Standard: Chasing the Wrong Thing

I put pressure on myself to get married by age 22.

All throughout college, finding a girlfriend and getting married was the goal. That sounds like the plot to another crappy “American Pie” movie, but it’s true. My three-plus year relationship had come to a screeching halt during the dead of winter, sophomore year, and I was crushed.

The two-below-zero temperatures outside felt like 200-below.

I don’t know why age 22 was my target for getting married. Maybe it’s because I had it stuck in my head that that was around that age of my parents when they brought me into the world and I felt internal pressure to “keep pace.” I’m not even certain of their age though, and that makes my “Married by 22″ declaration even more ridiculous.

Now, after the breakup and without a girlfriend, at 21 years old, I was left to search. But I was searching for the wrong thing: another girlfriend to replace the one I had lost.

Psalm 91 is a Psalm about God’s faithfulness. God is our refuge, our fortress, He saves us, and protects us. God is faithful no matter the circumstances, good or bad. He’s there whether you feel like it or not:

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection. The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life
and give them my salvation.”

-Psalm 91:1-4, 14-16 NLT

God knew I didn’t need another girlfriend. He knew I desired a wife. He also knew that my first love is to be the Lord, a lesson that took me a couple years to acknowledge.

Two years after the breakup, I prayed for God to be my focus and desire. It was a re-commitment of sorts when I put down the video game controller and picked up the Bible. I was praying more regularly and making decisions to honor God with my time, money, and in my relationships with family and friends. By no means was I perfect, but my first love became clear: God.

A short while later, Liz and I met. And in a flash we were married. Not because we had to beat the buzzer on an age limit, but because we realized the faithfulness of God and the work he had done in our lives.

He was faithful.  He simply needed me to be faithful as well.

Everybody’s journey is different as they grow in Christ, but God’s faithfulness is always the same. Thank God for his faithfulness and take comfort in knowing He will always be there for you.

Question: How have you experienced God’s faithfulness throughout your life? Click here to comment.

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3 thoughts on “Standard: Chasing the Wrong Thing

  1. BTDT Top Posts – January 2012 « Ben There Do That

  2. Wow you have a very similar story to mine in terms of the ‘wilderness season’. Thank you for sharing. I know our stories are similar to others in the world, but when you’re going through it you feel totally isolated and unsure of what life holds. There’s enough jaded Christian men in the world. We don’t need another. Thanks for sharing and thank you for coming through the other side of it with a passion for God.

  3. Ben, thanks for being honest and open! Glad to know how God has worked on you to bring out the best for you.

    I experience God’s faithfulness every day, including enjoying your testimony on His faithfulness. Those promises from Psalm 91 was another way God whispered to me of His faithfulness.

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