In the spring of 2009, Melissa was married, my best friend Evie was engaged, and my other friend Noel was about to be engaged any minute. I could have papered my walls with wedding invitations.
It seemed so easy for everyone else. I even asked some of them, “How do you get a boyfriend?” The answer was always something like, “Well, you find a guy you like, you Define The Relationship (DTR), you date, you DTR again, you get engaged, and then you enlist Charity to help with the wedding.”
That answer was infinitely frustrating. At 26, I was SO TIRED of watching everyone else meet their men or women, fall in love, and get to plan their weddings – like it was no big deal to just *poof* find the love of your life and *poof* get married.
I joyfully performed bridesmaidy duties twice that summer, musing over my lack of love life thus far.
As nearly as I could tell, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. In fact, I felt like I was doing everything right; I was living it up as a single person, going to a church with an ample selection of unmarried men, attending Bible study at a local mega church, being fiscally responsible, and loving Jesus with all my heart. I had paid off my college loan, I owned my car outright, I worked an 8-5 job, and I visited my family at least once a week.
Therefore, it must be my man that has the problem, I concluded. He must be out there being stupid somewhere, because there is nothing in my life stopping me from getting married right now – except for the lack of a husband.
In reality, I was the one being stupid. I had latched onto that idea – that my man was somewhere out there being stupid – so much that it affected the way I viewed God, myself, and men in general (not to mention my future husband). For many years…
- I let myself believe that my future husband must have been mucking about, wasting time with work and booze and multiple girlfriends and pointless hobbies.
- I let myself get a little bitter at God because I was being so upstanding and responsible, and He had picked out a man who was so opposite of that and probably came with crazy debts, addiction(s), STDs, or callouses on his thumbs.
- I let myself feel superior to my future husband because I was doing everything right (or, at the very least, not doing anything wrong, which in my mind was the same thing).
It wasn’t just stupidity; it was sin.
There were two problems with this way of thinking:
- I was expecting that because I was waiting for my man as well as I knew how, that God would/should prepare for me a man who has never sinned or made mistakes or wasted time. <rolls eyes> Like I’ve never sinned or made mistakes or wasted time.
- I knew that God was the author of history, and the author of my story. What I was forgetting was that He is also the author of my man’s story.
- Just as God the Father put me in the right family (Eph. 6:1-4), sent His Son to die for me (Rom. 5:8), and dispatched His Holy Spirit to teach me about Himself (John 14:26), God also has done the same thing for my man.
- Whatever my man has been through or chosen to do with his single years – all of that is ordained and/or redeemable by the God Who both ordained and redeemed the worst thing that ever happened in the history of everything (the death of His Son).
I’m not saying that I should just accept that I’m going to get a man with baggage (maybe I should, but that’s the topic of a future blog post). I am saying that that’s the wrong focus, because it means I’m looking to my future man for perfection instead of to God.
I’m not saying that God hasn’t heard my prayers for my future man. I know He has, and I know firsthand that prayer is powerful. I am saying that God’s going to answer my prayers in the way that is best for me, for my man, and for our marriage – baggage or no baggage, sin or no sin, mistakes or no mistakes.
Because with God, there is no such thing as wasted time.
Because God loves my man more than I ever have, can, or will.
Now excuse me while I go paste Molly and David’s wedding invitation to the wall; I think there may be an open space in that corner over there.