“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.” Proverbs 3:5-6 {The Message}

Tomorrow will be a big day.
Six months ago, I made a big decision.

182 days.

I took this leap of faith and, after months of excuses, I just. followed. Him.

No dating.
No flirting.
No ‘does he like me?’

None of it.

I’m 20.
I’m a sophomore in college.
I’m in a sorority and we take dates to functions.
I go to Samford where everyone is in a relationship…or looking for one.

But I called it quits. In the middle of a generation looking for a good time before settling down, I said no more. Amidst many of my closest friends being in serious relationships, I sat down and stopped looking, stopped waiting.

Instead, I spent six months looking to the only One and waiting on Him.

Last summer I listened to six or seven podcasts of different churches. I had been doing this for a while, but found a few new ones over the summer. I quickly began to see a pattern: Many of these churches, spread out around the U.S., were talking about relationships and dating.

Or, more specifically, not dating.

I listened and took in a lot of what they were saying, but I remember thinking: God, this is such a weird coincidence. What are you trying to teach me, because don’t you remember – I’ve never been on a date, never had a boyfriend. Why do I need to hear this? I’m not only happy single, I’m content.

The podcasts kept saying over and over “say goodbye to dating for one entire year. 365 days. Make it no longer an option, no matter who comes into the picture. Just focus on you and God.”

I couldn’t get away from that idea all summer and even into October – but one year felt so long. Get rid of the option of dating until I’m about to turn 21? I mean…who does that?!

Eventually, I stopped coming up with excuses and just faced the truth: I’ve never been on a date, no. But I don’t view guys the way I should.

It seemed like every time I would meet a guy, I would automatically judge whether he’d be a good date for formal. Can he dance? Is he polite? Can he hold a conversation?

At the end of the day, I really just wanted some good guy friends, but my mind kept going from friend to potential date – and I didn’t even like any of the guys {let alone know many of them!}.

That isn’t how I wanted to be viewing guys, and I knew that needed to change. Even that, though, probably wouldn’t have been enough to push me to commit to six months. Then another realization hit:

I’ve seen many relationships end {and with my closest friends, too}, and I’ve seen the confusion, hurt, and pain it brings to those involved. And still, if a guy asked me out tomorrow I’d probably jump in and see…just cause, even if it wasn’t the perfect guy.

And that wasn’t okay.

I had saved my heart purposefully – not just to be jolted around in a “he likes me so lets try it” relationship. Even if it’s just a date or two.

I don’t want to be in a hurry.
I don’t want to settle.

“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

I knew I needed to change the way I was viewing my own personal (non-existent) dating life. It seemed a bit ridiculous to say I wouldn’t even allow the option of dating for the next six months, when I had never been on a date in the first place.

But that wasn’t what it was about.

It was about my heart.

Because when a guy walks into the picture, I want my heart to be ready.

So I started to think about what it means to wait. What would six months mean for me? Through our big ‘once every four years’ formal, Christmas, Jan. term, Step Sing, and most of spring semester…nothing. Just waiting. But waiting with a purpose, with action.

I know it’s okay to wait on God, with God, for His timing – but waiting isn’t for me to sit back and do nothing.

Farmers have to prepare the soil for the harvest they’re dreaming of.

If you’re not where you wanna be when you meet the person you wanna marry, thank God that you haven’t met the person that you wanna marry yet! That just means you’ve got time to let God make you into that person you wanna be. -Louie Giglio

It would have been easy for me to simply “stay single.” I could have just kept keeping on and not made a commitment. But the challenge wasn’t to say no, the challenge was to say yes to self-improvement. I needed my idea of love and relationships to be renewed. I needed to see them and approach them how He does.

On October 9, 2012, I wrote this in my journal:

So I’m doing it. 

6 months. 

No dating, no flirting, no dreaming ahead when there’s no boy in sight. 

6 months of getting me ready. Focusing on my relationship with Daddy so I’ll be content whenever the guy does appear. 

Right now there’s no one even on the horizon. Not a soul. But no more wishing, looking for one. Even if Mr. Perfect shows up tomorrow, the answer will be no. Maybe he would wait, maybe not. 

I for one will be actively waiting on God.

He began to change me. I saw an immediate difference in how I viewed guys. I no longer cared about whether a guy would be a good date for formal, and I stopped trying to figure out if a guy was interested in pursuing me. What did it matter when my answer would be no? I wasn’t interested in being pursued, I was just pursuing the One who first pursued me!

But my God is funny and loves to throw some irony into my life.

Just two days later I got a message from a boy who said some very, very nice things about me, and then asked if I’d want to go play putt-putt.

He didn’t use the word ‘date,’ but I had to sit down while reading the message because I was laughing so hard my shoulders shook.

I hadn’t heard from this guy in months and we were only ever friends. He certainly might have been asking me to join a group of friends for putt-putt, but he didn’t specify and I didn’t allow my heart to go anywhere but, “Oh God, You are funny. Two days? I’ve never been asked out and just two days later, this?

I quickly responded saying I’m ridiculous about putt-putt and take it too seriously {complete truth}, that it would be really fun, and we should get a group together to go.

There was no need to explain my two-day-old commitment, or to say “Hey, check back in 180 days!” But there was a need to protect my heart and not hurt his.

I could tell story after story, but the bottom line is this: I took a break from something I had never really started doing in the first place, and it was absolutely the right decision.

I’ve changed. I’ve grown. I’ve gotten closer to Him, not to a him.

“For I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

None of this is to push anyone to pursue this for six months or even a year. It’s just a celebration, because He once again proved Faithful as always, the Lover of my soul.

I knew it before and I know it still: I’m content with just me and God. I’m 20 and I don’t need a man, I just need Him.

I don’t know where I go from here. A good friend said, “Now you’re back on the market!”…but that’s not the point of this whole six months at all. If a guy shows up next week, it would be a complete shock. I’m still not where I totally want to be, and I don’t know what I would do, but I do know prayer would be involved and I wouldn’t jump into a thing.

And that is progress.

From October 9, 2012.
God, I’m not really sure what I’m doing. I know the commitment I’m making, but not what it will entail. Maybe a guy will appear 3 months from now, or maybe I’ll be 30. Either way, I want to be ready and I’m not ready now. Whatever these 6 months are going to be, I’m giving it to You right now. Have the rest of my life, but especially these next 6 months. Would you please grow me, change me, mold me, and use me. I want to be closer to You and know You more. I trust you, especially with the unknowns of this 6. You are Faithful and good and I love you.