This is for the waiting women, who want to be married. But aren’t yet. It doesn’t matter if you’re older than me, or younger. I might be talking to your heart here. And if you’re not interested in marriage, or already married… I’d say read it anyway, I may be talking to your heart too — if you’re waiting for anything at all.
Let me begin by saying that I’m 30 and not married. I may not have said it aloud, yet when in high school I assumed I’d get married after college, to some man I met in college. (Isn’t that how it normally works to the unknowing 15 year old mind?). I wrote my first letter to my future spouse when I was 18, and have continued to add to that book of letters for the last 11 years. I decided to tuck it away last year, as it was getting full (and a little redundant!).
I have read lots of books on singleness and waiting. I have also read lots of books on marriage (because I believe preparing to be a wife is just as important as learning contentment in being a single). I’ve had hours of conversations with peers, as well as women older than me, still waiting. I’ve cried myself to sleep some nights with loneliness. I’ve secretly wished I could grab any man off the street to ease the physical longings. I’ve rejoiced with numerous friends who have met a man and gotten married, while at the same time pushing back the longings within me that rise up to fight (and yes, I do think you can honestly rejoice with a friend even while desires within you want to bubble over).
And I have learned some things along the way. I’ve been given advice (a lot of it unsolicited, and sometimes hurtful or not helpful, muddled together with the helpful advice. I’ve therefore felt confused). I’ve prayed. I’ve tried to “encourage guys” in a “non-initiating” kind of way. I’ve glanced at ring fingers of cute guys passing by. I’ve read the “rules” written in books by others, and I’ve tried the “rules”, and I’ve lately thrown the “rules” out the window. I am not by myself in this. I know. If you’ve been there too, you may find yourself nodding along with me, chuckling over the past.
You may have learned the same lessons, and I’ll post some great book recommendations. But here is the advice I heard, and wisdom I know, which has helped me, and which I think helps in all waiting circumstances. As of today, I am currently dating a man … but only God knows the future. Thus, I’m still posting what I’ve learned, because I’m still telling myself this. And you might need the reminder too. Not just for a spouse. But how about for a job? How about for a child? How about for healing of some sort? All of the principles I have gleaned through the trial of waiting for a spouse apply.
1) I found that I MUST DETERMINE THAT GOD IS COMPLETELY SOVEREIGN OVER EVERYTHING! (Yes, I realize on computer screens that all caps is interpreted as screaming. That’s not the intent really. However, please hear the passion in this sentence. It is the beginning point to waiting and living with hope in your heart, regardless of the longing.) And this doesn’t mean that a woman has no choices, and is not able to do her part. Rather it is learning to place our trust and surrender into God’s timing and hands. (In other words, just as if you want children, you have to do the part God gave you to do — there are not going to be any more virgin Mary’s! But the sexual act itself doesn’t guarantee children. The same is true with dating and doing our part … we’ll see this later.)
And if you feel He’s not doing a very good job with your future/love life, maybe you should try telling Him that, and see what He says! If you have a hard time trusting Him, I’d suggest meditating on Scripture — and that means purposeful memorization and dwelling on the truths of His trustworthiness and faithfulness and sovereignty. Purposeful. Sometimes through the tears. But this step must be accomplished, or else I’ve learned that bitterness and jealousy can creep in unnoticed.
Continued in next post…