I've been convicted of two things lately: one, that I run from difficulty and two, I am incredibly selfish.
If you think about it, it really all comes down to that I am incredibly selfish. I run from difficulty because I want to be comfortable. I want to be comfortable because I am selfish.
Amusingly, I thought I was a pretty selfless person...that is, until I got married. Oh how blind I was! But, God is using marriage to break me of my selfishness and make me more like Christ. It is painful, but also worth it!
Looking back on my singleness, I realize much of my desire to be married was selfish. Sure, I knew in my head that marriage isn't a cake walk, that I was called to serve my spouse, that it wouldn't cure my loneliness, etc. But in my heart I still believed that marriage would be great because it would cure my loneliness-at least mostly and I would always have a BFF and someone to talk to and hang out with and cuddle whom would protect me. Basically, I wanted to be coddled.
Don't get me wrong. Marriage is great and Jeff is my best friend. We enjoy many moments of cuddling, laughing, hanging out. But, marriage is great for different reasons than I thought- it's great because it is making me more like Christ. And though that is great, it is also painful. Marriage isn't for the faint-hearted or for those who want to be coddled.
God is SO GOOD. Had I known fully about marriage and the depths of my selfishness, I probably would've ran the other way. I would have thought I wasn't ready. But, obviously, God thought I was ready because He made it very clear to me that I was supposed to marry Jeff. He was gracious to have kept me subconsciously and blissfully ignorant!
He answered my prayer-not just my prayer to be married, but a different prayer. When I was about 23 years old, I heard a speaker talk about singleness. She challenged us to pray this prayer: "Lord, do not take the gift of singleness away from me until You have done all You can in and through me with my singleness."
It terrified me. But,what if God NEVER is done using my singleness? I had to come to terms with the truth that this reality would've been OK. I could be happy and content with singleness for the rest of my life. And no, that is not when God brought Jeff to me.
There was no "arriving" at any level. Every day I prayed that prayer. Some days, I truly meant it and some days God had to work in the depths of my heart to lay my desires to be married on the altar. There were seasons when I was content and joyful and LOVED being single- and seasons when I really struggled and just wanted to be married so badly.
And then God brought Jeff to me-in the midst of the seasons.
Now I see how God really did answer my "Singleness Prayer." He was done using singleness in my life to make me more like Christ. It was time to use marriage.
It's not exactly a fairy tale, but it's my story that God is writing. I love it because I love the Author and because He is so good and perfect and knows exactly was is right for me. I am thankful for my time being single and I am thankful to be married to a man who loves God and is stumbling after Him with me, though both of us are far from perfect.