Acquaintances and casual friends think I’m so stable. They make me laugh. Inside, it’s a non-stop tilt-a-whirl ride.
But just last week, I attended a seminar that helped to ground me. How? The speaker rejected the myth of “The One.” Addressing a small crowd of singles looking for love, he said, “There are literally hundreds of people you could have a very happy marriage with.”
I wanted to shout, “Hallelujah!” But this is the Northwest, not the Bible Belt.
Even though I consider myself a romantic, I gave up a long time ago the idea that there is only one person in the world to make me happy. I believe that having happiness in marriage has less to do with destiny and more so stubborn effort and a whole lot of grace. So an arranged marriage could be as fulfilling as a love marriage. Theoretically. But my actions have not matched my beliefs.
Listening to the speaker, I suddenly realized I have acted as if afraid to miss “The One.” I overthink, overanalyze, and overly obsess over the young men I meet and our every interaction. Sometimes it’s all I can do to whimper to God the monosyllabic, Help.
Other times I am more like the disciples shouting, “Don’t you care if we drown?” (Mark 4:38).
Then Jesus stands up, tells off the wind like disciplining a naughty child who knew better, and commands the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” (Mark 4:39).
Suddenly there is peace. The clouds are still there, but it has stopped raining.
I sit down with Jesus in the gently rocking boat, and he asks, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40).
At the seminar, the speaker’s words had the same effect.
The One doesn’t exist. And if that’s true, how should that change my fear? How should that impact my faith?
I’ve believed for so long that there was no Prince Charming coming to rescue me. Now the realization finally came that I can stop worrying about missing the prince’s white horse. There is no white horse to be waiting for.
What if marriage is more like a train leaving at 12 o’clock sharp? The train will leave without me if I’m not there when the conductor shouts, “All aboard!” But the thing is…there will be another train tomorrow.
The lie is that I need to seize onto every opportunity that comes along, any eligible young man who looks my way, or risk missing the one who is meant to be my life partner. If I don’t smile just so…walk over there…start a conversation…laugh at his jokes…look pretty… So what? Qué será, será.
It’s been fifteen years since I trusted my pastor to dip me in the river as a sign of my new life in Jesus. Rounding so many years of faith, I’m still learning to trust God. Every morning, I have to let myself be dipped in the waters all over again. Let go, he tells me. Why are you so afraid?