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by Adrian Myrick
When I was 15, I felt it for the first time. The tears flowed, my world stopped, and hope slipped just out of my innocent reach. I had never experienced anything like it before, and I prayed to God that night I would never have to experience it again. My first broken heart.
I made a promise that night as I cried out to God in confusion and doubt. I promised that I would wait for the man that He wanted my heart to belong to. I would wait and pray for God to strengthen the heart that would one day possess mine.
Nineteen years and many heartbreaks later, I am still waiting.
I hate waiting rooms. Hospitals, dentists, walk-in clinics — you name it. They make me uncomfortable. They make me nervous. And sometimes, I even break out in a cold sweat. Why is that person ahead of me? I am hurting worse than she is… I need to see the doctor first. I'm not sure how much longer I can take this. What if the doctor doesn't fix the problem? What if I have to endure this pain for life? It's funny how these same thoughts and doubts can sometimes parallel the feelings we confront sitting in the waiting room of God's will for our lives.
I've pondered (more than once) lately, why God is making me wait for marriage. I wonder why falling in love and getting married seems to come so easily for others around me. I wonder if there is something I have yet to learn, even after 19 years of fervent teaching. I sometimes even wonder if it is God's will for me to marry at all. However, it is always in this thought that I am redirected to His promise of giving us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4). Notice that God does not give us a timetable of when He will give us our desires, but He does promise to bring them to fruition if we trust and honor Him in our lives. In times of doubt and questioning, it is upon this promise I place my trust.
This morning as I read through my devotion, I was reminded of how much Joseph's life was spent in the waiting room. God had promised Joseph that he would be a leader of his people (Genesis 37:5-11). But Joseph had to wait many days in the pit and prison before entering the palace. When Joseph was waiting, God was working. In the end, Joseph became not only a leader of his own people, but over the people of Egypt as well.
As I sit here writing this blog, I continue to wait for the man I began praying for late one night some 19 years ago. Even though time and life experiences have molded me into the woman I am today, my heart still holds true to the promise I made to God as a young girl: "May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You" (Psalm 25:21, ESV).
Adrian Myrick is in her 10th year as a public school teacher and enjoys encouraging others through her writing.
If you would like to contribute a post to the Boundless blog's "Your Turn" Friday feature, see "Writers Wanted" for more details.
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It's not just women who wait for marriage. Guys like me wait, too. We wait because we're either too scared to try or we get rejected left and right. It's just as hard.
Joseph's story is an amazing one. I've had people refer me to it on numerous occasions. I think Max Lucado talks about it in a recent podcast. Since his story can be read quickly, it seems like he was lifted out of his pit quickly, but it took years. I'm not fond of that idea. Patience in suffering isn't easy for me. But it must be done. I hope it's true for you.
I think one of the toughest questions a Christian ever has to answer is, "If I never get married, can I really believe that God is still good?"
Have you considered other avenues such as online dating, asking friends/family to recommend people and give you honest feedback, or even perhaps putting a link to a page where prospective suitors could contact you? Perhaps you've explored this area already. I guess all we can do is work with the hand that we've been dealt.
I also hope that you aren't set on guys named "Rocky".
Eh, I'm sure we should be careful not to read Psalm 37:4 as "Delight in God and he will give you the desires of your heart (i.e. a spouse, a nice house, good heath, etc)" because that does not fit in with what the rest of the Psalm is saying. Psalm 37 is all about trusting and obeying God even when it seems like only the wicked are prospering. I remember one person saying in reference to this verse: "What is the desire of the heart of a good man? It is this, to know, and love, and live to God, to please him and to be pleased in him. "
I also try not to think of my singleness as a period of "waiting" on a spouse but a period of living and seeking the Lord. I try to take each day as it comes (as Jesus talks about in Matthew 6:34). Each new day is a chance to see his mercy and grace anew. I don't spend my day waiting on a spouse, but enjoying the fact that I have already gained Christ and God's presence. And that is enough for me. It may be that I never get married, so I am not going to waste my life waiting for something that is only a shadow of the things to come. No, I am going to wait in anticipation for that grand day when God restores his bride and overwhelms us with his glory.
And if one day I am called away from singleness, I can begin to anticipate God's coming in a new light.
Adrian, thank you for sharing your heart. (I, also, am waiting for marriage,) Yours is a good testimony of one who has waited. I hope God gives you the desires of your heart... I was reminded of what I think Carolyn McCulley shared on a Boundless podcast. She was referring to how one author referred to his second wife (first wife passed away) as something to the effect of the wife of his autumn years. And the guest, with deep emotion, said (being surprised she is still single at her age) she might be that for someone. That guest is another example of one who is waiting well.
