December 10, 2009

You Never Know

Twenty-one years ago, I went to California for the wedding of a friend from high school. The wedding coordinator kept saying she loved "older" couples.

Older? The bride was 29.

Twelve years ago, I went to Edmond for the wedding of a friend from Sunday school. The bride was 30, and I was 38. I was seated between two men, both over 40 and never married.

At one point, the minister, who had known the groom since college, turned to him and said, "we prayed for this woman to come into your life for ten years." The line struck me the same way it struck the men on either side of me, but only one of us voiced the thought...right at that moment. Under his breath, I heard the guy on my right say, "Ten years? Big deal."

Did I mention that we had somehow found ourselves seated on the groom's side of the church?

I struggled not to laugh out loud.

The guy who spoke up did get married a couple of years later, and now has two adorable sons. I couldn't help but remember that wedding in Edmond this past Saturday, as I attended the wedding of his sister. (To simplify matters, for the rest of this post, the guy who spoke up shall be referred to as BoB - Brother of the Bride).

The bride for this wedding - BoB's sister - was over 50. The groom's granddaughter was the flower girl. I'm sure the coordinator from the California wedding would have been downright ecstatic over this couple. They knew exactly what they wanted, and what they didn't want, and it was one of the best weddings I've ever attended.

One of the things the bride wanted was for her nephews - BoB's two sons - to serve as bell ringers, walking down the aisle just before she entered. After struggling not to laugh out loud at the "Ten years?" comment 12 years ago, I got to laugh out loud with the rest of the guests Saturday night as BoB's two sons walked/ran down the aisle at breakneck speed, ringing the bells to herald the bride's imminent entrance. It was one of those moments when I thought how nice it would have been if BoB could have known 12 years ago that his prayers would eventually be answered affirmatively.

At the reception, BoB sat down to visit at my table and I reminded him of that other wedding and the comment he had made. He shrugged his shoulders and grinned as he said, "You never know."

He's right, of course. None of us knows what the future will bring, and yet well-meaning people will often tell you that they "know" what your future will look like. It's usually loosely based on their own lives. But here's the thing. God isn't a home-builder who builds the same identical house over and over again with minor changes. He builds custom homes, and no two are exactly alike.

The life of my friend who married at 29 isn't the same as the life of my friend who married at 30, and neither of their lives is anything like the life of my friend who got married last weekend. And none of their lives has been like mine.

We get into a trap when we start comparing our lives with those of our friends and family. Sometimes it can begin to feel like a prison as we wallow in self-pity. That's not the life God planned for any of us. It can sound trite, but the truth is, if you're not happy single, you won't be happy married. Embrace the life God has given you...because He planned it just for you.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. ~ Jeremiah 29:11-14a


  1. Seeing how I am the bride in the above blog, I will confirm that this blog is exactly right! 28 years ago when I got divorced at the age of 25, I never would have guessed I would be single for the next 28 years. But over the years I came to enjoy being single and after a number of years had passed I began to accept that I would never get married again. 2 years ago when I went to dinner with K (my-now-husband) and 2 mutual friends, the thought of dating K never crossed my mind and at that time I certainly never thought I would marry K. But as you wrote in your blog, YOU NEVER KNOW!

  2. God indeed has a master plan for each one of us. We may "never know" until we are actually living it, but The Master Planner knows exactly what His blueprint is for his sons and daughters...and it's perfect, God-ordained timing.

    I came across your blog a few minutes's just what I need at this particular time. As a Christian woman who is single, oh how I can relate!

    Thank you, Margaret for ministering to us singles via your blog. You have reached across your Northern border into Canada!

  3. 30+ - I think you're my first international follower! Welcome!

    I love your blog, too - thanks for the encouragement. =)