Wow, I love your vulnerability and transparency, it shows great maturity, well done for being so courageous!
I was battling with being single for 4 years (27-31), my own mother said I’m being too selective, & believe me, thats saying something!!
I too was very careful of who I was prepared to be yolked with for the rest of my life, and I had many many hours of loneliness, sitting at home Friday and Saturday nights studying the Word or spending time with my family, which was incredible for my spiritual growth, but it didn’t take away that loneliness when your soul yearns for a life partner.
I went on to online dating sites honestly more for the fellowship (I didn’t have any peers my age that weren’t married and godly in my lil town in South Africa) and thought I just want to have godly friends(preferably female ), and if by some really small chance something develops then great.
I formed great friendships with godly woman all over the world, we had rich discussion and fellowship via Skype, Whatsapp etc., it was great just to be able to commune with someone of the opposite gender and have good wholesome talk. This went on for almost 4 years.
I was on e-Harmony (no one in South Africa knows what e-Harmony is and the dating sites there are pretty shabby, in my opinion, thus me being on international sites) and in August of 2015 I got a wink from this beautiful lass (Lisa) who was from the USA.
We started chatting, between 2-4 hours of brutally transparent and vulnerable conversation with each other every day, and within 1.5 months (September) I came to the USA for the first time for 3.5 days after a 25hour trip.
We made the decision while I was in the USA that we were going to pursue a serious relationship based on us being spiritually comfortable with each other (I was interviewed by her pastors, life group etc.) and we loved being around each other!
I came over again in December 2015, Lisa came over in March 2016 (we got engaged), she came over again in May (I almost died from multiple pulmonary emboli as a result of surgery I had had to fix a broken shoulder) and took care of me. I came over to the USA at the end of June 2016, and July 4th 2016, 11 months after we met on e-harmony, we got married.
I wrote this whole story because honestly, logistically/financially/physically it seemed impossible to comprehend that something like this could have happened in the time it did, but God showed up, and He showed off!
I had a deep desire for a wife, and I took God up on His challenge of knocking on the door (Luke 11:5-13), and truthfully sometimes I know it was sinful because I was eventually obsessed with it, it consumed my thoughts and I just wanted a wife.
But I believe God put that desire there(the healthy part) and even though I was consumed with it at times, the very fact that I had that desire was comforting to me because I knew the Lord had someone set apart for me, I believe He does for you too, and He’s working on both of you till the time is right for you to meet, if you haven’t already.
1 Corinthians 7:25-38 is a great passage to reflect on. Judging by some of the wisdom and wording you used, it sounds like you may have already done so.
Galatians 6:4-5 - Even though in context this passage is talking about believers who are sharing one another’s burdens and sins to not compare themselves to each other, whether for good or bad, the principle remains that, we have an audience of 1 that we need only be concerned about, and that is Jesus Christ, Lord of our lives.
As a pastor I have gained access to a lot of insight into men and woman in the church.
With men it’s the same old story, porn, alcohol, pride, anger, as the recurring themes.
What I had no idea about was the amount of anxiety woman battle with, like 7/10.
I’m not saying this is you at all!!!
But I have seen how the culture you talk about has crept into the church and taken the focus off biblical principles.
Woman are consistently comparing themselves to one another (is my house as neat as hers, she’s pretty, I’m not, she’s skinny I’m not) , fighting for equality with men (this is good, but just as men have sinned by thinking they are better than woman, the same obsession is starting to take over woman and they are starting to define themselves by their success and equality or triumphing over men in the workplace as their identity and not as daughters of the King, this leads to an unbalanced and insecure individual.)
I truly believe the way to overcome this prolific anxiety I’m seeing in woman is to get back to the basics of Galatians 6:4, and for woman to stop comparing themselves to one another and take pride in their own actions, to the Lord of their lives.
So, when your friends give you a hard time about being single, remind them that you take your lead from Jesus Christ, and compare your walk with what He would have for you, and that culture and society, even their input, are way below Gods ways.
Praying right now for strength and comfort for you, and that your husband would get a move on already😉
But if God desires for you to be single and serve Him in a very special and unique way, I believe He will take away those desires of your heart, for the most part (I think there will always be a bit of loneliness when one is on their own, every now and then, but God could remove that completely as well) and you will be content, happy, and blessed being single.