** Please keep in mind, this blog was written over a year before my husband entered my world. I hadn’t dated in over 11 years, and as you’ll read, I wasn’t expecting that to change anytime soon, though I desperately wanted to be married. Once he did finally show up, we went from matched to married in 5 months, including a 5-week engagement, so needless to say, I was SO glad God had been prepping me for a quick run for a good, long while before it actually happened! In fact, after prepping for a 2-week engagement, 5 weeks sounded like a luxury! I hope you enjoy reading some of my story as a single woman struggling with “the gift” of singleness. 🙂 **
As I was getting ready for bed one night, I was struck with the overwhelming thought that I needed to plan a wedding. But this wedding wasn’t for one of my students – even though there are several each year! – this time it was MY wedding I needed to plan. Why, God? There is no man in sight for me to marry. Why should I spend all this time and energy planning a wedding?
I soon realized I didn’t have to actually plan the whole thing. I had wedding magazines lying around from helping students, and I’d been collecting pictures and ideas in a “Dreamin’” file for years. At the very least, I could pick through the things I’d already pulled and decide which styles I liked best in dresses and rings, what kind of flowers I liked, color schemes, etc. So, I dove in, stayed up entirely too late looking over all my clippings, and still didn’t really know why I needed to plan my wedding, other than the standard “just in case.”
A few days later, I was thinking and praying about why I felt so strongly that this was something I needed to do. God couldn’t have been clearer: because I needed to be prepared! God asked Noah to build the ark years before he actually needed it. In the parable of the ten virgins, they had no idea when the bridegroom would arrive, but they had to be ready for that moment or they’d miss the wedding entirely! Now, if THAT didn’t snap me to attention!
God frequently asked His children to prepare for a coming event years and years in advance. But when the time finally came to move, they HAD to be ready the very instant He said “Go!” They had to move FAST, or they’d miss it. In some cases, they even died because they didn’t move quickly enough! However, snap decisions aren’t so hard to make when we’ve already run the scenario ten times in our heads. J
If a man showed up tomorrow, decided I was the one, and asked me to marry him, could I say yes? What if he said, “Great! I’ll give you two weeks, but then we’re getting hitched whether you’re ready or not”? Yikes! It hit me at that point that I’ve always WANTED to get married like that. Not elope necessarily, but once we know, we KNOW, and we’re doing it NOW! I want my friends and family to be there, but I don’t want to spend months planning a big fancy wedding. I never have. So, there’s a practical part to what God’s telling me to do here. He’s saving me the headache of planning in a crunch! I’d be able to say yes and marry quickly without worrying about too much because I’d already have the big decisions made. I kind of like this plan!
The next thing God showed me about this rather random request is that just like the ten virgins who didn’t know when the bridegroom was going to show up, I don’t know when my husband is going to show up. Neither do I know when THE Bridegroom is going to return for me. Not only do I need to be ready to marry up quick, but I need to be ready to leave this world for a much better one “in the twinkling of an eye.” I’m not going to have time to plan and get my ducks in a row when Jesus comes back. I have to have it all ready to go – I have to have ME all ready to go – the instant I hear that trumpet sound.
That’s really what faith is all about, isn’t it? Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Heb. 11:1) Even though there is not a man in sight to marry at the moment, God is asking me to not only pray in faith for my husband to come, but to act on that faith and make preparations for when he comes. I have to trust that I did hear God correctly, that he does intend for me to marry one day. If I don’t really believe he’s coming, I don’t have to worry about planning. But, if I really and truly believe that God is bringing a husband for me, I have to plan for when he shows up. It all comes down to a lesson in faith, a lesson in trusting the God who made these promises.
God is asking all of us not only to talk about faith, but to live in faith, to live like He’s coming back for us, like we really believe it. The only way I’m going to plan a wedding or keep living from a heart wholly devoted to Christ is if I am sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not yet see. So, happy planning, everyone!