Monday, May 28, 2012

A Time of Preparation

This last week and a half has contained some of the best days of my life! I graduated, and was able to spend a great amount of time with family that I haven’t seen for awhile. It still hasn’t really sunk in yet that I’m graduated and moving on to college. In some ways, I don’t want to, and yet I’m ready all at the same time. Confusing much?

This last week was spent with my sweet cousin Johanna, who I could not live without. Her wisdom and love for God always inspire me, and she and I had many long, deep conversations – some even lasting until three in the morning! I was so blessed by her and her wisdom, that it inspired me to write this post.

Many of our conversations this week focused on marriage and what we are looking for in the man we would one day want to marry. This question is often at the forefront of my thoughts, even though I know I’m still so young yet. However, if I’m not preparing to one day be a wife, how can I possibly be ready when that day does arrive?

If you have read my blog for very long, you know that I’ve gone through long periods of confusion over whether I should go to college and pursue my dream of nursing. Well, I have finally decided that yes, God is calling me to go to the University of Northern Colorado, live at home, and earn my nursing degree through a lot of faith and perseverance. In many ways, I am very excited! I love to take care of people, and it is a profession that fits my personality exactly. At the same time, though, I’m facing a lot of fears and apprehension over this whole “college idea”.

And then it hit me. One day out of the blue, I finally realized why going to college has never been exciting for me. I was beginning to think that there was something wrong with me – why didn’t I get excited when I talked about college like so many of my friends did?

I finally realized that nursing is not what I desire most out of life. Truthfully, if God called me to another place or asked me to give up this dream, I would have very few regrets. I do love the idea of nursing, but it is not my deepest desire. Nursing is not what I dream about in my spare time, nor is it even at the top of my mind.

First and foremost, I desire to be a wife and mother. To me, there seems to be no greater gift or calling on my life that I could desire any more. Since I was very little, I always knew I wanted to be a mom – this was evidenced in my frequent playing of “bride” in my white dress and in the fact that I carried a doll everywhere. Many girls my age want to achieve their dreams and careers first before even considering the fact, but not me. I sometimes wonder how long God will ask me to wait before bringing a man of courage and character into my life. How long will it be until my deepest dreams will be fulfilled?

And yet here I am, making college plans and wondering what the future holds. Strangely, I’m more at peace than I think I have ever been. I’m feeling so blessed at this moment in everything that God has brought me through that I know deep down that, in this time of waiting, I’m called to go to school and to become the nurse that Jesus wants me to be. Sometimes I don’t understand and I question God’s judgment. And yet every time, I come to find that it is my lack of faith that causes these thoughts to cross my mind. I’m so grateful that God is revealing His plan to me, no matter how resistant I have been.

Yes, I desire to be married and have children (in fact, I want a very large family), but God is calling me to a time of trusting Him. I have no idea how long it will last, perhaps a year, perhaps thirty, but I know that the perfect man will come into my life at the exact moment that God has planned for me.

In the meantime, I have been going through several books that are teaching me to pray for my future husband and that are allowing me to dream, but to not try to run ahead of God. The pressure in our world today to have a relationship is huge – but I know that God is calling me to withstand that temptation until a man that I know I could marry comes into my life. This is a time of preparing, a time of waiting, a time of trusting that God is in control and that I am called to do His will in the meantime.

I want to know that on the day I walk down the aisle in a white dress staring into the eyes of a man I love, I have done everything God has asked of me in the meantime. So, as I head off to college and start my journey into adulthood, I plan on preparing myself to be a wife and mother as well as a nurse. I am not going to sit and waste time until my deepest dreams of being a wife are answered – I am going to stay busy in the meantime doing God’s work, allowing Him to work through me in whatever way He chooses. This is a great leap of faith for me, and yet I’m also releasing my fears to Him, and He is granting me security and a sense of peace as I tackle a new adventure.

Young women, remember always that God loves you with His whole heart – He will always be there for you, no matter how long your time of preparation and waiting is. Turn to Him and He will be the guidance that you need. “Friends who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?” (Song of Songs 8:5a). Let God be your beloved first, leaning on Him first, allowing Him to work through you first. Don’t jump ahead of God’s plan! In time, His whole plan will be revealed, and you will find that in the times of waiting, there was a specific purpose.

This is who I want to be: someone who is always preparing, always waiting on God, and always trusting that His will is what I am seeking. I want to be the woman who sought God through all her confusion only to find that He had written a beautiful love story for her that was revealed at just the right time.

“LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done wonderful things, things planned long ago.” Isaiah 25:1