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…
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.
- He must be a man of God.
- 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.
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….