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Four Weeks To Plan A Wedding…

December 5, 2006

And Not A Husband In Sight!

I sort of had this goal for 2006. I thought I might get married.

Now, I know that some of you are probably thinking that I’m joking around (as I am prone to do).
Others are probably saying, “She’s delusional! How can she just say she’s going to get married in 2006 … when she hasn’t even had a date in over seven years?” (look around… it is a season for miracles!)

Well, I’m not joking. (or at least I wasn’t) And though I may be delusional — this was my attempt at having a hopeful, positive outlook and believing that ANYTHING is possible with God. (phooey on you naysayers)

But alas, it’s December 2006 — and I have not had a marriage proposal … not to mention a date. And, the outlook is becoming less and less positive … and the well of hopefulness is drying up. BUT, I refuse to let go of my belief that ANYTHING is possible with God.

My sister IS getting married. Her plans were for February, but now she’s changed them to get married at 12:01 AM on January 1, 2007. Not that I would begrudge her happiness (yes, I know that’s measured by circumstances), but I do admit that I’m a bit jealous. (who am I kidding, I’m a lot jealous)

I’m not jealous of her man … or her situation. That’s all good for her, I guess.

I do wonder why it happens for some — and for others it never happens.

And, it all wreaks havoc on a spirit that is already beaten up … and too often I find myself asking, “What’s wrong with me?”

Still, four weeks is plenty of time to plan a wedding. At this state of my emotional being, I could probably pull it off in about four days. I think the last wedding I had was planned in 4 weeks. He asked me in November … and we were married on Dec. 24.

Oh yeh. That one didn’t end up too well, huh?

So maybe I set my sights too high for 2006. I’m good with just having a date, you know. Shucks, a phone call or a letter … even a promising email might be enough to get me over the hump. When I made this decision at the beginning of the year, my dear (and bent) friend Paul offered his head-hunting expertise to “chair” my husband search committee. Pastor piped in for prayer support … and I insisted that somewhere David Duggan be on the committee because I knew that he would ask the “practical” questions when screening any potential candidate. (like, “Are you handy with a screwdriver?”  “Do you keep a steady job?”  “Are beans, cornbread and sweet iced tea a fitting meal for you?”)

My goodness that sounds pathetically desperate … and I’ve always sworn to never be one of those “pathetically desperate” women. How did I slip in to this mode?

Not only did the Pastor recently preach about “being content in all things” — I picked up a book the other day, titled, “When The Glass Slipper Doesn’t Fit” and the writer is using the same concept, “being content in all things.” Honestly, I’m quite ashamed that I haven’t mastered that! I ought to be “better” and “bigger” and “more mature” than to sit around wishing I had someone to love — and someone to love me.

So, here it is … four weeks left in 2006 … and not a husband in sight.
Not even an invitation to the ball.

What is Cinderella to do when all seems at loss? (BTW, the writer of that glass slipper book contends that Cindy (rella) was content even when she was on her knees cleaning the baseboards and sweeping the chimney. “Why she even sang along with the birds.” DUH! Excuse me!!! It’s an animated cartoon … you can make them do whatever you want them to do for crying out loud!)

I’ve had more than one friend suggest to me that I should try “E-Harmony.”
{I had tried those sort of things in the past … talk about YUCK! But that’s a whole ‘nuther blog.}

A few months before my decision for 2006, I had relented and submitted my profile to EHarmony, thinking, “well, what would it hurt?”

I even paid for a three-month subscription. They say your profile is compared with thousands and thousands of other Christian singles around the world — and I would receive notification of ALL those who are a match for me. Do you know that out of those thousands and thousands — NOT ONE WAS A MATCH for me.

Now that was a blow to the ego!!!

It was after this incident —- actually, my recovery from this incident —- that I had to ask myself and my God that out of all the men in the world (and I KNOW there are many), is there not ONE that might be a suitable husband candidate for me?

And then I remembered a time several years ago that God spoke directly to me about this matter.

I was driving down Freewill Road — not really thinking about anything — just riding around. It was near the end of January 2001. I heard what I believe to be “The Voice of God.” (you might not believe it, but I heard it)

Right out of the blue, He said, “I have a man for you.”

Surprised by what I heard, I replied, “Excuse me?”

He said again, “I have a man for you … and he ‘needs’ you.”

