God, Mountains, and How I Met My Husband, Part 5

We all have mountains in our lives, right? Things too big for us to move, that we have to trust God about. This is my personal story of how God moved one of the biggest mountains in my life. Here’s the previous installments of this cliff-hanging serial…

Part One In which we meet the Mountain
Part Two In which the Airplane enters the story
Part Three The Chickens and Dolls enter stage left
Part Four Three little words: “Black Hair Dye”

A look at all the facts would lead one to believe that meeting Jeremy at 19 should have been the beginning of our life-long romance, but the fact is, we didn’t give each other the time of day for nearly 6 years.

The facts were: he was 21 and the most eligible bachelor in the state. When I met him, he was self-employed with his own contracting business, had a healthy relationship with his solid, supportive family, and was actively serving the Lord as worship leader for his church. He was quiet but likable, with no vices and no baggage.

I had spent 19 years absorbing the character training and principles of Godly womanhood in a Christian home. I could cook, bake, sew, clean house, garden, and I also ran my own home business. I had been known to run the household take care of my 5 younger siblings for a week at a time when my mom was out of town.

Jeremy and I were both technically ready for marriage, but God still had some stuff He wanted us to learn about Himself and about the individuals He designed us to be, so He kept us blind to each other for a season. Though certainly at the age of 19 I was thinking about marriage and longing for a husband, I have always been grateful for the season of singleness I experienced over the next 6 years. So many life experiences, time to focus on my relationship with the Lord, deepening relationships that would later support me as I transitioned to marriage and motherhood—I could go on and on.

The flexibility of this season gave me the freedom to explore and discover my passions. Besides working in the family business and managing my own home business, I learned to weave, began reading the classics, found my love of poetry, and traveled. My parents often deployed me as a delegate of the family to minister to friends in need. I loved traveling and enjoyed the glimpses into different family environments and parts of the country. I helped as a nanny from MI to TX as well as assisting a midwife friend. These years gave me an incredible asset when I later became a mother—confidence. So much was familiar and expected about motherhood because I’d already experienced various aspects of it while helping others. (I highly recommend serving as a mother’s helper during the single years if one plans on being a mom someday!)

You would think all this travel and experience would allow me a few opportunities to date or at least meat some eligible young men, but my 19th, 20th, and 21st birthdays passed without a bit of romance. I blame my shyness. I never even made eye contact with a guy, much less let him converse with me enough to find if I was interesting. I’ve been told I was unapproachable—always seemed to have my nose in a book. I probably carried about me a heavy scent of ‘holier-than-though’ as well, having embraced the security one finds in legalism.

And now we round a corner in our tale and face yet another seemingly insurmountable obstacle…

Around this time it was all the rage for conservative young ladies thinking about marriage to write a wish-list of character qualities and personal traits they hoped for in a man to help them analyze eligible young men and to keep them for settling for less than God’s best for them. I, with my holier-than-though skirts held high, disdained this ritual, and prided myself in the fact that my list was only two items long.

  1. He must be a man of God.
  2. He must be taller than me.

I claimed I didn’t care and would trust God to choose the rest of my husband’s attributes.

And then–out of the blue–on the day before my 21st birthday, the Lord told me I needed to give up #2. Only as I hesitated at the altar of sacrifice did I realize that I’d put #2 in the place of #1, and that appearances were such an idol to me, I would have turned my nose up at an interested party unless they were taller than me. (I’d already canceled out a promising young man because of this standard) So, I heaved that heart’s desire up on the altar and suddenly felt so light, and free, and excited. Now that my heart was right, maybe God would bring me my husband!

Not so fast. It was a whole ‘nother year before someone came knocking…

And guess what? He was short.

To be continued….

Did you have a mental ‘list’ of things you wanted in a guy? Did you ‘get what you asked for’ or did God surprise you by giving you a spouse with characteristics that you didn’t know you loved? I’d love to hear in the comments….

20 responses to “God, Mountains, and How I Met My Husband, Part 5”

  1. beth Avatar

    I have a list of personality characteristics, but at this point he must love God and the rest will follow, I hope. I have been waiting for 24 years for God to bring me my husband.

    1. Trina Avatar

      Beth, from what I’ve seen often, the rest does follow after that one priority. Bless you.

  2. Priya Avatar

    Hi Trina,
    It was very nice…I had a list that my love should be good and loving person… I did think of height at that time. But after I met my love, I felt if he not that height. He is two inch height than me. But am 5.3. I think 5.5 is not ideal height for men. My father is 5.10… My father is against luv marriage yet we are struggling. Height is not important thing to judge. But society judges. Society we grown make a rule that husband should taller than wife. So girl also feels like dat from childhood. Am worrying that my father won’t like his height. My father won’t like luv marriage at least this (height)also god didn’t gave. I donno what ll happen in my life…

  3. Mikayla Avatar

    I’m not going to lie… I had/have the exact 2 same qualifications on my “list”. I am just a hair under 6′ and have never liked the idea of marrying someone shorter than me. But, your story has really challenged me- like, seriously, how superficial is height? Thank you sooo much for your story- I love all of it! And I hope some day I will have as beautiful story as yours to tell! How old were you when you were married? At almost 23, I feel like an old maid already!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Mikayla, I’m so glad you commented! I love meeting other tall girls. 🙂

      I got married at 23 1/2, and was NOT an old maid. I really think old maid is more like 50’s, dear, so you are safe.:)

      Believe me, it was a process for me to learn to love the long legs God gave me. 🙂 But at 30, I think I’m finally feeling comfortable in my own skin. It’s always fun when I can help someone reach something off a high shelf. Embrace who He made you to be, Mikayla, and be assured He is writing a beautiful story for you! 🙂

  4. Jendi Avatar

    I had to laugh when I read this for 2 reasons. 1. I just wrote about making a list to find a mate and things I put in mine years ago: http://jendisjournal.com/2012/05/04/finding-a-mate-for-life/
    and 2. I can’t imagine you being shy! Maybe it was just with the guys?

