Sunday, May 31, 2009

Of Weddings (and wanting to have one myself)

Yesterday a friend of mine was married. To a really great guy. Her entire courtship, engagement, and wedding seemed to kind of “hit home” to me more than I thought they would. She is only a few years older than me. I have known her ever since we were little. The guy came from a good family who was friends with her family long before the courtship. My friend had placed her love story in God’s hands, knowing that if she was to be married, the right man would come along and ask her. And he did. All of this made me realize that perhaps marriage isn’t just a dream of mine that will never come true because it is just too wonderful. My friend’s wedding seemed so real for me. Weddings are no longer what “older people have.” It is hard to describe this feeling, but I am sure that at least Lizzie knows how I feel. ;)

The first eleven or so years of my life, I just accepted that one day I would get married to a man. Not a boy, a man. Surely much like my dad (I still hold that ideal, thank you very much). When I turned 12...yeah, you’ve heard that story before. What can I say? I’m only 18 ½, so I only have that many years to draw stories from. But anyway, I started “liking” boys, and thought that the first boy I liked and I would start dating once I told him that I liked him, and then when I graduated from high school we would get married. He was four or five years older than me, and I was a foolish little girl, but that is alright now. A little bit later, around 13 and 14, I was so boy crazy that I didn’t care to see the end of anything. I wanted them to love me, possibly date them, and hope for the best. I didn’t listen to my parents, who were attempting to teach me the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”-ish approach. At least they had the power to say that I could not go on dates, and at least they kept me in their eyesight most of the time. So, yes. That story again. All of it to say that ever since I turned 17, I reverted back to “someday I am going to be married to a man.” Of course, I have had a few ideas of men or almost-men for God to destine for me. And every time I suggest someone he says, “Oh, yes, yes, that is nice,” nods absentmindedly, and gets on with HIS ideas. Like a writer who doesn’t want to take suggestions from his non-writer friends who don’t know how to write stories (I am not pointing any fingers, really!).

But along with the “someday” feelings, I have also felt an urgency to get married now. Have children now. I know, it is my biological clock, but it is a sometimes intolerable longing. It was worry...what if I never get married? What if I need to help God along and go hang out with some nice guys so I can have plenty of future husband options (I can’t decide if that is the stupidest idea I have ever had or not)? Everything was worry, anxiousness, not trusting God at all. I thought I was, but I wasn’t.

However, one night after a Radical Wednesday prayer meeting, some of us went out for subs afterwards, as the curse of being teenagers, athletes, and swimmers on top of that, is a triple-high metabolism than your average Joe (in other words, we are ALWAYS hungry, it seems). Kara and I, after food and drink, were much rejuvenated, so towards the time when we were about to leave, we started carrying on a conversation about life, as we often do. I won’t give you all the details of the conversation, but what I walked away with was her advice, straight from the Bible – “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” She added, “Sometimes, though, by delighting yourself in the Lord, your desires will change. But that is good, because your desires become HIS desires. And if you desire what the Lord wants for you, he WILL give you the desires of your heart!” Light bulb moment.

Since then, day-by-day I have delighted myself more and more in the Lord. He has shown me how to be content with what I am doing, instead of longing for something in the future. There is so much to do NOW, how could I not see it before?

God has not taken away my desire to get married. But he has carefully led me to a place where I know that marriage, for me, is for another time in my life. Soon, but not right now. Not till it is staring me right in the face, in fact. God showed me how to take the desire, put it aside, and focus on what IS in front of me. Working for my dad, helping my mom, writing, music, learning, being with friends, swimming, thinking, EVERYTHING I have at my fingertips right now. Marriage will be at my fingertips when the time comes. And I will know when the time comes, because, like all the things in my life now, I won’t have to seek it out. God will show me. It’s not like I am being lazy, saying “I am just going to sit here and be a religious couch potato till God’s will is right here in front of me.” But I understand that God’s will is something he reveals to me as I keep getting to know him more and more. I will seek his face, and everything else will follow. He wants me to trust him fully, not trust myself and my finding-out-what-life-is-for-on-my-own skills (which, I have discovered, are severely lacking). Every time I try to do something myself, I fail. I mean, it’s not like God cleans my room for me now or something. I do stuff here on earth. But I do it because I am supposed to; because God has made his will clear to me. I’m no prophet, though, of course. I don’t always get it right, and I mess up time and time again. It is so hard to describe this sensation. When I fall back on God, everything is clear and I know instinctively what to do.

It just IS. Does that make any sense?

Proverbs 3:5, 6 – “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”


Sunday, May 3, 2009


Music and lyrics by Jessica

(Verse One)
Carry me home
Where is home to me anyway
A lonely old house
Surrounded by new buildings

The world is
At a beginning but at an end
I do not know
Will you show me the way

Confiding, residing
But washed away with tears
I know that you know
I’m losing all I hold dear

Where will I go
Now that I know
Somebody loves me

How will I find
Someone who’s mine
Lives up to the way

(Verse Two)
Am I done here
But is here really here at all
A river of thoughts
Watch as it’s drained away

(Channel Two)
Losing, choosing
Memories carried away
You know that I know
It’s not safe, I can’t stay


(Channel Three)
Abiding, Confiding
But blown away by the breeze
Oh no, don’t you go
I’m asking begging you please

I’ll sail away
Will you follow me
As I’m leaving you
Nothing to say
Can’t you just agree
There’s nothing for us to do
But let it go…

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