Reminder for Monday’s lunch: We’re fasting and praying for godly marriages for those who desire to be married and for those who are married; for courage for men and women to walk toward marriage; and for humble, obedient hearts towards the Lord.
The year I graduated from college, having failed to find a husband, much less date, I moved to the D.C. area where I had a teaching job. The closest friend I had was about an hour away, so needless to say, there were more lonely nights/weekends than I care to remember.
That’s when I decided to become a runner:
- I don’t need other people to run.
- I will get in shape and look good if I run.
- Cute boys who also run will see me running and want to run [life] with me.
Things I neglected to factor in:
- Running by myself is lonely.
- Running makes my face turn red and the rest of me hot and sweaty, not attractive.
- Cute boys run much faster than me and won’t stop to talk in a middle of a race.
This is one instance of the many large and small life choices I’ve made that were, in part, motivated by my desire to find a husband. While not the only factor considered in my decision-making process (i.e. would this action hurt my relationship with the Lord?), it was certainly on the positive side of the pro/con list.
- Work at a Christian school – Find a single male teacher to marry.
- Go to grad school – Gets me around a new circle of people.
- Join the alumni board of my alma mater – A 2nd chance to meet someone from my Christian college.
- Go to church this Sunday – Most likely place to meet a boy who loves Jesus!
For all of my scheming and literally running around, none of my best-laid plans resulted in a husband.
- Work at a Christian school – Do you know the ratio of single female teachers to single male teachers at Christian schools?
- Go to grad school – At orientation, the faculty joked about how we happened to be an all-female cohort (and all single too!).
- Join the alumni board of my alma mater – All married or single girls.
- Go to church this Sunday – Again, a problem with ratios and lack of guys asking me out.
As a I reflect on the many times I’ve ridden the roller coaster of hope deferred, I realize that while I was allowing my desire for marriage to be a bigger factor in my decision-making than it should have been, my desire gave me that little push I needed to try something new and usually good for me.
And, in His graciousness toward me, God used my “foolishness” – the emphasis I placed on my desire for a husband, not the desire itself – for my good. He put me in situations where I learned to rely heavily on Him. He brought people alongside of me to do life together. Friends who’ve taught me the meaning of “closer than a brother.” Maybe not the direct outcome I was looking for at the time, but oh-so-necessary.
I’m reminded of Psalm 46:10 which admonishes “Be still, and know that I am God” (NIV). Other versions say “Cease striving” (NASB). My well-intended plans and asserting what I think should happen is sometimes in direct contradiction of God’s desire for me to be still and let Him have control of my life. Sometimes He wants me to quietly sit at His feet instead of trying to find something I feel is productive to do and moving me toward the goals I have for myself.
As you fast and pray this week, spend time reflecting on how you’ve seen the Lord working in unexpected ways – where you asked God for one thing, and He gave you something you now see you needed more. Be still and meditate on the fact that He is God and in control. Know and claim the truth that He can work through any situation and circumstance and foolishness on our part.
Sending you love,