Sheesh… I don’t know why I even leave my room. I came with my friends to this church so I could worship and learn a little more about God, and here I sit worrying about some girl in the crowd. But this discontent is not about the girl – not about this particular girl, at least. Most of the time I’m fine with being alone, I suppose as a product of being alone for so long. Lately, though, I wonder about the assurance I’ve always had that someday I will find someone and get married. A wife and kids are and have forever been vital characters in the full adult life I’ve imagined – but I’ll be twenty in less than six months and haven’t been on a date for more than a year. How far past a year could this stretch without so much as a spark last?

My feeling of only semi-severe but no less authentic loneliness lasts only a moment, which is longer than it should. Two more seconds of my thought are wasted on the pretty girl sitting at the front of the sanctuary. I think of how apathetic she seemed the last time I tried to talk to her; the front of the sanctuary might as well be miles away. As usual, this depressing thought leads me through a catalog of the girls at school I have considered dating – they all seem a little too popular to pay attention to me. This point is where I usually give up on every female I know and tell myself if I could only be patient, I would meet the right one.

But for the first time my daily quarter-minute of feeling pitiful does not stop here, with halfhearted self-assurance and loneliness mutated into sentimental hope. Something causes me to honestly reflect on what I’ve been thinking. I give my heart a chance to reject the all-too-accepted idea that as long as I’m single, I’ll be missing out. As I allow my mind to slow from its buzzing pace and force myself to look away from the girl, the floor of the church catches my eye. Suddenly I feel God’s hand firmly on my heart: simple but beautiful, this hardwood paneling and the tall, beautiful stone building above and around it have stood for over a hundred years. My current crush will not last for a fraction of that time, and as I grasp this a smile sneaks onto my face.

Like so many others, this unexpected realization’s power is in its simplicity. I know that God is with me, loves me, and has a great plan for my life. And every time I have moped the way I started to just moments ago, I’ve looked back with shame for being so childish. Noticing how irrelevant your worries are is an excellent way to kill them. This should be obvious, but one way or another we always let ourselves forget. Instantly a handful of examples come to mind where I tied myself in knots over someone, spent energy trying to impress her, and in the end wondered why I stressed over her at all. Does this mean I should not think about or talk to girls; that I should swear them off for life? I certainly hope not – but sense and experience prove that I ought not obsess over brief glances or 12-word conversations.

What an incredible truth I’m finally getting into my head! Here I am sitting next to a great friend in a beautiful church with a couple hundred cool people, worrying myself about a minor relationship I’ll probably have forgotten in six months. Maybe the girl I’m into likes me, maybe she does not, either way I should relax and simply be myself instead of trying to plot a possible date or think of perfect things to say. Greater still, this idea of peace applies to everything: I’ve got tests next week but will have enough time to study. My GPA is a little lower than it needs to be but I still have my scholarships and am doing well this semester. I’m angry and pessimistic more often than I’d like but that’s slowly improving, too.

Is there any aspect of my life that God can’t take care of? I doubt it. How could there be, when He designed my mind and soul and the very stone used to build this church? The last few years, I’ve seen that the more seriously I focus on God, the more things seem to fall into place. He has gotten me through difficult times, helped me realize when I’ve messed up, forgiven me when I ignore His direction. I may be single, but I am not alone. I don’t doubt that God will guide me into far better times even than this, mold me into a stronger, kinder person, teach me patience, joy, and peace. Right now, I have so much to be thankful for – I’m at a good school, I’ve got a good roommate and reliable friends, I’m healthy and near my family. I am learning, very, very slowly, to relax.

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