Marriage · Singleness · Whispers of Faith

I Asked God for Marriage. And He Gave Me Something Far Better.

marriage

I had a lot of intense emotions from ages 18 to 25. That much was clear after reading those unfiltered computer journal entries of mine.

But they were naïve.

I won’t deny that they were real. There was just so much that I didn’t know.

And now, when I look back on my half-formed ideas of love, I see some things that haven’t changed.

The longing to fall in love with a best friend.

The longing to share life with someone.

The longing for mature, godly leadership.

But I also see immature views of a fairy tale expectation that I deserved it and that I would get it. I see a girl so enamored with finding the perfect person who would love her so completely that she put it on a pedestal in her heart.

I prayed desperately to God for my future husband and for marriage almost every single day in those years of my early twenties – because I thought it was best for my life.

But God knew better. And in His kind, yet firm mercy, He said no.

And though I wept and grieved over broken dreams – hugged my loneliness to myself – and achingly wondered why – God was doing something in me that I couldn’t even imagine.

For as Elisabeth Elliot said, “God never denies us our heart’s desire except to give us something better.”

And what was the something better that God gave me?

A richer, more mature understanding of what marriage truly is.

A patience I never thought possible.

A more realistic view on men and relationships.

A better picture of what I truly want in a man.

A greater sense of confidence and purpose in who He had made me apart from the possibility of getting married.

A broader scope for serving others and giving my life away.

The time to develop skills and gifts that were barely realized in my early twenties.

And best of all, a more intimate and beautiful relationship with Him.

God knew that I needed all of this in my life. And the only way I would recognize it was by God withholding the gift of marriage to me and giving me the gift of singleness instead. I kind of kicked my heels against accepting that for the longest time.

But when, at age 27, I began to embrace it, I wrote a blog post called “I’m {Not} Getting Married. And God is Still Good.” That was when I began to believe in my worth as an individual apart from my potential to get married. I began to believe in my purpose as God’s child and not just as someone’s future wife.

And that’s precisely what made my eyes shine with such confidence and joy on my 28th birthday. I had finally shed the shackles to shattered expectations that had haunted most of my twenties. And I began to believe again that God had so much in store for my life.

Do I still have those intense emotions? Yes, of course, for I can’t help but feel things deeply. But I’ve learned to catch them earlier on so that they don’t control me the way they used to. And God is still sovereignly in control, and He can use those intense emotions in ways that serve Him and not myself.

Do I believe that marriage could still be in my future? I do. But if God has more lessons He needs to teach me in singleness, more things He needs me to do for Him on my own, and more pathways of purpose to follow Him down, then I will say yes to them wholeheartedly.

Because faith believes that if it doesn’t receive the gift it asked for, the other gifts that come instead are still just as precious and needed.

Lord, give me eyes to see and a heart to embrace all that You have in store for me.

 

Photo by Beatriz Pérez Moya on Unsplash.

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