As I look back on Ethan and I’s relationship as I often do this time of year near our anniversary, it has struck my heart that I would like to share some advice to single people looking for their future spouse.
Always Be Discerning
First of all, make sure you have discerned your vocation.
Have you been open to God calling you to the religious life? I have my vocation story here, and I am always so glad that I had the experience of really being open to God’s will, even though I was scared. Completely and totally giving my future over to Him was a true act of faith that really impacted me and helps me be a better wife and mother.
Even if you feel that you have discerned you are not called to religious life, always be open. If you feel that nudge, don’t ignore it.
Always Be Praying
You need to be praying for your future spouse. You have no idea what they are doing right now, but they may very well need your prayers.
At this moment your future spouse may be struggling with discerning God’s will, with impurity, with making important decisions about their future, or simply with great loneliness. What a beautiful reality that you can be praying and sacrificing for someone you don’t even know yet! You can truly be loving your future husband or wife right now. Don’t waste it!
When my maid of honor gave her toast at our reception, she told Ethan that he was very well the most prayed for spouse in the world, with more Masses, Rosaries, and prayers being offered up for him than any other before. We all laughed, but it was true that I had devoted years to praying to meet Ethan and prayers simply for Ethan.
Now that I know his story, I see his struggles and how my prayers were helping him, even though they were often prayed at times when it felt useless and that I’d be single forever. And one of the sweetest things I’ve ever stumbled upon was a little notebook when I was helping Ethan pack up his apartment right before we got married. It contained a list of these major novenas, Masses, and prayers he was faithfully praying for me, not even knowing who I was.
Always Be Growing
Are you growing in your spiritual life? If you feel stagnant in this area, can I recommend reading my post on the best and easiest way I know to pray? Are you struggling with impurity or addictions of any kind? Work with a priest and seek out the Sacraments as often as possible. Also, any habits you want to see in your family one day like praying a daily Rosary, perhaps the Angelus, or reading the saint of the day are wonderful practices to help you grow in holiness that you should start now.
Do you feel like you need growth in regards to practical skills for married life? Spouses will need a handle on everything from budgeting and housekeeping to career stability and general emotional maturity. If you feel you need to work on how you handle money, cook, communicate, or if you need a better career to support a family, focus on that now… it only gets harder once you are married to keep up with things, so use your time as a single person to grow in practical skills now.
Always Be Trusting
Some people will marry a childhood friend or high school sweetheart, but so many will be waiting years on that special person, and it is so hard to be patient. Whenever I broke up with someone before Ethan I always panicked that they were the last person who would be interested in me, and maybe I was dooming myself to singledom forever.
Don’t think that way.
Remember God loves you. He LOVES you! God the Son literally died for you, and you need to have confidence and trust in Him. He knows what is best for you and all you need is to seek to do what He wants.
From the ages of about 18 to 22 I was constantly obsessed with/anxious about my future spouse. Like all of the time. When I was dating someone I wanted things to work out fast because I was desperate for the security of knowing I had met my spouse.
From 22 to 23 I just let go and let God. Of course I still was praying a ton for Ethan, and I also joined Catholic Match again which finally connected us, but during this time I was the most calm, trusting, and relaxed about finding my husband that I had ever been. I made daily Mass a priority, was involved in my parish choir, taking dance lessons, going out with friends, hiking and biking, discovering my love of real food, and working hard at my office job. I was so happy and fulfilled because I was so centered living in the moment and time God had for me… and He brought me Ethan.
Sometimes I think we play this mind game that if we’re not worrying and obsessing about something it won’t happen. But God will work things out, so try trusting Him and enjoying where He has you.
As hard is it is… try to relax. Take a deep breath. I know you’re thinking that it’s easy for me to say that since I’ve found my spouse, but I was where you are not too long ago. I know that anxiety, but I also know it does no good to feed it with worrying. I was so much happier once I let go as much as I could and tried to enjoy where God had me.
And remember: This isn’t just about you. Maybe you are ready for your future spouse but they aren’t ready for you! I know there was a time I was so particularly frustrated that I hadn’t met my husband and I know now that Ethan was in a very serious relationship at the time. Even if I was ready for marriage then, he was totally unavailable.
God’s timing is perfect, even if in the moment we can’t understand why.
I hope this can bring you some encouragement and purpose if you are single right now.
I will leave you with this fitting quote –