When I was in high school, I was blessed to have a lot of titles. Cheerleader. Honors Student. Student Body President. Youth Group Leader. But there was one title I was very displeased with. Dateless. I think I was the only one to graduate from high school without being asked out. No roller rink dates. No fast food jaunts. Nothing. But God had given me a promise.
I went to a Christian school and one day after chapel, I was praying about my dateless state. To my surprise, the speaker came up to me and said, “I believe God has a message for you. He’s preparing a man of God for your life.” I cried tears of joy because like Hannah at the altar, I felt like my prayers had been heard.
Mr. Wonderful was coming!
Starry eyed, I began attending a Christian college where I thought for sure I would meet my match. After all, there were so many new, cute Christian boys everywhere! But once again, dateless. Four years later, I received my BA but alas, no MRS degree. But I did come close.
My senior year, I began dating a terrific young man. He was involved in youth group and studying to be in the ministry. He was kind, smart, quick to smile, captain of the volleyball team and cute to boot. The more I knew about him, the more I liked. I was in love! I thought beyond a shadow of a doubt, “This is the Mr. Wonderful I’ve been waiting for all my life!”
We continued dating after graduation, and I waited. Would he propose? God was about to prepare me for the answer.
One night, I felt terribly sad for no apparent reason. I began to cry in my bedroom. When I asked God why I was crying, I was drawn to the story of Abraham and Isaac. Was I willing to sacrifice my Isaac on the altar? Was I willing to let my relationship die? Tearfully, I said yes to God. A few days later, my boyfriend broke up with me.
I felt as though life had stopped.
One day, I was walking along the beach and felt impressed to sing “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” I declared out loud that God was faithful and struggled to believe it with everything in me. I prayed that God would either restore my relationship or take away my desire for my college sweetheart and bring another man into my life.
Months went by and God had clearly chosen the latter. So I waited for the real Mr. Wonderful to walk into my life. And waited. And waited.
The months turned into years. I was in my late twenties and once again, dateless. But God had given me a promise.
I’m very happy to say Mr. Wonderful did come along. The first time I ever saw James, he was flipping hamburgers at a welcome barbeque at the graduate school we both attended. It wasn’t love at first sight at the condiment bar, but he did catch my eye. We became good friends and it was perfectly clear to me that he was THE ONE. Unfortunately, it took him longer to catch this revelation so once again, I was waiting.
After months of being only good friends, I had to re-evaluate my desire for James. I was growing weary of the crazy way my heart beat when I saw him. My theme verse was Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I prayed that God would take away my desire for James, or that God would place that same desire in James’ heart. In that time of waiting, I learned to surrender my wishes to God.
A few months later, James asked me on our first date to Outback Steakhouse. Thank God he talked to a friend who discouraged him from taking me to Dairy Queen! At dessert, he pulled out a red rose and a yellow rose which he had discreetly hidden in his jacket. He said, “We’ve been friends for a long time and I want to date you and see if there’s something more.” From that moment forward, we were inseparable. Five months later we were engaged. Mr. Wonderful had truly arrived and he surpassed all my high expectations.
That was more than 18 years ago and marrying James was definitely worth the wait. If you’re waiting for your Mr. Wonderful, take heart. God is at work even when you don’t see anything progressing in your relationships. Continue to focus on God and delight in Him then watch how He will give you the desires of your heart. And if you’re married, don’t forget your story. It’s one way to truly appreciate the Mr. Wonderful you already have.
Arlene Pellicane is a speaker and author of several books including 31 Days to a Happy Husband and Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life. She lives in San Diego with her husband James and three children.
More about Walk it Out
What Happens When We Read God’s Word and Actually Do What it Says?
Bestselling Author Tricia Goyer demonstrates the powerful work God accomplishes if we are willing to step out in obedience to Biblical commands and His quiet urgings, no matter our fears or feelings of inadequacy.
Walk It Out illustrates the real-life results of listening to the Scriptural mandates such as care for the orphan, serve the poor, go into the world to spread the gospel, and love others of all races. The author’s journey, from accepting Christ’s forgiveness and telling her story of redemption to answering the call to adopt seven children when she least expected, is filled with the exhilarating, radical, unexpected life that we experience when we walk into God’s plans for us.
“I neither planned or expected any of this—from the ten kids to the stamped-up passport. I didn’t accomplish these things by making a list and checking it off. They happened as I took steps of faith to follow God’s directives.” ~Tricia Goyer