It all started when God began bringing up the topic of marriage in our conversations. Much to my surprise, I didn’t want to talk about it. Apparently I would rather avoid the topic all together. Strange. Totally not the reaction I thought I’d have. You would think that since I’m in my late twenties and am living in a place where 19 seems to be the “normal” age for marriage, I’d be overjoyed that God wants to talk to me about this epic topic! But when God dropped this topic into my prayer time with Him recently, I did not want to talk about it.
Wednesday morning, at a prayer meeting, the Lord began to help me be honest with Him. As we shared at the prayer meeting what it means to be sons and daughters of the Lord, God suddenly shed light on a verse, “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). I realized that the fear and worry that would rise up in my heart revealed that parts of me still believed that I am an orphan. These emotions and beliefs are not things God desires for me. He wants to lead me and was leading me into greater confidence in His never changing affections towards me.
So as I was brooding over all these thoughts and revelations that morning, I suddenly felt Him helping me be real and honest with Him. Here’s how the conversation went:
Me: honestly, I don’t want to get married and I really don’t want to talk about it
God: (very gently) why?
Me: cause it’s painful, getting that close with someone. I was so close to Grace (my sister who passed away just seven months ago at the time) and then I just lost her. I don’t want that to happen again even though I know that love is sacrificing oneself behalf of others like You did Jesus, Your sacrifice made a way for man to be able to choose salvation. (I can feel myself trying to make myself do what I think is “right,” trying to be obedient as to what I think would make God happy)
Then I saw the Lord take my hand and hold it in His. This simple act let me know the depth of His understanding of how difficult those past few months had been for me. He’s seen my struggles and knew that I was still reaching for Him in the midst of all the pain. His hand holding mine, also spoke to me that He will patiently wait for me to be ready and not against my will, forcing myself to do what I think is right. I realized that it is then, that I’m obeying Him as a daughter and not as a slave.
God spoke again and revealed to my heart, helping me comprehend that He permitted this season of refining through trials because He hates the distance between us. He is burning up all that’s hindering our relationship from being even more intimate. He longs to be with me. He longs to close this chasm that distorts my understanding of His intentions toward me. He waits patiently for my heart to be ready to take the next step with Him to wherever He wants to lead me.
Thank You Jesus, for Your tender mercies that are so gentle and so so kind.