Anyway, I have been thinking. And thinking. And rethinking.
So, I thought I would share what I have been thinking about today. It may interest you and it may not. In my desire to blog more, it just seemed like a good place to start and to let you inside my brain. That is the weird thing about blogging- I broadcast it on the internet and you read it!
1- Several years ago I found A Challenge to Women. I have mentioned it several times since I began blogging (like here). I continue to read and use it as a constant reminder of what I want to be. Today's Challenges are this:
8. That, if I am single, I exploit my singleness to the full in
devotion to Christ and not be paralyzed by the desire to be married.
9. That, if I am married, I creatively and intelligently and sincerely support the leadership of my husband as deeply as obedience to Christ will allow; that I encourage him in his God-appointed role as head; that I influence him spiritually primarily through my fearless tranquility and holiness and prayer.
Now, here are several of my thoughts on challenge #8:
- I am single still- in the sense that I am not married.
- I am not single- in the sense that I have no idea who I may marry.
- There is no gaurantee that I am going to marry the man that I am courting.
- How can I use the singleness I have left to the fullest?
- Have I used the past years of singleness to the fullest?
The last question I try to not ponder too much because I have no control, at this point, on what I did in the past. I have to trust that God will use what I did to His glory and forgive me for any missed opportunities. His Kingdom will still go on as planned. The reason I ponder it is to learn from my mistakes and know how to better encourage completely single women (not married and no man in the picture!).
My thoughts today are focused mainly on, "How can I use the singleness I have left to the fullest?" It is a tough question to answer. First, I have no idea how long it will be until I am married. So, in many ways, every moment needs to be used to its max. Second, I already see how being in a relationship with a man, heading towards marriage, distracts me from serving the Lord. My mind has a lot more factors to consider than I did 5 months ago. My time, attention and desires are divided. Third, there is a hard balance between remaining an individual because we are NOT yet married and at the same time uniting our purpose into one as we head towards marriage.
Now, here are several of my thoughts on challenge #9:
- I am not married.
- I may be married soon. (As C.S. Lewis says, "God calls all times soon.")
- I have a good idea of who I am going to marry.
- How can I be learning to do the things outlined in challenge 9 right now in preparation for marriage?
- Who can help me prepare for the role of wife?
Again, I struggle to find a balance between challenge 8 and 9. I am in the middle and need a challenge 8.5, I think! I feel that I need preparation for marriage without assuming that I will be married. Does that make sense?
Part of me feels like I was better prepared for marriage 5 years ago while the other part of me is quick to argue that is not true. The last 2 years I pushed marriage out of my mind in many ways, which was good and bad. Now, though, I wonder if I could have done more to prepare for marriage. Like my thoughts on challenge 8, I will not dwell on what I could have done differently. I must trust God and obey Him now.
The last few weeks I have been thinking and learning a lot about prayer. At this time in my life and my relationship with Joel I feel God focusing my attention on what it means to pray. Not pray. Pray, truly pray. What does it mean to throw all of my dependence on God in prayer- for myself and for others? It is the bedrock of a solid marriage, I am convinced. I want to be the best wife this world has ever seen. There are no books or conferences that can replace a communion with God by prayer for a relationship (any relationship!). It is my prayer that God would teach me how to pray... really pray... as I prepare to be a wife.