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.
“Were we meant to be together?”— she seemed to be asking.
She was pressing in to know if there was a way to know this for sure. If she could walk into this relational landmine protected, whole, and happy, or if there was a way of doing this boy-girl thing right.
“How do I know if he really is 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 certainty; where every second ‘serious’ relationship fizzles out and dies, and every other marriage potentially dissolves and dies.
Could she really live knowing the will of God, rather than presume and marry with the prenuptial? — her question raging on with fire.
Her raw honesty catapulted 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 on a medical trip, and I, in Jakarta with all these big unknown captured in words that we simply needed 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 so 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 still had to know.
Love is both so magnificent and so mysterious, but can a man really carry fire in his bosom and not be burned?.
Can our casual attitude towards relationships not break, batter and brutalise us in the end?
We get ourselves hurt when we let our emotions do much of the talking — and stray too much from building the right relationship when we focus on finding Mr. Right than being the one right.
And love — this too can be confused with lust — when really, what goes into building a marriage vibrant and rich is the hard, but holy work.
We wanted to know for sure how to go about doing this. We were desperate to make right this decision; so we said goodbye.
We took off. Flew our separate ways.
And we came to land on the experience 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.
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.
But that aloneness with God weaned me of my need to know, and gave me the contentment for a future with God, with or without the Boy.
We learn that we may not always fully know — but we can certainly and deeply know Him.
We may not be capable of fully controlling the future, or determining what one day our partner might turn out to be, but we can completely know the voice of the Shepherd, and 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 this is where you can tap on for strength when the mortgage kicks in and the little midgets roll in.
Because understand this: there’ll be seasons when there’s possibly no romance but all responsibility — and lots and lots of diaper changes and midnight duties, and in the scraping of burnt pots and clearing the rusts of the rings of sinks, that what you know in the dark that will carry you through to the light.
In being still we come to know the one thing: He is God — and in dissecting conviction from convenience with the Word becoming our mirror, we see a reflection of who we are and what’s in us, and come to the humbling reality that perhaps the surety is to want what He wants and go where He goes, and one day, we together, though imperfect, may reach the world for Him.