I’ll tell you what you can do with that list…

listpost

A few weeks ago, I was sitting around a table with some friends after a leadership meeting. As we always do, we ended the meeting going around sharing prayer requests.The usual requests were made– jobs, families, school, etc. Then, of course, there was my request for a single, bearded lumberjack to fall in love with me.

I’m serious.

I tell people to pray for me to find a lumberjack to marry. Preferably bearded. Might as well keep it specific.

Jokingly, my friend (my MARRIED friend) turns to me and asks if I’ve made my list yet. 

List? Oh you know, “THE LIST”. The list that girls sit down and write when they’re 12 years old all the while dreaming about their Prince Charming. The list of “must-haves” and “can’t-live-withouts”. They usually sound something like this:

#1: MUST love Jesus.

#2: MUST be at least 6′ tall, blonde hair blue eyes.

#3: MUST love children.

#4: MUST floss daily.

#5: MUST have been on 5 mission trips and want to adopt a child from a Chinese orphanage.

#6: MUST have seen a miracle first hand.

#7: MUST pray for every meal. That includes at all fast food restaurants and meals while driving. Snacks, too.

#8: MUST only watch rated R movies if it has something to do with Jesus.

And on. And on.

Don’t get me wrong, none of those things are bad. Actually, I’d prefer my mate shared some of those characteristics and desires. Here’s the problem.

Having a list for a potential mate is….dumb. 

Ya, I said it. Get out your flaming torches and large stones and escort me out of town. Tell me how important it is to have standards (which I agree with) and how you’ve got to KNOW what you want. 

Here’s some advice from the single girl, stop looking for the person to match all the criteria on your list. Stop looking for perfection. Stop looking for someone to meet all your needs. Another heads up (all this FREE advice!) no person will be able to do that. Not a spouse, not even one that has a 10/10 on your Marriage Rubric. 

Lists, in this scenario, look a lot like boxes and God doesn’t work inside our little man made boxes. So many times, we think we know best, but I’ve learned (the not-so-easy way) that is not always the case. He does give us certain *good* desires, like wanting to have a spouse, but He knows who will fit that bill better than you…and me. Let’s be serious, there are shirts in my closet I’m still questioning what I was thinking when I bought them. Why would I even begin to trust myself to know what I need in a man? 

I’ve found its much easier to hand all of this list business over to God. I don’t need to write a list because I can trust God to bring me the partner who will compliment my life, and whose life I will compliment in return.

To reiterate, I’m not saying we shouldn’t have certain standards. Heck at 30 years old and still single, I’ve been accused of having too high of standards, which I find laughable. If that’s my problem, then I’ll gladly stay single. Standards are good. At times, they’ve weeded out guys that I would have gladly settled on and made a very poor decision in the process.

My advice? Toss the list. Keep it simple. Ask God to bring His pick your way and for you to be smart enough to choose him. That’s my prayer at least. 

And because I know you’re curious, if I had a list, it might look something like this:

#1: No sissy hands. If they’re softer than mine, its not happening.

#2: Must never wear Crocs. This will be included in my vows because those things are gross.

#3: Cleans hair out of shower drain. Yes, its gross, but my hair isn’t the only hair in that drain, Mister. 

#4: Kills snakes for terrified partner. Always. Oh, and mice too.

#5: Will let me watch Jane Austen movies without any heavy sighs or sarcastic commentary. 

#6: Is not a Boston Red Sox fan.

 

Advertisements

I choose You anyway.

heart

Sitting in church a few weeks ago, I found myself undone in the presence of God.

For weeks, I had found myself struggling. My daily schedule that had been managed down to the minute some days had worn me down. Most mornings began with a grunt and an overpowering urge to hit the snooze just one more time. My days were full of hustle– from work, to ministry, to more work. Nights were sprinkled with friends and my determination to keep up with everyone.

And for awhile as I sat there, I missed it. I recognized it certainly, but felt like everyone else was getting to experience it and not me. Mentally, my reaction was a lot like Clark Griswold’s when he found out his Christmas bonus was a subscription to the Jelly of the Month club instead of the huge check he was expecting.

After my internal outburst and temper tantrum, God dropped this Truth into my lap. I won’t pretend to be some kind of poet. I’m not. This is just the way God spoke to me in that moment. I imagine He was using short sentences so my simple mind could grasp it and repetition so it might actually sink in.

You took the man I love,

I choose You anyway.

My finances are bleak,

I choose You anyway.

My heart is broken and crumpled,

I choose You anyway.

I’ve gotten weary in doing good,

I choose you anyway.

I feel all alone in life,

I choose You anyway.

I’ve desired other things beside you,

I choose You anyway.

My car is a piece of crap,

I choose You anyway.

The unrighteous seem to prosper,

I choose You anyway.

My attitude sucks,

I choose You anyway.

I don’t understand why things happen the way they do. I don’t understand why life feels harder for some than others. Why some people die young. Why those who break hearts get the happily ever after. Why those who want children can’t have them and those who don’t want them can.These situations, feelings, questions may never change.

My checking account may never be nicely padded. I may never have a brand new car. I may never have my crap all together. I may be single the rest of my life. Yet my broken, determined heart remains steadfast on Him. I choose to trust Him, love Him, seek Him.