Promise me, O women of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles and wild deer,
not to awaken love until the time is right.
Song of Solomon 2:7

For most of my teenage years, I was lost.

Not knowing how to channel my depression any other way, and having low self-esteem, I tried running to boys to fill up the emptiness and unworthiness I felt in my heart. As a hurting girl, it was the worst thing I could have done for myself.

Because I had never known what it felt like to be loved by a man, experiencing only abuse and abandonment from men ever since I was little, I was deeply craving it. I went out every weekend and took every opportunity to get with guys that showed me even the remotest amount of attention and affection. I saw it as an opportunity to find love, but of course, I didn’t. 100% of the time, those boys took advantage of me, cared little for me and made me feel more hollow than ever before. Instead of the intimacy I had hoped for, I always felt a deep and familiar dirtiness inside.

Running around looking for attention and love from boys was, and is, soul-sucking.

Desiring a man to love and be loved him by is Biblical. After the fall of the human race in the very beginning of time, God punished Eve by giving her a deep desire for a husband. It explains why us girls have this tendency to run to a man at the first signs of loneliness. It explains why finding a husband is all we can ever think and talk about. It is why we have this longing, no matter how independent and self-sufficient we claim to be, to be pursued, romanced and called beloved. Desiring a man to spend your life with is not mushy or for romantics. It is woven into every girl’s DNA.

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Rather than fighting against that natural desire, we should instead be cautious with who we give our hearts to. It is true that we were meant for companionship with an Adam, but where so many girls meet their downfall is in chasing every man until they have found the right one. However, no man will ever make you completely happy, because no man was supposed to make you completely happy. The desire wired into our heart by God is abused when we go to a flawed man in hopes that he will rescue you or complete you. He won’t. In my experience, searching for meaning and happiness in men has only made me feel even more unsatisfied and in most cases, undervalued. The tears and heartbreak I could have saved knowing that my exhausting pursuits would only lead me to a dead end!

The thing is, God looks into your heart and sees your desires. He knows your heart to one day be called someone’s girl and to have someone call your man. He understands your passion and He does not think you are a bad person because of it. My friend Sinead, seeing my frustration in chasing men, once beautifully wrote to me:

God sees your love and desire for him being directed in the wrong direction – simple as that. The desire in itself is not wrong, and it is Satan putting these boys in front of you convincing you that your heart is longing for them rather than for God. Your desire to be loved is not to be loved by an earthly man. You were created to know complete, perfect love. That is literally why God made you: to love you. Trust me when I say than an earthly Adam is never going to fulfill that longing. He can literally never satisfy that desire in you. God will bless you with a husband, but He won’t do that until you know that He is all you need. He will never share the glory, He will never give your heart to someone else because it is His rightful temple. Once it is completely consecrated to Him, then He will find someone for you and Him to bless. Seek His love, not a half-hearted, conditional, disappointing version.

We are told in the most romantic book in the Bible not to awaken love until the time is right. This means having patience that God will one day bless you with a man He has prepared especially for you. It also means trusting God that that man will be worth every heartache and every tear you have had for one. I’ve learned this lesson enough to ask you to trust me when I say that God truly wants what is best for you. He doesn’t want to hurt you by taking away boy after boy from you. It is only because He has someone incredible and so beautifully right in store for you. It is also because God is so jealous and passionate for you that He will never give to a man what is foremost and rightfully His – your love. When you surrender your heart to Him, you will be honored and blessed abundantly by God for your patience, trust, and the painful sacrifices you may have had to make along the way.

You were never meant to shed tears and be hurt by a man. You were never meant to settle. And never can a man determine what you are worth, regardless of how trampled you have been by men in the past. Don’t wait to be walled in like I was to realize there is a love that is and has always been waiting for you with arms wide open. Instead of running from boy to boy to only find a conditional love, hide yourself in God’s unconditional love for you. Run to him. And trust Him. He won’t fail or disappoint you – I promise.

A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.
Max Lucado

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Image via Anna DeLores