Several years ago, I was single and questioning why God hadn’t delivered my spouse in a neatly wrapped package like I always assumed He would.
During Lent that year, I recommitted myself to a focused prayer life and to identifying a greater purpose than just finding my match. This year, reflected on not only Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross, but the sacrifices of husbands to wives and wives to husbands as I prepare for the sacrament of marriage.
I’ve had a different perspective on life each Lent. Those experiences shaped my faith life and celebration of Easter.
A guest priest at my parish recently focused his Sunday homily on the idea of perspective and how your frame of thought can impact not only your day-to-day life, but more importantly, your spiritual life. The priest asked simple, yet poignant questions to the congregation:
Who do you think God is? What role does He play in your life? Is He just out there somewhere or residing deep within your soul?
The way we answer those basic questions directly correlate with our faith life, he said, leaving all of us with a clear message—don’t ever dismiss the importance of perspective.
Those words settled deep within my soul as I left Mass and began to evaluate my perspective on many aspects of life, including my journey to CatholicMatch and in a few months, to the altar. As a single woman post-college, I approached dating with the perspective that my future spouse was out there—somewhere—and it was up to me to find him before he slipped out of sight. It was a challenge I had to overcome, and I didn’t have the perspective that a larger, more beautiful plan was unfolding.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
When I began blogging for CatholicMatch and eventually joined as a member, I consciously let go of my own plan and let God write my love story, which quickly led me to George. During this time, I encountered many readers that seemed to approach online dating the way I approached dating prior to CatholicMatch—as a chore and a burden to bear. Interesting perspective, I thought, with online dating opening the doors to dozens of faithful singles also looking for the right match.
Now that I’m engaged to my once CatholicMatch boyfriend, I, too, see myself falling victim to the power of perspective. As I wonder how I can possibly fit in buying a home and moving in a year overflowing with events and change, I have to realign my thinking and remind myself that I’m now living out all of the dreams I’ve had since I was young.
It’s all about perspective.
In the book “Why? Trusting God When You Don’t Understand,” author Anne Graham Lotz illustrates the impact of perspective through the story of Lazarus from the Gospel of John as she explores the difficult questions of why God lets bad things happen in our world. She specifically calls out Mary and Martha’s plea to Jesus to heal their dying brother and asks:
“Are you interpreting His love by your circumstances instead of interpreting your circumstances by His love?”
So often, we ask questions like why hasn’t God led me to my spouse? Why am I not married when everyone else around me is? By looking deeper through a different lens, we should see the Holy Spirit working in every aspect of our lives, pointing us down the road of life experiences (and CatholicMatch!) to eventually lead us to where God has planned. It’s about Him, not about us.
During this joyous Easter season, I encourage you to reflect on the many perspectives you have—on dating, relationships, spirituality and love. By evaluating how we view the world around us and the faith within us, we can journey through our single lives with our eyes and hearts open, trusting exactly what God has prepared for each of us.