The last few months with Mary have flown by, and we are still in awe of the God that we worship, and know as the one who brought us together. The two of us have just passed the fifth month of courting. So many of our friends that are single, as well as the students in the youth group talk about wanting to date and find someone to couple with (I mean that in the marriage term and not the physical, though the two are at times confused for one another.).
The thing that Mary and I have been doing over the months is reading books together about courting and asking questions of each other before you ask "the question." This has been great, because we have been able to talk about everything, which includes our personal pasts and problems that may jump out at us.
However, the big thing that we have seen is how God brought us together and how if we had concentrated on God and waited, we might have not needed to go through the pains that we did (although the pains we did go through did help us to grow). I guess what I am trying to say is that waiting for God to present someone isn't as bad as it seems. True, society puts pressure on us to couple and makes you think that something is wrong with you if you aren't married by a certain time. A case in point was my cousin who was getting remarried, (I'm not going into the details because they aren't relevant) to someone who had never been married and was approaching 40. The people that they worked with asked, "What's wrong with them?" Well, as far as I know nothing was. A similar thing happened to me, as Mary and I began to go out, when I was asked, you're such a great guy, why aren't you married yet? My only responses have been, God knew that I needed to heal over past baggage.
And that brings me to the conversations and the sermons that I have heard as of late. We, individually, need to heal, but we need to do it with the church family, and focus on God. And then, when God says we are ready, as strange as it sounds, God will present you with someone.
I know that the last part of my healing came a year or two ago, when I finally said to God (and meant it) that I don't need to be married and that God was enough. While I wanted to get married, I would be content if I didn't. Then after hearing someone read Psalm 37:4 [Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.(NASB)], I felt a peace that I would probably get married, when God presented her.
I guess the thing that I am trying to get across, as counter intuitive as it sounds, is don't do the dating thing, because it only brings the heartache of breaking up, whether the relationship gets physical or not (and the more physical the more painful the break). Two books that talk about this are I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Choosing God's Best.
I know that some have tried to tell us that we need to try out each other, but as Mary and I have focused on God, and struggle to stay pure (and I mean struggle) we have found that we have established a strong friendship and a strong spiritual relationship. Those who are close friends of ours, and Mary's kids, have not raised any red flags with us (and believe me, I have friends that would, and so would Mary’s kids) about this relationship. So as we wait on God's timing, we do it with anticipation on what He will do next and what we are to do next.