by Susannah Wares
I told my boyfriend over a text message that I couldn’t do it anymore. I wasn’t the one. I was compromising by finding my identity in him over God. I was done.
I found out said boy that was broken up with over a text message almost exactly a year ago, is officially engaged to “the one”.
I know I did the right thing.
This is the sixth engagement/marriage on the books for close and significant people in my life this year alone. But before we all sigh and roll our eyes at the sob story drama-queen that is Susannah Wares, we can humbly pause and take a moment to realize the subtle pain and frustration in this reality of the lives of 22(ish)-year-old single women everywhere.
It doesn’t get better if we are Christ followers who have heard in almost every other breath by our blessed sisters and superiors that, “Our Boaz is coming”. She will say this gently, peering over a coffee cup with poignantly placed calligraphy that draws attention to the glint beaming from the ring on her left hand matching the sparkle in her eye.
She is the girl on Instagram. Your best friend. Your best friend’s best friend. Your mom. Your sister. The girl from your bible study. The girl who looks up to YOU.
Satan rears his ugly head in the cackle of comparison, and bitterness strikes your heart again as you willfully choke back the emotions you feel because they are increasingly inappropriate and EVIL.
You are truly happy for these women, you just wish they would stop hinting how much they want to be happy for YOU one day.
Why can’t they be happy for me now?
They assure you they are.
“Just wait, God will give show you the one just when you least expect it.”
Is it really my lot in life to wait for a husband? Is this something the bible calls me to do?
These are all questions that have been plaguing my mind the last year and I have yet to find clear answers.
In reading scripture you have to take a look at biblical context. The context of the culture, language, and the purpose for which the author is sharing these words.
Although the Bible is not a “How-to” manual for life, It is the living word of God, and it often does have some handy tips and examples for godly living.
Unfortunately, due to the running theme of women needing a male to support them in life due to the day in age the texts were written, it makes things a bit awkward for our post modern young single ladies who are financially self-sufficient, and don’t live under their father’s roof.
I found myself praying, “Lord, am I supposed to move back in with my parents?”, which I know would be a resounding “NO” from them.
But as Lord does, and he almost always does, he speaks to my heart “Follow Me” and there is peace and no striving.
This, my friend is actually the goal.
When Jesus picks goes out and picks the twelve disciples, he doesn’t say, “Make sure you’re married and then you can follow me”. He says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34).
Stark contrast to the call we seem to put on ourselves as Christians to “have it all together” first in order to follow him. It sounds like we are supposed to give our plans up.
Even with the women in Jesus’ immediate following, the focus wasn’t placed on their “relationship status” it was placed on their relationship with Jesus himself and their faithfulness to God and each other through serving the group.
Then I look at the women of the bible and the character traits they possessed, and how they trusted God to provide in their circumstances.
Mary trusted God to take care of her through the shame of having and unwed pregnancy. She had a wiling heart knowing that she could have been stoned to death. “Let it be done unto me.” Luke 1:38
Or Ruth, choosing to follow Naomi into destitution because she believed in the Hebrew God, instead of marrying a rando moabite boy for her security.
There are so many more.
I guess the point I want to make is that the example that is set as a whole in scripture is for Christian women to love God first and follow him, despite what the culture around them might encourage them to do.
In fact it’s all of our callings. Male/female/slave/freed- not to take the words out of Paul’s mouth of course; but it’s true.
When asked what the greatest commandment is
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it?
I know it doesn’t feel that way.
If you are one of those girls that sit where I sit, and is honestly just tired of it all- this is a love letter to you.
You aren’t doing anything wrong.
If you have done anything you regret relational in your past, Jesus died for that and pre-destined that He would make all things right (Shout-out to Ephesians. Thanks Paul.). It WILL be okay in the end. Promise.
If your heart is suffering from either what feels like judgment or disappointment from those around you, or an ache to fulfill a role you know you were created for, first of all – Girl I feel you.
But second of all, know that you are loved beyond your wildest imagination and you have a creator Redeemer who desires you to know the fullness of the Love that He has for you, and the delight He has in creating you to be exactly who you are and who you were made to be.
You weren’t made to be like those other girls.
You were made to be God’s girl and He is writing the story of your life that no one else can be the star of, that begins and ends with Him.
Whether it’s healing a broken heart or relationship, or showing faithful in every aspect of His good plan for us; He is able. He is enough.
Trust Him. He’s got this.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” Ephesians 3:20