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Part of trusting in God means waiting for Him to bring the right man to you instead of looking for Mr. Right on your own.

God did not bring Prince Charming to me in high school, which is a blessing. If Justin and I had attended high school together, there is no way we would have ended up at the altar. Not with each other, anyway. We both had a lot of refining that needed to happen before our paths could cross successfully. I’m thankful that I serve an all-knowing God who told me to wait when I prayed to meet my soul mate.

We think that being single in high school carries a certain . . . “loser quality,” which is a totally stupid belief. Why did I think I needed someone to like me? To tell me I was pretty? Why did I crave that attention? Maybe I was simply tired of walking around during the lunch period to avoid the accurate perception that I didn’t have anyone to eat with. I was lonely.

I didn’t want to wait for Mr. Right, so I settled for “Mr. Not Right for Me.”

Four cute guys sat in the back of biology class, and Sean Campbell was the cutest—tall, dark and ruggedly handsome. A real “man’s man.” Testosterone dripped from his pores.

I had a huge crush on Sean, but we never talked to each other. One of the other cute boys, Derek, walked around with me on a field trip, thus ruining any shot I had with Mr. Wonderful. Looking back, I never had a chance with Sean, but a girl could dream.

This is where confidence is of the utmost importance. A confident girl does not date a guy just because he likes her. She remains single until the guy she wants decides he wants her.

But, I wasn’t confident.

I wanted to be in a relationship so that I wouldn’t feel so alone. Having a boyfriend was a status symbol. So, I started dating Derek, and I became somebody. Unlike me, he grew up with most of the kids at our school, so he was well known and well liked. Derek was smart and came from a respectable family, and I thought he was cool. I no longer had to search for someone to eat with at lunch, and I had a ready-made lab partner. But were these the right reasons for dating Derek?

The Bible says that “the heart is deceitful above all things. . . . who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9). I thought I knew my heart, but my “love” for Derek was a lie. After tasting the richness and depth of my love for my husband, I see how silly I was back then. I am sorry for my part in it. Derek is now married to the love of his life, and I’m thankful that we both found our heart’s desire.

Unfortunately, when your confidence isn’t tied to Christ, it’s anchored to something else. A boyfriend in high school can be a major weight, dragging down a girl’s heart, encumbering it from the heights it could reach.

Instead of focusing on friendships with girls, I unknowingly alienated myself from them. Instead of nurturing my faith in Christ, my spare time was spent in the drama of a teenage relationship.

Even if you’re blessed to marry your high school sweetheart, your perception changes as you age; and when your love naturally intensifies to an adult level, you can agree that the high school time was full of infatuation that deepened to something more.

It’s a definite red flag when a couple gets too close too fast, primarily because while girls wrap themselves fully in their relationship, guys aren’t as willing to lose their identity. You don’t see many guys doodling “Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So” in their journals. Although Justin did find an old high school notebook where he’d written “Justin loves Katrina” in the margin. Awwww. Barf.

Being Derek’s girlfriend became part of my identity. It was special to be “taken” or “off the market.” I’d given up on Sean due to the “bro-code” which wouldn’t have let him date me after his friend, and there wasn’t anyone else in my high school I wanted to date.

My high school yearbook is full of people bidding me a happy summer and a great wedding to Derek, even though we were nowhere near being engaged.

We’d broken up and “gotten back together” sooooo many times. Some of our friends nicknamed me “Mrs. Thatcher” and addressed me that way in their farewell adieus. Instead of our friends knowing me, I’d hidden myself behind him. But God didn’t create us to stand behind our men; He created us to be equals.

From The Cinderella Rule © 2013 by Bethany Jett. Published by Regal Books, www.regalbooks.com. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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