Before you start doubting yourself about your “dating experience,” consider there are those who would rather be with someone they can “learn” with, discover each other’s needs, and become “their only” instead of someone who has had a number of serious relationships, may be entering with pre-conceived notions and has “been around the block.”

Neither path is right or wrong, nor is there one specific way to discovering the person God wants you to be with. For some it will be their first love and for others there will be more “trial and error.”

If you look at all of the many ways in which God brought two people together, you will begin to realize anything is possible with God.

Zipporah met her husband (Moses) at a well while faithfully doing her chores, after he killed an Egyptian and fled to her land of Midian (Exodus 2:16-21).

Ruth discovered her husband (Boaz) after being widowed, followed her mother-in-law to a foreign country and resigned herself to faithfully supporting her by gleaning the fields owned by Boaz (Ruth 2).

Rebekah was chosen for her husband (Isaac) when his servants approached her asking for water and she faithfully obliged to both them and their camels (Genesis 24).

When we begin to believe God can provide the unexpected, we won’t live our lives with doubts and constraints.

A close friend of mine spent most of her life as a nanny, caring for other people’s children. She found herself in her forties never having dated. With a little encouragement from friends, she allowed herself to be set up on a blind date, dated the guy for about eight months and married him. They have since adopted a pair of sisters and the doubts and insecurities she may have once had about how to start dating are long gone.

Don’t allow yourself to get trapped into thinking and living inside of your culture-built restraints. When we can’t imagine how in the world something could ever happen, we start to believe it can’t and we stop believing God can.

Start this new adventure by putting aside your worries, appreciating all of the incredible experiences God has allowed you to have over your forty years, believing God is orchestrating your life and allow yourself to be yourself, unique in every way. 

Don’t try to fit into some mold the world has told us we need to fit into. Experience your life as God created it exclusively for you, and faithfully live it out in his matchless way.

SHE SAID: I can certainly identify with you. While I may not be in your exact same boat, consider me waving at you from another neighboring vessel just a little bit downstream from you.

I have had some serious relationships over the years, but I have also had a busy career and a very meaningful personal life full of family, friends, church and hobbies. Even though I’ve kept myself quite busy, I would say that I’ve always had one eye on desiring marriage while the other eye was focused on my life as it was and still is: single and fulfilled, but ready to marry. 

In your case, I wonder perhaps if God has decided that now is the right time to awaken the desire to date (and marry) in your heart. It sounds like your life has been chock full of interesting opportunities that God has placed in your path, and he has kept you focused on following him down these different avenues. In fact, who knows how many lives you have been able to reach for him in your career, ministry, traveling, education, and through building relationships with your family and friends? That’s encouraging to think about! And it’s also inspiring to see how God has brought you to where you are today. He has used all of your experiences to shape you into the multi-faceted woman who now stands ready to meet an eligible male and share life together. I think that’s great!