During college, I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking I needed to be in a relationship. I felt pitied and ashamed of being single, but after much thought and prayer, God led me to ask a few questions.
Why do you think being in a relationship will make you a better and happier person?
So when you get married, that’s when you will be who you’re meant to be?
The answer seemed clear:
Your womanhood should be lived out each day, not just in a relationship.
Relationship status is not the meaning of my life. My life already has meaning before I meet “the one.” I realized that if I am called to marriage, the time to start loving and respecting my future husband is right now. Instead of waiting for the perfect man, I could start spending my time preparing myself for my vocation by focusing on a few specific areas.
Build a firm relationship with God first.
God is the only person who will prepare me for the love my heart longs for. I asked Him to put His love into my heart so I can learn what it truly means to love. God loves and cares for you more deeply and more intimately than any boyfriend could. God’s love is a great way to remind yourself of the kind of love you deserve. Learn His ways and imitate His ways because God is love.
Build a firm relationship with yourself.
Each day, I pray and ask Our Lady to make me, not only a woman of God, but to a woman society needs. There are temptations that prowl around the world trying to ruin hearts and souls, but we need to fight the norm! Use each day to be the woman God wants you to become and you will in turn be prepared for your vocation. You truly find yourself when choosing to be a woman of God.
Pray for your future spouse.
Even as I grow in these practices, I spend so much of my mental energy thinking about what my future spouse is doing. To calm these thoughts, I ask God to protect both my heart and his heart from evil and temptation. Pray for God to form you both into the spouses you are meant to be. Prayer is the best way to make sure, right now, your future husband is doing okay.
Of course, you may not know if your vocation truly is marriage, but any prayer will open your heart. Each day’s goal is striving for holiness.
Trust God’s timing is perfect, you’ll realize everything happens the way it’s supposed to happen. I learned to stop rushing for a relationship and just God take over. Just because it seems like everyone is in a relationship except you doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you, it simply means your plan is in the works! Maybe God is saving you for someone amazing, so prepare to be amazing back!
Relationships can be a deep and profound way of bringing another person on the path of holiness with you. I hope you can strive with me to becoming woman of God before we ever become the woman a man needs. Wait with the utmost patience knowing you will be rewarded for the amount of holiness you put into your life. Trust that God’s grace and His divine plan will fulfill your future.
Shannon Donnelly is a Religious Studies major and Philosophy minor at Cabrini College in Radnor, Pennsylvania, who wants to share her path to holiness with other women of God.