To the Woman without a date on Valentine’s Day
By Maura Preszler
If Valentine’s Day is an enjoyable day for you, I’m happy for you.
If Valentine’s Day is a hard day for you, I’m so sorry for your pain. I know this can be a difficult and triggering day for many people and if you are feeling sad and lonely today I want to acknowledge your pain. I want to talk to you. I want to get to know you and in some small way I hope God will use this post to touch your heart and offer you hope.
First, take a big deep breath.
Everything is going to be okay. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, everything is going to be okay.
As you read this please try to remember that God hasn’t forgotten you. He has a plan for you and your vocation. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been on fifty first dates or never been on a date at all. He is the Creator of the universe and He has your vocation in the palm of His loving Hand even though it doesn’t feel like it.
I think we learn a lot through stories so I want to share part of my story with you. In college I always thought I would be married by the time I was twenty-four and thank you sweet Baby Jesus that I was NOT. If I was married at twenty-four that would have been a disaster. I had so much to learn and discover on my own and I’m so thankful that I trusted God’s plan for me instead of forging through on my own. Today, I am thirty-three, married and the mother to two incredible little boys.
The biggest thing that I needed to do on my own was go to therapy for three years to process and heal from the tremendous trauma I had experienced. While I am always growing and striving to be the best version of myself, I never could have been the wife and mother I am today without therapy. Never.
One of the most common questions I am asked is, How did you meet your husband? So let me tell you.
Seven years ago, I was living in Nashville, TN and flew to New York City for a meeting and to give a talk. I met up with Michael (my now husband) while there because he was going to film a video for Made in His Image. The video ended up not working out because of our locations. We never communicated after that.
Fast forward 2 years and Michael calls me randomly on my drive from Nashville to San Diego. I had finished therapy in Nashville and decided to move to San Diego. “Hey Maura, this is Michael Preszler. I don’t know if you remember me but we met up a few years ago about your film in New York City. I took you to dinner and we talked about your ministry. I wasn’t stalking you or anything but I happened to see that you are moving to San Diego. I’m moving there too. I’d love to see you.”
It turns out we both moved to San Diego within 5 days of each other and it wasn’t planned. And it’s no coincidence that Michael called me on Mother Teresa’s feast day because we both went on the same life changing mission trip to India a year apart. God’s ways are so beautiful.
We started dating that fall and I know it sounds cliche’ but it was magical Michael and I complimented each other so well. He is very out going and can have a conversation with anyone. I am much more reserved and introverted. We enjoyed cooking together, hiking, running, the ocean and so much more. We certainly weren’t perfect but strived to keep Jesus at the center of our relationship.
It amazed me how much Michael was an answer to so many hours of prayer. I knew I was going to marry him because only God knew so many intimate things that I had prayed for in a boyfriend/spouse that Michael seemed to either do or know about. Just to give you an example, physical touch is hard for me, a lot harder when we were dating for sure. So I prayed for years that the man I would marry would ask me if he could hold my hand the first time. I went on many dates and Michael was the only man to ever do that. Michael kept doing things like this, things that only Jesus knew.
They say everything is perfect until it isn’t. We broke up that spring because Michael needed to leave and discern the religious life. This really crushed me. I didn’t understand. We had the same circle of friends and it was really hard. I did a lot of things wrong and reached out to Michael way too much. I do not recommend that. It will only make it harder. I consumed myself with work and spent a lot of time in Adoration. Men please discern the religious life before entering into a relationship.
On July 4, 2014 I had just returned from Africa and went for a run along the ocean and stopped half way and just started crying because I was so deeply hurt by the breakup. In between my tears I heard God the Father say, I haven’t forgotten you, Maura and I have a plan for you. Trust Me.
Michael and I got back together and exactly one year later from that date on July 4, 2015 we were married.
When things aren’t going our way it can be so easy to think that God has forgotten about us and that He has a plan for everyone but us. In these moments of fear and doubt it’s important to fill our minds with Truth. And the Truth is, God does have a plan for you and His love story for you is a million times better than the best one you could write for yourself.
To anyone who is doubting God’s plan for their life, going through a breakup, feeling alone, rejected, and abandoned, God the Father has an amazing plan for you. He can’t be outdone in generosity. He desires to bless you and grant the desires of your heart.
If you long for marriage and this is His will for you, He will bring that special man into your life when the time is right. God desires to fulfill the desires of your heart. Your job right now is to discover what He wants to teach you during this season of waiting. Your time will come dear one. Your time will come. I promise. Cling to the Father and you will find what your heart yearns for.
And to every woman who feels unworthy of love, I want to tell you that you aren’t alone, even though it feels like you are. God hasn’t forgotten you, even though it probably feels like He has.
He has a plan for your life, even though it’s so hard to see that right now. He sees your tears, feels your pain and sorrows with you.
He will never show you gold and give you silver. He desires to grant the longings of your heart, even though it feels like He is taking forever.
One day you will look back at this time of waiting and see how He was preparing you for your vocation. You are worthy of love. He created you, He cares for you, He hasn’t forgotten you. You are enough.
Share your heart and feelings with God today, he is waiting to listen to you. Let Him surprise you with a love more beautiful than you can imagine. And be gentle with yourself so you can learn what He wants to teach you through the process.
Michael and I certainly haven’t been married for very long so I feel unqualified to give marriage advice. But I will leave you with this nugget to ponder. Don’t marry someone just because they make you feel good or happy. Sure, feeling good and happy are nice feelings but they won’t make a marriage last. This is something I can definitely promise you. Marry someone you can wake up to every morning and say, You are my joy, you are my cross, you are the one who will help me journey to Heaven.
Marriage is a journey to Heaven. I believe this is way so many marriages end in divorce because we have forgotten how to serve one another, we have forgotten how to love. Authentic love is getting up for the fifth time during the night with a crying baby. Authentic love is serving your spouse and being present when you don’t want to. Authentic love is speaking kindly, forgiving and seeing the good in your spouse. Authentic love is changing the tenth poppy diaper for the day, wiping peanut butter faces, and cleaning up an endless amount of crumbs off the flour. Authentic love is showing up. Authentic love is service.
P.S. You are enough.