The one and only year that I went to a Christian school was my grade eight year. I had a fantastic, young and passionate teacher. I still remember when one morning during devotions she talked to us about waiting. She used this Kleenex box demonstration, in which the Kleenex box represented her heart. Every time she dated a guy she gave away pieces of herself (her heart) to him. So my teacher went around to different boys in the classroom and would put piles of Kleenex on their desks that represented how much of herself she gave to each guy (for illustrative purposes). When she finally met the one she wanted to marry and give herself fully to, she couldn’t, because her Kleenex box was empty. She had given so much of herself to the other guys she had been with that she could not give her whole self to the one she was now going to marry.
I’ve never ever forgotten this illustration. In fact, I even used it once when I was speaking a few years ago to a group of Jr. High students about dating.
Moving up a few years…when I was 16 the song ‘Wait for me’ by Rebecca St. James was my anthem and Rebecca was my role model. She was the beautiful girl faithfully waiting to meet her husband, the one God had chosen for her.
A few years after that I was given the book ‘When God Writes Your Love Story’, that I read with high hopes. I can’t remember if I finished it, but I got the just.
I grew up in a family and in a youth group where I was always encouraged to wait.
Wait for what you might ask?
Yes, wait to have sex until I get married…
But not just that!
For me waiting has always been about so much more than that.
Waiting has meant a commitment to personal and spiritual growth. It’s meant learning to trust God. Waiting has made me deeper. It’s been the struggle that I go to bed with at night and wake up with in the morning.
I am a lover of Anne of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. If you know me well, then you know I often refer to my future husband as “my Gilbert”. My movie case is full of love stories.
When I meet people, I always ask them how they met, how they came to love one another and of course, how how he purposed. I love to hear the stories. They move me, they give me hope and they remind me that God is really good at writing love stories.
You see, I’ve been praying for my future husband since I was a little girl. I pray specifically for his life, for the kind of man that he’s becoming, for the choices he is making, and that he will be able to wait.
A few years ago I was having coffee with a good friend. She got married in her late 20’s and she dated a few guys before she met the one she would marry. The advice she gave me that day has never left me since. She said that she wished she would have prayed early on that she would be able to just meet and date her husband because she had regrets from her other relationships. In a lot of ways, that’s become my prayer. That I would be able to wait for the right person, not giving pieces of myself away to the wrong person.
In a world where waiting has become overrated, where marriages are ending left and right and where having friends with benefits is common, some may think that this idea of waiting is rather silly.
However, I can’t think of something more beautiful, to be able to say to someone someday that I’ve been praying for your life for so many years. I wonder what would it feel like if someone said that to me? The days that seemed long and hard and lonely might be forgotten in that moment.
You see, I think learning to wait has shaped and molded the person that I am today. It has also made me realize how much a person can change and how their ideals can change too. The things I want in life now are not the things I wanted when I was 16, or 20 or 23, but I couldn’t have known that then.
So yes, I watch the love stories because they remind me to celebrate love.
And yes, I occasionally still listen to ‘Wait for me’ by Rebecca St. James, however cheesy it might sound.
And I think I’ll always refer to my future husband as ‘my Gilbert’.
But for those of you who think you are silly for waiting or you feel awkward because you are single….please don’t. Your time of waiting will make you deeper, more ready for what’s to come. Use this time to get to know yourself, who you are, what you like and what you don’t like. Learn to be a good friend. Find movies with stories that fill you up and remind you of the kind of story you’re waiting for.
Cause the truth is, YOU are worth waiting for!
The Kindred Spirit