THE TOP 5 LIST: HOW I PRAYED FOR THE ONE AND GOT IT RIGHT?
how i prayed for the one AND GOT IT RIGHT?
The List Story
MY HIGHSCHOOL COMMITMENT
If you’re a girl like me being exposed to church at a young age, I’m sure that you had also experienced attending one of the youth camps or services and been asked to commit your love life to God and have your motto as “True Love Waits” or declaring oneself as a “Lady-in-Waiting”.
Count me in. I committed my love life when I just graduated from high school during one of the youth camps. I remember signing a commitment card with an accountability partner. That was promising, and full of enthusiasm to wait for that “true love”, to focus more on my studies and to have that determination to commit to purity. The result? I finished college without a boyfriend. So, if that’s waiting is all about, then I think I did it easy-peasy.
I was also one of those girls who read; I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris. His book was popular and I think every Christian girl bought a copy. That book helped me to take my commitment to the next level. Although saddened with Joshua Harris’ recent testimony, but his book still speaks some biblical truths Christians should consider.
the top 5 prayer list
During my junior year of college, my mind started contemplating who could be my future boyfriend. Happy that I was doing well at the “waiting department”, but also thinking how long would the wait be. So I prayed…
Father, I think I’m ready to have a boyfriend, I’ve been obedient through the years of waiting, and been active at church, doing different ministries..
It’s a “What’s in it for me?” prayer, as if telling God to give me a reward like a little child expecting chocolates with marshmallows for a pleasant behavior, or like a student waiting for a prize for having good grades.
Did I hear God answering my appeal? Not really! So, I did another brave move; I told God that I would make my list, and if ever I met someone with all the qualities placed on that list, then that would be a very clear confirmation from Him.
I don’t know if God laughed at my list or He just let me be, because whether you believe it, I put crazy qualities and someone fitted in my list.
He was then my boyfriend, Alaine.
FROM A YOUNG GIRL’S MIND
I lost that paper, but would never forget what’s on it because that paper represented Alaine. This is where the phrase, “be careful what you wish for or pray for”, it might come true you’re not ready for it.
So, here’s the list:
List #01 Christian
List #02 Handsome
List #03 With “Twin DNA”
List #04 Into Sports
List #05 Musically Inclined
You may find it absurd, but that’s coming from a young girl’s mind. Let me try to justify it.
List #1 Christian
As a Christian myself, it’s my number #1 on the list, the guy should be a Christian who has the same faith as I do, who loves Jesus and passionate in following Him.
Alaine is a Christian and came from a Christian family. So, it’s a big check.
List #2 Handsome
Another check, he’s handsome. My type!
List #3 With “Twin DNA”
You know when young girls imagine the future and feel like can put everything on the wishlist, thinking “Why not?” and so I prayed, “Father I want to have twins, two handsome boys, and I want another beautiful girl as my youngest”.
And, in order for that thing to happen, I thought, I need to meet someone with that family history, with that DNA. Well, Alaine has a twin brother.
List #4 Into Sports
I included this because if a guy is into sports, he’s strong, takes care of himself, makes sure he’s fit and healthy.
Alaine is into sports, he’s a basketball player.
List #5 Musically Inclined
For a man to woo a woman through music is any woman’s dream, or maybe just my dream.
Alaine is a talented guitarist and can even sing. So, yeah, experienced being serenaded from time to time.
I think I put other things, but those were the highlights of my list. Trying to explain this now makes me realize that I’m sort of hiring someone for the entertainment industry – a well-rounded person to please the crowd. And I was young when I made that list, more on physical attributes. But at least I got List #01 right.
As I’ve said, I don’t know if God laughed at my list, or He just allowed it.
With all those check marks, my fairy love story began… or was it? The Relationship
so, how did i get it all right or wrong?
I thought I got it all right!
By putting all the traits I deemed right according to my own eyes and desires.
It is what I deemed right – so most likely I would get it all right. When I met Alaine, I couldn’t just believe it. “For real, God? Are you kidding me, here’s an exact person from The List!”
Or maybe, I got it all wrong!
