And if I never marry . . .

At age 6 I had my first crush.  Kindergarten.  A boy sat next to me on the bus and gave me his red MacDonald’s Happy Meal prize comb.  And he drew tic-tac-toe on the back of the bus seat in front of us.  With chalk. He was daring that way.

I guess something happened, because suddenly I was in my late twenties and unmarried, my days of being romanced with Happy Meal toys over.  What happened?

Well, there’s a long story to that, of course.  There are some reasons, like how I missed out on finding somebody in my prime “finding years” because of my dad’s illness, or how I was socially way withdrawn for a long time, or how I didn’t even know how to love.  All those can be problems when you’re searching for the person God wants you to be with, I’ve found . . most especially if you don’t even know God.

But then there’s the real reason behind why I didn’t find somebody: God was waiting for me to find Him before sliding any other relationships into place.  It was the kindest thing He could have done, because I might have thought I was content; I might have thought I was completed . . and really been headed straight to Hell.

Now I know Jesus.  Now I love Him.  Doesn’t that mean it’s time for me to marry and start a family of my own?

Well, not really.  I have to wait on God for that.

If I had my way, yes, I would be on my way to marriage right now, but if I’d had my way about a lot of stuff in life . . . I’d be in real bad shape about now.  I’m not going to say it’s always easy, or write eloquent words about how I’ve learn to fully love singleness, but if I’m honest, I do have to say . . . it is pretty easy.

Not because I don’t long to be married, or (daily) add to my plans for my wedding.  But because Jesus is really more than enough.  Jesus is really more than I could ever hope for.  Jesus is really all the love I need.

I’m not happy with waiting.  I do keep track of how many single girls I know my age, and each time one of them gets married, I get a bit more scared.  I wonder if I’m the one who’s never going to find somebody, never have my own family, be a table of one on Thanksgiving.  I don’t want to be alone like that.  I was in a nursing home-like facility recently, and a woman was asking for help to put the handle back on a dresser drawer.

When I walked in her room, I saw this photo of a huge, giant family.  I said, “What a wonderful family.”

She said, “Oh, that’s not my family.  That’s my roommate’s.  I don’t have any family.”

I don’t want that to be me.  I don’t want to spend my life waiting for something that never comes.  And I don’t want to end my life without children or a husband.

But, you know what?  Even if I got married, even if I had children, there would be no assurance I would end life with their company.  I know a woman who lost her husband and her son.  She’s a family unit of one again.

I want a family of my own.  There’s no doubt about it: God created us humans to be in relationships: parents, children, brothers & sisters, grandparents, aunts & uncles, cousins, friends—the works.  But most of us are missing at least one person from that list. How do we live with that missing relationship?

Not the same as we would if that relationship was filled.  I’ll never be the same as when my dad was living here on earth.  I even miss having siblings I never even had.  And I do want to be married.  I do want to be that woman with a baby in her arms and a toddler at her side.  There’s no formula to make us stop missing those relationships, because God created us to love.

But there is a reason why I don’t have to spend my days in mourning for my dad, or stressed that I will become a lonely woman in a nursing home one day.  That reason is that, above all relationships we can have on earth, is the relationship we can have with our Heavenly Father, and Jesus who is our ultimate Friend and the best Brother anyone could ever have.  God even talks about wedding the church to Him, not in some crude sense, but in the sense that He is fully devoted to us and we to Him.

God is the ruler of love, and I am convinced that He can fill our lives with His love, even when we are missing relationships.  I really believe that.

Not always.  There are times when I struggle.  But then I look up to the cross, and realize that a God who is willing to be tortured for my sin . . is the greatest love I have ever known.

I can never be alone . . when Jesus lives in me.

And so, even if I never marry . . .

I will still have more than anything I could ever have dreamed.

But that promise isn’t just for me.

It’s for everyone who believes in Jesus, no matter what relationship they may be missing.

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. (Psalm 84:2)

“God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NCV)


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