Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I Don't Have to Get Married?

"Will your sister move back to Michigan?" she asks.

 The church is almost empty except for a few families still lingering in the hallway, including mine and the nine year old girl that has sat next to me, mimicking the way I am lounging on the chair.

 "Probably. She's definitely going back for school."

 "Will you move back to Michigan?"

 "I hope say," I say. "Eventually."

 "Will you move back when you're married?"

 I pause. Her question is like a few more rocks balanced precariously on a boulder. Eventually the stones will pile up and fall soon and I'll have to deal with the emotional break down.

 I try to laugh a little thinking about the lack of guys available let alone ones that would want to date me. "No, I'll definitely move back before I'm married."

 Distracted by her siblings, she suddenly runs off, and I am left wondering where her questions came from. Why would she assume I can't move away unless I'm married? Why does she think marriage is my only option? But then I realize that I think marriage is my only option.

 Actually, let me re-phrase that; the only option I have ever really wanted is marriage, and I want it so much I have convinced myself it is my only option.  

 I have other goals and desires- to write and publish books, to travel to places like Ireland and Japan- but they have never been as high, as important, or as idolized as marriage. 

 Before she left I wanted to say something to her, like, "We don't have to get married, you know," or "Marriage is a really wonderful and beautiful thing, but God doesn't give it to everyone." I even thought of joking, "I don't have to be married to move to a different state."

 But I think I need to tell it to myself more than her.

 You don't have to get married. You want to, oh how you want to, but you don't have to. It would not mean you are a failure. It would not mean a horrible life. It would mean you would be single like the Apostle Paul and lots of other people on this earth.

 God doesn't give marriage to everyone. You may be single for the next five years or the rest of your life. But however long it is God will provide strength each day to get through as well as give you everything your heart desires and more in Heaven when He gives us Himself, our true heart's desire.

 I pray God will give you and me power that only comes from Him to simply be the single women God has called us to be for at least this season. I pray for the power to be content and joyful and completely focused on loving and serving others and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ so that we do not focus on the few things He hasn't given us when He has already promised us an eternity with Him.

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