It was a night like many others. I was leaning against the kitchen counter, filling my mom in on recent events. I may be 30 now, but some things never change. She’d been out of town for a few weeks helping my grandmother who was recovering from a recent surgery.
I told her about my long “to-do” lists and the different opportunities coming up on the horizon. My life is full, and I prefer it that way. I serve a variety of ministries, giving of my time, talents and passion, and I get great joy at being able to be a blessing to them. If I’m going to be single, I might as well put that free time to something useful, right?
That’s what I’ve been told by very well-meaning friends, at least.
In our chatting, I mentioned how I had been asked out on a date. A real date. It’s been years since a man had been straightforward enough to use the words, “Will you go on a date with me?” It was a tad bit shocking. I’ve gotten so used to the “Hey! We should get some coffee sometime” vagueness that I forgot people actually went on dates.
I kid, but seriously there’s only so many pre-dates I can bring myself to go on. The pre-date is the “trial run” of sorts. No commitments. No stress. No pressure. And no free meals or coffee, because on the pre-date you are responsible for all charges accrued. It’s such a weird gray area where no one really knows what the other is thinking, but you’re both putting your best foot forward. These interactions have only left me feeling like the Mayor of Friend Zone instead of the Queen of Relationshipville.
My mom knows all about the pre-date limbo. A few months earlier I had been spending some time with a guy. I liked him. It seemed like he liked me. We were seeing each other a few times throughout the week. One day my mom asked, “So, when are dad and I going to meet him?” It was difficult trying to explain how this guy wasn’t sure if he could make the leap from pre-dating zone to an actual relationship. Consequently, I moved on because ain’t nobody got time for that.
Needless to say, I appreciated the attention and welcomed the direct invite to dinner from this new guy. Our date was set for less than 48 hours after my acceptance, which gave me just enough time to freak out about what outfit I’d wear and how I should do my hair. I was excited and nervous. Okay, more nervous than anything else. Sure, I’d more than likely get something on my face during our meal, but that was just par for the course. I’d vowed to never eat pasta, corn on the cob or chicken wings on a first date—so as long as there were other food options I’d be fine.
As our date got closer, I realized there was more than just nervousness. There was a check in my spirit.
“Come on, God. Just let me go on this ONE date.”
This conversation went back and forth for a few hours. Maybe I ate something a bit off, I wondered. Where could the harm be in just going out for some dinner? That couldn’t possibly be God nudging my heart. Nah, definitely some bad food.
The day of our date, I woke up with every intention of going. I put on the dress I picked out for the occasion. Curled my hair. Did my make-up perfectly. All the while, I was absolutely miserable and absolutely positive I shouldn’t go on this date. When I got to work, as a last ditch effort, I texted my BFF and asked her what I should do.
“Sounds like you know what you need to do,” she responded.
Ya, I sure did. I immediately contacted my date and apologized for the short notice, and explained to him that I couldn’t go on the date. I wasn’t sure how he’d take it, but he was understanding and gracious to me.
I shared the entire story with my mom, doing my best to play it off like it was no big deal, but my eyes began to fill with tears. He had told me I was beautiful, and I explained how nice it was to hear that from someone besides my best friend (and mom). My mom nodded her head in agreement, letting me know she understood. Then she said something no one has ever said to me before … at least not in a genuine, non-sarcastic way: “Holly, you need a husband.”
Finally. Someone said what I had been feeling my entire life.
My mom is a God-fearing and God-loving woman, so before anyone decides to “Jesus Juke” her with the “We only need Jesus” comments, listen to the heart behind it. God created Eve for Adam because He saw Adam needed a life partner. It’s part of His plan that we (the vast majority of us) would get married and have spouses.
As only my mom can, she explained to me that the marriage covenant is a daily reminder of our covenant with God—how God would use my husband as a physical example of His intimate love for me. Your spouse will not be perfect, and their love will be a drop in the ocean compared to God’s, but that’s what He gave us.
Yeah, I need that. And I believe you need that too.