Adrian, you wrote, "...I'm not sure how much longer I can take this. What if the doctor doesn't fix the problem? What if I have to endure this pain for life? It's funny how these same thoughts and doubts can sometimes parallel the feelings we confront sitting in the waiting room of God's will for our lives."
I don't want to come across as a, "downer" as far as an earthly perspective, yet everyone's story does not turn out like Joseph's. Here I'm not really referring to waiting for marriage. Some believers' stories don't end like Joseph's did on this earth. But, we're to be looking not only to earthly pleasures/rewards but to an eternal, unshakeable kingdom. When considering what you wrote I thought of the book of Hebrews. It has brought me great comfort over the years. Many modern-day Christians like to reference the first part of Hebrews chapter 11. But, I don't see/hear many (except physically persecuted Christians) reference the latter portions of Hebrews chapters 10 , 11, or 12. Consider what the writer writes in Hebrews 11:36-39 about those who did not receive what was promised.
Heb. 11:32-40: 32 And what more shall I say ? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection ; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection ; 36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword ; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins , being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy ), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. 39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect."
That's followed by,
Heb. 12:1-2 1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin
which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Regardless our, "waiting room" we are called to consider Jesus "... so that [we] do not grow weary and lose heart."
@GrinAndBarret... yup. that. exactly that. esp. when, as this author notes, people all around you are falling into decent relationships.
GrinandBarrett, that is exceedingly self-centered and naive and betrays your limited years and limited life experience.
"Redeem the time for the days are evil". We aren't commanded to sit by, we are commanded to make wise decisions now. Joseph did what he could in prison but he was IN PRISON (limited his actions). Joseph's story is about God's plan for the NATION of Israel, not him personally. Plenty of other Godly people
(Prophets of God) went to prison and died in prison.
God has no obligation to save you from foolish inaction. Growing in wisdom and making wise decisions isn't 100% guaranteed either but it is what he asks us to do anyways.
You're going to have to expand on that because I'm really struggling to see how taking a hard look at where your idols really lie is self centered or naive. Marriage is a good thing, and it's great to want to get married one day, but not everybody is going to get married. I think it's important to examine your faith and determine whether or not it's based on the assumption that God will give you what you want or the belief that God will give you what is best.
GrinandBarrett, there are Christians with children dead or dying from cancer and you are wondering selfishly if God is good if you never get married. That is disgusting.
Adrian, thanks for your post. I know exactly how you feel. The waitng season is the hardest. It's where I am at too right now. And sometimes I wonder and struggle if I will be here forever but I know God is in charge and I have to choose to trust him even when it hurts. I wrote more about this on my blog agirlwhoisageek.com/.../thegirlwhowaited
@Greg , you need to chill. Questioning God's goodness is a struggle we have all dealt with regardless of our situation and circumstances. Your comments are coming across as judgmental and hypocritical, especially on a thread about those dealing with the pain of rejection and waiting..
I think that what Greg is failing - in his innimitable fashion - to articulate very well, is that there ARE far tougher things to face and more daunting questions to answer than that of "will I ever be married?"
Yes.... It's a question that most of us must answer for ourselves. "Is God good when there is so much tragedy and pain in the world."
One of the things that life teaches you is the sheer, bloody, inevitability of pain. The only way that we can avoid watching our family, our friends, everyone we love, sicken and die, is to die before them. My own father experienced the death of his two closest friends in war, had to stand over the graves of two wives, a daughter, a brother and both of his parents..... not to mention almost all of the friends of his own generation . It makes my own loneliness look small by comparison.
We know why there is suffering.... it's because we live with sin in a fallen world. It has nothing to do with God's goodness.
What Adrian said resonates, but if I survived yesterday, I can survive today. As it is written,"You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood...."
If I had said that it was THE toughest question that a Christian has to answer, I could understand the strong push back, but I didn't say that. I would never say that it's as hard as watching a parent suffer through Alzheimer's or dealing with a child being sexually abused, but doesn't change the fact that accepting a lifetime of singleness is still very difficult for most of the people who have to do so.
marybeth, I am 35. I will never marry. I am not in pain over this. I never question God's goodness over this. THAT would be hypocritical. Rather, I thank God for His providence when I was younger, dumber, and less well informed.
If one goes through life without judging, one is a fool.
If you were to call me cold, hard, emotionless, or an SOB, I'd understand that. But maybe you've noticed I don't care about people's opinions of me. What's the worst that can happen? I somehow end up dead? There are worse fates.
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