Over a week ago, I packed my bags, car seat and stroller for my granddaughter, and she and I headed to the airport.
After two airports and two airplanes, we landed safely in Michigan to visit with family and my two children in college for a couple of days.
Then we packed cars and drove to Indiana for my brother’s wedding.
While driving, I felt the anticipation rising of seeing my brother on his wedding day.
I imagined him decked out in a tux standing at the altar waiting on his bride.
My brother has a gentle smile and easy demeanor that is so sincere and calming to all who love and know him.
His marriage to Lisa, his bride, is his second chance at love.
I am grateful to Lisa for choosing to share her life and love with my brother.
At the reception, I found myself overcome with emotion as they sang words of love to each other during their first dance as husband and wife.
As I wiped the tears from my eyes, I laughed at how God created me, so full of emotion. I cry at weddings, when babies are born, when people commit their lives to Jesus, at baptisms, at funerals.
Probably any life-changing event will cause a faucet of tears to pour a steady stream from my eyes.
As I was heading out to change my granddaughter’s pamper, the time had come for the bride to toss the bouquet.
As always, people looked around the room and pointed out those of us who are single to convince us that our chance at love had finally come.
A few family members at my table chimed in “get up there Marilyn”. I politely nodded no thank you as I and my granddaughter made our way through the crowd to attend the pamper issue at hand.
I totally agree that lining up to catch the bouquet is fun to watch and participate in, especially if you’re the one who catches the bouquet.
In the past, I would have joined the women in shouting “It’s mine” and “I got this” in reference to the bouquet.
Before you think I’m the party-pooper girl at the wedding who doesn’t know how to have a good time, let me explain.
I once looked for love in every opportunity that arose in life, even in catching the bouquet.
If invited to a party or a wedding, I used to think maybe the love of my life will be there and I’ll finally find love.
I took all the advice of relationship columnists, book authors, and therapists (radio and TV) about getting “out there” and making myself available.
I was told I’d meet him in a laundry mat while washing my comforters. In the grocery store while picking out vegetables. At the car wash while vacuuming my car.
I was told I had to always dress to impress, even if going to the gym for a workout.
Smile and don’t be afraid to greet guys while walking in the park or the mall.
Whew! It sure was a lot to do just to find Mr. Right.
And for those who are looking, it may seem like good advice.
But for those of you, like myself, who are not looking, I’m here to say: there is absolutely nothing wrong with you.
Many may think I’ve completely given up on love. Absolutely not!
However, I am so content in my singleness during this season of my life, that if a mate should come my way, I’d have to get signs from heaven that “he is the one”.
Since the time I decided to stop looking, I’ve tried many new things, traveled, graduated with my Master’s degree, connected with some awesome Christian people, and became more involved in things I’m passionate about, such as protecting the unborn and supporting pregnant women.
I stopped looking and waiting on Mr. Right to find me to begin enjoying life.
Most importantly, I realized Jesus’ love for me and it has been the most amazing, life-changing experience.
I was a Christian who was looking for a mate.
But now, I am a Christian fulfilled by the One who loves me most.
For those of you who are still looking, I have two questions for you.
1) It was against the creative order for a woman to look for her husband? Did not God prepare Adam for a wife? Additionally, he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor of the Lord (Proverbs 18:22).
2) It is okay or good for a woman not to have a mate? In Genesis 2:18 God said “…It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” God spoke this before Eve was ever created. In fact, Eve was created out of Adam’s need for her. She was created on the resource side or as a help meet for Adam.
God knew many women (and men) would not have mates while here on earth.
Accordingly, while single, our love relationship with Jesus should be our focus.
I am grateful for my singleness, whether it be for a season or for a lifetime, because as a result, I have become so focused on strengthening my relationship with Jesus.
In the same way that I cried when my brother sang to his bride during their first dance as husband and wife, I sometimes cry while dancing and singing praises to my God.
I cry because, like many brides, I feel like the luckiest woman in the world.
To have the One who is so mighty and awesome and holds the whole world in the palm of His hand, yet He loves me and sings loudly over me (Zephaniah 3:17).
When God speaks of His church, He calls her His bride.
He speaks of Himself as our Husband and our First Love.
For those reasons alone, I feel I am lacking nothing because as a woman, I am the direct representation of the bride of Christ.
Therefore, woman, don’t feel lonely because you don’t have a mate to call your own. God knows the desires of your heart and may bless you with a mate of your own someday soon.
But until then, it is okay to enjoy life and live life abundantly.
People sometimes laugh at me when I say I’ll be so hidden in Christ that a man will have to search for me with all of his heart AND a big flashlight to find me.
Although they laugh, I am serious.
People assume I am “this way” because of past relationships, because of my divorce, or they believe I’ve hardened my heart towards men.
Is it possible that I’ve grown to really accept the love Christ has for me and in turn I earnestly pray He anoints me to love Him more?
Could it be that I realize that every desire I have is in Him, the God who can do exceeding, abundantly above all that I ask or dare to think, therefore He’s all I’ll ever need? (Ephesians 3:20)
Ultimately, marriage is for our enjoyment, pleasure, and for procreation. But who were we really designed for?
I’ve heard testimony after testimony from married couples who realized they still had to maintain their relationship with Christ to have any real fulfillment in their marriage.
So, aren’t they right back where we all have to begin our relationships, in Christ.
Whether I marry again or not, He will still and always be my #1 love.
I am created for Him and the focus of my being is His reality.
I am His and He is mine…hallelujah!
Like Paul, I pray Singles seek “to know the love of Christ,which passeth understanding that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).
Although I didn’t attempt to catch the bouquet at the reception, me and my granddaughter’s dancing on the dance floor captured a lot of laughs.
I believe capturing the heart of Jesus by desiring more and more of Him brings him joy and laughter as well.
Yes, Jesus already loves me and demonstrated His love for me when He gave His life for me (and you) on the cross.
But to capture His heart is about the intimacy it takes to be in relationship with Him.
It’s about spending time with Him and recognizing the distractions that keep me from growing closer to Him.
Just like a husband who waits in anticipation for his bride to walk down the aisle to meet him at the altar, Jesus is waiting on you in the same manner.
His desire for His bride is unmatched as He patiently waits for her.
So if you desire is to marry, first commit to the marriage you were created for.
Then allow God to bless you with a mate, in due season.
May God’s love overwhelm you,