Featured image from March 2015, the same timeframe as the journal excerpt quoted below. Iced coffee and The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas
The emphasis really is on choosing. I hope we’ve all moved on from the fairytale notion that there is such a thing as “the one,” though I do believe that God sometimes does guide us to a person he believes suitable for us if we ask and allow him to. At times he has even commanded someone to marry another — see the story of Hosea in the Bible. But though he can command or direct, he will never and cannot force us to marry, let alone to love.
I came across a moment in time that I had written down in my journal four months into my pre-marriage relationship with Michael. I had just asked Michael if we could step up our seriousness in the decision making process of whether or not to marry. There was a lot of inner turmoil for me. I wanted to make a wise decision. We prayed together then, and I thought I saw God’s face… well, not exactly his face, but I wrote about it in this way:
“All it was, was a really big smile and excited joy. I then saw Michael and I walking, holding hands, walking into the distance. And I felt that God was saying that there is glory in the choosing. Choosing to follow and serve Him together brings great glory to Him, and it is also an opportunity for God to glorify us as He is made the center and focus of our relationship.”
Was this a response that answered all my questions and gave me complete peace in saying yes to Michael? No, it wasn’t. But it did remind me that I was free to choose and that God blesses the decision to orient oneself towards following him. I would say that it did also give me a measure of peace, knowing that God approved of this man. Because though we are free to choose, it’s possible for us to make unwise decisions, which I’m sure we all know from first-hand experience.
While I am grateful for God’s input and guidance in making my initial decision, the need to choose hasn’t stopped since the day I said “I do.” I am still confronted every day with the decision to opt in to this lifelong relationship. In the beginning, it was honestly truly difficult. God has had a hard road in softening my stubborn heart, and we’ve both had to learn things the hard way. You, too, should you make the big decision to covenant with another human being, will be confronted with challenges that may even be heartbreakingly difficult. Choose anyway. And may you find joy in the choosing.