

I reminded myself of who I was in Christ–His beloved who was worth the cost.

I pondered who I wanted to be–a woman after God’s own heart in every way.

And then I made a list–well, re-made a list–of the qualities I wanted in a future husband.

Then I set out to living my life in accordance to these truths. As you know that journey ended up leading me to check out Foundry–the young adults group at our church. I went there in search of fellowship with God and community with those who love Him. And the bonus was that I just so happened to meet Clay there.

A wise friend recently said regarding dating, “It’s not who you’re looking for, it’s who you’re looking to.

A deeper relationship with Jesus is the focal point. A romantic relationship is something that comes into our periphery along the way.

On Clay’s and my first date we danced overlooking the ocean, underneath the stars, to what would eventually become “our song.” The following lyrics from Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out loud played through our earbuds, perfectly describing how our lives came together:

We found love right where we are.


Ponder in Prayer

Are you discouraged on the long journey of finding “the one.” Do you doubt God’s best is still out there? Or are you remaining steadfast in the truth of His promises?

Are you surrounding yourself with the type of community in which you might find “the one” you’re looking for? Or are you looking for love in all the wrong places?

Ask God to search your heart and guide you in the right direction–on the path that leads you closer to Him in each and every way. Share with Him your desires, and then surrender your love story to Him. Believe me, He writes way better ones than we ever could!


Knowledge of Truth

We are called to seek God above all else. As wonderful as marriage is, it will never be the ultimate fulfillment of the deepest desires of our hearts and greatest longings of our souls. That’s God’s place. That’s His territory. Human love will–no matter how great–let us down. God calls us to seek first and foremost Him. He promises He won’t let us down in adding to our relationship with him the desires of our heart.

  • “You shall have no other gods before me.” – Exodus 20:2
  • “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4
  • “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33

Our Father longs to give us good gifts. Nowhere in Scripture does it say we are guaranteed a spouse, but it does say that God longs to give us good gifts. Last week I included the passage from Matthew 7:9-11 where Jesus compares God’s love for us to that of an earthy father who, even sinful, knows how to give good gifts to his children. Here are a couple more verses that reassure us that God does not long to withhold blessings from us, but rather that He is working all things together for our good and His glory.

  • “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” – Isaiah 58:11
  • “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
  • “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” – James 1:17
  • “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” – Psalm 84:11

I love that reminder: no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. God longs to give us good gifts, but we must be walking in His righteousness. He will do His part, but we have to play our part.


Wisdom for the Journey

Write it down. Journal through the following journey:

  • WHO I AM: Take an honest look at your life. Who are you? What do you stand for? Where do you spend your time? What’s your purpose in life? Do your actions line up with your words? Does who you say you are match up with who you really are?
  • WHO I WANT TO BE: Think of your life. Think of the future. Ponder the type of woman or man you long to be. What type of future husband or wife do you want to be. What characteristics and qualities do you long to have?
  • WHO I WANT TO BE WITH: Then begin to ponder and write down who you want to be with. What qualities do you want them to have? What characteristics do you want them to embody?

Make a change. Make practical changes in your life that will help you walk toward God’s Kingdom and righteousness and shape you into the man or woman you want to be. Make new friends if necessary. Seek new community. You can never surround yourself with too many people who love the Lord. Spend time loving on God’s people. Serve. It’s along that path that you are likely to find the type of man or woman you long to be with. While we can’t control God’s timing or His gifting, we can control the direction toward which we are journeying. When can control who we are looking to.

Memorize Matthew 6:33. Write it on your bathroom mirror. Make it the wallpaper of your phone. Let it be your anthem–not only on your journey of finding “the one” but on the greater journey of your life.

Remember: in your waiting, God is working. As Hillsong sings in their song Seasons:

If you’re not done working, God, then I’m not done waiting.

I have no doubt God was working in my life and in Clay’s life all the way up to the day of our first date to prepare us to be the people we needed to be to begin to build a lasting relationship. {And I have no doubt He is continuing to do so!}

It’s so difficult to trust God in the thick of waiting + dating. While we can only see this small portion of our lives and story–like we are in a corn maze, and we can only see one twist or turn at a time. And often we choose the wrong path and have to turn around and start over. But God sits above, from an areal perspective. And He knows just where you are. He knows just where you’re going to end up. And He knows just how to get you there.

Look up. Look to Him. He’s got you. Trust Him. Even when it’s hard. Even when it hurts. He has better things prepared for you than you could ever imagine. And as I’ve said a million times before, He authors the most intricate, unpredictable, beautiful love stories.

On the journey of finding “the one,” start with Him and look to Him. One day you’ll look back and see just how God was bringing all things together, how He was compiling all the scrap pieces, notes and chapters to compile a love story in your life that one day you will get to tell.

Week 7. A Dim Reflection: Why Marriage isn’t the Happy Ending.

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