On Mondays, we pray for God to move. We ask him to bring about marriages and to help men be brave and walk into relationships and leadership roles. And, we pray that our hearts as women will be softened through the process of waiting and praying.
August is upon us, and as per usual, we take a rest from our praying and fasting over singleness. I don’t know what the past year has held for you. Maybe you’ve had moments in the last year like Emily where…
- You get together for dinner with your two best friends, and one of them announces that she’s pregnant, and the other wants to discuss plans for her up-coming bachelorette party, and you realize that the most significant thing happening in your life is the haircut you are getting the next day.
- Your uncle tells you the reason he sent you flowers on Valentine’s Day is because he figured no other guy would be sending them to you.
- Your 9th grade student tells you the reason why you gave him a bad grade is because you aren’t “getting any.”
Or maybe you’ve been more like Anna when…
- You fall into a depression because realize you know more about Twitter than about flirting. (Curse of being a Millennial?)
- You are one of the two people at a country-western wedding that can’t two-step and so you awkwardly float around wishing that they’d play the Cupid Shuffle.
- You can write an eloquent essay for an elder at a local church who is asking questions about delayed marriage and unintended singleness, but you feel bashful just smiling at that cute guy on the metro.
You may have realized, like Michelle, the fear and hilarity that comes from living alone and being your own repairman/battery-replacer:
The room was heavy with the silence and darkness of the middle of the night. Sleep covered me like a comfortable blanket, and beckoned me to go deeper. There are very few occasions when living alone has challenged my sense of safety and forced me to confront where I put my trust, this was one of them.
That night the silence was pierced, and I was jarred to consciousness by what I believed to be someone talking inside my house. I laid completely still waiting for their next word or creaking step on the wood floorboards. Minutes passed without a sound as I waited, and wondered what I was going to do if there was someone in the house.
Finally, the silence was broken with the words, “Batteries are low!” Seriously, the smoke alarm HAD to announce this in the middle of the night. I ran through the house pulling batteries from any potential culprit I could find, for at that moment I valued sleep way more than safety.
You may have been none of or all of the above in the last year, but all of us definitely have days, moments and seasons like Amy:
A few weeks ago, I’m all proud of myself for getting out of bed on time and dressing up in my snazzy suit and favorite button-down for work (not an everyday occurrence). And I’m all like, “Hey! I’m professional! I even have a coffee mug to prove it.” And then somehow, while I’m reading my book on the train, I realize something is dripping on my foot. And then I realize there is a giant coffee stain on the front of my pants from the overturned coffee mug IN MY BAG.
Somehow it had gotten jostled when I was switching trains and now had emptied its lovely contents all over the inside of bag. Ugh! So, I get off the train at my stop and am holding my bag away from me, muttering about how much I tried to be a real adult today, and look up only to catch the quizzical look of a very attractive, well-dressed guy in a snazzy car at an intersection.
And then I think, “Hey, maybe talking to yourself on the street, not the best pickup line?” So I quit muttering, awkwardly smile and speed away. It was like junior high level awkward. I shared the story with friends and coworkers who couldn’t stop laughing at the mental picture of me, my dripping bag, the awkward eye contact, and the speedy get-away.
Our hope is that after moments like Amy’s, you can say:
That was a real morning in my life, but I think it sums up so much of how I feel about this dating and marriage and life situation in which I find myself. I get up and try so hard to get my act together internally and externally, and march off into life. And then… life happens… but never ever in the way I imagined!
I mean, I could have written lots of good scripts that would have made my Thursday morning “better” but perhaps my Thursday was what it needed to be: entertaining, humbling and full of coffee. That’s what I want for this part of my life too: not insisting that things should be always be “better” but rather living and resting in a God-anchored heart that can tenaciously hope and still laugh at the (mis)adventures along the way. And now I’m just hoping that the dry cleaner can get coffee out of dress pants. Fingers crossed.
Whatever your awkward moments of the last year, your fears, depressions, joys, and hilarious moments, we are with you. We take the month of August off to remind ourselves that fasting and praying for men, women, and marriages ultimately isn’t in our hands. In a sense, this next month is the equivalent of a FastPray Sabbath rest—resting in God’s sovereignty, knowing that He’s got the swirling mess of life in His hands.
Praying and wrestling with God in this arena is an amazing privilege, but it can be difficult and complicated—leaving you weary.
In the next month, we encourage you spend your normal “FastPray” time eating and meditating on the rest that is yours in Christ.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Yours in Christ,
Amy, Anna, Emily, Michelle