There are days when it feels like you’re stuck in the waiting room of life. Everyone else is moving on to the next thing—getting married, buying a house, starting a family—and despite all your striving and trying and praying, you still find yourself stuck.
What I was starting to learn in the midst of my own waiting room was that sometimes God doesn’t give us what we ask for—sometimes he gives us something better. Himself. In between the heartache and the miracle, right smack-dab in the middle of the waiting, he weeps with us. And for now, that is enough.
Because the truth is, even if that thing we’re waiting for miraculously happens, we’ll still be waiting for something. Or rather, for someone. No human being, after all, can fill the God-sized longing that he has planted inside every one of us.
That doesn’t take the ache away, but putting words to it feels like a start.
By Stephanie Rische, senior editor of nonfiction books at Tyndale House Publishers and the author of I Was Blind (Dating), But Now I See. You can follow Stephanie’s blog at www.StephanieRische.com.
What Kind of a Dater Are You?
1. When someone you just met asks for your number, how do you respond?
a. You pass it on with a sense of expectation, hoping this will launch a new adventure.
b. You reluctantly give your number, reassuring yourself that you can let their calls go to voicemail if necessary.
c. You try to memorize details from this moment, just in case this turns out to be an important relationship in your life.
d. You figure they won’t actually call. New relationships never work out.
e. You’re excited—you like having as many people as possible in your contact list.
f. You groan because you’d much rather talk to people you already know.
2. What would you do after a successful first date?
a. Immediately start planning the next date.
b. Go home and promptly panic, wondering if things are moving too quickly.
c. Write down every detail from the date in your journal, for posterity.
d. Keep quiet about it—you don’t want to jinx this.
e. Call five of your closest friends to give them the rundown of the date.
f. Go to your room and daydream about what you hope to find out about this person the next time you see them.
3. What would be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift from someone you’re dating?
a. A surprise outing or adventure together.
b. Something small—you don’t want to feel pressure to reciprocate.
c. A scrapbook capturing all the texts you’ve sent back and forth while you’ve been together.
d. You’re pretty sure you won’t have to worry about it, since you’ll probably break up before then anyway.
e. An evening out on the town.
f. A chance to be alone and have meaningful conversations.
4. What movie makes the best love story?
a. Gone with the Wind
b. Pride and Prejudice
c. The Notebook
d. Ten Things I Hate about You
e. While You Were Sleeping
f. Sleepless in Seattle
5. What would be the ideal engagement story?
a. Something dramatic, such as at the top of a mountain or while you’re skydiving.
b. One with some forewarning—you’d rather not be surprised.
c. A romantic spot—sunset on the beach, a candlelight dinner, a room covered with hundreds of rose petals.
d. Someplace private, just in case things happen to implode.
e. A party with your friends and family present.
f. A “This is your life” date, where you go back to key spots in your relationship.
Mostly a’s: The Risk Taker. You like adventure when it comes to dating, and you enjoy the thrill of meeting new people. You don’t necessarily need to date someone who’s as daring as you are, but you do need someone who’s willing to go along with your spontaneous ideas.
Mostly b’s: The Inchworm. You like to take things slow and steady when it comes to relationships. You get nervous if things start to move too quickly, and you want to be sure of your feelings before you take things to the next level.
Mostly c’s: The Romantic. You are the type who falls head-over-heels once you’ve found someone you connect with. Your friends tease you about dreaming and planning out the future too soon, but you know you just feel things more deeply than most people do.
Mostly d’s: The Doomsday Prophet. You are sure a relationship is always just one step away from falling apart. Even if there are no evident reasons for concern, you find the dark lining in every silver cloud. You worry about being too happy because you’re afraid bad news is just around the corner.
Mostly e’s: The Social Butterfly. You enjoy group dates, and it’s important for you that your significant gets along with your friends. You see dating as a fun way to get to know people, and you thrive in a relationship where you are able to spend a lot of time with the other person.
Mostly f’s: The Deep-End Diver. You are the kind of person who dives in to a relationship with both feet. You want to remember every date, every conversation, and every significant milestone in your relationship. You see dating as an opportunity to talk about real things, not just go to dinner and a movie.