When I came up with this title, I thought of the bells in the Polar Express. When the main character can hear the bells from Santa’s sleigh but his parents cannot or the song that Tracy Turnblad sings in Hairspray called “I Can Hear The Bells” when she imagines marrying Link Larkin. “The bells” refer to marriage bells. Except that I “can’t” hear the bells. (This might be cringe-worthy so I apologize if you don’t share my weird sense of humor).
I really want to get married
When I was growing up, my answer to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” changed just about every time I answered it. I told people I wanted to be a marine biologist, a vet, an Olympic gymnastics coach (that one was a long shot), even a pop star. I am now a sophomore in college and I am still struggling to decide what it is I want to do with the rest of my life in the career realm. But one of the answers that I have said from the very beginning has yet to change. I have this insane desire to be a wife and a mother that simply never goes away.
Besides the fact that I am still deciding what major to pick in school, I have recently been struggling with the fact that I am not in a relationship. So many of my childhood friends are married or in pretty serious relationships, and I haven’t been on a date in almost two years. One of those friends and I have been close for a long time. When we were kids, I definitely thought I would be in a serious relationship before her. Not because I thought I was better than her, but because I wanted it so desperately.
If I’m being honest, it’s hard to be around all these couples and not feel a little pain. Although I am super happy for these amazing friends of mine, I would be lying if I said it was easy to watch all of my friends meet the people they will probably spend the rest of their lives with. (I realize jealously is not good either. I don’t claim to be perfect.)
Recently I’ve felt like this thought process was consuming me. It was becoming increasingly difficult for me to actually stop thinking about it. I feel like I am around the age where I should start thinking about getting married, but that can’t be possible because I am not even in a relationship. It just doesn’t add up.
As I usually do when something in my life is really troubling me, I met with a great mentor to talk about these thoughts. She shared some of her struggles with me and shared some wisdom as well as peace about my own issues. She is an extremely insightful woman and she taught my heart things I feel like other girls in my position should hear as well. Here are three important things that I learned from that conversation. I hope they will help you in your journey if this is something you struggle with as well.
Obviously, this can apply to every aspect of our lives. In our culture, it can be so easy to become control-freaks and want to have a grip on everything. In reality, we have to remember that God has control over every minute of our lives. Luke 12:22-26 is such a basic verse but so easy to forget on a daily basis.
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest (Luke 12:22-26)?”
If God provides my daily food, how on earth could I not trust Him with my heart – the very thing my life flows from? I believe that God is the one who has given me the desire to be a wife, and that means that I must trust that He will fulfill that desire – in His own way. Trusting God is difficult. It would be safer to give up my desire for marriage and save myself from the possibility of disappointment. It would be easier to abandon all hope in case it never happens. But trusting God with our desires is not a blind hope. It’s not a naive “genie in a bottle” kind of wish. It’s a realization that He is in control, and I am not. So I continue to hope and trust in His plans for my life, whether He fulfills my current desires or reshapes them to fit His. I give my desires to Him. Obviously, this is easier said than done. But if I didn’t think it was worth it, I wouldn’t choose to trust Him.
Become the Best Woman I Can Become
Just because I want to be married does not mean that I should sit and wait for the perfect guy to come wandering into my life. I refuse to waste one of the best times that life has to offer me (college) and pout. I will focus on serving God. I will focus on serving people. I will focus on learning more about my Savior. I will focus on my friends, on my studies, on building my experiences. Most importantly, I will focus on becoming the best daughter of Christ I possibly can be.
It will not be easy
It is not easy to watch your best friends meet the people they will probably spend the rest of their lives with. It is not easy to be surrounded by young Christian couples and be single.
And it is not easy to have a desire placed in your heart by the One who created it and wait for Him to fulfill it. But God holds your heart.
Take courage! A coping mechanism that this amazing mentor introduced to me is writing letters to your future husband. About anything. When your heart really hurts, try writing to a man you have probably never met. Tell him anything you want. And then save those letters for the day that you marry him.
Even though it’s hard, I know I serve a great God. And I will let Him hold my heart every single day. One day, someone else may have the privilege of holding it too. But that day is not today. So I will continue to trust God who knows far more than I.
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word, I put my hope (Psalm 130:5 ).”
“Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14).”
“Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him (Isaiah 30:18).”