This is your reminder that we are praying and fasting during what would be Monday lunch for the courage for men and women to form good marriages.
Growing up, I had absolutely no vision for singleness–not singleness as a season or life stage, let alone calling. Floating around in the far recesses of my mind was the real-if-unarticulated suspicion, “Well, what’s the point of living if you aren’t married?”
Obviously, I was wrong. Life has slowly taught me this. But part of what has helped has been my getting a bigger picture. Getting the big picture fills my heart with joy—like standing atop Humpback Rocks in the Blue Ridge Mountains (in VA) and gazing on the wide valley and the blue-gray layers of surrounding foothills. Something in me exhales, smiles and gains heart for the journey.
So, recently, when I picked up an article, “Created for More” by my friend, Josh Glaser, I was struck by his big picture language for what I’ve begun to see and trust only after writing my book on singleness. He wrote things like this:
- “Scripture begins with a wedding (Adam and Eve) and ends with a wedding (Christ and the church).” It’s the fact of the promised eternal and unashamed union between God and his people that gives meaning and a model to earthly unions. Think, for example, how a husband’s desire for his wife might teach us something about God’s eternal desire for us. Or how a marriage’s commitment to mutual self-giving might reflect the self-giving love within the Trinity. Or what about the delight a couple can have in making a baby—could it be that God wants us to know about his pleasure in creating us? And the joy to be had in co-creating with Him?
- Likewise, singleness lived well in God’s presence—for a season, stage or lifetime—carries a bigger message with it. Whether “wanting to marry, committed to life-long celibacy for the sake of serving Christ, or somewhere in the process of working out [our] sexual brokenness,” we get to testify through lives filled with God’s love, friendships, community, extended family when possible, and meaningful work, that sex and marriage are “not the ultimate gift, but only a foreshadowing of it.” And single women who long for marital love play this important prophetic role of waiting. Our celibate waiting “mirrors the waiting that belongs to all [people] as we wait for the culmination of the age,” the marriage between Christ and the church, the union between the new heavens and the new earth.
This bigger picture helps me so much. Since my book came out six years ago, two of my nephews have died in shocking (unrelated) accidents, the reverberations running deep in my family’s soul. Sandwiched between these deaths, I broke off my almost-engagement and slammed into anxiety. In short, the last four+ years have rocked my landscape, and I’ve had to focus anew, pray from a deeper place within me, and ask God to help me see as he sees.
Slowly, as my sight has been aligning with this bigger picture, I find myself exhaling and smiling more, my heart bigger for the journey. My hope in the big, eternal picture deepens and, because of that hope, so does my willingness to still ask for a journey mate.
This week, as you pray, ask God to help you see yourself, your life, and the big picture as He sees it. I suspect that if you do, you might find yourself breathing a little easier, smiling a bit more, and perhaps finding your heart and hope more full than ever.
Blessings in the Journey, Connally