Two really cool things happened today. They were rather simple things, yes, but both occurrences made me pause in awe of the realization that God had completely orchestrated what had happened.
This afternoon, I thought about Alex. I remembered he's got his LSAT on Saturday, so I decided to send him a text that would hopefully encourage him because I can only imagine how heavy the stress over something he's been working so hard for is. It was nothing big, just saying I was praying for him and that I believe in him and that God has his back. Within minutes, I received the response "Thank you so much! I needed that..." And in that moment and throughout the conversation that followed, I realized that the idea popping into my head to text him was God speaking to me, giving me the idea so that Alex could feel His love outright. It made me so happy to be able to help him in some small way today. And when he texted me, "You are so very dear to me!" my heart pretty much melted. I guess it's no secret my love language is words of affirmation, huh? :)
Second, tonight after dinner, I thought about a website that Taylor suggested to me during our chat on Friday. I didn't have a lot of work to do tonight, and I just felt this urging to get on there. When I did, I was immediately led to this sermon on dating and singleness. Yeah, talk about a God-orchestrated moment. Lately, I've really been struggling (more than usual) with feeling lonely because I've never had a boyfriend and all that...and then I find this sermon today. It reminded me to keep my focus on what really matters - my eternity with God. As much as I want to be a wife and a mother, those titles aren't permanent. All that will last is my status as an eternal child of God. I have to want whatever it is He has planned for me if I'm going to remain content in this life. If His plan is for me to remain single, that far outweighs my desire for a husband and children.
It also really spoke to me about the status of my family. I can't let them tie me down. My worth does not lie with them. People like Taylor, people who have been Christ to me, people who have loved me through good and bad and never wavered are just as much my family as Mom, Holly, and Chelsea are, and I am so blessed for that.
In that sermon linked above, John Piper says, "As long as you are single, this is your calling: to so live for Christ as to make it clearer to the world and to the church: 1) that the family of God grows not by propagation through sexual intercourse, but by regeneration through faith in Christ; 2) that relationships in Christ are more permanent, and more precious, than relationships in families (emphasis mine, because it reflects several of the relationships in my life and really hit me); 3) that marriage is temporary, and finally gives way to the relationship to which it was pointing all along - Christ and the church, the way a picture is no longer needed when you see it face to face; 4) and that faithfulness to Christ defines the value of life; all other relationships get their final significance from this. No family relationship is ultimate: relationship to Christ is."
This lingering jealousy I've been feeling over so many of my friends meeting the loves of their lives is not of God. Just like I prayed over Alex tonight, I want to follow His plan for my life. There is no guideline or mold for the way the life of a Christian is supposed to look; my life and my friends' lives can look completely different and we can all still be following God's plan. The purpose God had for my life when He created me and still has for me was never dependent upon earthly family, neither the one I have now nor the one that may or may not lay in my future. my ultimate purpose is to bring Him the glory He so deserves, and that may perhaps be better fulfilled without me having a husband and kids, even as much as I feel that has been my heart's desire for as long as I can remember.
Anyway, I'm kind of rambling, so this is basically my point: As Christians, our goal on this earth should not and cannot be to find a spouse and have children. Our goal is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and, as a guest pastor at my church said one Sunday, "make it darn near impossible for anyone to go to hell." You can do that with or without a spouse and kids, because the only family that really matters is the family you have as a child of God. That's the family that isn't defined by blood, DNA, or marriage licenses.
If you're reading this and are single and a Christian, I urge you to read/watch/listen to that sermon (seriously, you can do any of the three!). You won't regret it. I promise.