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I’m beginning to believe that true love doesn’t exist.


My mother was in an awful, abusive relationship with an Adventist man. When they finally divorced, people in the church ridiculed her. She’s dated non-Adventist men, but they don’t treat her right either. I thought there was someone special out there for her, but I’m beginning to believe that true love doesn’t exist.—Alexandra.

Tiffany Answers:

Dear Alexandra,

I understand your frustration. It’s not easy to see someone you love ripped apart by failed relationships. Unfortunately, when we’re already dealing with painful situations, the hurtful reactions of others can feel like vinegar on an open wound.

However, God’s love is without measure and is never-failing. He is the only one who can read our hearts, know our motives, and understand our needs. He also has the power to restore us, as is stated in the prayer of Psalm 71:20: “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up” (NIV).*

Our previous misfortunes do not dictate our future. If we submit ourselves to God’s direction, He still can navigate blessings for us when all that’s behind us is a trail of pain.

You know, your mother’s situation reminds me of that of someone I know. Relationship after relationship, the seeming Mr. Rights she encountered proved themselves to be Mr. Wrongs. Unfortunately, family and friends didn’t offer much encouragement. They chastised her for getting involved with the wrong type of men or being too foolish or hasty in her decision-making process. Could these arguments have been correct? Perhaps. But the way they were offered wasn’t kind or helpful.

Finally she had a “lull”—a period in which she just focused on discovering what God would have for her and making right all the other situations in her life. Then, a few years ago, a new man entered the picture. Her family and friends thought this was just another relationship failure waiting to happen.

However, this man was different. You could tell in the way that he talked about her, with a kind, protective tone, that he was grateful she had entered his life. Another thing that was different was that he genuinely loved Christ. Yes, he was Christian, but being truly in love with Christ is so much more than merely calling yourself a Christian. This man’s love for Christ reflected in his deeds and, yes, affected the way he loved her.

OK, I can hear you thinking, Why does God allow us to go through the pain before gaining the blessing? Here’s the “rub” in my friend’s situation: I honestly don’t think she would have fully appreciated this man without going through her previous experiences. The lessons she learned in the failed relationships have allowed her to become this man’s ideal wife now.

Sometimes God allows us to go through painful situations in order for us to “grow” into our blessings. Granted, everyone’s situation is different. For some, Mr. Right may be the first guy who lands on their doorstep.

Regardless, allow yourself to trust God enough to let Him guide you and your mom. To paraphrase a friend of mine, if God has in mind to bless us a certain way, if we are fully giving Him the reins of our life, no one can stand in His way of giving us that blessing. Luke 12:32 says: “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

*Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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