Did you read part one?
When I was 13, I asked God for patience….
I was 17. I had been raised on musicals and movies from the 50s and 60s. Love was something that happened in an instant and was [preferably] accompanied by song and dance. People met, and soon after, they were married. And here I was, all of a sudden surrounded by available guys. The choir was riddled with them. Yet, I had [at least] enough sense to know that I couldn’t go falling in love with just anyone. So I prayed. I asked the Lord to show me who He had for me when the time was right. I didn’t want to make such an important decision on my own. That was until I met him.
He was a choir member and he preached. I was ecstatic. Surely, this was the person that God wanted me to marry. As far as I was concerned, God had granted my request. I was so excited about my impending nuptials that they became the focus of all my conversations with God. I wasn’t particularly concerned about being the Bride of Christ. I was much more interested in my ‘real’ wedding and the new family that I would create.
Days turned into weeks turned into months. I still hadn’t received any indication that he knew who I was. I mean, we were acquainted but we weren’t friends. When and how would we make the leap? When was I going to get asked out? How was this wedding thing going to go down if we hadn’t even gone on one date? I was growing more anxious by the second. Finally, I reasoned that I needed to help him [and God] along. I told God [read: didn’t ask] that this process was taking too long and that I was going to need to approach this guy with my suggestions for moving forward. Apparently I was an event planner even then. And clearly you can’t have a wedding without a knowing and willing groom. So I did the unthinkable. I wrote a story. Yes. I decided that I would give him a story to help explain what was supposed to be happening at that particular point in time. Why not put my writing skills to good use? To be honest, the aftermath was so devastatingly embarrassing that I don’t even remember what the story was about. It was definitely a metaphor, he was definitely the protagonist and I seem to recall something about a cat.
Anyway, the self-appointed day finally came and I felt nervous as all get out. That’s probably because the Holy Spirit was trying to warn me that I was about to do something ridiculous but it wasn’t computing.
Ever efficient, I had given him the story in advance of our meeting so that it wouldn’t impede my explanation or the actual dating process. We sat down in a classroom at my church. I was excited and passionate. I watched as his facial expression incredulously morphed from one of interest and mild curiosity to confusion and disbelief. He politely, but sternly, told me that I had the wrong guy. He wasn’t interested, etc. etc. etc. As I’m sure you are imagining, I was mortified. I ran out of there as fast as I could. Tears were streaming down my face. And yet, I knew in my heart that the tears weren’t really for him. They were for Him.
How did this happen? I couldn’t understand what went wrong. I thought God had promised to give me His son, to show me who I was going to marry. I had felt so special. The God of the entire universe had listened to the prayer I had prayed in my heart and had actually responded. Had I fabricated everything? I had spent all that time dancing around and singing in my room, so grateful to a God who could see me. I refused to believe that our entire relationship had been based on a lie (the one with God that is). Clearly, this guy was shy or wasn’t ready yet. Or perhaps it was because I was so much younger than him. Maybe he wanted to wait a few years. After all, I was only 17. I wasn’t ready to let go, so I didn’t.
On New Year’s Eve there was a special service and concert at my church. I was excited and was supposed to sleep over at my good friend’s house. Once the service ended, I decided that I needed to confront Mr. Man for a second time. This time I would convince him to open up and tell me the truth. Well, I’m sure you can imagine how that turned out.
So it was true. I had been deceived. But I had been speaking to God all this time. Why hadn’t He ever told me that I was wrong? Why didn’t He ever send someone to warn me? I could barely breathe. I was so upset that I asked my friend to drive me home. I couldn’t think straight let alone go to a sleepover.
I spent the entire day locked in my room. I was crying uncontrollably. When I think back to that day, the word that comes to mind is ripping. I felt like something was being ripped out of my chest. I didn’t know it, but my heart was literally tearing in two.
My relationship with God was never the same after that. I still went to church after. I still led the youth. But I was never the same. My once-fiery passion for the things of God was replaced with the slowly burning embers of rage. I was angry and didn’t know it. I was so used to burying my emotions that I didn’t know how to express my feelings of betrayal.
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