Q+A: what to do while waiting?
Q: First off I wanted to begin by saying how much I love reading the blog, it has been so encouraging on many different occasions. While reading the new blog I had a few questions come to mind that I have been attempting to work through, so I decided to try to form my thoughts in my head into at least semi clear statements, but I apologize if it is kind of all over the place.
One thing that I have struggled with, while attending multiple weddings without a date, is what does it look to like to desire to have a relationship and live out a love story, and not just any but one that is written by our Father, but to be patient and content while waiting to meet my future husband? Or, if I am desiring to have a relationship, does that mean I actually am not content?
I have had many people tell me how it was in the times when they felt "content" about not being in a relationship that they met their now spouse, so I have thought that in order to be in the right place to meet someone I need to not have a desire to meet someone, but struggle with that when I feel like I'm being left behind as all my friends begin to get married and start their new lives. I think the hardest part for me, is that in wanting a God centered relationship with a person He has set aside for us, there is nothing we can do in the here and now but wait, and so I guess what I am asking is what does it look like to be patient and wait on the Lord for such a big thing as desiring a husband to serve along side and live life with, but in the mean time to be content in where the Lord has you, and can desiring something we do not have and being content in where we are even go hand-in-hand?
I'm sorry my "question" is kind of all over the place and has taken form in many small questions, but thank you for giving girls like me the opportunity to ask questions we have been struggling with and working through, it is truly a blessing.
A: Dear Friend,
I love your question!
I hear your heart to step into the role of counterpart/helper/completer for a man with a vision to follow hard after God. And I sense your “let me at ‘em” impatience to jump in and get to work.
Like you, I relished the idea of pouring my life into a husband and family. Yes, I made plans for a career (thinking I’d be a teacher on the mission field), but my deepest longing was to get behind the vision of someone I could respect.
I just cannot imagine that God is asking you to deny your heart’s longing when it is so beautifully in line with the way He created you. Yet at the same time, He knows that marriage and a husband and family will not satisfy you. The great danger in your desire is that you would expect a man … or children, or your role as wife and mother, to fulfill you. The Father knows that until you find that place of rest and fulfillment and completeness in your relationship with Him, you will be destined to destroy any other people you attempt to put in that place.
That sounds harsh, I know. But for many years I tried to find my fulfillment in my godly husband and beautiful children. And they weren’t nearly enough! Sometimes I would wake up and wonder what was wrong with me. I had everything I’d ever wanted and my heart ached for more… but I didn’t have a clue what more I wanted.
It took some serious failure on my part to realize that my role as wife and mother was my assigned task in the Kingdom, my way of gratefully serving the Master—not my path to fulfillment.
That said, your job at this stage of your life is to pour yourself into knowing God intimately. At the same time, asking Him to help you to know yourself so that you can serve Him according to the way He created you.
And there is something so alluring about a woman whose focus is on knowing God! While a woman who is “out to get” a man seems to give off an aura of desperation, a woman who is out to know and serve the Savior gives off a fragrance of beauty.
When wise women urge you to be content without a man, they do not mean that to desire a husband is wrong. Its just that experiential knowing that no man, no matter how wonderful, will fill that empty place inside.
So my advice to you…
- Pour all that passion into knowing Christ intimately. Establish an intensive and consistent habit of studying the Scriptures in order to store up wisdom for the future.
- Begin to form a picture of who you sense God wanting for you to become. Study women you admire. Surround yourself with seekers of wisdom.
- Practice beauty in every area of your life. Be the kind of woman who leaves every relationship, every job, every person in your life (even the irritating ones) with a whiff of loveliness.
- Craft your speech to be encouraging and uplifting so that someday you’ll be comfortable dishing out those loving words to your husband and family.
- Learn to forgive quickly, to be gracious when your friends and family hurt your feelings, to be easy to live with.
- Learn to work hard and cheerfully when you don’t feel like it. Much of your “career” as a mom will entail tasks you won’t want to engage in. Being present with your children day in and day out takes an enormous amount of determination and discipline. Caring requires a dying to all that SELF that gets in the way of maturity.
Preparing for your dream of being a wife to a godly man of vision is no less important than preparing for any other career. And I haven’t even mentioned the skills you’ll need to accumulate— cooking, managing a home, balancing a budget, caring for clothing (I ruined most of our clothes during the first year of marriage!), all the arts of creating a home that is a welcoming place where your family will thrive.
So, you see, you have work to do right now. Lots of work!
From my heart,