Every now and then I get into that whole discussion of "what's the point of marriage?" Sometimes its with somebody else, and sometimes the discussion is inside my own head. I mean, a lot of people around me are getting married (again), and I honestly do wrestle with the purpose of relationships, from time to time. What it sort of boils down to for me, as a believer in a God of sacrificial love, is making an intentional commitment to another person before God and before your shared spiritual community. Sometimes I hear things like, "Isn't marriage just a piece of paper?" or, "If you really love somebody, and you stay with them because you love them instead of a sense of obligation, doesn't that mean something more?" or, "Isn't the permanency of a relationship the same thing as marriage anyway?" To be honest, I don't really care about the piece of paper. If I was forced by some strange law to choose between a legal ceremony or a ceremony which expressed my spiritual beliefs about the sacred nature of romance and my whole-person, life-long commitment some man I knew God brought into my life, I would choose the latter. So, addressing the other two questions, the whole thing becomes about declaring intentions. I can't do, "I just happened to end up staying with you." I need to be the giver and receiver of, "As God as my witness, I give you my promise." That is just how it is. I could go on and on about why that is, but who needs to read that right now?
Why am I bringing this up? All of this stuff about marriage being said, I'm still very single. Yet, I've taken to wearing a silver band on my left hand. So, some of my friends have been asking me, jokingly, "Are you married?" Ha, ha. No, I'm not married. I'm wearing this ring, and I'm writing this blog entry, to make a declaration. I don't want to be incidentally committed anymore. I want to be intentional about it.
Do you want to know what's inscribed on this ring? "FAITH." When my roommate first offered this unused ring of hers for the commitment I wanted to make, I said no. I didn't think it would fit, since she has much more delicate fingers than I, and I didn't think FAITH described what was happening between myself and God at all. I thought this, because I was dead wrong. God has promised to my heart over and over again that He has a husband for me, and that He will bring us together by His Spirit. I heard no words from the sky, it's just what's been injected into my spirit over and over again from my own time seeking His face and from time in prayer with others who seek His face. Does this make sense? No. I don't know why He would go through the trouble of setting me up with someone. I don't deserve it the way I feel others around me do. I don't know how it could possibly happen, because nothing that I ever try, or want, or hope for in the love department works out, so what could He possibly have in mind that would turn out good? And I don't know when. It could be this very year or twenty years from now. It could be sixty years from now. I don't really know. But I know that it's going to happen, because He wants it to, He said He would do it, and I'm wearing this ring to say, "O.K. I believe you." I'm saying I'm not going to be the one to make this happen, YOU are, God, as You promised. It's not because I'm some power woman, full of mountain-moving faith, it's because God is faithful, and I'm reaching out my hand to receive of His faithfulness from Him.
Will I ever date? I guess so. I guess I'll eventually need to spend time with someone as we both try to decipher what the Spirit of God is doing. But I'm not going to try to make it happen, and I'm not going to get into a relationship just because I like a guy or just because I'm head over heals in-love with a guy. Seriously, as I read this, it all sounds totally nuts to me, too. I have no idea what it's going to look like when that someone comes a long. I have no idea if I'm going to have 5 or 10 false starts before I really get the heart of God. I know plenty of grounded, Jesus lovers who think that this approach I'm taking is simply stupid and that waiting for God to make the first move in your love life basically means getting lucky or staying single forever. That's fine. I can't live out somebody else's spiritual walk, I can only live out the one God's called ME to.
Here is what I know, what I'm banking on: God's been faithful to close doors this whole time I've been single. He's been faithful to break my heart in order to save it for something more to His purpose. And if He's faithful to tell me, "No," He will be faithful to tell me, "Yes," when "Yes," is the best fit for my highest good--which is being made like Him, however painful the process.
So, I am saying, "Yes" to His plan. That is why I'm wearing this ring, which fits perfectly, by the way. A special thanks to Becky Russell for providing it for me : )