(clapping hands in rhythm-with head cocked to the side) "Where he at Lord, where my man at?" Pray, they say. Make your list, they say. Fast, they say. Fix yourself up, they say! Get out of the house, they say! And the cherry on top, "Baby, God hasn't forgotten you!" says the deep church women who go home and lay-up next to their fully developed biceps and triceps. Yet, there you stand, as old as The Flinstones, and still single. "Wait on the Lord!" says all the people who already have 'exactly' what you're waiting on. All you wanna say is, "Get out my face with that mess!" Yea, me too!
When I think of waiting, two places of pertinence comes to mind: the doctor's office and the airport. At the doctor's office, unless you are honest with your symptoms and previous medical history, the doctor cannot accurately diagnose or remedy your issue. At the airport, to even get to the waiting area, there are at least 2 million checkpoints and procedures that ensure you are who you say you are. So this week I ask, "Single lady, who are you, during the wait? Better still, why are you waiting?"
The Ugly Truth
Let me holla' at my church girls right quick, cause today's piece isn't for everyone. First, let me address the elephant in the room. I'm saved, I'm single, and I honestly love the Lord. But my truth was once if I could have guilt-free sex without marriage, and without the stigma of being viewed as the church's chief sinner, I'd opt for that. It was that thinking that led me to question why all the single church girls are craving this husband like he's the new spicy chicken sandwich at Popeyes? Are we seeking marriage for ministry, for procreation, for companionship, for stability, or do we merely want to sing on the praise team without the tears being that God knows what you did last night? Yeah, we're waiting, but ask yourself, why do we even want what we're waiting on? Do we just want to erase 'the only sin' the church seems to recognize from our record or is our desire truly for what God intended when He designed the concept of marriage? Is the posture of our heart, 'Thy will be done!'
To 'wait' means there is a process in progress.
Do we just want a husband to count ourselves worthy in the eyes of the people who aren't even relevant? Or do we want this man to solidify some lack within ourselves to prove that we are good enough or just enough? No, I know. We've discussed at length in Youth Meeting that its better to marry than to burn, right? Well, having played house myself, at this point, I'm prepared to catch fire. And that's saying something coming from someone who knows what it feels like to be up in flames. I mean for the people who wanna be real, the ones who been there and done that, you'll know after you've reached glory-land Maximus 100 times, then what? I mean, if we start at fact-checking some of our dating text exchanges, all we'd find are countless WYD's and emojis without words. Honestly, what kind of marriage would that evolve into?
For the married folk that may be reading, don't come for me. No, I've never been married, and I'm not comparing my stint of shackin' to any real marriage. But I know enough to realize marriage is more than a trending hashtag. Okay then, don't take my word for it, ask that friend you know who messed around and married the wrong person. We've all watched their life become the poster child of what it means to be constantly interrupted at the pinnacle of pleasure (if you catch my drift).
'Good things come to those who wait'-has Dr. Jekle and Mr. Hyde' it's way into being good things come to those that make it happen. PSA: Waiting is not a task to check off your to-do list. Waiting is a state of being. Us single gals sit and envy our friend's beautiful stories of "How I met my husband," but where the real stories at of "How I trapped my husband." But we not ready for that conversation. Many women, if they are honest, should admit that the wait was more like a scripted happenstance, who's reality is now a recurring low-budget lifetime movie. Many of them are wishing they'd not skipped that birth control, 'cause when they planned for the baby to keep a man, it did, and now they wish he'd just go away. They are now miserable because what they 'told' themselves they were waiting on isn't what they got nor what they truly wanted.
Waiting seems to be a curse word, especially when what you want appears to be so far out of reach, but yet everyone around you is flossing 'it' like the latest Balenciaga's. In case you weren't aware, waiting (as cumbersome as it may be) goes hand in hand with its twin, patience. Joyce Meyers says it like this, "Patience is not an ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting." So, are you the chick salty as the ocean because you're the last singleton of the crew? Or can you be happy for others and mean it–even in the face of not having what you want? Still, in this 'insta' culture, you'll find that people reject anything that resembles a pause or delay. We are so 'quick'; we'd rather pay the extra for Amazon prime than wait for a few extra days on a package. Nowadays, waiting seems like a punishment, but can I tell you its a reward?
