The One Year Challenge

Some people might agree that I am a serial dater. You know, one of those people who dates and dates and dates for fun and never quite makes any progress. After all, I have not involved myself in a committed relationship in what... 5 years or so? I know what you're silently thinking, ‘’commitment issues’’. Well guess what? You're absolutely right. It was a struggle for me to commit to T-Mobile for two years and it’s honestly the reason why I won’t use Dish Network as my cable provider. I simply do NOT fancy the idea of being committed to anyone or anything. I have always been a free spirited person and the thought of being “restricted,” “tied down,” or “handcuffed” scared me to no end. Go ahead, judge me if you will. I know that my thinking toward making commitments is quite skewed compared to the average woman who is knocking on 30, but I have my reasons.

I don’t remember the date, the time, or the place, but at some point the hope of finding “the one” completely vanished. Perhaps it was the overwhelming amount of disappointments I’d endured since my love life began. Whatever the reason, hope was gone and there weren’t any signs of it coming back. That is, until recently. A few months back I was listening to Andy Stanley’s relationship series titled The New Rules For Love, Sex, and Relationships. In this series he attempted to persuade singles to take The One Year Challenge. The challenge is quite simple, NO DATING for one entire year and no sex before marriage. The object of taking the challenge is to use an entire year to allow God to renew your thinking toward love and relationships. The more I heard Andy Stanley speak about The One Year Challenge throughout different sermons, the more convicted I was to take the challenge.

I am ashamed to admit that as a Christian woman I hadn’t hardly led a dating life that glorified God. If my love life were under a microscope I’m sure there wouldn’t be a difference between mine and an unbeliever. It was as if I welcomed God into every other aspect of my life except this one. How is it that I could ask God for advice on everything else I encountered in life except love? Such foolish thinking. At some points in my life I truly believe I was an idolater, because I’d placed so many people and things ahead of God that nothing about me resembled Him anymore. After being broken hearted so many times and being continuously disappointed I had turned into the woman that I never wanted to be…untrusting, extremely skeptical, and somewhat bitter.

In effort to be better rather than bitter, I regularly ask God to reveal to me what truly lies inside my heart. Needless to say, it is more than difficult to accept responsibility for the man or wo-man in the mirror. Just recently he magnified and illuminated a feeling of numbness. It seems that over the years my heart had literally becoming an icebox, shutting people out (men in particular). I’d developed an “I don’t care” attitude toward all things concerning love but what I quickly discovered is that, I do care. As strong, independent, and fearless as I am, I am yet a delicate woman with emotions who desires to be loved. I’ve discovered that I don’t want to be loved or pursued solely because of my looks or on the basis of lust as it is much better to be admired rather than desired.

So… today is Day One of the One Year Challenge. I am believing that God will strip away everything hindering me from letting love in and remove everything hindering me from letting love go out properly. I also have faith that God will strengthen me as I continue to maintain my purity and my integrity as a woman after His own heart and a minister of the gospel. Therefore, I have officially began my journey of becoming “the one” rather than just waiting on “the one.”

Who's coming with me???


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Comments 17 comments

Latasha Gholston profile image

Latasha Gholston 5 years ago

This is Great!!! I can't join u I'm already married but if I wasn't I would do it in a heartbeat.


Ellana317 profile image

Ellana317 5 years ago from Indianapolis, IN Author

LOL... Well, thank you ma'am. :-)


Jayme 5 years ago

I am so proud of you. I 100% support you taking this journey. I'm excited to see where you will be and what will be revealed to you after all is said and done.


Ellana317 profile image

Ellana317 5 years ago from Indianapolis, IN Author

Thanks girl!!! I need all the support I can get. A year is a longggg time to go without a date. LOL... To my surprise, things are being revealed already. :-)


rasheedah 5 years ago

Hey girl! Wow that's great....ill be praying for you. The one thing I have learned is that God heals ALL hurts. Lately God has been revealing some thngs to me about me and that can be the hardest part....is facing your insecurities & allowing yourself to be secure in God in every aspects of your life. But in the end when its all over- its all for the best & to give all Glory to God-be blessed!


Ellana317 profile image

Ellana317 5 years ago from Indianapolis, IN Author

Yes ma'am I totally agree with you. I figure, out of everything I've been through there has to be some way for God to get the glory out of it all. The Challenge has been going great so far. He has been revealing a lot of things and without the extra distraction of dating I've been able to focus on him a lot more. :-)


Englishguy23 5 years ago from Devon, England

Hi Ellana, I hope you don't mind me posting on here as I'm not religious but I just wanted to say this sounds great!

I afraid I can't join you though as I have just started dating someone a few weeks ago but I decided about a year ago to wait until I'm married before having sex again! And so far its been going great, although my new gf doesn't believe I want to wait... "it won't last"... "yeah right you're a guy"... "we'll see"... Etc etc but if I wasn't dating I would do this in a heartbeat, I think it is an amazing idea!


Ellana317 profile image

Ellana317 5 years ago from Indianapolis, IN Author

Well, Thank you for your comment Englishguy23. I'm not bias. My non-religous brothers and sisters are welcome to give input as well. :-) I wish you well in your new love interest but if it doesn't work out, feel free to join me in The One Year Challenge. Good Day Sir!


Amber 4 years ago

Starting this today, any advice??


Ellana317 profile image

Ellana317 4 years ago from Indianapolis, IN Author

Hi Amber,

Hummm... I guess the most important thing to remember is that this time should be used to strengthen your relationship with God and for Him to renew your heart and mind. Although men may not be as much of a distraction as they were before, many other things will surface to take your attention away from God. Be mindful of that and don't completely shut men out. Conversations are totally fine as long as there is no courting or dating involved. That being said, I wish you the best in your One Year Challenge. May you endure it and finish it... knowing God's will for your life. :-)


clint 4 years ago

That's a fresh perspective on that topic. Im sure i can share some points fr it to help out my friend.


Clarice 4 years ago

Was doing great now I've met someone. I'm not ashamed though to have failed my task. He has been everything I think I have been asking for and more. Fingers crossed for my continued happiness and for your continued challenge!


Ellana317 profile image

Ellana317 4 years ago from Indianapolis, IN Author

LOL... @ these comments. I've actually called off my challenge but that's another story. I'll have to do an update sometime soon. Good for you Clarice. I'm glad to hear that there is so much sunshine in your life. :-)


Shri Mc profile image

Shri Mc 4 years ago

Been there a couple of times and that one year challenge may come a few times til God feels you are ready to be whole within yourself and only to complete your partner not make him the center of your univerese.

"As strong, independent, and fearless" is the way to be going into that awesome relationship made just for you. God Bless!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

"In effort to be better rather than bitter, I regularly ask God to reveal to me what truly lies inside my heart."

Brave and beautiful. =:)


Ellana317 profile image

Ellana317 4 years ago from Indianapolis, IN Author

Winsome, thank you so much for your encouraging remarks. :-)


Sgct 3 years ago

I just recently made the vow for the one year challenge. Can you give me some advice, books to read, sermons to listen too to help with my commitment?

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