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Part 3: New Truths

July 19, 2006

Josh called my dad on Monday morning to ask if he could court me. Monday night I went to a Nickel Creek concert with Josh and other friends. We saw each other at Care Group on Wednesday. On Thursday he talked to my dad. The weekend was busy because it was the 4th of July. I thought about it and prayed about it. I saw Josh at a July 4th event on Friday. Things were rather strained and weird and I’d never seen him so much in one week as much as I did that week. On Sunday my parents and I finally got a chance to sit down and talk about it. On Tuesday night, 10 days later, Josh came over and told me why he wanted to court me.

I had lots of questions for him, but agreed. I was at peace, happy, still amazed that it happened, awkward, and fearful. It’s a strange combination, I know. We courted for six months. That sounds so short, but it felt like a long time. A month after we started courting Josh’s parents separated and we struggled through that. It was hard for me to get to know his family. Little by little we became better friends.

But by the end of November I began an internal struggle that no one could help me with. We’d all along been courting with the intention of discovering if marriage was what God had for us. Josh was certain by August that I was the one for him. By November, he spoke to my parents about his intentions and the future and he shared some of that with me. I knew he was serious. I knew I had to resolve the conflict in my heart.

I struggled with the idea of marriage again like never before. The struggle of knowing God’s will loomed above me. How could I know? The issue for me wasn’t whether Josh was the right person. Every objective thought seemed to point toward him. But my spirit was uneasy. The issue was once again, was I to get married or stay single? I struggled with letting go of singleness. Did I really want to do that? I wasn’t sure. The turmoil was so great I thought, “if this lasts long, I’m going to have to end this courtship, because it’s not fair to him.” But I learned some important truths that have made our marriage and my faith stronger:

Cosmic Hide and Seek
My question to God was, “How would I glorify you best? Through marriage to Josh? Through singleness?” Little by little, I learned new truths. As I struggled through knowing God’s will for my life, the Lord spoke to me almost audibly one morning, as I walked up the sidewalk to work. He reminded me that He wanted His will done in my life even more than I wanted His will done in my life. I was amazed at how stupid I was to worry about it. What a comfort! I was seeking God’s will. God was working out His will and my good in my life. Couldn’t I trust Him? It was then I realized I viewed God’s will as something that He was purposefully hiding from me, and I had to beg Him to reveal it. I was viewing it like cosmic hide and seek. But in reality, He wanted His will worked out in my life way more than I did, even at my most pure moment. Isaiah 40:9-10 became a comfort to me.

Hollywood Love
I also realized I viewed love the way Hollywood portrayed it. It took me a while to realize that conciously. Hollywood views love as a mystical connection. The movies we watch all share the message that there’s only one person in the world for you. If you miss that one person, then you’re doomed to unhappiness. If you marry the wrong person, then you should leave them if/when you do find the right person. That’s not what the Bible teaches. Love is a choice. Although we should be attracted to someone we might marry, that’s not what will hold us together in the end. I never thought I bought into what Hollywood teaches, but I did. I feared making a mistake and ruining my life. I felt my whole life’s happiness rested on what I decided about Josh.

It’s a choice
In one sense, my life’s happiness did rest on my choice. But not in a mystical, fatalistic way. God gave me wisdom. He gave others around me wisdom. God’s sovereign over every choice, everyday. No matter who I decided to marry, each day was fresh and offered more choices to grow together in sanctificatioin. If my marriage hit the rocks in the future, I couldn’t have Hollywood’s attitude (“I guess I married the wrong person, I give up”).1 Corinthians 7 really spoke to me. All throughout the Bible, it is very matter-of-fact about marriage. Most verses say, in a paraphrased sort of way, if you want to, get married. If you don’t want to, don’t. This freed me up and lifted the weight off of my shoulders. Josh Harris echos this idea in Boy Meets Girl:

Do I want to marry this person? . . . Too many couples overspiritualize the decision of whom they marry. Instead of realizing tht God leads us by providing wisdom and allowing us to make our own choices, those couples wait fo a ‘mystical experience’ that will tell them what to do.

