Five Keys to Believing God for Your Promise
In December of 2022, I got married for the first time at 48 years old. It was the fulfillment of years and years of waiting on a promise The Lord had spoken to me many years earlier about marriage and I knew that I would be married, but I didn’t know when…and holding onto this promise year after year was not easy. Not to mention, when you’ve never been married in your forties, people have lots of advice to give. And it seemed everyone had something to say about why I had never married.
I was too picky.
I needed to get out more.
Maybe I should lower my standards.
Or become more submissive and passive and less direct, (in essence: less myself).
People have said all of these things and more to me. And while I’m sure many of them intended well, so much of their advice simply wasn’t helpful for me holding onto hope and faith. And it takes practice to discern between what is and isn’t helpful on your faith journey.
My story has been so encouraging to so many women who are also waiting on their promise–God came through! I want to share some keys that I used in my own journey of stewarding my promise and holding onto faith in the waiting. I believe these keys are powerful and life changing. That said, I cautiously present these, not as a formula for success, but as tools that have helped me stand in faith along the way. Ultimately, your journey is your own and God wants to lead you with His own heart and voice. But I believe these keys can help you maintain a posture of hope and faith.
Key #1 Surround Yourself with Faith-Filled people.
Promises from God and the desires of your heart are precious, vulnerable, and private things. Be cautious about who you share them with. Not everyone you meet deserves to know what God has told you, or what you are believing for–because not everyone will have faith with you. Practice discernment and discretion in who you share these things with. Especially guard against sharing with someone who will actively speak against what you are believing for.
If there had been someone close to me that kept telling me I was too old or that I should just give up on my promise, it could’ve caused me to doubt what God had promised. Therefore, I would’ve intentionally separated myself from that person and not given them a place to speak into my life. We don’t want anyone in our inner circle who will use their mouth to curse what we are believing for. Words are powerful and not all people understand that. In Luke 2.19, the Bible tells us that Mary “pondered these things in her heart.” She was commissioned to bring the Messiah into the world, and she had wisdom and discernment to keep some things to herself. It doesn’t say that she shouted them from the rooftop, but treasured them and meditated on them in her heart. However, when Zacharias was promised a child, the angel Gabriel shut his mouth, so he could not speak: “because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time” (Luke 1.20). God takes our words seriously, and so should we.
Key #2 Renew Your Mind with Truth
If your promise feels particularly hard to believe in a certain season, consistently remind yourself of your promise. That could look like something you write out and post on your mirror so you see it every day. Or it could be a journal that you look at when you need help remembering what God has said. Say it out loud. Something happens when we hear the truth. Romans tells us (10.17) that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Use your mouth to speak what God has said to you. Speak it out over and over, until you know it. Some of your beliefs may need some help, and when that’s the case for me I write out declarations to renew my mind with truth.
For instance, in seasons when it felt so far off that I would ever be married, I made declarations around my marriage even before I was married. Some of the declarations were based around specific prophetic words I’d received about meeting my husband–prophetic words that specifically resonated in my spirit. And others were positive declarations I made based on the word of God. For instance, one prophetic word that I’d received multiple times was that when I met and married my husband it would happen quickly. So my declaration for this was something along the lines of, “It is easy for me to meet my husband and things progress quickly!” I spent time visualizing myself in the role of wife more to make it more real to me. And I imagined what my life as a wife could look like. And then I created declarations from there along the lines of: “I am a loving and intuitive wife to my husband.” Has God spoken specific things to you about your marriage or a specific promise? Write them down and speak them out daily!!! Another way to renew your mind with truth is to familiarize yourself with what God says in His word about promises from Him, and also to know what promises from Him are in His word.
Key #3 Be Tender with Yourself When You’re Sad or Tired of Waiting
This was an important one for me. Most people don’t have to wait as long as I did to get married. Getting married has been the desire of my heart for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, all I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother. But instead, my path led me to nursing, ministry school, and entrepreneurship. A key to my victory was learning how to wholeheartedly celebrate those that are walking in the breakthrough that I long for. We don’t want to harbor offense or allow our heart to get hardened in the waiting–especially when we see our promise manifesting in others’ lives. Cultivate a heart of celebration for those around you that get their victory. That doesn’t mean if you’re waiting to be married that you have to attend every wedding you’re invited to! There were whole seasons that I cried out to God: Have you forgotten me? When will it ever be my turn? How on earth is this ever going to happen? Show me what to do, Lord. In times when you are sad, discouraged, or simply tired of waiting, pour your heart out to God. Wait in His presence to hear what He wants to share with you. There may be times also when it’s good for your heart to share with a trusted friend. Get them to pray with you. Learn how to process your emotions in a healthy way. Emotions that we don’t process will emerge later in our life. So, take the time to journal, pray, create art, or see a counselor in order to process how you’re feeling along the way. We want to have the same level of compassion for ourselves that we would have for a good friend in the same situation.
Key #4 Work on Yourself While You Wait
We are worthy of taking great care of ourselves. Specifically, being single provides an opportunity to become the healthiest version of ourselves. I took the time and effort while I was waiting to be married to work on myself. In my own life that looked like: getting physically healthy, inner healing, counseling, cultivating hobbies, creating in different mediums, cultivating an intimate relationship with the Lord, developing healthy relationships, etc. Take this time to invest in yourself. It is likely that when your promise comes to pass, the pace of your life will quicken and you may not have the same time to focus on healing. You will never regret the time, effort or money it took for you to get healthy. And once we are healthy, we attract different kinds of people. Becoming healthy in mind, body, and spirit doesn’t guarantee that you’ll suddenly attract a life partner or receive your promise–but, your life will be better for it!
Key #5 Maintain a Heart of Faith
There is no substitution for you believing God for your promise. No one can believe for you for your promise. The Bible is clear on the importance of faith and how much faith pleases God. We must shift our words and our mindsets to one of faith and belief in the promise over our lives. Make room in your life for the promise-this means ACT as if it will come to pass. Process each step with the Lord, but in this instance (believing for a husband) could mean making room for him in your closet, or making space on your calendar. We must make room for what God has promised and plan accordingly.
So often on my own journey I thought I had an idea about how God might bring my husband and I together. There were seasons that I even thought I might know WHO he was. What I found through this roller coaster of questioning and second guessing was to hold loosely to the “how” that God chooses to do it, but trust what He’s said and who He is. On my own journey through different choices that I made, I felt like my available pool of men that checked off boxes that were important to me was rapidly shrinking. I still remember a conversation that I had with a friend about that just this past summer. She spoke the truth to me, and showed me how even in complaining about my lack of options I was speaking death to my promise. She then challenged me with the question: “what if God used this specific community that I’d sought out to bring me my husband?” Turns out, that’s exactly what He did! I thought it was impossible and that was how God chose to do it!
In your journey of stewarding your faith and holding onto promises, what keys spoke to your the most. Remember God is with you and He is the keeper of promises! Hold fast and hold onto hope!
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Written by Anne E. Jackson