    Take care!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Jendi, No, I was not just shy with guys, just especially so with them! LOL I really didn’t come out of my shell until after the Lord healed my anxiety disorder a few years ago. I feel so free and enjoy being myself around people now. I wrote about my struggles with anxiety and journey to healing in this series…http://trinaholden.com/2011/09/my-anxiety-disorder-vice-of-fear/

  5. Bekah Avatar

    I can completely understand. My “essentials” list had only 3 things on it: The man must love the Lord, have a sense of humor and like animals. I completely neglected to even think about the physical side of things. So when I met the man and he was the same height I am (5’4), and he was a soldier instead of a farmer, I freaked out for a bit. But, praise God, He knows what we need so much better than we do.

  6. Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy Avatar

    I was very much like you in my early twenties! God brought me and my husband together in such a beautiful way despite my shortcomings. Can’t wait to read the rest of your story.

    1. Trina Avatar

      so, Anne – have you written your story on your blog? sounds like a good one 🙂

  7. Natasha Avatar

    To funny! I had a great long list that didn’t amount to much. I wrote it when I was about fifteen and then forgot about it. The fun thing with mine was that after I met my husband (through my whole crazy story) someone dug it out and there it was… word for word. Thirty-one things that described him to a T.

    But if I had clung to it, I’m sure God would have needed to slowly pull it away… (he has this thing with us having idols, have you noticed? 🙂

  8. Mandy Avatar

    Yes, I did have a mental list. He met all of them…except that I always thought I would marry a guy with dark hair. Instead my husband has blonde hair & blue eyes! But character wise, he was all I wanted and so much more! We’re coming up on our 10 year anniversary and more in love today than when we said “I do”. God has been beyond good!

    1. Trina Avatar

      ten years! awesome. I love marriage success stories. 😀

  9. Lisa Avatar

    LOL! When I met my husband the first thing I thought was “he’s too short! And so much older looking!” I then proceeded to tell my best friend all these good things about him then ended with “BUT … he’s short and older.” (He’s an inch shorter and 12 years older.) She nodded sympathetically and said she understood – she was praying for someone taller than herself when she got married. Well, she ended up marrying a man maybe 2 inches shorter than she is and of course I married my shorter older man. So ironic. But thankfully we finally looked past the outer and at the character. Not many guys with good character around it seems! So Trina – do you ever wear high heels? My friend does occasionally, towering over her husband, but I haven’t done that. 😛

    1. Trina Avatar

      Lisa, to be honest, it took me 5 years to be comfortable going in public ‘towering’ over my husband, and it was all because I worried so much about appearances! I actually just bought the darlingest pair of heels at thrift store to wear to a wedding this week, and I’m so excited. 🙂 I don’t wear heels often, but it’s no longer because I’m self conscious, but simply ’cause they’re not terribly convenient or comfy as a mommy chasing littles around. 🙂

  10. Erin Avatar

    Had a list, but couldn’t tell you what was on it, except that he also be a lover of God. The Lord blessed me with a wonderful, adventurous, quirky man that I am growing to love more each day (despite some personality conflicts over the years). Who cares about the list now!? 🙂

  11. Jessica T. Avatar

    So I thought I commented on your last post in this series, but I just checked and apparently I didn’t. 😛 Because yeah…that was basically me EXACTLY…so “holy” I only had two things on my “list” and there were the exact same ones that you had. AND…I too had to give up the second one, despite how much (and probably because) appearances were such an idol to me. And I ended up marrying a man shorter than me, but so much more than I ever dreamed in every other aspect. 🙂 God is good and has a sense of humour for sure! So how much shorter is Jeremy than you?

    1. Trina Avatar

      Jessica, I’m 5’9″, Jeremy’s 5’8″, so it’s not really a big deal. 🙂 I was just so self conscious in the past. 🙂

      Now I say, “the best things come in small packages”! LOL

  12. Jess Avatar

    No wonder we never heard from or saw you: You globe-trotter you 😉
    It is so much fun reading up on these years that I missed!

    I honestly don’t remember if I had a list. I felt so desperate for any guy’s attention that I don’t think I was bothering being picky. I, too, was told that I was unapproachable and that quite a few guys in high school were interested in me (according to my husband), they were scared of me…seriously. {I guess I put out a bit of a tough-guy, don’t mess with me vibe}.

  13. Kristina Avatar

    Oh Trina,This is fun! I love reading this from your view! I can’t wait to read more. 🙂 So hard to beleive that this took place so long ago. It seems like just yesterday we were sewing our skirts for our tea party! Not a man is out thoughts then…..

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