God was not kidding at all. He had His reasons. It’s one of my biggest tests. The Leader
With being right or wrong, what have I learned from The List?
When we pray, there’s nothing wrong with being specific, but we have to be careful not to deceive ourselves with our own prayer list, because most of the time it’s according to our own timeline, selfishness and what we see best.
I think it’s okay to have our list, but I believe that sometimes God wants us to go into His presence with nothing, just us, just with our hearts, willing to listen and be still in His presence as He shows us His will and what we should pray for.
I wrote The List when I was 19, had the relationship when I was 21. Now in my 30s, I’m tempted to write another set of list and see if God answers it again. But I realized that it’s not always about what I expect my man to be, but it’s more on what God expects of me.
How to get The List right?
By revising it.
The Revised list
#1 To be a woman after God’s own heart
Committing to this one would mean surrendering everything to God. The goal is to have spiritual intimacy day by day. David, the man after God’s own heart, earned that title after painful experiences of discipline, pruning and molding. He failed many times, but his heart remained faithful to God. The Book of Psalms is a proof of his worship and desire to seek God with all his heart. What an example we can follow.
#2 To have the fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5:22 says,
‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness and faithfulness.’
This is a process, a long one.
If I expect my future partner to be forgiving, patient, and loving, I should also be forgiving, patient and loving. If I want him to be a man after God’s own heart, I should also be the woman’s version. Whatever I expect him to be, I should expect it from me first. And that same principle applies to all people and relationships we’re dealing with.
#3 To take care of ourselves as we ‘explore’
Taking excellent care of ourselves is going back to the basics:
When single, most of us are so focused on building our career. We make and try to reach all our goals. We continue to accept challenging projects, and management positions. But it’s not a reason for us to neglect the basics of taking care of ourselves. And besides, singleness is not only about our work goals, but to enjoy life and explore.
It’s time to have a new hobby.
It’s time to travel and meet people from different background and culture.
It’s time to volunteer, or do other things not related to your career.
It’s time to do the very thing that you’ve been neglecting or delaying.
It’s time to maximize all the perks of being single.
#4 To excel on whatever we’re doing and to learn from our mistakes
I believe that the time of waiting is an opportunity to excel, to focus on whatever God has called us for.
Also, a time to learn from our mistakes, like dealing with finances, bad decisions, and compromises. I always put it in mind that if at being single, I couldn’t handle those things or learn from my mistakes, then I’d be bringing trouble to my future marriage.
Remember, marriage is to unite two people with distinct personalities, qualities, and expectations. It will be very tough if one is not ready for it. So, got to learn what a single lady is ought to learn. It’s like doing our part first:
Be an excellent steward of our time and money.
Be wise with our decisions.
Be mindful of our health.
Be a learner, especially in dealing with our mistakes.
Be a prayer warrior.
… and many more
Then, when we finally say, ‘I do’, we’ll be confident to face the challenges of marriage because we’ve been a ‘well-trained single’. Not perfect, but ready!
#5 To discern if for marriage or single-blessedness
As I continue to have the desire to be married, it’s my prayer that God will help me be List #01 to #04, but here’s the reality ~ what if the gift is not marriage but single-blessedness? I should also be open about it.
Being married and being single are both beautiful gifts from God.
THE CHALLENGE TO TAKE
If you’re a journal girl like me, try to look back at all your prayers to God, if everything is about praying for a husband, try changing it to a prayer of becoming a woman after God’s own heart.
If your prayer request is always “to have a husband” ~ your number one prayer in the morning, and last prayer at night, applying 1 Thessalonians 5:17, ‘Pray without ceasing’, try changing that prayer to having the fruit of the Spirit instead: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness and faithfulness.
The fruit of the Spirit takes time to develop and a fervent prayer will help us through. I’m not saying that we should stop praying for our future partner, but it’s better to put balance in our prayer life and to divert our focus on things we need to be working on.
So, that’s the revised list, very different from the list I wrote before. More mature, I suppose. It’s not about becoming perfect, but changing what we could relying on God’s grace each day. I have to warn you though, you will fall a thousand times, but keep getting up! Look into David’s life and have a heart like his.