I recently went through a very disappointing situation where I was getting to know someone, thinking it was going somewhere, only to have it come to a crashing halt. I respect the fact that we weren't as compatible as originally thought, but it hurt...A LOT...to have that dream ripped from my hands. Through getting to know this man, I had finally begun to allow myself to dream again about what could be.
My desire is to get married and have a family. As I get older, that desire only increases, especially after seeing other friends, family, and people I grew up with starting their own families. I also have to ignore that irritating biological clock that tells me I'm getting closer to 30 and how can I ever expect to be able to have a few kids of my own if I don't start soon. Valentine's Days, birthdays, and other special occasions march on year after year without a significant other to share those moments with me.
After this most recent setback to my lack of a love life, I really struggled with my desires and what my reality is. In my conversations (sometimes more of a rant) with God, I felt like He was been bringing the story of Abraham and Isaac to mind, found in Genesis 22. Abraham had been given this amazing promise of a son in his old age and that he will be the father of nations. No one will be able to count Abraham's descendants. However, when this dream finally seems to be coming into fruition, Abraham is told to sacrifice his son. I can't begin to fathom the courage and faith it took Abraham to do this, but he was fully prepared to do so. He trusted that somehow, someway, the fulfillment of God's promise was bigger than him or Isaac. Whether God would bring Isaac back to life, provide an alternative sacrifice, or some other means of fulfilling His promise, Abraham's hope was in God, not Isaac.
Being married is a gift I look forward to enjoying one day. Having someone to share life with and to walk through life's many joys and sorrows together. Being stronger and better together than we could be apart. Becoming more of who we should be as individuals because of our unity. I fully recognize that it will take work to make a marriage great, but with God as the foundation, I believe anything is possible!
Ultimately, I believe that God has placed this desire in my heart and I have a promise of what is yet to be. I don't understand why things happened the way they did with that man I was getting to know, but I do know that God is bigger than the hurt. He is also bigger than the dream and promise I carry within my heart. My hope lies not with a man but with my God for the fulfillment of this promise.
In the meantime, I am learning to die to this desire. I'm not saying that it's wrong for me to desire marriage or dream about it, but I need to be careful about making it an idol...that marriage will bring the ultimate satisfaction or I am not fully living until I experience that magical moment. God is where my hope lies, not marriage. As I wait for the time when I promise myself to the man who is just right for me, I choose to enjoy each moment that God has given to me now. Letting go of a desire into the hands of the Almighty God brings such freedom, including clarity of where to go from there. I can trust Him completely, even and especially when I don't understand.