A few weeks ago, I was meeting up with a friend for coffee after work. She got married last year, and I knew her before she was ever dating her husband. She and I were in the same accountability group at church, so I got to see the trepidation when a man (her now-husband) from church asked her out to breakfast the first time; the awkwardness of the first months of dating; the agony of waiting through trials before engagement.
I was there at the surprise engagement party, I bought her her first wedding magazine, I slaved over the wedding DIY, I agonized with her over the family drama that seemed unfair, and I dragged my roommates into the planning, whether they liked it or not. The planning of that wedding dictated my days, and I experienced “bride brain” for the first time. I blogged about the wedding itself last year.
In all that time, I had done well in not being envious as she and her groom in their early 20’s found each other and planned a wedding and experienced the first year of marriage – all things that I’ve wanted/craved for decades. In fact, I’d done so well that I took my joy for them for granted.
As I was driving to meet up with her just after her first wedding anniversary, I was thinking about how both of our lives have changed in the past year. We’ve both moved to different areas of San Diego; we’ve both recently started new jobs; we’re both saving money to pay off certain things. The difference is, I have done all this with a roommate, and she has done all this with her husband.
Then I had this thought that crashed to the forefront of my brain for a quick second: “God, You’re cruel for not letting me be married, too.”
Of course, one second later, I was telling God, “I’m sorry, I don’t mean that You’re cruel! You’re totally not.” And I had to process for a while what was really going in my heart. What was I feeling that I would actually use the word “cruel” in connection to an all-loving God? (Even a few weeks later, I’m still a little horrified at myself for thinking that.)
I was basically telling God, “I get Jesus either way. I get Him in singleness, and I would get Him in marriage just like (my friends) do. So why can’t You just give me what I want?”
There were two facets to my thought:
- The truth: I get Jesus either way
- The lie: my relationship status determines my satisfaction with God
In the past, I would probably have glossed over the truth and sat in that lie for a while, whining to God that He’s not giving me what I want, frustrated at the unfairness of His plans, wondering how He could be possibly be enough if I’m not being kissed. But now, because I believe God is always and only ever for my good (and His glory), I was able to gloss over the lie and sit in truth – that God, in His infinite kindness, gave me Jesus; that Jesus, despite my circumstances, is enough.
I know, I know, you’ve all read my previous posts on how Jesus is enough, He’s the greatest gift, etc. But for a second on my way to meet up with my friend, I lost sight of that fact, and I actually believed that His plan was not for my good. As soon as I said, “I’m sorry, God. I know Jesus is enough,” it forced me to put my eyes back on Jesus and thus acknowledge the kindness of God.
You see, when my eyes are on Jesus, they’re no longer on my circumstances (or relationship status). Because He is enough, God is good – or maybe it’s the other way around.
The world may see my “27 Dresses” (“always, always, always a bridesmaid”)/planning-other-people’s-weddings lifestyle as pathetic, but I see it as a reason to find my hope, satisfaction, and happiness in Jesus – because I will always, always, always be His bride. And there’s nothing cruel about that.