Monday, November 30, 2009

(Part 1) Still Waiting

Marriage. It's something I've desired my whole life. At 5 years of age, I'd spin around in a full "princess" dress and dream of the day I'd float down the aisle in a cascade of white lace. After all, good stories always included weddings. At age 10, I was almost inseparable from a doll of some kind, anticipating a house full of my own children. A dozen sounded about right. At 15, I sighed over courtship stories and wondered when my turn would come. Though I longed for my own "special someone," it was easy to remind myself that I was still too young and shouldn't be distracted by thoughts of marriage. Still, I diligently applied myself to prepare for it as best I could.

Now, at 19 going on 20, I'm still waiting. I am still young, but it can be a bit harder to wait patiently. I am ready to marry, whenever the Lord wills. I'm of legal age, my parents agree that I'm ready, I've continued to prepare in as many ways as I can - but prince charming hasn't yet revealed himself.

I've continued to read many good marriage and parenting books, which helps me prepare. However, I can't exactly put what I learn into practice until I have a husband and children. I have all of this information, but it can be frustrating when there's no where to use it. Don't get me wrong, it's good to prepare and I've always enjoyed these types of books - and I have used some of it in talking with friends and siblings - but I know that real-life application will be different from the great quotes and tips I've gathered.

I've definitely not learned all there is to know, but it doesn't seem like anyone can ever be truly ready for marriage. The process itself matures you quickly.

Is it bad to long for marriage? Shouldn't God be enough? Yes, God is enough for our every need, but He has also created us for relationships. As Candice Watters says in the book Get Married,
"If it's true that God is all we need for fulfillment, then no one was in a better position to be fully satisfied than Adam" (Get Married, page 21).

Yet, God said "It is not good for man to be alone" (Genesis 2:18). To satisfy this need, God made Eve and joined them together in marriage.

It's true that some are called to life-long singleness, and if that is what God has for me, He will give me the grace for it. But, if you have a strong desire to marry (as I do), most likely it is something you'll experience. And having this desire is okay! In the chapter "believe marriage is a worthwhile and holy pursuit," Candice writes,
"Marriage is not a compromise. It is not a spiritually inferior path. It's what God is calling you to for your good and His glory" (Get Married, page 33).

But for now, I am still single. I'm still in the "waiting" stage. This waiting is a time of growth and learning patience as I trust God for His timing. It is painful at times, but it is also sweet. Indeed, I'm very thankful for it.

But why wait? Who am I waiting for anyways? What I am doing in the meantime? Will it even be worth it?

These are questions I hope to explore in the week ahead, so stay tuned...

Please note: I know that marriage is not the end-all in life, and I realize that I am still young. It's not my wish to sound desperate, for I'm not! It's also not my goal to focus on this topic too long, for I want to use this single season well. However, I do think it's a good thing to discuss. These posts will be more geared toward single young women, and I hope they will be encouraged. However, perhaps it will encourage others as well, married or not, in other seasons of waiting.


Ella said...

OH MY GOSH! I was talking with my Mom about this just on Saturday...and with a friend of mine on the phone today.

I am so thankful to know that you agree with me. You know, a lot of people don't understand what I say when I talk about how God created in us a void only a human man could full. I don't buy into the whole "make God your husband" argument.

I thought I was the one who figured out the Adam thing....but since I read that book before, I guess I read it in there.

I think about my wedding too, you know. I have ruled out lace =)

Anonymous said...

Anna, it is OK to desire marriage and certainly understandable. You will meet someone when you least expect it. Just keep living your life and teaching and studying - and being you. You will meet someone who will admire what you are alone and what you can bring to his life and then will want to be your partner in life. You certainly are not lacking as a single woman - and a very young one at that. Be patient (I know it's hard) as it will come in time - maybe very soon or maybe in a few years. Either way it will happen when the time is right. One day when you're caring for a houseful of children you will appreciate this time of learning and being Anna alone. - Elizabeth

Miriam Rebekah said...

This desire has grown in me in the past year more than ever. Yes, I'm in school right now, but the desire to be married and have my own home and family is strong within me.

I look forward to seeing what/who God brings into my life.

