Love Handles Chapter 1

When God Tells You to Wait

There’s a Purpose to It All

I hated waiting. Yet when I look back at my life, I realize I’ve had so much of it.

In grade school, while almost everyone would be fetched shortly after our 3:45 p.m. dismissal, my sister and I would have to wait till 6:30 for our ride.

When Christmas came, no matter how much I groveled for Mommy to let me open just one gift before Christmas Eve, she’d say, “No. You have to wait.”

As a preadolescent, I couldn’t wait to turn 13 and finally be a teenager. When I did turn 13, I wanted to go to parties. Mommy said not until I was 16. And that was the same answer I got when I asked about having a boyfriend.

Then I came to know the Lord. At my Life in the Spirit seminar, I learned that prayer was a conversation. And so I learned   to wait on God to speak to me. “If you don’t hear Him, maybe the Lord is teaching you patience,” said the speaker. And so, there I sat daily during my prayer time, learning the lesson of patience every time I didn’t hear His voice.

When I heard His voice and gave my life to Him, I learned to put my youthful passions and romantic pursuits aside. I waited to turn 23 to begin discerning my state of life, only to wait some more until my elder in the community said I was ready.

I was finally discerned for marriage many years after that, and I thought my waiting had come to an end. But no, I simply moved from one waiting room to another. This time, it was staying put until someone would ask me out for a date, to tell me that he loves me, wants to marry me, and then wait some more until it finally happened.

Now I realize I was naïve to think I’d reach the point when I didn’t have to wait for anything. But come to think of it, what kind of person would I have become if I had never had to wait? For sure, spoiled, impulsive and indulgent. Nothing close to what the Lord

wants me to be.

So I thank Mommy who always made me wait. And for every circumstance in my life that kept me on hold. Through them all I’ve learned about delaying gratification. And that’s what heaven is all about.

So you’re single. And you’re waiting to find your One True Love. What can you do while you’re in your “waiting room”? Lots!

 

1. Beautify yourself.

“Don’t depend on things like fancy hairdos or gold jewelry or expensive clothes to make you look beautiful. Be beautiful in your heart by being gentle and quiet. This kind of beauty will last, and God considers it very special.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)

 

I know a sweet single lady who had dedicated herself to serving the Lord. While

the other singles around her were getting hitched, she didn’t even have a suitor. Well-intentioned people around gave her advice, saying that what she needed was a makeover so she could hook a guy.

So she ditched her long skirts and conservative blouses and started to wear body hugging shirts and mini skirts.

Many years later, she’s a lot older and still single.

More than getting a makeover, what’s important is cultivating the beauty within. Because while a woman can make men’s heads turn with her good looks, a man will marry a woman who is beautiful inside.

One who is kind.

One who is generous.

One who feels good about herself.

One who is caring.

One who is loving.

 

2. Grow yourself.

“To those who use well what they are given, even more will be

given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who

do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”

(Matthew 25:29)

 

Use this time to nurture gifts and talents that you can use to serve God and others.

Have you always wanted to play an instrument but never learned it as a kid? It’s never too late. Enroll and learn something new.

Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of having a master’s degree or perhaps you never even finished college. Do it now!

I know of a 40-year-old single mom who didn’t get a degree because she got pregnant at an early age. When her son entered dentistry school, she enrolled too. They must have graduated at the same time.

There are many other ways to grow yourself without having to do something as drastic. Read books. Study a new language. Take an online course. Take up dancing lessons or learn a new sport.

And don’t forget to grow your soul as well. Join a prayer group.Attend a Bible study. Read the Bible. Nourish your relationship with the Lord.

 

3. Enjoy yourself.

“God… is rich and blesses us with everything we need to enjoy

life.” (1 Timothy 6:17)

 

Some single people think that their happiness will come when they find their One True Love. Wrong! If you’re not a happy single person, chances are you won’t be a happy married person.

So learn to enjoy life — by yourself and with yourself. What do I mean?

I know someone who can’t eat when she’s alone. She doesn’t like going to the mall without company. She hardly does anything on her own. My take on her? She doesn’t enjoy herself.

You have to be comfortable in your own skin before you can make someone else enjoy your company. So if you loathe being alone, maybe it’s because you don’t like keeping your own company.

Don’t let your happiness depend on other people. If you learn to enjoy things, even without people around you, you’ll be a magnet that will attract others to your company.

Why? Because you’re fun to be with.

So take trips — even if you’re by yourself. Watch a movie — even if you have to laugh all alone. Attend a prayer meeting — even if you won’t have someone beside you to share your insights.

Don’t let a lack of a partner prevent you from squeezing life of all its joys.

 

Heart to Heart Talks

 

Dear Rissa,

I am a doctor who just finished my fellowship training. I am now testing the waters on how to start my medical practice at the age of 33. I’m also coming out of my first ever relationship that ended last year. For the first time in my life, I am no longer confined to my training and have so much freedom. But I’m also struggling with my singlehood and feel lost about where to go, coming from a structured and rigid life.

I miss my ex. I struggle with being alone, but I am trying to do as many things as possible right now, and it’s turning out happy, in some way. How does one go through the time of painful waiting?

M.D.

Dear M.D.,

What you are going through with your ex is very normal. It’s a difficult season in our lives when we lose someone we love. But I’m sure this season will also be a blessed time that you can look back to later in life.

Right now, God is giving you the gift of time and leisure. You may not see it as that immediately but you will certainly miss having so much time in your hands when

your medical practice is in full swing.

I have a sister who’s a doctor, and when she was in med school, her face was perennially lodged between the pages of her books. She never had the time to attend family reunions, chat with us or even sleep properly.

So think of the things you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time. Maybe it’s to cook a meal. Or take up a sport. Or attend a prayer meeting every week. Or something as trivial as open a Facebook account and catch up with old friends. (Just don’t stalk your ex and see what he’s up to. That won’t help you heal and get over your

relationship!)

Also, start thanking God for allowing your relationship to fail. Yes, you read that right. Because if you broke up, it only probably means that you’re not good together. And

you know what else that means? God has someone even better in store for you!

So really, this time of your life is a signal that the best — in your relationship and in your career — is yet to come!

 

God bless,

Rissa