All my childhood life, all I wanted to do was grow up, get married and have kids. My parents were proponents of this and it was pretty expected that I would marry early.
When, in the summer of 1996, I met a newly saved, attractive young man, a little older than my 18 year old self, I figured this was it! We had a short friendship before moving on to the next stage of him giving me a ‘promise ring’ and us (me!) beginning to plan a December wedding.
Then things moved cross-counter to my standards of a godly and healthy pre-married relationship. I made bad decisions, giving myself to him in ways much more intimate than I had planned with anyone besides my someday spouse when we were married. He also began to fall back into his old habits that ruled his life before he had met Jesus, though I didn’t know this at the time. To make a long story (that isn’t the point of this post) short, we ended up breaking off our engagement. I was devastated. In hindsight, I know that I wasn’t devastated really at losing him but devastated at the loss of my dream of getting married.
Many would laugh at my crushed dream of not being married at EIGHTEEN but I’m not sure the point is my age or the fact that I felt like I was having to place on the altar my deepest life desire. No matter my age, I would have had to surrender that desire – it just happened to be at a very young age for me.
Looking back, I see that my lifestyle and actions over that next few months was acting out my grief but the Lord was pursuing me to get that surrender He knew must happen for my life to move on in a healthy and whole way. On the date that was supposed to have been my wedding – December 14, 1996 – I drove to Kearney, Nebraska for a service with a woman minister that I loved dearly. I remember that night, encountering Jesus in the most intimate and profound way I ever had to that point. And I remember telling the Lord, “If I never get married… if that is not what you have for me. I’m ok. I want what you want for me.”
After that, I had peace in my soul. There was grace to want His plan over mine in my life… whatever that would be. Well, it happened that it was marriage. And getting married young at that. Just weeks later, at the end of January 1997, I met the man that would become my husband just months later in June! Now, 18 years and 4 daughters later, I continue living in my deepest desire. I just had to put it on the altar so that it wasn’t greater than Jesus in my life.
***This is Day 14 of “31 Days of Offering Up” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all the posts in order, please visit the overview page.***