Today I picked up one of my old journals and was hit with a jumbled mix of emotions as I slowly turned the pages and read over my scrawled writing. I had stumbled upon several pages of written prayers, dreams and hopes for my future husband and marriage.
I felt a twinge of embarrassment at what seemed like overly hopeful and wishful thinking. I wondered if I really even deserved the kind of guy I wrote about. Tears of sadness suddenly pooled in my eyes as the unfettered utterings of my heart brought to the surface a deep and unfulfilled longing – a longing which I’ve done my best to forget recently.
Doubt made me question whether there was ever a man out there who could love me the way I hoped to be loved one day. And somewhere amidst these emotions, Hope glimmered like a precious jewel cast in the dirt, catching the sun’s light.
Get your hopes up
I’m nearing on 30 years old and I’d like to get married one day. Through heartbreak and disappointments, it’s sometimes been easy to lose sight of hope in this area. But today I feel God whispering to me, and to all of you who are waiting for your love story to unfold – ‘Get your hopes up’.
Not ‘getting your hopes up’ is seen as a way of protecting our hearts. Our dreams and desires are some of the most vulnerable parts of ourselves, so we often bury them out of sight, especially when past experiences have brought pain or disappointment.
But hopelessness steals our joy and keeps us living mediocre lives. If we are too afraid to hope for much, we won’t aim for much, and wherever we set our focus is where we’ll end up! Hope is what will steer our ship to incredible destinations. Hope gives life and breath to our dreams.
It may feel uncomfortable, ridiculous and challenge our sense of ‘togetherness’ to allow our dreams and desires out of hiding and into the light of hope, but this is what hope requires.
We find the courage to hope only as we draw near to God, the one who makes the impossible possible. The more we realise he is a loving father, the more we realise he has good things for us, and our hope begins to rise within us.
Having hope doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be real about our struggles in the time of waiting. For many of us, the path to finding the right person is frustrating, bewildering, chocker-block full of lessons learned, and often painful. We need to be real about that.
There can be a general vibe from people (often married/partnered up) that as single people we should be nothing but thrilled about our state of singleness. We should wack on a smile and enjoy our spontaneous lives, milking life for all it’s worth before we’re ‘tied down’.
While it’s definitely true we should make the most of every season in our lives, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to get married one day. And there’s also nothing wrong with all the emotions we might feel as we wait, as we watch our friends and family get married and have children, as those relationship dynamics change, and as we live in the tension of enjoying where we are at, while still desiring a partner.
We have permission to feel.
Grace meets us in our weakness. When we are real with God and real with those around us, it gives opportunity for Him to come and strengthen us. Pretending we are fine all the time and burying any disappointment or pain won’t allow our hearts to process what it needs to, and we’ll end up stuck in a rut of negative emotions. Being completely authentic with how we are really doing is how we continue moving forward, healthy and whole.
The best relationships happen between two whole, healthy people. Someone once said to focus less on finding ‘the one’ and more on becoming the one. That’s wisdom.
Becoming the one is not about getting all your ‘ducks in a row’. It’s about your heart, the place where all life flows from. So how is your heart? Are there still significant areas where God wants to bring healing and freedom?
While you wait, don’t put life on hold. Use it as a time to expand your heart and capacity to love well. Go on adventures, dream with God, make personal growth a priority, get the healing you need, invest in friendships and be a blessing to those around you.
Pursue God with everything you have. The best place to find the right person is the place God calls you to. So just follow him wherever he’s leading and BAM, one day on that path your one and only will be standing there in all their amazingness.
God writes the best love stories EVER. Maybe it’s time to put down the pen and let him write it for you as you lay back and rest in the beauty of hope, smiling at whimsical day-dreams of falling in love.
Bonnie loves all things old-fashioned, exploring new places, coffee with friends and being with her family. She is passionate about broken hearts and relationships being restored through the power of vulnerability and honesty with God and others. Bonnie has a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies and a Master of International Public Health, and hopes to work in developing countries one day.
Bonnie Dowie’s previous articles may be viewed at