“What good are horses if we die first?” This is an often quoted line in my family, from one of our favorite movies, Quigley Down Under. This line comes at a point in the movie when Quigley, an American sharpshooter played by Tom Selleck, is lost in the Australian outback with an apparently crazy woman named Cora. Cora suggests that they should heed one of her grandfather’s sayings about surviving in the desert, by sleeping during the day and walking at night. Quigley retorts that they will die without the horses that got away. That is when Cora replies, “What good are horses if we die first?” And so this line is repeated in my family whenever someone has lost sight of the big picture. We all have a tendency to get so focused on what we don’t have, that we fail to adapt our plans to survive without it.
As a single woman, my perspective, my concerns, and my challenges are all colored by my marital status. So, I write often about the struggles I have with being single and my desire to be married and have a family. I also write about how discouraging it can be to be a single and childless in the family-oriented church culture. But when it comes down to it, I am not willing to trade in joyful submission to God’s will for a husband. The very purpose behind this blog is to share that only God can satisfy our hearts.
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?”
I trust God, though it isn’t always easy. Sometimes I am afraid of what His plans for me could be, but the more I trust Him and surrender my life and plans to Him, the more peace I have about the future. And, for those of you playing along at home, more peace = more joy. Since I have been writing this blog, I have had caring friends express concern over how I am living. The main concern is that I am actually afraid of being in a relationship. A secondary concern is that I have unrealistic expectations of finding a perfect man. To address the first issue, I can only say that my biggest fear is how anxious I actually am to have a man in my life! As for the second point, I can only assure you that I know there is no perfect human being. I know men who are friends, co-workers, and family members, and I manage to love them as they are, in all their imperfection.
It is coincidence that since I have been blogging, I happened to get asked out by a man and declined. I made that decision prayerfully and sought advice from friends. But that wasn’t a trend, it was literally a once-in-a-decade kind of occurrence. I am not turning down men left and right because they don’t meet pre-conceived notions of perfection. I don’t have any list of required attributes. I have one requirement: Faith. Of course, as I have written before, true faith affects a person’s character and actions. So, I do have requirements in the sense that a man of faith will have a certain type of character. If there is any one issue, it is that I simply don’t encounter many single men in the course of my daily life. If God wants me to divert course to meet one, that is well within His power.
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
2 Corinthians 5:6-10
What good is a husband if I have to compromise my obedience to God? Jesus said it this way: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” I know that if God wants me to marry, He can arrange it. I haven’t the least fear of being eighty-years-old and wondering, “What if I missed out on the one?” Because when God has a plan, He can make it happen. My job is to be prayerful and obedient. If I am communicating with God by reading His Word and praying, I am not somehow going to go against His will or mess up His plans. So, I am waiting on God, and I know He is faithful beyond my wildest imagination.
I have no certainty that I will marry, but God will definitely be with me and will supply “every need of [mine] according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus!” (Philippians 4:19) Life can be discouraging and disappointing, but that is true for everyone, regardless of marital status or any other variable. But there is a hope that does not disappoint, and that hope is in Jesus Christ, who will someday take me to be with Him, and I will spend eternity not knowing the smallest care or disappointment. I think I can handle a few more years or decades of this ‘single’ thing, if that is what it takes to finish the race strong!