Anna, I must also say that you have been the most amazing example to me in waiting and patience. You're a treasure.

Anna Naomi said...

Ella: Glad to see you in agreement! =) It's wonderful to have you as a close friend as we go through the same seasons.

Elizabeth: Thanks for the reminder. It is hard, but I'm enjoying learning patience right now - it's a good skill to have, as I mention in a later post. I know I am complete in Christ, and I do enjoy this time. At the same time, I do look forward to marriage. :)

Miriam: Yes, we've both gone through some of the same struggles this year! Like Ella, it's wonderful to have you as a dear friend going through with it. You are a blessing to me!

And I know it's off-topic, but your profile picture is lovely! It does look kind of like you're wearing a wedding dress, though! ;)

Anya said...

I have had that desire ever since I turned twenty. Now at twenty four, I am still not married, but I long to have a home of my own and raise Godly children in it for His Glory. I have gotten to feel like, if you start dwelling on things like marraige while you're still single, and that's all that you can think about, the longer your wait will be.

Mardi said...

I have the same desire. It seems grow more and more everyday! I look forward to what God has in store! I also look forward to reading your other blog posts on this topic!

Elizabeth Ellen Moore said...

I know what you mean. You can read, learn, theorize... but there will come a day when we get to practice being a godly wife and mother for real. That is where the tried by fire learning will take place. I wish you all the best for grabbing a "Big Topic" by the horns and writing about it. Just be careful; it is a difficult subject, and there is a fine line between helpful thought, prayer, and encouragement and the opposite: dwelling too much on a subject and discouragement. I am not too worried though. You seem very honest while being respectful, levelheaded, and patient. Just use caution. :)

Marlana said...

Okay, so this guy I know (and whom I have never "gone" with a day in my life) asked to marry me this week. And it was in a really serious way, and it was sad to say no.

adventures of single people. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anna, you don't know me. You and I live in totally different circumstances/countries, but yet I always read your blog with much interest. The idea that I get about you is that you are really a godly maiden, by the grace of God.
Well, I just wanted to tell you I got married when I was 39. My husband told me that one of the things that attracted him when he got to know me, was that I was not desperate. I was a happy and complete person myself. With God, of course - nobody is whole without God. So my husband is an extremely beautiful gift to me. But as a person I am whole also without him. He is an 'addition' to my life, an addition that God gave me and intended for human beings.
A thought that always comforted me when, at times, I was sad and impatient was: "I long to be a bride, but I ám a bride. I am Christ's bride. Could I have a better groom?!"


Sister in prayer said...

I'm only fourteen right now, and I have so much to learn before I get married. I have always desired to get married since I was really little! I would play wedding all the time, and at four or five, I had my wedding all planned out!
A few months ago, my one year old cousin passed away suddenly, and I now we miss our baby (He was the only one in the family, and we are not having any more) my family and I talk about how in a few years, I will be able to marry and have children in five or six years!
I live way out in the "Sticks" and there's no guys out here! So, I am learning to trust Him, and I pray that God will show me the right man, a good and godly one. ( I am not planning on courting any time soon. Maybe in a yera or so!:) I'm still to young!)
Keep praying!

Anonymous said...

This season of waiting can be a hard one for us young ladies who just desire to get married. One thing the Lord has taught me is that I will always be in some kind of a season of waiting. Learning to trust God and waiting on His timing will always be something I'll have to learn, in one way or another, while I'm here on earth. I was talking to a lady from our church, a mother of 9, recently, and she said, "Don't think that I never struggle with trusting God! I do! Every day! I have to choose to trust God, love my husband, and follow my him and encourage him even when I might not agree with him. So, you and I, we're both learning to trust God, just in different ways. Delight in the way He's teaching you right now." God is teaching me to live to the fullest every moment. I do not like think of myself as "single;" I'm not! I have a wonderful family, I have friends, and most imporantly, I have the Lord. I don't want to be put in the stereotype that single so often can. Just my personal thought. :)

Keep trusting God!

Laura Michelle said...