At those words, tears began to stream down my face. You see, in all my former moments of desperation, I would cry out to God and say, “Lord God, if I only had a husband. I really NEED a husband, Lord!” And then, recognizing this “neediness” that I despise in women, I’d pull back the request and add a qualifier. “Lord, I’m sorry. I don’t want a husband out of desperation or neediness … I want your will for my life.  Lord, if it is your will for me to ever be married, I pray that he is someone who needs me…as much as I need him. ”

So when I heard God say, “he needs you,” I knew that He was speaking to my heart;  it was a true revelation.

I asked Him, “How will I know?”

All He said was, “You will.”   (Kind of like that “I AM” answer.  A blessed assurance!)

It was a blessed relief to hear this news. First of all, I thought, there was no need for me to ever feel desperate again because God has a husband for me. I was “content” to devote myself to becoming a godly woman in preparation for being that godly wife that my husband “needed” and “wanted.” Looking back, I do believe God began a work that day that gave me great insight to myself … help with healing from past wounds … and gave me the wherewithal to make a commitment to purity as part of the preparation for this pending relationship.

In this time, my social interaction has been mostly limited to church/work and home. I took every thought captive that hinted at leading me down a path of compromise. I’ve read, prayed, studied and tried my very best to abstain from immodesty or improper behavior for a single woman. Mind you, I’m certainly no prude … but I really did want to take me out of the picture so God could do whatever He wanted to do in my heart and life. It has not been easy … “me” comes out — and I’ve pushed “me” back in. Always in the back of my mind was the message I had heard … and I waited (with great hope and anticipation) for that “knowing” that God had promised.

One day … this is going to make a great story … I just know it.

Why? Well, because I think I HAVE received this “knowing.” Trusted friends know that I feel this way, though my timing (or my impatience) may be off kilter.

And here’s another thing that I know. Though he may not be realizing it yet … and though I do have only four weeks to plan a wedding in 2006, I do believe that HE AND I are worth the wait. So, I can wait until 2007, or 2008, if need be. I’d rather not! God knows that, I reckon. But I also want two complete people in this marriage relationship … not two halves, or any other fraction.

As it has gone over the past six months, I’m not so sure that I’m a whole person right now. I feel fragmented … disconnected … amiss somehow. The oddity about this whole thing is that … until about two years ago, I WAS content with being single and waiting on God. I had come to great resolve and was fully committed to MY MAKER being my husband. And even though I did (and do) believe that God spoke to me that day in 2001, I had laid it (personal attempts to forge romance) all down, vowing not to pick it back up and try to orchestrate the situation myself. You see, I knew how my own personal attempts at romance had faired. God’s plan must surely be better. And I had decided in my heart that … I would indeed be content with the idea that I may remain single for a very long time — possibly forever — if that’s God’s perfect will.

Then, in 2004, something started to happen in my heart. A desire, or longing, that I thought had been thoroughly dismissed or at least squelched, started to well up inside me. For many years, I had hesitated to even initiate any encounter, conversation or interaction for fear that I might mess up God’s plan. Then, God showed me “someone” — and suddenly my heart began to tender and melt. I was surprised. I was scared. And I wondered why God would dangle such a carrot in front of me if He had no plans to see it through.

I tried…tried very hard…to no avail to dismiss these tender feelings as “my own creative wanderings.”  I asked God to remove them from my heart and mind — because the risk for disappointment was too great — and too grave. And I heard Him say,  “Please, Trust Me.”

I think surely God does have a plan because the spiritual warfare that I have been experiencing over the past six months has been incredibly debilitating. The enemy has used weapons of mass destruction on my mind, my emotions, my physical and mental body. I’ve tried desperately to “hold on” — but over the most recent few weeks, my grip has slipped.

And finally, I’ve come back to the starting point and I’m asking God, “Did I misunderstand? Did I hear you wrong? Was it even you that spoke to me that day?”

Please don’t read that as me doubting God. I simply doubt myself.

Last spring, I read a book called “Hinds Feet on High Places,” by Hannah Hurnard. The main character in the book is “Much Afraid.” Much Afraid is crippled and ugly … she’s on the outside and has much self-doubt. At the Shepherd’s bidding, she begins a journey to a promise … to the high places. But it’s a hard journey … she fails along the way … she slips back in to her feelings of doubt and fear. But the Shepherd always comes at the sound of her cry.

I know God is there for me the same way. I desperately want to get to the high places. I’m really tired and worn out from living in the low places. I’m tired of being “much afraid.”

So, I’ve got four weeks to plan a wedding. (There’s that voice inside that says, “You’re crazy, Carole. Give it up. It’s not going to happen.”) Well, it may not … but then again, it may. Maybe not a wedding … but I’ve got to hang on to the hopeful idea that all is not lost. It just can’t be ALL lost.

Please pray for me … and my future husband.

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