“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
We don’t get to heaven by works but if God didn’t intend for us to put some work into our faith why did He send Jesus to give us instructions on what to do – feed the hungry, help the poor and love your neighbor (there are so many more but for this illustration I’ll stop there). Love alone is an action and I believe God doesn’t need for us to do these things but allows us to because of how it affects our heart.
For the last 10-months I have been learning what it means to be the right one instead of focusing on finding the right one – a husband. This journey of being the right one hasn’t been easy. I had to do some work. I had to humble myself before Jesus and say, “I’ve been wrong in my way of thinking and I need you to teach me your ways.”
Most girls dream of finding the “right one.” I have had my share of wrong ones but I always thought the wrong ones were helping determine what I really desired in a mate. We’re taught to make a list of what we want, test each person against that list and don’t compromise on the things we’re looking for in someone. The years go by and we don’t find the “right one” because no one seems to meet our list.
Through a relationship series at church I was challenged by the thought of becoming the right one instead of praying for the right one. I had no idea where to start to become the right one. What does that even mean – the right one?
I had to start somewhere so I began by establishing healthy habits. I started getting up every morning to workout. This helped build confidence in my appearance because let’s be honest while we all want our personality to shine a guy sees the outward appearance first. Give him a little time he will see your awesome personality but we’re all human and we like pretty (or handsome) things. Getting up so early meant I needed to establish a reasonable bedtime. I can’t look presentable without adequate rest and looks aside we’re more equipped to make good decisions with rest – not being tired is one less distraction in your day. I think you get the point about healthy habits. I could go on and on about the healthy changes I made but this process wasn’t about making my appearance more desirable it was about changing my heart towards relationships.
With an established bedtime and morning alarm I was prepared to manage my time better and focus my efforts instead of taking every volunteer opportunity presented to me. I took control of my calendar and used my time to only volunteer for those things that aligned with my calling. When you are in your sweet spot you feel better about yourself and fulfilled. Focusing my efforts also helped confirm my calling to serve the homeless community in Charlotte. With my calling confirmed I knew I wouldn’t compromise if a potential mate suggested otherwise. Lesson here, figure out what you love doing outside of work. I don’t believe our job was ever meant to sustain us especially because God created us to serve and love his people.
Knowing that loving my neighbor is one of the greatest commands I took it very seriously. For purposes of this post my neighbor is anyone I met, hung out with or served on the streets. I surrounded myself with people (read: community) – people different than me, saw life from a different perspective, Christian and non-Christians – there were no boundaries. It’s easy to keep living life the same when you only let people who are like you into your “community” but when you expand your community beyond those like you I promise your view on life will grow. Isn’t that why I started this journey of becoming the right one – to grow into the right person for someone only God was preparing for me?
And finally and most importantly I took every decision, thought and feeling to God. On those days when life seemed to be beating me up, when I was lonely or didn’t like learning to be the right one – I told him. Sometimes very passionately but I kept it real. I’m not done with the process of becoming the right one because new seasons will come that challenge my character but I did the work, with God’s help I laid a solid foundation that will sustain me in the new seasons.
For all my single friends I would challenge you to ask yourself, “If you’re the right one,” and for my married friends (congrats) but are you being the right one for your spouse. It doesn’t stop when you find your mate; if anything you need to fight harder to be the right one because marriage brings many more distractions than singleness. Put the work in friends.