I, for one, am notorious for being 'impulsive.' To now, not react to things at the moment has come with A LOT of practice, trial, and plenty error. I remember one time an ex-fella told me, I always want everything right now. Okay, say I express a dislike, is it just me that thinks the other person should do their endeavour to refrain from doing the thing I said irks me? I felt ' most times' my requests were simple enough. Nothing that required getting a college degree to become an expert in. He, however, needed time to learn how to text and say, "I'm running late." Meanwhile, when the shoe was on the other foot, I was met with this response, "Oh-Em-Gee Raquel, I can be explaining something I don't like about you, and in the middle of me telling you, you are already adjusting, (insert mind blown emoji)." I couldn't, for the life of me, see how that was a problem. But hey, maybe I was the problem.
In that relationship, I made it clear why I desired marriage. It was purely about wanting a family of my own, and if you know my background, then you'd understand why that was the motivation. But still, is that even a good enough reason to 'desire' marriage? In that relationship, I learned waiting requires 'pace.' Translation: don't eat all your snacks in the first 15 minutes of a flight delay. Needless to say, after knowing all my vulnerabilities, when we broke up, this guy seemed to take pleasure in telling me, "Look, now you ended up just how you didn't want to be, alone!" "Ouch, dude! That was a 'lil harsh, aye?" I said all that to say; sometimes, in waiting, there is also disappointment. You know, like when you're so hungry, and you finally get the meal that you've been salivating over, only to find its a hot mess. That's how I think many people find marriage to be when it's rushed in (or so I've heard). Crazy thought, what if, I mean, just maybe, there are benefits to waiting? When you find out your flight is delayed because they switched planes due to mechanical malfunction, bay-bay, THAT-is worth the wait. Now just imagine that same scenario to your failed relationship.
Waiting is also NOT to be confused with procrastination, just as 'instant' does not always equate to better.
Actress Megan Good, in an interview on the Wendy Williams show, talked about 'waiting' before marrying husband Devon Franklin. Wendy gave major side-eye when Megan said she and hubby were 'celibate' together for thirteen months before she married him (crickets-followed by awkward silence). At first, I was like, "Girl, Megan, get from here with that mess!" I mean grown women know a year and a month to refrain from sharing the cookie is like waiting for your turn at the beauty salon during Christmas. It's long, but it's not long, long! Some folks can finish a Masters's program in thirteen months. But then I had to check myself, what may be a milestone for her, ain't no victory for me. If 'how many ever months' constitutes as being 'celibate' in her world, then to her, I say, "Kudos, bravo, job well done!" Truth is the journey is different for everyone, and none of us should judge another person's progress. Megan was honest about who she was in her waiting area, how many of us can lay claim to that? Though, I think it would be remiss of me if I don't clarify this. Celibacy is the vow priests and nuns take. What the rest of us folks be trying to do is called abstinence.
The Long Haul
To me, our struggle with 'waiting' lies in one small flaw, self-control. 'Thee' most undervalued fruit of the spirit I call it. Self-control is defined as having restraint exercised over one's own impulses, emotions, or desires. Waiting has more to do with what you do until something arrives as opposed to how long it takes to come. Whatever you're praying (waiting) for, know that it is counterproductive to not prepare for it. Just like you can't order a size 9 shoe but cross your finger and hope that a 7 1/2 gonna show up! Translation: ask for what it is you really want.
Again I ask, "Who is this chick in the waiting room? And what is it that she wants?" Are you a woman who just wants to set her 'sin' record straight? Okay, but after that gets old, then what? Are you someone who longs for the pitter-patter of little feet? Great, so why you not helping your sister with her kids? Or the single mom at your church? Is it because you want financial stability? I mean, you can achieve that on your own, you don't need a man for that. There are women out here killing the corporate world every day, and there is no reason the next CEO can't be you! Don't mistake me; I'm not saying any of these reasons are wrong. I'm saying try a different approach.
What if, just maybe, you start your prayer off with the real reason why you want this man? Then perhaps God may say, "Ah, there you are, I've been looking everywhere to deliver this package to you!" Being real doesn't mean publishing a tell-all memoir, but it requires transparency in your prayer life. God wants your truth when you come to Him, not some version of yourself that you think He'd approve of. Prayer does not use a freight forwarder to get the answer to you. Nor is the answer delivered to your friend's US address. Waiting can be long sometimes, but it doesn't make sense to get to the front of the line, and the picture on your identification card doesn't match what's in person. In the words of Shakespeare, to thine own self, be true!