A friend messaged me one night; one prime question burning hot into her night: “how do I know?”
I know what she meant.
She wanted to know if he really was Mr Right for her…if they really were meant to be together… if she was actually following her head right and not just her heart silly — if she could walk into this relational landmine protected, whole and happy. Not burnt, not bruised, not brokenhearted, not emotionally brutalised…
If there was a way of doing this boy-girl thing right.
“How do I know if he’s really God’s chosen one for me, if there’s even such a thing?”, my friend continued, I could feel her blushing at the other end of the line.
She was getting butterflies in her stomach and they simply wouldn’t go away.
I flicked through an old diary of mine, stumbled for words while reminiscing memories of the Boy and I — where we used to be and what I used to pray.
God really knows our impossibilities, yet guides us into His possibilities when we pray.
My friend went a little deeper, asked a little braver.
She wondered if perhaps there was a badge of certainty she could wear in a world of no guarantee; where every second ‘serious’ relationship fizzles out and dies, and every other marriage possibly dissolves sadly and dies.
Could she really live knowing the will of God rather than presume and marry with the prenuptial? Her question was raging on fire.
Her honesty raw, her desire for truth valid, catapulting me back all those 17 years ago where the Boy and I had both wrestled hard and long to know if marriage was really for us. If God would really speak, and we could really hear.
I had written them down – my questions and all – into that diary the 6 weeks we were apart. He was in Cambodia and I was in Jakarta, all these big unknown captured in words so we could simply come to know.
We were on our separate journey, each trying to look into the Book, both hoping to unravel this biggest question of life on earth.
And we did it the archaic way — on our knees – and apart.
I know, I know – it sounds sooo boring. Where’s the romance that sweeps you off your feet? Where’s the knight in shining armour and the princess to be rescued? But we had to know.
Love is both so magnificent and so mysterious, but can a man carry fire in his bosom and not be burned?.
So can relationships make you, or break you.
We stray too much when we focus on finding Mr Right while we forget to be the one right.
And we lose real love when we confuse it with lust — because a thriving marriage needs holiness over happiness, and all that hard, yet holy work that goes into building a marriage vibrant and rich.
We wanted to know for sure how to go about doing this. We were desperate to make right this decision as important as life itself. So we said goodbye.
And we came to know that it’s always, always possible to find His will and know HIs plan for your life because He loves our weak coming, our feeble leaning, our humble listening. His desire is to guide us into all Truth, to show us the things to come.
I had scribbled these words fervently into the diary the day the desire to see him had intensified: “Reasons to be Apart: to pray and focus on God, to reset the pace of our ‘friendship?’, to see if our emotion would wane or stay, to discover our calling, to test all things.”
Can the foundation of romance be found on things deeper than what’s skin deep?
That act of journalling alone saved me from me.
I, for one, just wanted to simply KNOW! Is he Mr Right for me or not?
But that aloneness with God, that individuation to be single with God, weaned me of my need to know, and gave me contentment and inner assurance that I’d be fine with God, with or without a future that included the Boy.
We learn that we may not always fully know, but we can certainly and deeply know.
We may not be capable of fully controlling the future, of determining what one might one day turn out to be, or in control of what their personal choices might one day be, but we can truly and completely know the voice of the Shepherd, and in knowing that, know His will and direction for our lives.
It is in seeking His face that we get to look deep into our own heart, and know where to tap on for strength when the mortgage kicks in and the little midgets roll in.
Because understand this — that there’ll be seasons when there’s possibly no romance but all responsibility — and lots and lots of diaper changes and midnight duties, and a casket of old man to be dealt with and crucified — and in the scraping of burnt pots and cleaning the rust in the rings of the sink is what you know in the dark that will carry you through to the light.
Fiercely seeking Him causes us to be still, and it’s in being still that we come to know the one thing: He is God – and that He alone can be trusted. He alone is sufficient for us.
It’s in stillness that we dissect conviction from convenience, and search for His blueprint for life and marriage, the Word becoming a mirror, bringing up the reality of who’s the man and what’s in the man, and a reflection of our own lives till we want what He wants, and go where He’ll go.
This Truth will merge lives and hearts together, so that one day, you and him can in turn reach the world for HIm.