“I remember when [insert husband’s name here] asked me to marry him. First,…”
Cue eye-roll (well, you know, after the legitimate “awe”).
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Bitter Betty. You can typically find her wearing black at Valentines (decrying the day as sheer commercialism and threatening to throw the flowers of her co-worker into the street), either avoiding the rom-com section all together or weeping over a bowl of ice cream while Mr. Darcy tells Elizabeth that she has enchanted him body and soul (darn you Jane Austin), or proclaiming loudly that there are too many “nice Christian boys” out there but not enough Godly leaders (or that they are all taken).
I live in this state of being, kicking myself when the bitter single rears her ugly head, frustrated when a blind date is just sort of stale, wishing I could just keep my mouth shut while rejoicing with my married/engaged/spoken for friends, and praying constantly for a better attitude, peace, and Aaron Tveit’s doppelganger who loves Jesus and has a masters in Godly leadership right off the bat (What? It could totally happen.)
When disappointments like these come, when I fail over and over again to simply be joyful and give thanks in all circumstances and genuinely smile when a good friend tells her story, I wonder if God has left me alone…if He was ever with me to begin with. After all, if His Spirit was with me wouldn’t I be able to rejoice more easily than I do? Wouldn’t I /feel/ more holy day by day rather than being shown more and more just how utterly disgusting and sinful I am? I question, not because I doubt God’s faithfulness (though in my sinful mind there is likely a bit of that) but because I know my own fickle, ridiculous heart. Sometimes it scares me. Badly…
But the other night I was taking a walk after working out. A disappointment had come earlier in the day (I didn’t make the fitness competition I made last year) and I was trying so hard to just shut up and listen. The same frustrations ran through my mind…(I’m a failure, there’s something wrong with me, why the hell is God putting up with my crap…?) when a thought came.
I’ve never been one to believe that God speaks to people in the present day in an audible voice, after all, we have the Spirit in our hearts and His full word at our fingertips, but I do believe He directs our thoughts. That night He directed mine to a phrase that literally stopped me in my tracks…You called to me in my youth…
Through all the disappointments, all the fears, the foolish belief that the absence of friends or a husband/fiancé/boyfriend meant I was alone, He has walked with me for as long as I can remember. As a child He called to me through my parents and Sunday school teachers and that red picture bible I wore out from reading at night (I’m telling you, I came out of the womb with insomnia), through the scripture tapes we listened to until the ribbon came loose and refused to function any more…He has held my hand so that I have never, ever in my entire life been alone. It’s neither a feeling nor simple knowledge but something else entirely. I know He is there, and that in spite of me, because I am His glorious ruin, He loves me.
Could I really ask for a more beautiful love story? For a more romantic “engagement”? Scripture calls the Church the bride of Christ…the harlot made fit for a king…and I get to be part of that. No, this doesn’t completely destroy the Bitter Single, she still comes around with her complaining and grumpiness, but it quiets her daily, soothing sinful insecurities, building up joy, and clothing her with a flawless part of the wedding dress.
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine…” Song of Solomon 6:3