Tears cascading down my face and crying that “ugly cry”. The one where snot’s dripping from my nose and the more I try to compose myself, the worse it gets.

Crying out, “Lord, I don’t understand, I thought that since I’d let go of him, you brought me this one. I’ve been asking you to prepare me as a wife for years, didn’t you hear my cries?”

I don’t know if any other woman has felt the pain of heartache to the point she couldn’t catch her breath or get out of bed, but the hurt is all too real.

For months I toiled, trying to figure out how to put the pieces together. How could I have been so foolish… how could a woman like me get caught up on the malarkey when all the signs were present from day one?

When we didn’t share the same values, I overlooked it.

When I found out about his pattern of failed relationships, I believed him when he said I was different.

And when I saw his constant need for attention from other women, I dismissed it as immaturity.

I had become the woman I couldn’t stand. I feared losing him more than I feared losing myself.

With all of those warning signs, it still led to me being engaged, looking for houses and a new baby on the way. But those warning signs soon turned into a bomb that was dropped like Hiroshima; leaving me abandoned with no family nearby, a new baby and a 16 year old.

No longer a career woman, while he ran off with his employee.

It was a week after he left when I understood God’s purpose. It was crystal clear. Many of us are often in a haste to get into relationships, or to get married, and we forget key components that we should be examining.

Bear with me for a moment. Haste could be a good thing if we look at it from a different perspective.

When we seek out partners for long term commitments or marriage we need to be in a haste to seek God first and take a closer look at a few key factors:

H – Heredity
A – Affinity, Agreeableness
S – Skills
T – Temperament
E – Experience

The H is for Heredity, Kinfolk, and Family. When you marry someone, you are marrying the family. My mom always used to say, “The apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree”. When you look at a person’s family background, you often see patterns of behavior and the morals and values they were taught.

The A is for their Affinity or Agreeableness. Are they compatible with you in terms of their education, morals, faith, values, and finances? Do they have a relationship with God and value family the way you do. Are they responsible with their finances?

S is for Skills. What skills do they bring to the table and how can you complement each other as a team? Are you strong where they are weak, and can you learn and grow from each other?

T is for Temperament. What kind of disposition do they have? Are they fine on the outside but have a black heart? Do they get along well in any setting or do they have a temper? Are you both able to respectfully disagree?

E is for Experiences. Everyone has baggage and life experiences that have shaped them into the person they are. If they experienced trauma in their life, it’s important not to elicit any of their triggers or know if they learned from past experiences.

Those of us who are not married and are patiently waiting, need to be diligent about asking these key questions when choosing a mate. But in the meantime, we need to be in a haste to build a relationship with God. Spending time alone and dating yourself lets you know who you truly are.

I realized that God removed this man from my life because He needed me to be the woman He designed me to be. And his chapter in the story of my life had ended.

This epiphany was much needed. You see, if I couldn’t commit to God and be faithful to Him, I couldn’t be committed to my husband. I am His before I am his, so I am patiently waiting, knowing I deserve God’s best for me.

And so do you.

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