To my single friends on Valentine’s Day, especially the women who longingly desire to be in a relationship…to be married.
You know who you are. I see you. I hear you. We have chatted and cried together. We pray for that “special one” without ceasing. I understand. I was single, never married and lived alone until I was 45, when I married the “other half of my pair”. I see you. And I love you.
More importantly, THE LORD SEES YOU!!! You are loved with an everlasting love. But – to keep it real – that just doesn’t feel like enough sometimes. (Although it should – and then you feel guilty about it because it should and it doesn’t. Vicious cycle!!!) I’m not going to preach. Promise. I just want to share a few things.
I get that this can be the hardest day of the year for many of you. Today and wedding days. When you are thinking “Phew. Lord Jesus. Help me get through this day without punching someone.” You will be barraged with pictures of your friends and their spouses and boy/girlfriends receiving heart-shaped pancakes, balloons, and cookies, along with that box of chocolates and a gift certificate for a massage. You will read posts that ooze of sweet-nothing’s. You will see pictures of scrumptious food being served by candlelight in a lovely restaurant, unless he takes her to the candlelight dinner at Waffle House (yes… true story this year!!!) And I am sorry for the pain this may give you, as you long for Cupid to fly his arrow in your direction. I see you, and I hear your pain.
Please – let me remind you – this is but one day out of 365. For many of these couples, the other 364 is a real struggle. For many couples, it’s a chance to play the ‘happy, loving couple’ for one day out of a year. Please don’t see the ‘fairy tale romance’ played out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as reality. There is NO knight-in-shining-armor riding up on a beautiful horse. The struggle is real.
For the rest of the couples, yes… we are happy – most of the time. Being in a relationship is hard work; and I would be lying if I said there weren’t times that I thought – “Gosh, it was so much easier when I was single.” Please hear my heart, I love Louis to life (don’t like saying “to death”! LOL). There are just days that I think, “Phew. Lord Jesus. Help me not punch my husband today.” True. Story. Just ask him. (He laughed when I read this to him, because he knows it’s true.)
I am reminded of what Gary Thomas writes – What if being married was more about making you holy than making you happy. For me, a truer statement has never been uttered. When I was single and first read his book, Sacred Marriage, that line bounced off the page and hit me straight against my forehead. I even changed it to – what if relationships (as a whole) were designed to make you holy more than happy. I thought of many relationships that were challenging to me at that time. And then I thought – a lack of that special relationship was more about making me holy than making me happy. And then, I would remember His Promise…that all things work together for my good….as I struggled to trust God and his timing. If I went with my timing, I might very likely be married to a drug and alcohol addicted, neglectful husband with 13 kids hanging outside of a trailer.
All of that to say. I see you. And I think of and pray for you on days like today. You are loved. You are seen.
there was a single 40+ year old woman who wondered if she would ever get married….
Yesterday was the 3rd Anniversary from when I married the other half of my pair, Louis. And it’s also the 4th Anniversary from the first time we spoke…on the phone. Time and time again, Louis and I have told this story of how we met. We try to tell it quickly, because we don’t want to bore the asker or monopolize the conversation, because the whole story could very well take all evening!!! LOL I laugh, but it’s true. But, to leave out the details would not be honoring to God, because that is where you will find God….in the details. And…I HATE details…usually. But, He loves the details of our lives. In this story, I love the details.
During Lent a couple of years ago, I started documenting the story of how I moved into my community and my life since, including the events leading up to meeting Louis. If you want the details of the story, start reading here (click the links), The Chair, where I begin telling the story and read forward to Don, Luke, Jesus & Marti, and SWF Seeks Other 1/2 of Pair, Be Still., Just for my friend, Jeanine…, For Melissa, Michelle and Jeannine….the list grows 🙂 , in honor of Judy O’Hara and Change of Heart…Just in Time. The story picks up at 4 months after I moved into my community.
Louis and I need to practice telling it a lot quicker, but yet still glorifying to God…so let me start here, for those of you who don’t like the details. 🙂
I was in my forties and wondering if I would ever get married. If it was in God’s plan for me. After Don Coleman gave me a scripture, Luke 10:1-7, my prayer changed from a future husband to “the other half of my pair”. Friends were praying with me. (As a matter of fact, there are several friends that I still pray will meet their other half!!! I haven’t forgotten!!!) God used so many people in the process.
OK. I have written that paragraph over and over again. I can’t do it! Can’t leave out the details!!! I give up!!! So…you will have to read it from the blog! But, I do want to point out some of the things I learned…
- God loves the details in our lives. Don’t be afraid to share them with Him. Nothing is too small or too big for Him. He works in the details. Don’t overlook them. Actually…watch for them!
- God uses other people. If you feel the nudge to talk or do something, pray about it. It just might be the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Then, do it. If people weren’t obedient, they wouldn’t have been part of the story and witnessed God’s movement. God would have just found another way to get it done. He doesn’t HAVE to use us. He chooses to use us. He chooses to allow us to be part of His mission. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that!
- Pray specifically and radically. Yes, I gave God a deadline…I want to meet “the other half” by the end of the year. Some people think that is crazy or bossy. Whatever. I just call it praying specifically. Praying the what seems impossible is praying radically.
- Don’t be afraid to ask others to pray with you. Find a couple of people you trust to be transparent with your “stuff” and ask them to pray expectantly. Then, watch God move.
- Remember…sometimes, it takes time. It took 2 years since I prayed the first prayer!! I know some of us are waiting longer than that for our prayers to be answered. There are prayers that I haven’t gotten the answer I want yet. But, He hears us and He answers us.
- Read the Bible. Meditate on His Word. See what God says to you through it.
- Make time in your busy schedule to read the Bible, meditate and pray. You gotta get still and quiet to hear His voice.
- People watch you and your behaviors. We were very conscious of that especially while dating. Louis didn’t spend the night…EVER. The kids especially watched for us to slip….expecting us to have sex before marriage, which we didn’t. You probably want to know how we know. Well…let’s just put it this way. They asked. A LOT. They would try to “catch us”.
- I don’t fully trust God, but I am learning to trust Him with all my heart, soul and strength. Still a work in progress. But, this, along with many other times, reminds me…God is in control. I just need to follow his leading and be obedient.
- Regarding marriage: Lots of people go into marriage thinking…”If it doesn’t work out, I will just divorce.” I never thought that. Divorce is not an option for me. Marriage, for me, is for life. (I know…there are reasons!!!) But, Marriage is WORK! Dating is WORK! From the beginning (OK…the 2nd date), I chose to just be myself. I wasn’t going to play any games. I thought, I need to be real. This is who I am. No, I didn’t dump all my stuff…my baggage…in the first month. That would have scared him off, even though the bullets didn’t! Some ask me if I felt like I ‘settled’. No. God told me His plan. I just walked obediently. Now, 3 years later… is it hard? You betcha! No doubt! For some short moments, I feel like it’s not worth it. It was so much easier being single! But, as Gary Thomas asks in his book Sacred Marriage… “What if God designed marriage more to make you holy than to make you happy?” Yowza. That ALWAYS stings a little…ok…A LOT! Marriage is a ministry. Louis and I (with God) are one, yet a pair. We are individuals with our own likes, dislikes, passions, opinions, etc.
But, this I know…we have been called to serve the Lord together…through thick and thin, in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, and to love and cherish. In our whopping 3 years of marriage…we have experienced a little of all that…thick and thin, sickness and health, rich and poor, and better and worse. It’s teaching me how to love and cherish Louis…more than I do myself. It’s making me more holy. I confess…I have a loooong way to go.