When God Says "Not Right Now"
Updated: Jan 10
Here's a story of how God said "not right now" to my plans and dreams to be in a relationship, and how I didn't listen.
Back in December 2017, when I was just mildly crushing on a certain guy, I had an inner prompting that there was a very high likelihood that we’d end up together. It was weird at the time ’cause it was–again–just a light and fun liking, and there wasn’t even any inkling that he’d end up crushing on me too. Yet, as a hopeless romantic and mainly because I was so scared and kabado [worried] that it was really God speaking to me, I prayed for it daily. It was part of my everyday quiet time to ask for His guidance with my lovelife and to direct my love story with this boy. I’d always ask for Him for confirmation about that inner voice. We were good friends, after all, and I didn’t want to mess up stuff anymore with my friends.
After a few weeks, God gave me an answer. He made it VERY VERY VERY clear to me that it wasn’t a YES and it wasn’t a NO. His answer was “NOT RIGHT NOW”.
If I could only wait a little and trust that no matter what the present circumstance looks like (e.g. kahit mukhang ‘di niya ako gusto [even if it doesn't seem like he likes me], or if he ends up with another girl), God has something beautiful in store for us. Never in the past has something been as clear as that message. As an impatient person though, I felt like that was the worst answer I could get.
It's not easy, after all, when God says "not right now" in a relationship. It was promising, but it required time–which I honestly felt I didn’t have much of anymore given that I’m already in my late 20’s (huhu). I thought it was wise to be rushing into relationships at that age. My prayer shifted from “Your will be done” to “Please give me a clear YES or NO now”. I practically begged God to make the guy like me back already if it’s meant to be that way anyway, or for God to remove whatever I was feeling if it was not meant to be. I just couldn't wait anymore.
It got a bit more challenging since my crushing deepened over the next few weeks when we started talking frequently, and even had a chance to go out. My mind went on hyperdrive — could this be it?!?! Could there be a very very very slight chance that I was able to change God’s mind about His timing? Did He retract when God said wait in my 'relationship'? I was 100% convinced that God listened to me and thought that I was kinda wise anyway and deserved a quicker answer.
Well...that was until a few weeks later when the conversations died down, and what I thought was a blatant YES looked like it was a NO. I was so devastated — especially since I did not expect that the guy could just randomly change his mind about me. When close friends asked, I’d insist that I was hurt because I expected him to be more cautious with me ’cause we were good friends. It was true, but simply put, I was really just heartbroken. I was tampo [sad] with the Lord for giving me a “foretaste” of the kilig [giddy feeling] then just quickly taking it away.
I was grieving and moving on for a month or two, but of course, go-getter me wouldn’t allow myself to be defeated. If God would be so “cruel” to play with my heart, then maybe I should put matters into my own hands. I couldn't bear anymore! It's just not that easy when God says "not right now". I played a few of my pawns to get us back on track, and sure enough, I was back to my daily talks with the guy. I was sure that I wasn’t “in love” but I enjoyed the company and the conversations. It was nice to have a source of kilig [giddy feeling] and attention. We’d go out one-on-one and talk often, but I wasn’t sure if it he was just like that with all of his friends, or if he was doing it with everyone else.
Thus came the more intense wrestling with the Lord. I was going insane with the “NOT RIGHT NOW” that I had to get an answer ASAP.
I can imagine God just being so irritated (in a loving way) and permissively allowing a premature YES because sure enough, after ~3 months of confusion, I found out that he was crushing on me. It was light and fun liking–nothing romantic–but to me, it was the YES that I needed from God.
The funny thing is that it was clear that he wasn’t ready to commit. Yoyu see, when God says "not right now" regarding a relationship, there is wisdom to it. I was open to dating ‘exclusively’ but he was more hesitant to having labels. We liked going out and having fun without having to define what we were (even if churchmates kept on asking)-- but we acknowledged that our set-up wasn’t really ideal. We were basically having boyfriend/girlfriend perks, but were not committed to each other.
There were a few weeks of being in a limbo between (1) the desire to stick with the status quo and keep the kilig [giddy feeling], and (2) having the wisdom to dial down our growing closeness especially since we had unclear intentions. While most wise people would lean towards #2, I was still in utmost rebellion with God’s “NOT RIGHT NOW” and decided for myself that #1 was the way to go. We pushed it further for a few more weeks, caught up with the emotions and the attraction, yet all along aware that about the wrong timing.
And like fruits that we pick when they aren’t ripe yet, things have started to go sour. Now came the consequence: Resentment and disappointment. Unmet expectations. Regrets. And here I am, wishing that I didn’t rush God too much to give me the YES that I was waiting for. I’m starting to understand why it was a “NOT RIGHT NOW” from the Lord. Do you have moments when you’re rushing out of the house and end up leaving stuff behind because you couldn’t take a close look and pay attention? There’s still so much growth as individuals that we needed to have that I could not see since I was driven by the “rush” of our process.
When I stare at the roof at night before I go to sleep, I get inis [mad] at myself because I feel like what we had could have blossomed into a good thing had I learned to respect God’s “NOT RIGHT NOW”. The lesson then is simple and clear:
We can spoil a good thing when we rush.
Now, I don’t really know if God will still eventually bless me with that “something beautiful” that was supposed to be in store for me + this guy. All I know is that I treasure our friendship enough and value him as a brother in Christ. Rebelling when God says “NOT RIGHT NOW” becomes a disservice to this friend and brother whom I am supposed to love with God’s love. More than that, I really should just trust God more--even when He says "wait" for a relationship--’cause He knows what is best for us even if we are 120% sure that we can manage on our own.
It’s a really really tough season to be in right now, especially with everything else going on in my life, but I accept the discipline and the correction. The awesome thing about God is that He still loves us despite our faults. I remember this line from a Rob Bell clip that says: “Nothing you can do can make Him love you less.” I gain so much comfort in the thought that God still loves me despite my shortcomings, and that He can turn this rough circumstance I am in into something that will be for my good.
Now, I ask myself: Will I be able to recover from my current feelings? I have a feeling that the answer is “NOT RIGHT NOW” (HAHA!) because really, I have to go through and process these emotions so I can learn from them. But, I’m sure it will eventually be a YES.
I wrote this in 2018, when I was heartbroken over a guy I had "no labels" with.
Spoiler alert: The guy and I didn't end up together. I am now happily married to Natz! Still, what I'm sad about is that my friendship with this guy and his involvement in the church got severly impacted by what happened :( If only I listened to the Lord, this heartache could have been avoided. So please, kids. Don't imitate 2018 me. Please listen when God says "not right now" in your relationship.