Matters of the Heart

After the nurse took my pulse today, she asked "Do you exercise?"  Confused, I responded, "Well, yes, I do."  She smiled and said, "Your heart rate is incredibly healthy.  It appears your heart pumps blood very efficiently."

Well, at least it's doing something right.

Pardon me for getting a little sad and sappy here (and long-winded), but I just need an outlet.  You see, all my life, I've dreamed of getting married.  I married my first husband, Terry Morris, in the play closet under the stairs when we were in kindergarten.  My childhood best friend, Jaqueline Poston, was our officiant.  Instead of a ring, he gave me a plastic "pearl" bracelet, which he earned as a prize from the dentist earlier that day.

After Terry came Mike Maziarz, my neighbor.  We were the only two kids our age in the neighborhood, so the poor boy had to suffer through many hours of girlish play.  This was more a common law marriage, by default of the game of "house," as we never had a formal wedding.

It was several years before I acquired another husband.  Sophomore year of high school, economics class.  We did a marriage budgeting project and Tim Liudahl and I were partnered together.  Our marriage lasted approximately 3 class periods.  Ah, love.

By the way, all three of my previous "husbands" are currently either lawfully married or seriously close to it.  As are the majority of my ex boyfriends - most of whom married the woman they began dating next, after me.  Just call me "Good Luck Chuck"

Of course I can look back over all of these past relationships and see how much I've learned from them.  Some lessons are comical, some are certainly beneficial, and some are absolutely heartbreaking.  My desperation to be married has caused me to overlook severe warning signs and to remain in unpleasant situations longer (sometimes much longer) than I should have because "Damnit, I'm going to make this one work."

Now before you think I'm hyperbolizing, I will freely admit that it wasn't all bad.  Nor were they (the ex-boyfriends, that is) all bad.  I've dated some really incredible men and I've been blessed with some really great memories. I also know that marriage is not all candles, kisses, and roses.  And I am fully aware that there are many women out there who would kill to have experienced at least one breakup because at least that means they had a relationship to begin with.  To those women, I say this: the saying "the grass is always greener" has never been more true.

But right now, I don't want to think about those things.  Right now I want to think about how, again, I've failed to follow through on my dream. 

I've been doing the cliche cry-at-weddings thing for years now.  Last night was no exception.  My sweet friend, Brenda - after years (more years than I will publish here) of waiting, dating, crying, and praying - finally heard the words "I do."  The ceremony was beautiful and I teared up a little as they stood forehead to forehead in prayer.  I rallied quickly and smiled and laughed my way through dinner.  Then came their first dance as husband and wife.  I joined the other wedding guests around the perimeter of the dance floor and buried my face behind the lens of my point-and-shoot camera, snapping a few facebook shots to tide her over until the professional photos were edited (hey, this isn't my first rodeo, folks).  But it didn't take long for me to get caught up in the lyrics of the song, which they were preciously singing to one another, seemingly oblivious to all of us on-lookers, lost in love.

I felt hot tears stinging my eyes, threatening to escape down my cheeks and expose my secret heart break.  Suddenly the room was closing in on me and I couldn't seem to breathe properly anymore.  Before I knew it I was slipping away from the crowd and practically running towards a door in the buffet room, propped open by the caterers.  Once outside, I gripped the railing and began to cry.  Lord, I know he's out there somewhere.  But where?  When will it be my turn?  When will I finally get it right?

I'm no conspiracy theorist and I'm not sold on the latest claims that May 21st is "Judgment Day."  And yet, every time I drive into Salem and I see that billboard with the countdown, it's like a slap in the face of how little my faith is.  I can't even be excited at the prospect that Jesus could be returning because I've still got things I need to do here.  I have plans, God.  Don't You know that?

In my mind, I know that my plans are small potatoes compared to what He has for me.  He promises it, and I'm called to trust.  I should desire His will for my life above all else.  I know this.  But if I can just publicly admit to you all in bloggerland the greatest battle of my faith, it's this: in my mind I know these things to be true, but somewhere along the line I lost that same confidence in my heart

So, until I can find it again, I'm clinging to these few gems of hope:

Psalm 138:8 "The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me."

Psalm 18:24 "God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."

Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart.  For it is the wellspring of life."

Ephesians 5:2 (a verse I will have read at my wedding some day, Lord willing) "Mostly what God does is love you.  Keep company with Him and learn a life of love.  Observe how Christ loved us.  His love was not cautious but extravagant.  He didn't love in order to get something from us, but to give everything of Himself to us.  Love like that."

1 Thessalonians 5:16 (my life verse): "Be joyful always."

Even in this season, I will choose joy.  I will choose hope.  I will choose faith.  And someday, I pray, the reward for all of this will be LOVE.


Kendra said…
I know how you are feeling. I remember how much I longed to be a mother, and how it ACHED that my dreams seemed to be further and further away each year.

It's hard to trust that God has a plan when you are human and you worry His plan doesn't match up with yours.

One of the MANY verses I clung to when I was waiting was Habakkuk 2:3b .... "though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."

I love you.
Carol J. Brown said…
If the current guy isn't moving in the right direction, then perhaps it's time to move on. Concentrate on enjoying life now, however--while it's happening--rather than feeling like you're on hold, waiting for your dream to become reality.
Vanessa's Dad said…
I remember the poem Kendra posted during her "time in the desert" waiting to become a mother:

The Wait Poem
by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate...
and the Master so gently said,"Wait."

"Wait? you say wait?" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!"
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I'm claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I relate
hangs in the balance and you tell me to Wait?"
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign.
Or even a 'no,' to which I'll resign.

You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply.

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
as my Master replied again, "Wait."
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
and grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting...for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine...
and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You'd have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint.
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;
you'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
when darkness and silence are all you can see.

You'd never experience the fullness of love
when the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

The glow of My comfort late into the night,
the faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that's beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You'd never know should your pain quickly flee,
what it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
but oh, the loss if I lost what I'm doing in you.

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
that the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still "WAIT".

I know God has wonderful plans for you. My prayer is that you will find JOY in what is happening now, without regard to what the future holds.

I love you. Thanks for bring me the Cheeto's. :)