First comes love... then comes marriage... then comes baby in a baby carriage? We all wish relationships followed a clear timeline - but life is a lot messier, isn't it? This Winter, we had the opportunity to learn about what singlehood meant for Union County Garwood's Daniella Martins. Check out our interview with Dani below!
HOW YOU HAVE SEEN GOD AT WORK IN THIS STEP OF YOUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY?
Dani: Before I came to Liquid, I was a very self-sufficient person. Eventually, I got to the point where I had a bad panic attack and called my mom to pray about the anxieties I had been carrying. At that moment, I felt a tug in my heart from God, as if he was saying "Are you finally ready to look to me now?" I feel like I had to lose control in order to surrender myself - and my anxieties - to God.
Dani: When I came to Liquid, I found an incredible community - it's as if I didn't even know what I was missing! I started serving with Liquid Middle School and High School, and I've had so many opportunities to share my story. I get to tell the girls I mentor about the hope I found in Jesus through challenging seasons of my life and singlehood - and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be honest and open with them about what God has revealed to me.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS A BENEFIT TO SINGLEHOOD?
Dani: In singleness and dating, God has shown me that my identity does not depend on who I am in a relationship with...My identity is in who God says I am! Singlehood has been a time for me to learn how to trust wholeheartedly that God is going to give me what I need in the time that's appropriate. Everyone looks for love... but do you look in the right places? I know now that if I don't trust in Christ's love, then at the end of the day, I'm just going to try to fill that void unsuccessfully.
WHAT HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE OF SINGLEHOOD?
Dani: I think God has really shown me what a blessing boundaries in dating can be. Just like boundaries in work and other major commitments in your life, you need to know your limits. Think about it this way: Is all the time you spend with the person you're dating setting you and your partner up for success? Do you have someone in your life that can help keep you accountable - whether it's with physical boundaries or even boundaries with your time and other commitments? That's been a real lesson learned that, while challenging at times, has really helped me.
Just two short weeks after our interview with Dani, her boyfriend proposed! We love Dani's position of surrender to Christ - whether in singleness, dating or engagement - and we're celebrating with her as she steps into a new season of God's story for her. She is still trusting that God is in control of every aspect of her relationship with Him and with her now-fiance. Congrats, Dani!