>Last summer I went to church on a Wednesday night and heard something in the sermon that has stayed with me very vividly. I have no idea what the sermon was about, to be honest, but our pastor told us that when God works, He works immediately. It was exhilarating and frustrating all at the same time, because Doug and I were in a very discouraging waiting pattern.
A couple of things lately have made me remember that statement. First of all, I am praying for so many friends who are waiting – for jobs, for a change, for direction, for something. Most of them are feeling many of the same emotions Doug and I felt last year, and I am praying fervently for them. So, naturally, the statement comes to my mind frequently as I pray for the. The second thing is an opportunity I was given this past week.
Lately I have reconnected with an amazing woman I knew in college. This past week she invited me to write a guest post for her blog. The topic was being single, and it brought back so many memories of my time of singleness and the way God brought Doug and me together. Stephanie suggested I write the story, and with everything else floating through my thoughts and prayers, I agree that it’s very appropriate.
When I started college, I was exceedingly confident that I would graduate and practically move straight into marriage to the man of my dreams. When I graduated from college, I had not had a single date, had no relationship prospects, and was very confused. I had been called to be a wife and mother. I had no other direction in life. What in the world was I going to do? Entering a relationship that led to marriage took time. What would I do in the meantime. Then God worked…immediately.
I was a part of a little group of students who had chosen to stick around town that summer. Some of us had graduated. Others were just spending the summer in town instead of moving home or elsewhere for the summer. Some of us went to church together. Some of us worked together. We weren’t necessarily a tight group, but it was nice to have each other around during the quiet summer.
Doug was one of the students in that group. Through the last half of my senior year, Doug and I, who had known each other for quite some time, became friends. I had no interest in him other than friendship. I admired and respected him, but that was all. He was also engaged to be married to another mutual friend. It was natural that we would interact that summer, but only as friends.
One night he and his roommate invited my roommates and me over to their apartment for dinner. I just happened to be the only one who showed up. As we sat around hanging out that night, God spoke to me. He clearly told me that Doug was to be my husband. I can’t describe it, because it was not a voice. It was even clearer than a voice. It was unmistakable. I honestly don’t know how I maintained my composure – it probably helped that we were all watching a stupid movie at the time. All I can say is that I mentally argued with God. I told Him that He didn’t know what He was talking about, and I reminded Him that Doug was engaged. He let me argue, and then He let me forget. Miraculously, that moment was totally blocked from my mind, completely erased from my immediate recollection. It would not be until after our wedding that I would remember that night.
In just over a week, Doug’s fiance moved in to my apartment to stay during a summer school term, and within a few days she and Doug had broken off their engagement. Knowing she had a support group in town to help her through the break-up, I focused on being there for Doug while he dealt with the break-up. Our friendship deepened, but I still denied any changed in our relationship.
A few weeks later, Doug asked me if I wanted to go get Chinese food one Friday evening. He knew I loved Chinese, especially from a wonderful restaurant in Hot Springs called the Panda. He knew I couldn’t resist, and he was right. But, he didn’t expect one thing…he didn’t expect me to ask if my roommates could tag along! I was so terrified! I had spent many hours alone with him – walking and talking, playing racquetball, bumming rides here or there. But, I was terrified that this was a date, and I wasn’t ready for it!
I went home and rounded up whatever friends I could, including one who was kind enough to come even though she didn’t like Chinese food! We spent a very tense, awkward evening driving to Hot Springs, eating dinner, and driving home. Doug didn’t ask me out again.
Everything went back to normal, but Doug and I both knew it wasn’t “normal.” In fact, most people around us knew it wasn’t normal. I could tell story after story of vague conversations, teasings and flirtations. But I fought it all until I could fight it no longer. It didn’t take long.
July, 12, 1998, Doug and I finally agreed upon what we could not deny. We were a couple. Through the course of the next week we agreed upon something else. We were meant to be married. On July 19, we set a wedding date. We would be married five months later on December 19, 1998.
In a matter of two months I had gone from totally single and uncertain with absolutely no prospects to terrified of the prospect before me to engaged to be married. God worked immediately.
What are you waiting for? Does it seem that God’s hand is being held back? Does it seem like you’re waiting interminably? Hang on, and hang on tight because when He works, He will work immedately. It’s coming. And it will be beautiful!