Time is Never Wasted When Given to God

by Mary Chalhoub on August 31, 2013


“I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten.” – Joel 2:25

I admit that waiting is hard to do. It is in the waiting that God perfects us as He prepares His best for us.

As children often do, we get impatient when we do not get the things we want right this minute. We try to make it happen on our own and then we get hurt and disappointed. Then we take it even further by blaming God because it didn’t work out as we had planned.

When I was 18 years old, I remember hanging out with my close girlfriends. We were guessing what our lives would be like in 10 years and one of my friends blurted out, “Who do you think will get married first from our group?” They simultaneously answered, “Mary!”  They knew that marriage was a strong desire of mine, even at a young age.


While in Pharmacy School, I met someone whom I thought was “the one.” We fell for each other and began making plans to become engaged shortly after graduation day. Those tough study years were about to set my world in motion. The roadmap of my life was all planned out. I would get married, have a career, we would have children, and live happily ever after.

Just one week before I received my diploma, the relationship ended.  I was crushed! The feeling of being blindsided overwhelmed me; I didn’t see it coming! It took two very long years to get over that relationship. Looking back,  it wasn’t so much that I struggled with getting over him as it was with allowing the dream of how life was “supposed to happen” die.

broken heart

After the breakup, I made a vow to God. I promised not to have a boyfriend until GOD confirmed the one I was supposed to marry. I believed that in God’s timetable, it might be one or two years before he prepared “the one” for me, but that wasn’t the case. It took 10 long years!

During those years, I think every person I knew tried to set me up with every person they knew; their brother, cousin, friend, or coworker. Remember the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding? It was something like that, but honestly, I wasn’t interested in a set up; I was too busy falling in love with someone I least expected to be falling in love with.

I grew up in a traditional church, but somehow in all of those years, I didn’t know God was really like a Father.  He was seeking a relationship with me all along, yet I had never realized that He was  really alive.  I began to experience things I never knew about God as I journaled and studied the Word. The more I learned of Him, the more I realized that He had always been there, loving me and in His loving me, I began seeing Him for the first time. Soon, I began to find places to serve Him in the church, in mission fields, and even at home. I even attended ministry schools as I was hungry for more of Him.


All of my girlfriends got married and had children during those ten years. I felt forgotten in a sense. My unspoken complaint to God was, “Here I am serving you God. Why haven’t you given me the desires of my heart? I come from a good family, I am a practicing professional and I am a social person. What’s the deal?” Knowing you can’t fight against God, I finally got to the point of just accepting that it may never happen. I gave up! And a few weeks after that very moment, I met my husband.

Looking back, it wasn’t that there was anything wrong with me; it was simply God’s timing. Within the first four years of marriage, we had three children. It was as if God restored all of the years I had waited, and in waiting and serving God, I gained the most valuable lessons of life. I am so thankful for that!

Trust His timing; it’s never too late. He can and will restore all things. He has given me life filled with joy unspeakable and the understanding that nothing, absolutely nothing, was wasted.

You may have old wounds and worries about your wasted years. Release them to God and trust that He will restore those years, then press on confidently in joy. He IS your hope and your future.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11



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© 2013 Mary Chalhoub & Kingdom Roar International, Inc.