I graduated high school with Toccara and the thing I remember the most about her youthful years was her smile. When she sent me this post about dating in her thirties, all I could think about was her infectious smile. A mother of one good looking little guy and a heart for all things Christ, she shares about the trap of settling for second best in relationships. Be encouraged ladies! And men!
Dating has been different for me over the past couple years because of where I am spiritually. Before when I dated, my relationship with God was never a factor because I never brought it up. I was saved, but I was a “part-time” Christian. When I say “part-time”, I mean that I was saved only when I attended church. I was obedient by serving, but once I stepped out those doors, it was back to life.
Back in 2009, I met a guy who was 11 years older than me. I thought we had so much in common and felt an immediate connection to him. For months I would try to suppress my feelings especially since he was my boss. We didn’t date, we just fell right into a relationship. To make a long story short, he cheated on me numerous times and I would never leave him. He stripped me of my self esteem to the point where I felt like I couldn’t live without him. During this time, I was at an all time low mentally and emotionally. I constantly asked God to give me the strength to walk away from this person because I couldn’t by myself. I needed to be strong, not for myself, but for my son. One Sunday, I decided that I was going to go church because I needed some word in me and I got it. How did this affect my relationship? Let’s just say he did not like the changes I was making. Within three months, I began to regain my self esteem, left the relationship, and focused on my relationship with God. That was the best thing I could have ever done for myself.
Since that relationship, I always ask someone up front what is the status of their relationship with God. I ask for two reasons: so they can understand how important my ministry work is to me and if we are headed in the same direction spiritually. If they can’t understand that I HAVE to be at church EVERY Sunday to teach our youth, which means no late nights, then it’s not going to go anywhere. If they are angry with God or don’t believe in going to church, we’re not going to work out. This can be extremely frustrating at times!
Earlier this year, I got to a point where I took a break on someone finding me who I could share my faith with encourage me in my walk with God. I fasted and prayed daily during this period and just focused on being “supermom”, which is another story altogether. They say, “when you stop looking….”, which is SO true! I met someone who looks forward to hearing about what I learned in my classes in church or who will cut our night short because I have to teach in church the next day. When I am discouraged, he encourages me and vice versa. We can talk for hours about how good God has been to the both of us and how we are committed to do better as Christians.
I will end with this: Don’t give up on finding love. God will place that person in your life when he feels you are ready. Until then, continue to surround yourself with people who have the same walk as you. Stay in constant communication with God, even if you don’t have anything to talk about. Love will find its way to you.
~A little more about Toccara~
I am originally from Cleveland, OH but I relocated to Columbia, TN in 1994. I graduated from Columbia Central High School in 1999, then went on to Tennessee State University where I received my Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with Disciplines in English, Philosophy, and Religious Studies. While in college, I was heavily involved in college ministry at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
In 2006, I had my son, Isaiah Emmanuel, who I refer to as my “miracle baby”. In 2008, we relocated to Douglasville, GA and have been ever since. In 2011, I was looking for a church home and I stumbled across Elizabeth Baptist Church. Since then, I became a member and dived right in to youth ministry. I have a strong passion for our youth and trying to keep them on the right path. I facilitate small groups on every Sunday to the young women between the ages of 12-18 and became a mentor to the 9-12 graders. Additionally, I am involved in the Singles and various other ministries in my church.
In my spare time, I coach boys’ soccer, attend local sporting events, and a part time foodie