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"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?
Run in such a way that you may win." » I Corinthians 9:24

I remember the thrill of realizing he liked me.

I didn’t like him back at first, but the feeling was so soothing—being loved, being wanted by a boy. I eventually fell for him, and I fell hard.

I fasted for him and prayed he would be who I believed God wanted him to be. You see, I believed God wanted us to get married.

But my parents disagreed.

It was so confusing. My parents thought something was amiss with this young man. I trusted my parents and loved God more than anything on this Earth, but I truly believed this boy and I were supposed to be together one day. So I held on to the hope of “maybe not now, but one day.”

I thought I had surrendered my feelings to the Lord, but in my mind, I still built my future around that “one day.” I figured if I just prayed and waited long enough, things would change, and God would let us get married. But it didn’t happen that way.

When God closed the door to that relationship completely, I entrusted my broken heart to Him, along with every hope I had of getting married. It was gut-wrenching in the beginning. I couldn’t even eat the first two days. The weight of my disappointment clamored for my attention every minute.

I tried to entertain the “one day” hope for a little while longer, but the more I pressed in to God, the more I realized I had gotten it so wrong.

The conviction I had that this boy and I were meant to be married was nothing more than romantic feelings clouding my judgment. How had I been so blind? I must not have been a good enough Christian, I thought.

No. I just allowed my emotions to obscure my perception.

I still praise Jesus that the Spirit of God in me was stronger than my emotions, which is what helped me submit to my parents’ leading on the matter.

As a result, the Lord healed my pain as time went on—to the point that I don’t understand why I had those romantic feelings to begin with. I can’t conjure them back up even if I try. All that remains is a compassion for that young man and a desire for him to know Jesus better.

And guess what. My parents were right. The Lord had something very different in store for me than I had suspected.

I’m not married, but I’m in a courtship with a young man whose love for Jesus blows my mind whenever I think about it. I can’t tell you for sure if God is going to have us get married or not because I don’t know the future, but just being his friend right now has drawn me closer to Jesus and made me stronger.

Do you think I would trade this friendship for something I thought I wanted before? I’ll let you figure that one out.

My dear friend, listen to your parents. If they have a concern about your relationship with a particular boy, listen. Even if you don’t understand, listen. Even if you feel like this boy is truly the one, listen … not to your heart—but to God and to the parents He gave you.

Jenny Rose, a homeschool graduate, works at Charisma Media as copy editor and host of the “Charisma News” and “SpiritLed Woman” podcasts. She graduated from Stetson University with a double major in Spanish and Communications.

© 2014 Finish Well Conference
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