We fast and pray through Monday’s lunch for: marriage for those who desire it; for strong, God-honoring marriages to thrive; and for our hearts to be soft and receptive to our Father.
Yesterday, thanks to some thoughtful friends, I had the privilege of having nearly all of my nearest and dearest in one place for my bridal shower. It was as if all of my worlds had collided – undergrad, my first job out of college, grad school, my current job, church, family, and even “random” connections I’ve made along the way.
Bridal showers aren’t my favorite to begin with, and being the center of attention for an extended period of time can be a bit overwhelming for an introvert, so I was skeptical when some friends told me they wanted to throw me a shower. However, I knew it was something they wanted to do for me, so I said yes.
I’ve never felt so loved.
As I looked around the room, I thought of ways each of the ladies in the room had shaped my life. My former roommate of seven years who was in her mid-thirties last year when she got married (another fast.pray. answered prayer!) who used the wisdom gained through her years of singleness to provide support and encouragement through my discouraging times. The ladies who welcomed me into their home when I was “homeless” last summer while in-between leases. Amy and Anna, two of the other fast.pray. writers who are kindred spirits from our love of polka dots to our woes with men to our desire to serve the Lord. Two of my married friends who vetted my fiance when we first started dating. My travel/vacation partners from my church who have provided fun and fellowship all around the world – on a budget, of course.
I consider these extraordinary women my family, and I’m so thankful to the Lord for bringing them into my life. We’ve laughed, cried, prayed, and talked for hours into the wee morning hours.
While I am counting down the days to my wedding next month, there is a sense of mourning that I will lose the closeness I have with these women. I fully intend to keep each and every one of them in my life, but my schedule won’t be as open, and my husband will (rightly) become my priority. I’ve felt guilty that I am the one disrupting the traditions and relationships we have established, and that my happiness could be bittersweet for others. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I am managing an identity crisis as I navigate from “single” to “in a relationship” to “married.”
As I was sharing these concerns with the other fast.pray. writers and expressing my dislike of how we (society) talk about getting married as “moving on to the next thing” or a “new phase of life” or “growing up/settling down,” it was suggested that being married is more of a change in my vocation, or calling. My calling thus far has been to be faithful as a single, but now the Lord is changing that, and my new calling is to serve Him as a married woman.
I’m still not 100% sure what that will look like, but I’m praying and trusting Him to reveal that to me. If anything, becoming engaged and attending pre-marital counseling has deepened my sense of urgency to pray for godly men who will lead in marriages and for marriage for those who desire it. As I have learned more about obstacles that arise in marriages, I’m more passionate about praying for marriages to be strengthened and survive. I am praying consistently and specifically for the men and women in my life who desire to be married to find a spouse.
My encouragement and appeal to you this week is that you find a way to serve or spend time with another woman in your circles. We need each other! Additionally, be specific and intentional in your prayers for yourself and for others. Tell others that you are praying for them. Finally, pray about your vocation – that the Lord will reveal His calling for your life. And then listen.
Trusting His Goodness and Plan,