Around the age of 15 I began to map out my life. I was naïve, and I thought that I would be in the driver’s seat on the road to a perfect life if I took the right steps. I wanted to graduate high school, go to college at the University of Alabama, meet the man of my dreams, fall in love, get a ring by the spring of my senior year, graduate college, teach kindergarten and start a family by 28. Fast forward 6 years later. I am 4 months away from graduating with an Early Childhood degree from Tennessee Tech, I have no idea in the world what I am going to do if I don’t land a job after graduation, & there is no perfect man in my life, no boyfriend, not even a crush in mind. My life is dramatically different than what my 15-year-old self thought it would be like. I have always been a strong believer that a little bit of vulnerability can go a long way, so if you have some time I would love to talk to you for a minute about my story.
For the past month or so almost every day you get on social media, whether it be Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, someone is getting engaged, spending the holidays with his or her significant other, or simply boasting about how his or her life is perfect and will officially be complete once they marry the bride or groom of their dreams. And after spending five minutes scrolling down social media you are smacked in the face with the reminder that you are single. To be honest that feeling is a harsh sting of reality for us single people and just like some of you, I fall right dab in the middle of it all. I am exhausted- drained, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Over the last year I have been in a constant battle with the emotion of loneliness because of my singleness, and as hard as I try to avoid it, this feeling undeniably worsens around the holiday season. I’m exhausted with this continuous feeling that being in a relationship is going to bring me the joy I want, the happiness I am seeking daily, and that it will bring me some sort of satisfaction that I don’t already have. In reality, I am a few months shy of having made a life changing decision aka the best decision of my life, committing to a relationship with someone who promises to always satisfy my soul, and to never leave me or forsake me.
Two years ago, I accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of my life, & my eyes had been opened to the only person in this life that will ever satisfy me beyond my belief and bring me the joy that I am seeking on a daily basis from the things of this world. I cannot ask or expect any man to walk into my life and fill up these “holes” that I have dug because of my insecurities and loneliness. Filling those holes (and then some) is only something God can do.
In an article I was given this past summer, The Guided Path, Rick Holland talks about the 10 Principles for God-centered relationships. Principles in this article varied from character to chastity and communication. The principle I starred six times, highlighted, underlined and should have memorized was this: “The Contentment Principle: if you are not happy with God alone you will not be happy with someone else.”¹ This was also a topic one of my roommates from this summer and I had many talks about. The idea of being 100% satisfied and content with God and His ultimate authority over my life was something that needed to happen in my life before I should even considering being in a relationship.
If I am completely honest, I am just not at that point in my life, no matter how many times I try to convince myself and the people around me that I am. I fantasize about ways to control and manipulate potential relationships. The past few months I have been blinded by this idea that maybe if I walk this way to class, post this picture at this time, or share this article of who my “ideal and perfect husband is”, that this guy or that guy will get the hint and finally notice me. I have been living what I thought was an easy life but in reality has created a lot of bitterness and turmoil in my heart because my eyes have been closed to the truth. I have been believing the lie that I am in the driver’s seat when ultimately I am the passenger. God is the driver, & he is in complete and utter control of the turns my life has taken and will take. I know this to be true because in Psalm 23: 1-3 it says “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.”² He knows me, Nikki Gomez, in an intimate way, & he cares for me in a deep and personal way. When I wander from him, God seeks me, he has welcomed me into his house. He cares about my future. He hasn’t abandoned me and handed me the reigns of this life. He has said to me multiple times “Nikki, stop holding on, let it go, you are not in control. I am.” With much self-reflection, heart checks and prayer, God has laid it upon my heart to make the commitment to surrender. Surrendering means to submit to authority. So I am making the choice to surrender it all to Jesus, laying all of it down at the altar. I am surrendering all of my future, not just the things I am okay with not being in control over. I commit to surrendering my entire future, whether that be what to do after graduation, where to live, what county to work in, or who my, God willing, future-husband will be. I know that I am not in control of any of it no matter how I try to manipulate, twist, or turn it. My perfect, gracious and loving Father has my life perfectly mapped out according to His plan, and I am so excited to finally stop working myself to death trying to find answers to something my Father has already chosen. So here’s to the year of letting go and surrendering full heartedly to the God of my heart and the one that brings me everlasting joy.
So this is my challenge to you: examine your own heart, list out the things you are seeking joy in, and ask yourself is it from Jesus or is it things of this world? My prayer for people who feel the pressure to plan, control, and manipulate their life is that you would learn to surrender all. Surrender every aspect of your life to Jesus. Allow God to be the driver and take the passenger seat, and enjoy the perfect ride God is going to take you on. I pray that you let go of the reigns, that you let go of this timeline of your life that you have mapped out in your brain. That you would let go of the lie that just because you haven’t achieved the things you thought at 15, that you are a failure, or that you are not good enough, or not worthy of life and love. I pray that you are reminded that the Lord is your shepherd, and that he is not going to guide you where you do not belong because he has drawn out and thought out your life perfectly. He cares for you deeply and loves you more than any other man or woman ever could or will love you. Even when it doesn’t make sense, follow him blindly & trust where he is taking you, because he has every second, every hour, every day, every week, every month and every year planned, just for you.
About the Author: Nikki is was born in New York & in a native of Spring Hill. She is currently a residency student at Prescott Elementary in Cookeville, TN. She will graduate with an undergraduate degree early childhood in May. She enjoys shopping at goodwill, watching Netflix, listening to music, and reading books poolside during the summer.
- Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
- Winner, L. F., Wilson, D., & Holland, R. (2005). 5 paths to the love of your life: defining your dating style. Colorado Springs, CO: THINk Books.