Anna,I turned 19 in September and I am getting married in 5 months!I still have not finished high school,but aim to get my GED before my wedding.I know it is so hard to wait, but trust me, you are so blessed to have the education that you have!! I am so excited about my upcoming marriage.I believe this is where God wants me. But many times I wish I could go back and redo my education.Keep working hard!! You are amazing, and everything new you learn, will only add that much more to a wonderful marriage. Don't lose hope.

Anonymous said...

hi Anna, my sarah and i am from singapore. Thanks for this post, i was feeling lonely my self for this past few weeks, this is a real good post, thanks, may I ask you, what should one do when he or she is lonely or feels lonely?

Meagan said...

So encouraging! I'm in the same boat and wondering the same things. I don't have a guy in the picture either and am on the verge of 20. I know it's not wrong to long for the day marriage comes, but I feel like I'm a bad steward of my singleness if I think about it. The reminder that it is a godly desire was desperately needed. So comforting to know there are other godly young women out there thinking the same thing. Thank you for posting this!

Sister in prayer said...

Maybe something that would be helpful and encouraging to you right now, is a audio series by Elzabeth Elliot called, Let me be a Woman. Its VERY good! She talks about femninity, marriage, singlness, and a little about motherhood.
you can get it from Gateway to Joy.

Anna Naomi said...

I've enjoyed all of your comments, girls! Thank you for sharing your stories.

Elizabeth: Thanks for the caution. I do realize that this is a hard topic to discuss in a balanced way. Please let me know if I seem to get off balance. =)

Bryant: I, too, don't really like the word "single." Like you said, even if we're an adult that isn't married, we still have family, friends, and best of all, the Lord. However, it's a word that you can easily use to describe the marital state, so that's why I use it.

Sarah: If you're feeling lonely, I encourage you to spend time reading God's Word and praying. He is the best comforter we could have! Also, look for ways to interact with others, through your church, and just taking time to get together with friends!

Kaylene said...

Definitely something a lot of us can identify with! thanks for sharing.

Maria Pauline said...

Anna! Thank you so much for saying that there is nothing wrong if we have a hard time being completely satisfied with the Lord! This is something I've been struggling a lot with and it is so good when God answers my questions when I wasn't even looking.

Thanks for letting God use you.

Racheal said...

Hi, the subject of 'waiting' and 'singleness' has always interested me. I read all the books I could find on the subject from the age of 14/15 till I was about 18 and I threw them all 'out the window' Quite honestly I was sick of it all. :) I fully believe in useing your single years to glorify God, but alot of the books (christian) I was reading were hinting that marriage was the lesser of the two. Singleness verses marriage. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that marriage was God's will for me, and I fully believe it is for all people, except a select (very select) group. My older sister was having the same thoughts and finally found a book called "getting serious about getting married" -rethinking the gift of singleness- by Debbie Maken. I know this might be shocking to many people, but after much prayer and fasting after reading this book, my sister joined She is married now to a wonderful pastor's son and has a darling baby boy. I highly recomend this book to every single person, because it has a biblical view of courtship, and really lays bare the way the world has twisted our thinking of 'dating' and marriage. I give God all the glory for my marriage, but I also believe it was because He opened my eyes through this book, that I am married today. Because of this book I was able to swallow my pride and allow my sister to speak with the mother of a young man I was interested in. After hearing that I was interested, he called me, and the rest is... history! :) Like you said in the end of your post, I also was not desperate, I was just willing to take a step towards what I knew was God's will for my life. Your posts are wonderful! Thanks for being such a encoragment to so many people!

Anna Naomi said...

Maria Pauline: Praise God that He used this post to bless you!

Racheal: Thanks for your comment and sharing some of your story. I haven't read Debbie Maken's book, but have heard about it. Candice Watters' book Get Married is along the same theme, and it has helped me realize that it's not bad to look forward to marriage! Yes, use singleness well, but it isn't superior to being married! Ironically, my older sister Miriam also met her husband through eharmony, and is now happily married and expecting her first baby in February!

Anonymous said...

Hello, girls!
I understand how you all feel.
But how about being almost 26 and no future husband at the horizon? Oh well, c'est la vie... God's will. Be blessed! (Sincerely, an European girl)