That was pretty much me. I longed for signs so I didn’t have to trust. Looking back over my journal at that time, it’s amazing how each verse spoke to my fear and taught me to trust Him. How grateful am I still that “He will instruct him in the way chosen for him . . . The Lord confides in those who fear him.” Ps. 25: 12-14

So those are some of the “new” truths I learned through that time. I’m so thankful I did. Now, back to the story . . .

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 19, 2006 9:12 am

    This is so great, Danielle. I love reading this. Thanks for sharing!

  2. July 19, 2006 11:15 am

    I am so enjoying reading your story!!! What a great one. I can relate in a few areas. I always wanted to get married but wanted to do the live in the city career thing first. But I met Aaron my first year in college and so all that changed. HA HA. It is fun to read your story and thoughts and struggles and to see how they all turned out. What a great story.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    July 19, 2006 11:36 am

    Danielle,
    I am/ have so enjoyed reading your blog, especially this story…it kind of speaks to where I am at with Jeremy….I really identify with the whole fear of choosing the wrong person and have had the same concerns about how my turmoil may affect Jeremy. Thank-you for sharing God’s revelation to you, it really has helped me too. Amy Lee Shomper

  4. July 19, 2006 12:02 pm

    Danielle, I really enjoyed hearing what God taught you through the process. This is a great story.

    I especially liked what you had to say about how Hollywood taught you certain myths about love. Since I’ve been working on a book on that topic, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and researching in this area. What you shared rang so true with what I feel like God’s been showing me.

    Also, I can so relate to what Bethany posted. I knew I wanted to get married someday. However, first I wanted to spend some time working in the entertainment field. Enjoying and pursuing a career. But then I met Ted in grad school, got married and had kids. As God worked out His will in my life my priorities changed.

  5. July 19, 2006 12:07 pm

    Danielle, I am really loving reading this!!! It is so good, so suspensful…waiting for the next post!
    It is a wonderful story and God was so obviously working in both of you to bring you together, and that in itself is awesome.

  6. July 19, 2006 12:07 pm

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. July 19, 2006 1:48 pm

    Excellent points well made. Spellbinding story.

  8. July 19, 2006 2:25 pm

    Thank you all, for your encouragement. I’ve hoped that this story wouldn’t just be a “story” but show God’s faithfulness in working out His will plus, I thought a lot of my fears would resonate with other people.

    Amy, I hope that in some way, what I’ve gone through, you can learn from or it could help in some way. Even if it’s just knowing others have gone through similar feeling and can relate. Let me know, if you ever want to talk. I often felt like something was wrong with me, because so many other girls in courtship were giddy and didn’t seem to fear anything, and sometimes I was just a wreck with it inside. It is a big decision, and shouldn’t be taken lightly, but sometimes we can “over spiritualize” too. That’s when it can be good to have someone else looking in on your relationship who can discern what’s going on.

  9. Anonymous permalink
    July 19, 2006 4:27 pm

    Danielle, Thanks and I would like to take you up on that offer as soon as this summer course is over (14 days to go). It’s funny I’ve had other relationships (i’m not proud of that), but before I always thought I was ready now, when I feel that this really is the one….it seems like I’m thinking about it so much more…I’d like to think that means that I’ve grown a bit and am really thinking about the realities of the decisions that I make and not just trying to live out some kind of girlish Cinderella complex, but I know that really trusting God is the core of it. All that to say, I really would love to talk…I’d love for both of you to get to know Jeremy….he’s been going to Chesapeake for over a year now (and caregroup (I’m in the Grigers)), but with his jobs, and school, he hasn’t really gotten the chance to know anyone (and vice versa) outside of Jess Melani. THanks again, amy lee

  10. July 24, 2006 6:47 pm

    I’m working on an article about myths single women believe, and I think what you said about cosmic hide-and-seek and choices really speaks to that.

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