Somehow, though, that summer I also met my ex husband. It's beyond my comprehension that I could be heading one direction and somehow veered so far off what I had said I wanted. Through my ex husband I entered sexual immorality, abortion, idolatry, pain, shame, fear- lots of fear. Bondage really. I've wondered before (don't dwell on this because- Jude- worth it), but still wondered how I fell so far so quickly. The answer is simply- idolatry.
I was entering my last year of college. I had assumed all my life I would be engaged at least when I graduated from college. I felt like I was off schedule, and so, Michael represented a way for me to be on the path I 'knew' I should be on. There were warning signs. But I was so fixated on making sure I was married on time, I really didn't acknowledge them. I was so sure that being married was worth it all, and it would all work out in the end. Not even remotely true.
I kind of think as that as a 'Hagar decision'. Just like Abraham and Sarah got tired of waiting on God to fulfill His promise, I got tired of waiting. Just like Sarah took things into her own hands and gave Abraham Hagar, I took things in my own hands and 'made it work' with Michael. Both decisions had disastrous results.
What I didn't realize at 22 was that I had hope. Hope that a 'George Mueller' would come along. Right around the corner could be the right guy. When you are married to the wrong guy, you don't have any hope. Looking at someone who hurts you in every way possible and thinking 'this is what my life is going to be like for the next 50 years' is possibly one of the most horrific thoughts I've had. In fact, when I first got divorced I wasn't sure I would ever consider getting married again- or that it would be ok from a spiritual perspective. I was 900% sure though, that being single for the rest of my life, while difficult, was better than being married and afraid. Whatever you think loneliness feels like when you are just young and single, I promise promise it is nothing to the loneliness of having someone in your life you can never truly be close to. Unfortunately, I think there are a lot of lonely married women in the world. And that's a pain unlike any other. A hopeless pain.
I know there are several people in my blog/real world that worry about being alone. That's a totally normal fear. Women were created to be a helper to someone. God has a definite plan for your life and ways to fulfill that need He gave you. And it's scary to think about not doing that with your life. Even now I have moments where I wonder oh my gosh, what if... And that's definitely not what I want. I don't know what God's plan for my life is. I don't know what God's plan for your life is. But I do know that I pray you feel encouraged. You have hope. Just like God saw Hagar in the desert, he sees you too. He doesn't just know your heart, He adores it. He thinks your heart is beautiful and worthy of not just settling, but a love great and godly. He knows of someone who will be worth the wait.
Waiting can be a fruitful time. I waited for 2 lonely painful years before I considered dating again. Sometimes it was because of my decision. Sometimes it was God's. Those two years were blessed though. I fell in love with God so deeply. I learned what it was like to depend on Him solely. He became the Lover of My Soul. Those lessons have been beyond a blessing in my current relationship. I used to have moments of severe loneliness or fear. I would just pray something like 'Lord, I need a hug right now. I'm so lonely, and I'd give anything to be held. But that's not what you've given me right now. So please hold me tonight". And He faithfully answered that prayer everytime. He knew those desires I had, and He continually fulfilled them. Because I learned to depend on God to satisfy my desires and fill my hollow places with His lavish, unfailing love (i literally pray that daily- Got that from a Beth Moore book called Breaking Free- which I highly recommend), I haven't needed Jimmy to fill those. I love having him around. He is such a breath of fresh air all the time. I absolutely adore him in every way. I literally think He's brought Christ to life in a tanglible way for me. But I don't need him. And that's huge for me. It's also allowed this relationship to be truly healthy, and also truly dependent and focused on God. Which has made what I really dreamed of, a godly man who I could respect and trust to lead me, possible. And that's exciting! And was worth the wait!
In closing, I just want people to know that its good to be content where you are. God is blessing you right where you are. He is doing amazing things right where you are. It's also ok to want and even need other things. But for me, laying them down at His feet made them possible. It was hard many days. But I always had hope. And in Christ we have a hope that doesn't disappoint!
Side note: A couple months before meeting Jimmy- maybe not even that long- I acknowledged before God my desire to serve in foreign missions. I told God I was willing to go- anywhere- although at the time I wanted to go to Morocco. Now I would just go anywhere. But I asked God, if that was my calling to please bring me someone I could trust to protect me while I was there. Pretty legit request, especially in places like Morocco where my rights as a woman would be limited. Jimmy literally would go anywhere. And he is absolutely concerned with shepherding me in every way. I'm not saying anything as far as where Jimmy and I are headed, because I don't know. But hey, maybe you should surrender to missions and God will bring you a co-laborer ;) kinda kidding....