Recently a friend asked a series of questions regarding marriage that got me to thinking. She asked, “Do people marry who they want or who they got? Meaning, is everyone marrying their first choice? Are there folks standing at the alter wishing it was someone else? Or do people come to a place where settling isn’t really settling, but a solid choice based on the options and circumstances presented?”
When I read the questions that my friend posed the word that stuck out for me was settling; Do people come to a place where settling isn’t really settling, but a solid choice based on the options and circumstances? I shared with my friend that the thought of settling terrifies me. It terrifies me to think that as the days, weeks, months, and years continue to roll on that at some point on this proverbial road I will become frustrated and tired and just settle. Settle for Mr. Good Enough rather than waiting for “the one” (for lack of a better term). Settling for something less than what I want because I don’t think I can get what I want. Will I become so tired of my singleness that the next guy who proposes, I will jump head first into “YES” without taking the time to do my due diligence and seek God’s direction? And ultimately….possibly….wake up one day and regret my decision? That is a terrifying thought for an almost 50 year old woman who has longed for her life companion since her 20s.
And, it’s not so far-fetched. Recently I shared with my sister that if my ex said let’s try again, I would. I asked her if that was as crazy as it sounded and she said, “yes.” I appreciate her honesty because it sounded completely and utterly ridiculous to me too for a myriad of reasons. But it caused me to pause and be honest with myself that I am terrified of reaching a place where I settle just to have someone.
Now, let me be clear, I am by no means living under the misguided notion that there is this absolutely perfect guy out there who is going to come in and sweep me off my feet and we will live happily ever after in a far away land. My expectations are not such that I am disillusioned in thinking that in marriage skies will be blue and birds will be singing their sweet melodic tune every day. I’m not a 20 something still wet behind the ears (no offense to my 20 something readers) who hasn’t really experienced life and heart break to the point of not thinking you can go on another day. I get it. Its work. Its hard. And some days it makes you question if it was all worth it. But still, settle? Settling? Its terrifying.
I’m reminded of a minister that I was introduced to, who after one telephone conversation with me told me I was his wife. Immediately my antenna went up and I said, ‘Really? Well he hasn’t told me that.’ This minister said to me that God wouldn’t tell me, he would only tell him because he was the man. (press pause) a wise man once said when someone tells you that God told them that the two of you are suppose to be together, run…don’t walk….as far and as fast as you can away from them!
Now, at the time I was still considered a babe in Christ. I was learning. But what I wasn’t was a fool. And so the street side of me said, “yeah….ok.” The Sunday following this conversation, I had a chat with my Bishop. Told him the whole story and he looks at me and says, “Please tell me it was not a minister at this church.” I assured him it was not. After breathing a sigh of relief he says that while there are occasions where God may reveal information to the man first, in this situation he doubts it. I thanked him and before walking off he said, “keep walking in that discerning spirit. A lot of women would have run right to the alter.” I said Bishop, I want to be married but I’m not desperate. I will not settle.
That conversation happened in the year 2003. Thirteen years later and I still pray, Lord, give me the grace to wait on you. Give me the wisdom to make the right decision and not a decision based off fear, loneliness, or frustration.