I remember praying, “God, if he could just wait on me, everything would turn out great… for me.” Not too long after praying this way, Apostle David preached a message about people’s free will. He reminded me (because I felt like he was talking straight to me!) that we shouldn’t try to pray for other people to do a certain thing, because that is what controlling spirits do. Even God doesn’t try to control us, so we certainly shouldn’t try to control others through our prayers and actions.
Now, I’m sure you have never prayed for someone to do a certain thing or to act a certain way, but I knew I had been praying that way and I realized that it was wrong. It wasn’t easy to admit it, though! I actually got a little upset when I realized all my selfish prayers weren’t going to be answered just because I wanted them to be. I wanted things to work out the way I wanted… but what if that wasn’t the best thing for him?
Suddenly, I realized that if I really cared about him, then I wouldn’t be praying for my happiness, but his. So I changed my tune and prayed, “God, I know You won’t do anything to force or change a person’s free will. So, my prayer is that this man is happy with whoever You have for him, even if it isn’t me.” That’s when it hit me… I was praying for his happiness instead of my own, and, somehow, I knew that if he was happy, I would be happy. That realization gave me a sense of peace that allowed me to stop trying to force my will on God, and to let Him do His work in both of our lives.
I tried dating other people over the next couple of years, but each time ended in disaster. I knew I was lowering my standards and it made me disappointed with myself. Even if the one I hoped for wasn’t the one for me, I still needed to keep the standard that God had for me. I made the commitment to God that I would not lower my standards and that I would trust Him with my future.
One night a few years later, I walked outside to my car after a clean-up session at church and noticed that he had parked beside me. I remember thinking, “Calm down Elyse; it’s not like he did that on purpose!” Then I heard a voice behind me saying, “Hey, I’m following you!” No it couldn’t be…..I turned around to see him heading in my direction. He asked me where I was planning on eating, and even though I had planned to eat at home, I said, “Wendys.” Then came the stunner: he asked if he could meet me there so we could talk. The rest is history!
Now, almost 4 years later, he and I are engaged! I really had given up on that, but God saw I was willing to trust Him even things didn’t work out my way. Waiting for him has helped me learn how to trust God for the things that are important to me, how to put others’ needs in front of my own, and how to get back up when I make a mistake. I have realized through this that everything worth having is worth the cost… and the wait! Pain, hurt, trials, and waiting are all worth experiencing because it only means that there are better things yet to come.
What are YOU waiting for? Have you given it over to God? Can you be content and full of peace if things don’t turn out the way you planned? Can you trust Him to lead you and keep you through times of hardship or waiting? Don’t lower your standards and keep trusting Him… it might not turn out the way you thought, but God’s plan for you is going to be the best one… no matter what!