for husband-hunting: part one {+ an apology}.

I have never been one of those girls.
You know, the ones who incessantly pray for, speak of, and entertain thoughts about their future husbands. I’ve never been the type to slyly slip him my phone number on a receipt or napkin.

As a matter of fact, I came to a place where I was one hundred and fifty percent fine with never being married. I’m independent to the core, and suppose I can attribute that to a lot of things, including being raised by a hard-working, single-mom. We were the Little Women of our neighborhood.

little women

Kitchen sink has a clog?
Crawl into the cabinet below and fix it.

Light bulb burned-out way up in the rafters?
Find a 20-foot ladder and climb it.

Patronized by the general contractor you hired to finish mom’s basement?
“Buh-bye!”, and then finish it yourself.

Now, before you go thinking I’m some femi-nazi, let me assure you, I’m not.
But that was my reality, and in a lot of ways, it still is.

Last April, self-sufficient to the core, through freezing rain and drenched everything, I fully loaded my entire Jeep within an hour. Climbing on top of it to strap huge Rubbermade containers full of my belongings down to the roof, I prayed they wouldn’t budge during my 15 hour trek to Georgia as the guys who live next-door gawked, knowing better than to ask if they could help.

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And then when said Jeep broke down due to some crazy belt coming loose 20 miles outside of Nashville at about midnight in the middle of a tornado warning, it was all I could do to steer it safely off the highway since my power steering had kindly died. So naturally, when a middle-aged Tennessee gentleman pulled over and positioned himself beneath the hood of my smoking vehicle, instantaneously shouting above the wind in a deep southern draw, “Heeyyyy, I found your problem, ma’aaam!”, I knew God was about to knock me straight onto my knees in enormous, humbling ways.

Through many of the ministries I’ve been a part of, and through moving to the south, where chivalry is very-much still alive, God’s using men to teach me things about His own heart.

Yeah, I said it.
I’m taking notes from men, and I’m doing so willingly.

He’s showing me it’s okay to ask for help from men, depend on them, even.  It’s okay to let a man offer to move all of my stuff to a new house without having to pay him in beer & baked goods for life; just a simple, “Thanks!” will suffice. It’s okay to pray for a man, and yes, dare I say it, even  sometimes with one.  It’s okay to have legitimate brothers in Christ who I love and admire purely and learn from on a daily basis.

And maybe, shocking as it was to me, and as my dear friend Hope boldy points out, it’s okay to desire a companion, someone to do life with, to be equally yoked with, to grow weary and hopeful and old and more into Heaven with.

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Yes, what God’s shown me lately is that it’s not only okay, but He’s planted that innate desire deep within me. He’s also gently revealed the root issue of all of my fears in this whole debacle.

Just like in John 4, when Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well and calls her out on being the “Desperate Housewife” of her time, thirsting for things that cannot fully satisfy or quench her thirst, He’s calling out the same in me. “Yeah, I know the guy you’re with now is not your husband. You’ve actually been married five times,” Jesus points out to her. And He’s saying the same to me.

Finally, fully, the woman realizes she is known, and can stop seeking the approval and affections of man. She can worship freely, in spirit and truth, because the one who knows her deeper than her marrow dwells among her, in her, even, and He calls Himself the Christ.

Although I’ve never actually been married through the church and written consent of covenant, I’ve come to realize the ridiculous number of “husbands” I’ve had throughout the years, relationships where I’ve been emotionally, unequally yoked to men in many unhealthy ways.

I’ve lusted after a man because he supposedly loves Jesus and music and traveling and has a beard and wears plaid, and oh my gosh, we’re clearly MEANT to BE!

I’ve practiced my signature with his surname attached to mine.

I’ve written story upon story in my heart and mind: He and I are walking through the woods hand in hand, looking at the trees and the sky, talking about what our house will look like, which countries we’ll adopt from, and the names we’ll give our children. And then he surprises me with a Burnese Mountain puppy, and I get all weepy, and he lays the {plaid} blanket he’s been carrying on the crunchy ground and we sit down upon it to watch the sunset, followed by his heartfelt proposal, & happily-ever-after-amen!

pup

{Ladies, I know you know what I’m talking about, here.
Men, this actually happens, so someone had to tell you.}

So herein lies an apology that is long-overdue.
To those of you who talk about it loudly and often, I want to tell you I’m sorry.

We are one in the same. I’m no different than you; I’m more like the woman at the well than I’d dare admit, and I’ve obviously entertained the same thoughts in my own heart and mind countless times. And maybe that’s the most dangerous thing of all, because these thoughts have been kept in the dark, unaddressed and avoided.

Many of you have celebration stories, or little miracles you’re living in because of God’s faithfulness to you in finding the man who made it all worthwhile.

Don’t let me squander your beautiful, God-written story.
And as I work on heaving my junk out into the Light, will you accept my apology?

{…to be continued tomorrow morning.}

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