Monday lunch – we fast and pray for a) men to lead courageously, b) women to be open and responsive to needed heart change, and c) the gift of marriage to those who desire it.
It was senior year of college and my best friend E and I were having one of our afternoon tea breaks in our dorm room and chatting about life. Since it appeared we would both be graduating without boyfriends or impending marriages, we started talking about what life would look like if we never got married. Not that either of us considered that a serious possibility, of course! I remember telling her, ‘Well, if I knew now that I would never get married, I would have to mourn a lot of things I wanted.’
I don’t think I would have guessed in senior year of college that I would still be single now. I also couldn’t have guessed that mourning the life I had hoped for would be a process that happens in gradual harmony with celebrating the life I have been given. Case in point: if someone had told me that the year 2012 would hold new serious relationships and/or engagements for another roommate, all of my siblings and my two closest college friends…and a boatload of weddings of other friends….and all while I wasn’t married or close to it, I might have had a breakdown in that dorm room.
But the weird thing is…I’m not having a breakdown. (Famous last words, I know.) I’m struck more and more with God’s gracious blessing when He gives a good spouse to someone I love dearly. I’m learning how similar the heart struggles are for women, married or single or whatever. The reality is that we all end up mourning the life we had hoped for — because life never quite goes in the directions we imagined. The only thing that stays the same is Jesus Christ, and He’s the only thing that can sustain any of us through life’s unexpected seasons.
I recently told an aunt that if I don’t get ever married, it’s going to be good and hard and full of things I didn’t expect. The reality is that even if I do get married, it will still be good and hard and full of things I didn’t expect. And so my prayer for us this Monday is to have our spiritual roots planted in Him who makes all things new, to trust more deeply, celebrate more freely, and to be faithful with the life we have today. And on E’s wedding day in just a few weeks, my prayer for her and for her new husband and for me will be those exact same things.
By His Grace,