Tuesday, September 13, 2011

On singleness and getting married

**edit** This is the 3rd draft of this. I had more to add the more I thought about it.

I'm guessing that what I'm going to write isn't going to be what some people want to hear. Truth is, it has become cliche' to say, "You just need seek God so that you can figure out who you are (in Him)" while single. However cliche', it's still the truth, and a truth that many women want to ignore. If you want to know how I did it, how I found a man I wanted to marry, a man God sent to me, here ya go: I worked to get my life together apart from everyone but God. I was tired of being miserable (about life in general) and determined not to date another guy who wasn't worthy to date me. I knew there were changes in my life that couldn't happen if I was wrapped up in another person or in some daydream about the future. I had to live in the present and allow God to strip away all the junk from my life. I didn't wallow anymore about being single. I didn't cry. I didn't ask, "Oh God where is the man for me?" There was no point. I knew God was calling me to focus on him. So, I focused on allowing God to make me in to who he wanted me to be. He did the rest. He did the changing, and he sent me Micah.

On the surface, Micah is not what I would have ever picked out for myself in a million years. He was not my "type" at all (I wasn't his type either), and he loved country music. Eek :). Our relationship was difficult from day one. We were both determined not to date another "wrong" person, and that meant we were constantly evaluating our relationship and asking hard questions. We enjoyed each other's company, and he treated me well. He was (and is) so sweet and he would kiss me on the forehead 17 times in a row (or so it seemed). But, things were still hard as we sought God's will and tried our best to be understanding of each other. Each of us processes things in different ways and at different speeds. We began officially dating in November, and in January I felt God telling me that 1) I was going to have to choose to love Micah, rather than "feeling" in love first and 2) I was going to have to fight for our relationship. Those were intimidating and scary thoughts. I wondered what they meant, but as time went on, it was revealed to me. Choosing to love Micah meant I must make a conscious decision to love him and stick things out until/unless I felt God telling me to move on. Fighting for our relationship meant choosing to stick through the hard times while he sorted things out and choosing to confront baggage in my own life so that our relationship could succeed until/unless God told me to move on. I told God "ok" to loving Micah and to fighting for us in January, and I finally "felt" like I loved him a couple months later.

Our relationship remained tough. We were both trying so hard to keep our hearts open and unencumbered so that God could continue to grow and change us. We were learning how to not put God on the back burner as we learned how to love each other. We were learning how to get rid of relationship baggage that we were still hanging on to. It came to the point that though I had come to love Micah very much, I told him that if it ever came down to choosing between him and God, I would choose God. It was the first time in my life I could ever honestly say that I would choose God over a relationship/friendship with someone else. I wasn't scared what would happen without Micah. I knew that regardless of what happened, I would be fine. I trusted God to lead me. We made it through a rocky, long distance summer, and a couple of months later we were engaged. There were many times along the way when I prayed, "God, what are you doing? I don't understand this. God, this is so hard. We are so different! I trust you, Lord. I trust you to lead me." Trusting God in my relationship with Micah is one of the biggest leaps of faith I have ever taken. I had never trusted God with a relationship before. Micah and I both know we would never have made it if we hadn't sought God all along our relationship. And now we're married :).

Lest you think that now everything is sunshine and roses every day, I will let you know that things are still hard. Micah doesn't make things hard, and I don't make things difficult for him. It's just that God is still working on both of us. We love each other infinitely, and I am so thankful for Micah. I like waking up in the middle of the night and knowing he's there. I like snuggling up next to him and kissing him on the back or neck (because he's sleeping facing the other direction). But we are now learning what it means to be married, while still dealing with baggage from our past. We are done dealing with old relationship baggage and now dealing with hurts/misconceptions/etc picked up from 25 and 28 years of living. It has brought us closer together, and God is honoring our efforts to let go of the junk. God has done a mighty work in both of us starting before we knew each other and continuing today. God has used Micah to reveal His unconditional love for me. I wouldn't be who I am without God working through Micah. I am grateful, blessed, and in love; however, I know God could have chosen to work through different people or in different ways. I am so happy he chose to use Micah in my life!

Moral of the story: If you think you will ever be happy, single/married/whatever, without dealing with junk in your life and without allowing God to restore and redeem you, you are kidding yourself and allowing the enemy to deceive you. No man can make you happy or can love you the way God can. If your expectation is to go from miserably single to infinitely happily married, you will be expecting more from your husband and marriage than either was ever meant to provide. You will be sorely disappointed and just has miserable as before.

I don't say this to be mean or harsh. I just want to be honest. I'm tired of women telling other women what they want to hear when we're telling each other lies. We need the truth. We have to know and believe our worth and identities in Christ. I am finally figuring out who I am in Christ, and it is liberating! God has used countless people in my life the last couple years to help me see myself as He sees me. It's not me who did any of this. It has been all God. I just simply said, "I'm willing." You have to be willing to allow God to change you, for him to become all you desire, before you will ever be ready for marriage.