Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Throughout the history of God's people as given to us in the Bible, we see that life is a test. We have before us the option to trust God "no matter what," or to walk away from Him. To walk away from God is to leave the fragments of our dreams in pieces on the floor, but to trust Him is to let God pick up the pieces and make us whole again. When we choose to let Him make us whole again, he will make our lives more beautiful than before."

~ "What I Learned from God While Quilting" by Ruth McHaney Danner & Cristine Bolley~

Even before I shut the door on him, I knew he was only being nice. There was never going to be any more to this relationship than a decent guy being gracious to a shy, self-conscious girl.

I went to my room, shut the door, fell to the floor and cried. And cried. And cried.

"What am I doing wrong, Lord? I always pick the good guys, the ones who love you. Why is it they are never truly interested in me? What are you saying? Why do you keep slamming this door in my face? Are you saying you want me to be single?"

More tears. More silence.

"I don't want to be single, Lord. You know what's in my heart. Please. Don't ask me to do this. You know what I long for. How can you ask me to stay single? And if you do, how can I go against your plan for me and be happy? There is no choice here really, is there? I give it up. I have to give it up. If you want me to stay single, I'll do it. Make me okay with it. Change the desires of my heart."

I laid on the cold floor a long time, until my body was all cried out, until I was so exhausted I nearly fell asleep. I crawled into my bed, fully clothed and whispered, "I give it up, Lord. Just make me happy with it."

About a month later, a guy I knew from high school started dropping by. We had dinner together a few times and hung out occasionally, but I didn't call him my boyfriend. I gave up hope for that. This was just a guy I could really talk to. Our dinners turned into late nights in deep conversation. Our hanging out became more frequent and soon people were asking.

"We're just friends," I would answer adamantly.

But it wasn't long before my friend started taking my hand as we walked on campus or sat at a movie. And saying good bye became awkward, so much so that we set some ground rules (which lasted about a month). Before I even realized what happened, I had fallen in love.

In making me concentrate on a friendship instead of a relationship, God gave me a deeper, more lasting connection. He gave me more than a boyfriend. He gave me a mate, one that has been by my side for over twenty-one years, one who loves me better than I ever imagined.

When I think back to that night on the floor, I often wonder if this relationship would have happened without the willingness to let my desires go. Did my heart need to be broken so He could stitch the pieces of my life together better than I could have done myself?

And if the answer is yes. . .

Is it possible we all miss out on beauty in our lives because we're holding on too tight to our own wants?

Visit Nina at Waiting*For*Grace for more In "Other" Words.


Denise said...

So beautiful, bless you.

twinklemom said...

That was so beautiful and loving! *Hugs*

Brenda said...

Is it possible we all miss out on beauty in our lives because we're holding on too tight to our own wants?

Definitely something I need to think about! Thanks as always.

Kelly said...

I confess, I'm glad you found this guy to be your 'friend', too -- who else would I have tolerated your students jumping out of the closet trying to scare him? :)! The silent lurker has finally spoken! Love you, Friend!

MiPa said...

"Did my heart need to be broken so He could stitch the pieces of my life together better than I could have done myself?"

I too have experienced this in varying degrees--small breaks to oh-so-shattering breaks. The answer is always yes. So I wonder why I always fight against it?

Thanks for another beautiful reminder of what happens when we trust.

Anonymous said...

I have a very similar story to yours in meeting my husband. Once I was content with my singleness, I met him and we were friends for 2 years before we ever called each other anything more than friends. Of all the lessons that God has taught me over the years this one remains to be the most powerful and dramatic.

In answer to your question at the end, I think the answer is "absolutely!" I wonder how much I have missed because I was holding on too tight.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Tami. I'm inspired as always!!

Susan said...

Hey Tami,

This was awesome, and we have something in common.

After I gave my life to Jesus, I prayed the Lord would bring a Christian "friend" into my life. Just a friend...

Well,I met my husband the next day and we were married 12 months later!

Yes, when we put HIS desires above ours, He surely gives us the desires of our hearts.


Heather@Mommymonk said...

I wonder how many of us could share a similar story? I told God I was ready to be a single missionary and give up my dreams of marriage and then WHAM! He brought Mr. Right into my life. Thanks for making this such a personal story about giving up dreams and trusting God. Excellent storytelling!

Karen said...

Amazing! Simply amazing! I am almost to tears! Wow - I am blessed for having read this!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

e-Mom said...

It looks like many of us can relate to your story. I've enjoyed reading your comments.

I too ended up marrying my "best friend" (after a previous HOT romance that went kaput.) Our two year long-distance correspondence led to our 30-year marriage (but who's counting?) We feel ageless, and marvel that our kids view us as "middle-aged." We feel like we're still in our twenties. :~D

Thank as always for sharing so openly, Tami.

Hugs, e-Mom

Dianne said...

I loved this story too . . . and there's nothing like that feeling of marrying your best friend!

Technonana said...

Oh Tami... I have two children that can relate to this story.. My son who is a youth minister.. still waiting... and has decided that God may really want him to be single!! He told me that at first he was angry and bitter, but now he is waiting on God. My youngest daughter who recently broke off an engagement to a guy she has dated on and off for 8 years... Now she is wondering if she did the right thing!! I know though that God was in this... But now she doesn't feel good enough for anyone!!