We were sitting around the table in the upstairs corner of the Coffee Shop and the topic of my singleness came up. It often does. I was the only unmarried woman at the table. I had just finished explaining that in fact I do have the desire to get married and have children, when excitedly, one of my friends asked me what my favorite number was. I told her it was seven and in the next breath, she told me with no scientific accuracy but with a giant smile across her face that I would get married at 37 because her favorite number is 3 and she got married at 33. Seems logical…
Now being 30, having hoped I would already have gotten married by now, my heart sank at this knowledge- because even though it wasn’t actual knowledge, it was unscientific girl gossip, at a Bible Study no less, it still felt declared. “Don’t prophesy THAT over me!” I exclaimed to her. In my mild freak out my other friend, sensing my distress at the possibility of another seven years of singleness, jumped in to curb my anxiety and fear and very coolly argued that I could just get married in 2017. Better yet, I could get married in July, maybe even this July! We laughed and moved on and that was the end of that.
UNTIL I had a different group of friends over to my apartment four days later, also all married women from church. Sitting on my couch, talking about life, God, and their families, one of the women looked right at me and said, with a voice of undoubtedly innocent curiosity, “Why aren’t you married yet?” (I’ll save the tangent that question could lead me towards for a different blog post!) God bless her. I explained that I didn’t know. That she would have to ask God, and in fact, if she didn’t mind, she could go ahead and request to God on my behalf that my future husband would speed it up to me if she wanted (and by all means, you are invited to pray this as well). My three friends counseled me and suddenly, one of them blurted out, “Who knows when God will have you married!? No one knows! You could get married at 37!”
To my fellow single-and-waiting-for-seemingly-ever- ladies, you know that while this came from a place of reassurance, to a 30 year-old who has been waiting 7 years already since she decided she wanted to get married, it was a horrifying notion.
Now this time, it did feel like prophesy. Not that either statement was based on prayer or even advice but two unconnected people, mentioned I could or would get married at age 37 four days apart while in a group of Christian praying women (as was part of our purpose for meeting together).
The idea kept me awake for hours that night. A few days later a moment of clarity came.
I was walking through my living room and dared to entertain the thought- and I do mean dared because it was a conscious choice to go there in my head, to allow my mind to open up and consider this question because I would otherwise block out such sad nonsense. 37. Six more years of singleness. Dare not go there in my little mind.
The question: What if I knew I would get married at 37? If I knew with absolute certainty that I would get married at the age of 37, how would my life change today? I paced around my living room as the possibilities of what could be bubbled to the top. How would I live if I knew the gift of marriage was coming for sure and that it would arrive in just over six years, how would I live the next six years?
And suddenly, as if I just remembered that I had a slice of cake of my fridge (and forgive me while I run to the fridge because I did in fact just remember that I have a slice of cake in my fridge), I realized how AMAZING it would be! Imagine grocery shopping on pay day while you are extremely hungry. I began to pick up everything off the shelf of life to put in my cart. I would do everything! I would live my life to the fullest. I would work hard and not spend money frivolously for the next two to three years and get all my debt paid off. I would invest in a counseling degree, if I decided I still wanted one. I would focus on writing and publish my books. I would love and laugh with my friends and family in the peace of knowing that good things are both here and are coming in the future. I would not stress about whether or not they will ever happen. I would live joyfully with the belief in what I cannot prove and with the hope in what I cannot see. I would live out the faith to which have already been called.
Contrary to what I thought I would feel if I allowed myself to seriously contemplate that I may have six more years of singleness, I felt at peace!
What!? This was a true epiphany.
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) states, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for.”
This is what I should be doing anyway. This is how I should be living. I should not worry about if I will marry and when, I should live life to the fullest, in confidence and hope that good things are coming- if not how I think I want them to come, in an even better way.
If I knew that one of the, if not THE greatest desire of my heart for my time on earth would come true in six years, I would spend the next six years living life how God calls me to live it without fear that good things won’t come and without grappling to force them to happen before the right time.
It’s not that I didn’t already know I should do this. I knew. The Bible says. People told me. But I realized it in a new way, on a heart level when I allowed myself to go there in my head. When I went there even though I was afraid.
So that is how I will try to live the next six years, so that when I have my 37th birthday, married or not, He can finally say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21, 23 NIV)
And at 37, I will start again.
ps. Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry. The metaphor doesn’t really work if you think about it too much.
If this resonates with you, I invite you to please like, leave a comment and/or share it with your friends. I’d also love to hear your thoughts and about your own experiences.
Want to read more? Please add me on Twitter or Facebook [links below] or subscribe here on wordpress! I’d love to connect.
© [B.D. Lyons] and [bdlyons.wordpress.com], . Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Reblogging, excerpts, and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to [B.D. Lyons] and [gracefulpersistence.com] with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.