Wednesday, March 19, 2008

While Waiting

The various temptations of a single woman’s life:

  1. To want companionship to cure the loneliness: just a friend who is so often there that it doesn’t matter so much when he isn’t, a friend whose conversation is lively and intelligent and equally willing to listen to and interact with me.
  2. To want the security of having a major point of the future decided and knowing exactly what is required of me. On a spiritual level the Bible answers this question sufficiently for each day’s choices, but on a lifestyle level, the Bible is frustratingly silent about the activity of an unmarried woman.
  3. To want romance: flowers and notes and special attention and stories to share with friends, to have the flutter of expectation and the thrill of affection.
  4. To want a leader, someone to follow and help and believe in, who is capable of leading, strong and visionary and full of faith. A girl sometimes just wants a man to tell her what to do.
  5. To be sad, full of pity and despair and just wanting to stop hoping so that I can cry.
  6. To be aloof, proclaiming disinterestedness in anything I don’t already have, lying so that hope is kept silent and so that life is a series of functions. To lose passion, releasing it for the safer state of not caring.
  7. To fill the various temptations with temporary flirtations or imaginings, books or movies, or the stories of the romances and lives of friends.

There comes a point when guarding against all these various temptations is impossible. I stop being pitiful, only to be assailed with the temptation to watch a chick-flick to fill my yearnings. I applaud myself for not wanting romance and find that I want security.

So instead of trying not to fall into this trap or that snare, I need to focus on what I know I need to do. Love God. Talk to Him. He is leader, companion, listener, giver, refuge, planner, lov-er, and passionate. Serve Him. Don’t think about myself and all those wants. Take them to Him when they overwhelm me. Share with Him the poignant ordeal of waiting. And be ok with the reality that nothing I expect has to happen except what He has promised.

I don’t want anyone to think I want to be single forever. Hearing friends admire my patience drives me crazy; I don’t want them to imagine that waiting is easy. But I will wait, if only because I know that I cannot get what I deeply want any other way. The question is: will I wait well? Waiting is sacred, an activity of God who created time and invites us to imitate Him in it, to share in what He feels as time marches on between beginning and end, desire and fulfillment, initiation and consummation. But waiting is not a virtue. Patience is a virtue, and contentment, kindness and selflessness. Will waiting produce and demonstrate these in me?

To God be all glory.

10 comments:

kschaub said...

Hey Lisa, your post got me thinking . .. there are a few things that guys share with their 'lady in waiting' and a few things we don't. When I went through your list, I noticed there were a few we share together and a few only guys can fill, like leadership.

You're going to make some young man a wonderful wife. Maybe you need to get out of Colorado?! Haha, blasphemy, right?! I love Colorado. Don't leave it.

Kevin

Bekah said...

Hi Lisa,

My name is Bekah. I'm kshaub's fiance. He said we might get along. :)

I know this may be meaningless coming from a stranger and an engaged person but, even when you're with someone, someone you consider your life partner, you can still find yourself being pulled into those cheap, easy, and flitting ways of appeasing those needs. Married or not, the Lord is our only source of living water - the only guide to the life abundant. I know this is not exactly encouraging, but this truth is at the center of every lesson the Lord is teaching us. It's not about us... it's about the glory of God and his being glorified in us.

Eesh. Sorry for the sermon. First time I talk to you and I preach. Maybe next time I should only write about Jane Austen. :)

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Bekah!

I've been praying for you.

Don't feel bad about preaching. Too few people preach to me, and sometimes, even if I know something, I need to hear it again.

It also makes a nice addition to the published form of my thoughts, in case others read them... sometimes.

I believe that in singleness God teaches and trains us to be the people He wants us to be, and so yeah, I know that God is the only one that provides contentment, and that this focus is only an exercise making that obvious. But God can teach faith, selflessness, dependence on Him, contentment inside of marriage or a relationship, too. I don't plan to stop learning, either way.

Kevin, I would love to leave Colorado, except for the people. I'm sure I wouldn't want to live in Texas, either. Tried that.

Maybe I'll move to England, where Jane Ausen lived... but I don't think I want to. London and Paris are considered (by a recent study quoted as news on my radio this week) the two dirtiest cities in Europe. Zurich is the cleanest. But, with Drew's video spurring me on, maybe I'll move to Iceland.

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

kschaub said...

Too cold for me. Iceland. Sheesh.

BTW, Bekah is my fiancee. I'm the fiance.

:)

Lisa of Longbourn said...

I have never heard of any word but fiance. Dictionary.com does confirm Kevin, though. Interesting.
To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

Drew said...

Hey Lisa, I thought I would drop you a couple of links that I think might encourage you. Last year, John Piper preached a series of sermons on marriage, but in the course of the sermon series, he preached for two weeks on being single in Christ (which is more than most spend preaching on singleness in their entire lives!). I heard these sermons when I was single and they were incredibly challenging and encouraging to me, so I thought I would pass them on.

Here are the links, you can listen, read, or watch them:
http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/BySeries/78/2162_Single_in_Christ_A_Name_Better_Than_Sons_and_Daughters/

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/BySeries/78/2179_Marriage_Singleness_and_the_Christian_Virtue_of_Hospitality/

Lisa of Longbourn said...

I am so grateful for the comments, and for the links.

Ironically enough, my internet is messed up, and there's no way I could download anything fancy (wordpress won't even come up most of the time). So, I have to WAIT for the gift of the sermons. But I'm glad I can still get on Blogger.

For any of you I totally worried with this post, I'm ok. I'm always a little philosophical, and this post is the summation of lots of thoughts and lots of days on the topic. But thank you.

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

Lisa of Longbourn said...

I seem rather liturgical, going on blogging sprees primarily around religious holidays (so long as you count the end of October for "Reformation Day").

It seems to be going around. Why don't we think of these things during the whole year?

No Good Friday services. March Madness. I really wanted to play my favorite hymns. Fortunately, I have a CD.
To God be all glory,

(PS: He was so good to me today; I had to work for my brother who is sick, but I didn't have to teach someone to wear contacts when I thought I'd have to, and my dad fixed my internet, and my sister bought me Coldstone chocolate ice cream - which I forgot to eat)

Lisa of Longbourn

Spencer said...

Hmm...did my comment here not go through?

Lisa of Longbourn said...

Spencer,
I got it, and sort of answered it:
For any of you I totally worried with this post, I'm ok. I'm always a little philosophical, and this post is the summation of lots of thoughts and lots of days on the topic. But thank you.

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn