by Esli Medrano | May 30, 2019

There are those who know that I am the Microsites Pastor here at the Rock, and I was raised in the church, starting in the ministry at age 15—and therefore conclude that it must be a straight line from my childhood to where I am now.

But it is not a straight line, not at all.

All my life, I fantasized about being swept away by a man, like my very own romantic comedy. The music would play, the proposal would come, and I would feel complete and whole and permanently happy. Role credits. Even the Christian women that I had come across over the years would encourage me to keep up the dream. “God has the perfect man for you, your soulmate. Just stay patient until God reveals him,” they would say. And so I waited. And waited.

Three times I had met somebody perfect for me, and three times our relationship crashed and burned. I could feel myself losing patience by the day.

Finally, I had had it. I was 28 years old—three years passed the time when Mexican families panic for their daughters—and I could stand it no more. And so I hit my own panic button. I remember actually yelling my plans to God—and they did not include Him. If He wasn’t going to give me the man in my romantic comedy, I was going to have to cast him myself.

And so, I downloaded every dating app that my phone could hold and began a mad dating scramble to find my leading man. I didn’t know it, but I had just walked into the most tragic and difficult time in my life as I dated nearly everything that moved. The highs were high but the lows were devastating. Some guys were dating me with one thing in mind, and if they said the right things, I was more than willing to oblige. Nine months later and I had gotten nowhere; I had not one thing to show for it other than a list of guys that I had shamed myself to accommodate. 

But with my 29th birthday coming up, I began dating one guy who showed an enormous amount of promise. And he confirmed all of it on my actual birthdate, treating me to the most fun birthday I had ever had. He was so thoughtful, so creative and wonderful, I just knew that this one was different. And so, I gave him a full-hearted reward at the end of the night, only to have him, upon conclusion, ask me to go home because he had to work the next day. I had been summarily dismissed. He had no more use for me.

I climbed in my car, feeling like a fool and began deleting all my dating apps. Then I cried out to God telling Him, with tears streaming down my face, that I was done and I was wrong; that I couldn’t go on without Him one more day. If I had to wait on Him, then that is what I was going to do.

That night, an extraordinary thing happened. Every other time in my life, no matter how distraught I might have been or how bad the circumstance, when I would pray I would always feel a strange and beautiful sense that God was with me no matter what; that though everything might fall to pieces around me, God would still always be there to rescue me. Only this time, that feeling wasn’t there. For a moment, it felt like God turned His face from me. It was one of the worst feelings I had ever had.

I knew things had to change. I began to go to the Rock where I resubmitted my life to Jesus and got involved with a few ministries, one of them being the burgeoning Microsites Ministry. In time, as more and more of the responsibilities fell to me, I became the leader, then the Microsites Pastor, and now a Campus Pastor. Thank you, Lord. It is the most wonderful job.

But I am different now. I now know, not because someone has told me, or I assumed it, but because I have experienced what it is like to do things on my own—that there is nothing there but failure and emptiness. It was the perfect lesson to learn as I have to lean on Jesus completely to get me through each day of my current job. Were I to try to do it on my own—by my own strength—I tell you the truth, it would fall flat on its face. But by His grace alone, the Microsites successfully bring the Rock services to out-of-the-way spots in San Diego and lives are being changed. I am a witness to a miracle every day.

So did I ever find the right man? No. It has been nearly five years since, and it hasn’t happened. But I am content to wait. Does that mean that there aren’t days when I don’t long to have someone to come home to? No, I still find myself feeling lonely. But God has a reason. You never know what He is saving you from.

In the meantime, I am blogging about it at prayingwhilewaiting.com. It seems to bring other women comfort, and I am happy God is using me. And instead of putting the focus on waiting for the perfect one, I encourage women to simply be the perfect one and to walk boldly with the Lord, submitting their lives to Jesus everyday—to love Him only and let God take care of the rest. But that is the key. Wait on God with joyful patience. Anything else is a dead end. Take it from me. 

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