Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Waiting for a Husband: A Guest Post

Not too long ago, I wrote about my friend Shelly's wedding here.  But, I didn't really say as much about it as I wanted to...

Shelly was one of my first (not from high school) friends when I moved back to Roanoke after college five years ago.  As the area director for Young Life at the time, she quickly welcomed me into a beautiful community of young people loving and serving the Lord in Roanoke.  Over the years, as we led on a team together, she became an important relationship in my life.

I always considered Shelly a kind-of spiritual mentor in my life.  Her faith and trust in the Lord was SO obvious from the first time you spent any time talking to her.  One of the areas where this was the most evident (although really, it seeped through her entire life) was in her wait for a Godly husband.  I loved her attitude about guarding her heart but still be open to dating (Who am I to complain if someone wants to take me out to dinner?  He just might be The One), but also the way she did not sit around pining for a husband... Her life was FULL - full of joy and relationships and life - with or without a man.

This spring, she married Ben.  She is 33 years old but younger and more beautiful than ever.  Their wedding ceremony was SO special... Not just because we could tangibly see the Lord answering her prayers, but because she and Ben both made such an effort to glorify God and the story he has written in their lives up to this point.  When we left, I immediately told Jeff - "that testimony has to be shared.. I'm going to put it on my blog"...

So, today, with her permission of course, I am sharing Shelly's testimony of waiting and trusting.  Her sister read this during the wedding.  It is long, but it is SO worth reading. It is powerful and so true.  I hope it will speak to some of your hearts that are waiting for your husband now or anyone who is in a season of waiting and trusting...

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For me this has been a journey of faith.  For a long time I liked the idea of getting married but hoped it wouldn't happen any time soon ;)  .  I was sure as soon as I was ready, Prince Charming would be waiting in the wings to sweep me off my feet.

But as I approached my late 20's and began feeling an interest in looking for Mr. Right and settling down, God gave me a verse that made me a little nervous: He showed me Romans 4: 16-22.

Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace . . . He (Abraham) is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not. 
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many
nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as
dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.
Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was
strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that
God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him
as righteousness.”

Somehow I knew that God was giving me this verse about my husband and that it would be an area where I would live on hope and faith for a while and have to believe in His promise even when all my circumstances indicated otherwise.  Just like Abraham believed he could have a child just as God had promised even when his body was 'as good as dead.' I was to believe for my husband even if he wasn't anywhere on the horizon. So while I never doubted God had someone out there for me I did wonder if I'd meet him In this century.

Around this same time someone was praying for me and said they got a strong sense that I should start praying for my husband.  This went against my grain because I'm a firm believer in living in the present content with your circumstances.  So I didn't like investing my time and energy to a hypothetical someday person.  But I did see this wisdom in this so I asked some of my close friends Mary, Melanie, and Kristen, and Wendy to join me in praying weekly for each other and our husbands.  I also started this journal of prayers for him so I could write things down to pray for him and go back and pray over them from time to time.  These ladies and many more were such wonderful gifts of encouragement for me on this journey of faith.

Along the way guys came and went.  I was told I was too pickey, unrealistic, needed to move to a city with more men . . . I was set up on more dates than I can count But I was sure that God would keep his promise He would find me when the time was right.  I had to believe I didn't have to make anything happen in my own strength (like abraham having a child with Hagar to try to fulfill the promise for God)  I could trust God to fulfill the promise all by Himself.
 
Along the way God said WAIT, HOPE, TRUST, REST time and time again and encouraged me with verses such as:

Psalm 25  "No one whose hope is in YOU will ever be put to shame"

Psalm 27 "I would have despaired unless I believed that I would see the goodness of the lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage, yes, wait for the Lord."

Hebrews 11 "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see . . . And without faith it is impossible to please God"

Isaiah 30:15 - "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength"

and Proverbs 31 - "Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future."



He also encouraged me in the reality that He meets all my needs. He told me "I am my beloved's, I have been called "MINE, belonging to me" by my creator, lover, father."

One time my mentor at church, Jean, told me to ask God why I wasn't married yet. So I did, and later that week I was driving and listening to a new CD and all of a sudden I knew the words to this song was my answer:


"You make all things beautiful just in time.  Its just a matter of time. Into your hands I fall on you I'll wait God, on you I'll wait all of my days. No one who waits on your will ever be ashamed.  It's just a matter of time. Calm down my soul, calm down and know no one who waits on the Lord will ever be ashamed, wisdom will be justified, in just a matter of time.  You will make all things beautiful just in time."

And THAT was the truth!

So God and I have taken this journey and He has been faithful to keep his promise.


Merry Studios
Now, in this area of my life, my faith has been made sight, and I have the promised one instead of the promise.  But the faith journey is not over, and this part of my life has only proven to me God's faithfulness and will help me be that much more confident in the next promise and the next phase of my life.  I've heard marriage is not easy, there are questions of kids, finances, jobs, living location, . . . But in all things I know this for both me and for you.  God works ALL things together for good for those who fear the Lord.  His mercies are new every morning.  And his plan is for us to keep living by faith, trusting in the promises, and believing in his character in every area of our lives. My story is the story God's writing for me, and I'm excited for the next chapter. ;)

11 comments:

  1. Ok this post seriously just made me have more hope! I am a 30 year old Christian female who is also waiting on a Godly man, I will not give up and give in to the one who I know God did not create for me. Even though I get really down when I see all of my friends with their boyfriends, I haven't even been asked out in over a year. I ask all of you just like in this post to pray with me in finidng a husband, my name is Twana Stanley thank you all!

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  2. Oh my goodness. You have no idea how I needed to read this. I needed to see this. I constantly am down in the dumps over men. I feel like I am just like Shelly. I am sick of being told I am too pickey. I constantly ache over the desire to be loved and to love. Being surrounded by friend whom are married and with children is taking it's toll on me. But, I really did need to read this. Thank you <3 So happy and encouraged by your Faithfulness Shelly!

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  3. Thanks for sharing this - I've been praying for a friend recently and this aligns greatly with a message that's been tugging on my heart the last 2 weeks :) What a blessing!

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  4. this post was beautiful. thank you so much for sharing. it really couldn't have come at a better time when i too am starting a new journey wondering when that chapter will ever take place. i must save this so i can keep reading! thank you again. god bless.

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  5. This fits right with my quiet time this morning. SO needed another encouragement!! Thanks for posting this & for Michelle @ michabella for linking it! =)

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  6. Thanks E, for posting this and for your sweet introduction ;) I hope you are having so much fun with your little man!!

    Shelly

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  7. What a beautiful love story, Shelly. You were a beautiful bride, and your husband is so handsome!! congratulations on your wedding, and many blessings as you and your hubby start this new chapter in your lives. Julie

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  8. This could not have come at a better time for need of encouragement from the Lord. Thank you Elizabeth for posting and thank you Shelly for sharing!

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  9. What a beautiful story, and such an inspiration!! I am going to share this post and testimony with some of my girlfriends. It is so hard to trust and to wait...believe me I know :) But hearing stories like Shelly's is such an inspiration!

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  10. thank you! i needed to hear this too! it's quite funny because a woman at my church felt lead to pray with me for my future husband and a few days before she gave me a prayer journal. i think i will start journeling my prayers for my future husband. it is hard at times, but God's words in this blog helped to remind me to trust in the one, true, all powerful, all loving, all knowing God who has chosen ME to be His child through His Son Jesus Christ!!!

    God Bless,
    Julie

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