I wrestled with God today. Or really, I wrestled with myself.
When I was in high school I made a commitment to wait until marriage for sex. My dad gave me a ring and we had a small party where the elders in my life exhorted me to stay pure. Why did I do it? Well, honestly, part of it was just a trend for young Christian girls my age. But there was definitely a part of me that had thought through things. I knew that I wanted to get married, I assumed I would. The question was, would I do it God’s way, or my way? Would I go through life making my own decisions about love and marriage or would I trust God to pick out my guy for me. And even to my sixteen year old mind, I knew that God would choose better than I would. I realized today as I reflected on that decision that I viewed God as some yenta who would marry me off if I gave Him the chance. It made so much sense to me then. Give my heart to God and He would give it to a winner, saving me the pain of the losers.
So why did I spend my morning feeling like I had slammed into a brick wall at full speed? As I sat in worship, I realized that I was struggling with disappointment. Carolyn Custis James comments in her book that women need theology to deal with the disappointment that we face in life. I had easily accepted this concept when I read the book, but somehow thought I was above disappointment with God. Aren't I holier than that? It was humbling today to realize that I’m not. Indeed, I am very disappointed. You see, when I made that promise to God when I was 15, it was about something much bigger than my virginity. It was when I gave God my heart. I handed it to Him and gave Him permission to take it where He pleased. I assumed that meant marriage, but it doesn’t necessarily.
I am 26 years old now. While that may seem young to many of you, it feels like each day brings me closer to being single for the rest of my life (I may tend toward the overdramatic). I understand that is not how God works. But I also know that God does keep some of His saints single. Especially those called into full time service for Him. I want to be married and I want to be a mom. But when I gave God my heart, at age 15, I told Him that I trusted Him more than myself to make those decisions for me. For all the girl friends who have told me they are bewildered about my singleness, that I would be a blessing to a man, that I was made to be a wife, I am left speechless. There have been so many possibilities but none have come through. So what does that mean for me? Do I take back my heart from the Lord? Do I try to find a husband on my own? No, I have always put myself out there, I’m not hiding in a shell, but in His providence, no one has come. I have to believe that there is no other reason than God’s provision. I have asked friends what I can do to change. I have gone to singles events, gone to online dating sites, even gone to seminary (a good place they say to find a pastor for a husband!) and there is silence.
Do I trust the Lord enough to have my heart, even if that means it must be single? I agree with my friends when they tell me that I was created to be a wife. I love serving people. I love hospitality. I would LOVE to marry a pastor and get to minister as a pastor’s wife. But the truth is, God is bigger than my plans for myself. He knows my desires and I don’t have to worry that He has forgotten me. He has me in the palm of His hand.
Lord, may I truly believe in Your goodness. May I continue to trust you, even when your path for me looks nothing like the map I drew out for you.