The desire to get married has grown in my heart immensely in the last couple of years especially. I'm still learning, like Rainer Maria Rilke writes, to:
Sometimes, with such a deep desire, it can be hard to be patient. Sometimes it can seem so intense and urgent. I think of how there are a lot of great guys at Bible study in the young adult community at church whom I am blessed to know as friends, but I only get to see them about once a week, and their is no guarantee that one of them will be God's choice for my future husband. It seems like nothing is happening yet, and if it were to happen that it will have to happen SLOWLY. lol. Or, at times, there is this ridiculous fear that if I miss one single social event, then it will happen TWICE AS SLOWLY. lol. Sometimes I have to tell myself, "get a grip!" Seriously. lol. If I am really seeking to follow God, then I cannot in any way speed up or slow down His will and timing for my life - nor would I want to! God sees the whole picture and knows best.
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions”
And, ironically, if God did begin to bring something about in that area of my life, I would not want it to be rushed. I do not want to date or marry just anyone - I do really want to know God's will for that area of my life. And, if I ever do fall in love with a man of God who pursues me and where God has guided and directed us both clearly, I would want to savor that and to continue to seek God every step of the way (as with every other area of life). Besides, it takes time to get to know people and that is good. I want to just keep being myself and to let others be themselves and to get to know people and to really celebrate friendships and having fun together in this season of my life, and to wait (patiently) for God's will to be clear.
I think it is just hardest at times to feel the intensity of a desire and feel like NOTHING is happening. But, other times, I am hopeful and believe that God is already at work on certain things behind the scenes in so many ways that I cannot see. Or it can be hard to think that just because something has not happened yet that it might not ever happen (not true, but sometimes feels true). But with God, all things are possible. And I want God's will for my life whether that means being single or married. Both are gifts. There are often other moments when I am so filled with joy in God and in life now that I think - life is so deliciously good - take your time arriving, future husband, I am savoring and living up life now being single - no need to be in a hurry ;) lol. What a waffle! I believe it is always important to acknowledge and surrender all of the deep aching desires and glorious dreams on our hearts to God, and also essential to savor LIFE wholeheartedly and contentedly and with thanksgiving - right here and now and always and wherever we are at. Whether single or married that is "real life" too with both ups and downs and bitterness and sweetness and goodness and wonder.
In all of life, it hugely helps me to know that:
"For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless." -Psalm 84:11 [emphasis added]
God's plans and timing and ways are perfect.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." -Romans 8:28
I want to wait and see all that He has in store throughout this life :)
I think it was Eric and Leslie Ludy's book When God Writes Your Love Story (although I could be confusing that with a different book) that I read awhile back that mentioned how part of the romance of falling in love is that time of mystery before you ever know who your future spouse will be - that time of wondering. Sometimes I think, yeah right, when I am exploding with curiosity over what I like to refer to as "the marriage question" or "mystery man" - wondering who my future husband will actually turn out to be - if it is part of God's plan for me to get married. I JUST WANT TO KNOW THE ANSWER! lol. But other times, I can see the wisdom in that, I think that everything good in life is worth waiting for and part of what makes it worthwhile / romantic is the hope and curiosity and wonder and anticipation, and yes, even the waiting part that can be so terribly difficult at times. As a Josh Turner song puts it, "The longer the waiting the sweeter the kiss."
In the midst of the waiting and wondering why that desire is so huge on my heart lately, I am continuing to find that there is so much treasure in each in every day spent with God - the Most Wonderful One of All - Who Loves us Truest and Best - even when some areas of life are "hope-deferred" ones that remain shrouded in mystery and unresolvedness and that require great patience. Even then, God brings to every single day unexpected treasures and romance and adventure! :) I recently discovered this Bible verse via a book (I think a Robin Jones Gunn one), and I absolutely love it:
"I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name." -Isiah 45:3
God is always doing that! Bringing out treasures in unexpected ways. So keep your eyes peeled. It may not be the particular treasure you are hoping for just yet, but look out! There is so much goodness in store! :)
And, while sometimes it can be painful to feel rejected at times or to look back at my various crushes (a.k.a. wrong guesses thus far at who my future husband might be), I also frequently find it to be quite funny and laughable. Some guesses were clearly ridiculous and short-lived and cases of letting my imagination get ahead of reality. Some were guys I appreciate and admire and still do, but were just not "the one" God has chosen for me. I do believe it is so true that some of "God's greatest blessings are unanswered prayers." I have been blessed to meet so many wonderful people in life and have many amazing friends. But I will just marry one man, and I want him to be clearly God's choice and for it to be God's timing and handiwork.
Sometimes, I liken wanting to get married to waiting for Christmas day when you know that you have this amazing present coming, and you just want to KNOW what it will be and in the meantime to guess at what it might be! But ultimately, you have to wait and see. Or, it is like being excited / curious to solve a perplexing mystery. But again, in this case, the answer will only come with patience and time and seeking God along the way for discernment.
Somewhat related to that, I have always really liked the saying, "If you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans." :) Not at all in a bitter or cynical way, but rather, because I LOVE the thought of making God laugh :) Sometimes, when I am talking with God, I purposefully create ridiculous scenarios for how my life will turn out in general or how my future husband and I will meet just to share a good laugh with God :) Sometimes, it is just so good to laugh :) And, at the heart of all of that, I know that God's plans are always way better than anything I could dream up (thank goodness. lol.)
I have several journals of letters to my future husband and pray for him at times now before we have met. Sometimes that seems confusing and hard, when I have only been wrong so far and still have no clue as to who he will actually turn out to be. But I want to continue to be hopeful because I trust God to lead me through the labrynth / confusing conundrum of relationships and the marriage question (and all of life!), and I trust that God will make things clear when I need to know them. I pray that God would help me to live well in purity and faithfulness. I want to love God and others well. And I want God to chose for me IN EVERYTHING. I like these Jamie Grace lyrics about listening for God regarding the marriage question:
". . . when my ears start hearin' what people say
Hurry up find love cause times tickin' away
Well, I'm not bein' lazy I'm just waiting for
Still waiting for the right boy
Cause I only want to listen to Your voice
So I'll be listenin'
Always listenin' to You everyday"
I want God to choose in all His wisdom and goodness what is best for every area of my life.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." -James 1:16And ultimately, while I do really hope to get married at some point, no matter what the outcome, I know that I will be okay - because the deepest desires of my heart and life are already (and always will be) fulfilled in knowing God, in His Great Love, and in belonging to Him and doing life together :) God is my Husband, Protector, Provider, Pursuer, Lover, Friend, Greatest Joy, and much more! I am so blessed!
"I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion." -Hosea 2:19
"For your Maker is your husband--the LORD Almighty is his name--the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth." -Isaiah 54:5