“From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.” Isaiah 64:4
It’s my birthday month! I turn 35 this year…gulp…and next month, I get to marry the most amazing man I’ve ever met! Believe me, waiting until you’re 35 to marry is a looooooong time to wait. But I wouldn’t change a thing. God’s plans are so much better than mine.
Let’s rewind the clock about ten years. I would have been 25 years old, and to my mind at the time, the perfect age to marry (actually earlier but I would have settled to be married at 25). I was heading off to seminary ready to meet the love of my life, conquer my master’s degree, and face the world serving the Lord by my husband’s side. I was full of excitement, naivety and self-righteousness, and had lots of growing to do in all areas of life. My now fiancé, however, was living the life of an unbeliever. God wasn’t even on his radar at that time. If we would have met then, I would have either been witnessing to him or completely ignoring him!
Fast forward to about 5 years ago. I would have been turning 30, and to my mind way behind schedule to get married and start a family. I had graduated from seminary and was working full time (at a job where neither of my degrees were necessary), and trying to figure out what to do with my life. I was learning much about life and going through a lot of heart-ache. My future husband was in another state and had only been a Christian for about 3 years. He was learning much of Christ and planning to start college soon. He was focused on growing as a new creation and not even thinking about girls. If we had met then, he wouldn’t have even noticed me.
Now let’s skip ahead to last year at this time. I was about to turn 34, and had (mostly) made peace with my singleness and God’s good plan for my life. I didn’t know if I would ever marry and I was generally ok with that. It was no longer essential for a good life for me. I was happy in my little home with the ministries that the Lord had given me and was going about life just fine. There were times when being on my own was difficult and was the last thing I wanted, but there were also days when I couldn’t imagine being “tethered” to someone else and enjoyed my life as a single.
Then in March of this year, a friend of mine told me about a man from my home church who was coming to the school where I work and asked me to help him find his way around. Little did I know when I contacted him with purely helpful intentions that we’d be getting married by the end of the year (If you want to read more of our story, you can read these two posts on my blog: Surprised by Love Once Again and Life on the Fast Track).
God’s timing is perfect and it’s definitely worth the wait. All those years of longing, unanswered prayers, and missing a man that I had never met have all been forgotten. The waiting was difficult but I learned so much from it. And waiting doesn’t stop when you get what you’ve been waiting for. No, you just have to wait for something else. So learning to wait well is good and is a fruit of the Spirit (patience) that needs to be cultivated (which means effort and practice as we learn to deny ourselves and live by the Spirit).
So press on, dear ones! Keep seeking the Lord and following hard after Him. He is for you and is not withholding anything from those who walk uprightly (Ps. 84:11). He is not spiteful or teasing you by dangling the gift of marriage in front of you but only giving it to others. He is generous and a good gift giver–giving to each person what is perfectly suited for them in every season of life. Therefore, if marriage is good for you then God will bring that to you at His perfect time and in His perfect way. He will guide your path, and the path of your spouse just as He has done for centuries to bring about His good plans, so there’s no need to worry (visit my post Worrisome Birds …which I wrote when I was very single…for more on the theme of God’s perfect timing and providence). Put your trust in His faithfulness and love for you.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” – Lamentations 3:22-25