Chapter 3: Wisdom From Above
Sit down and grab a coffee- you’ll love this chapter from my soon to be released book Daughter Wait!
As I sat on the bed of my small dorm one afternoon, I opened my Bible to find Solomon moaning that life felt meaningless. Hardly uplifting, but this verse caught my eye: ‘The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil’ (Ecc 9:9 NLT).
I was intrigued. The idea of becoming a wife one day seemed impossible after the series of less than ideal choices I had made. It was the furthest thing from my mind…kinda.
Is getting married one day ever truly far from anyone’s mind when you are single?
Heart-broken, rejected, and somewhat cynical (hence the vow to be single forever) I couldn’t fathom being married one day. Who would want me after what I’d been through? It seemed impossible to see myself as someone’s ‘reward.’ Even if someone did want me one day, how would I know if it was ‘right’?
If I couldn’t be sure I was making the ‘right’ choice, then I wanted to make no choice.
On days where my mind would drift, I’d imagine ten guys all lined up, similar to that of a line-up at a police station. As I’d gaze across at these good-looking suspects suddenly panic would set in.
How would I be able to pick my ‘forever after’?
Who would be best suited to me?
How would I know he was the one?
What if the next ‘Mr Right’ said things to impress and woo me at first, then further down the track he changed, and we had to go our separate ways?
He’d take a piece of my heart and I’d be left single again and even more damaged. I didn’t have a clue what I was looking for anymore. The last guy I had chosen seemed perfect for me, yet the consequences of our relationship were devastating.
Of course, there would never be a line-up, and I would never be forced to choose, but this image was a vivid reflection of how I felt inside. I had to be sure if there was a ‘next one,’ it was God’s choice for me. A small step in the wrong direction could lead far from where I’d imagine my life to be in the future.
The growing anxiety of multiplying thought trains began to reason; if I did find Mr Right one day, I’d eventually have to work up the courage to share my past with him. Would he then see me as damaged goods, and dump me? By my own standards, I’d done things that were unforgivable. I couldn’t imagine telling my own mother some of the things I’d done, let alone someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Perhaps I could get married if I lowered my standards and was willing to settle for someone less than Mr Dreamy? After all, I was slightly tarnished. Yes, God had grace for me, but I still had to walk out the consequences of bad decisions. A second-rate guy seemed fair enough. I didn’t deserve the best anymore. Mr Right was reserved for the girls who hadn’t made the mistakes I had, but could I be happy settling for Mr Nearly Right? At least that option would see me married one day and not left on the shelf. Maybe I really was destined to be single and I should let the idea of marriage go and get on with life?
This monkey chatter as I liked to call it, had been going on in the back of my mind subconsciously. As I zoned in I could picture the monkeys gathered in my mind, not unlike a committee meeting or a political debate. Each monkey had a different point of view, an alternative approach for me to consider. The noise was constant as they talked over one another not leaving any gaps. They’d leave me feeling like there was no right answer. The more I thought about some things the less clarity I had. It’s so hard to know the right thing to do sometimes. It’s easy to drown in your own thoughts.
As I read the Word that day, the banter was put on pause. When God speaks truth, it pierces the darkness, and no opinion or reason stands a chance. For a moment the monkeys were silent, preparing the way for Heaven’s wisdom to invade. In the stillness, the perplexity of the Ecclesiastes 9:9 sparked a new set of questions I consciously directed towards God.
God, Your Word says: ‘The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil.’
So, how exactly do you give a man a wife?
Does a man receive a wife like receiving his coffee order from a café?
“Here you go man, here’s your wife.”
A man and wife choose to be together, don’t they? They go on a few dates, see if there is a connection and then take it from there. Are You saying that one day You will give me to a man?
If I was going to be someone’s wife one day, then according to this scripture God was going to give me to a man. God had my attention.
How does this work, God?
How do You give me to a man?
Who is this man?
How will I know?
Will I even like him?
Then gentle words of the Holy Spirit gave expression to the truth and again brought with them a stillness and peace:
‘Many daughters give me their heart; they commit their life to me, but they take their heart back from me and entrust it to a man of their choosing.
When you commit your heart and life into my hands, you need to leave it there; safe; so one day I can give it to a man of my choosing.’
Heaven breathed wisdom.
I was one of the girls the Holy Spirit was talking about. I had given my heart to God, committed to living the rest of my life for Him, but unknowingly I’d taken my heart back in search of a man.
No wonder I was in the state I was in. The constant chatter in my mind was an attempt to stay safe, to stay in control, to ensure I had thought through every possibility before making a decision that could see me get hurt. Even though God was such a big part of my life, subconsciously I’d been waiting, heart in hands to find ‘Mr Right’; willing to hand my heart over, or at least let him hold my heart, while I tested his eligibility. I wanted to be ‘ready’ for when the opportunity came along. My future husband could be anywhere on any given day, right?
At the shops today?
At church this Sunday?
Attending that conference coming up?
Perhaps he would be at the wedding I was attending next June?
Just in case, I’d have my eyes open ready to find him. Surely this perspective was hope or faith, and it was healthy right?
The Holy Spirit’s prompting was beginning to show me an entirely different perspective. It was not my job to find a man and give my heart to him; it was God’s job to find a man for me. If God, my Father in Heaven, was holding my heart safely in His hands, then He would be able to entrust my heart to a man of His choosing.
Initially, this was a relief. Thank goodness I didn’t have to make another wrong choice. Cancel the line-up, I wasn’t selecting a ruggedly handsome man from the ten possible suiters anymore. God was going to do the hard work for me.
That day I sat on my bed and prayed. I thanked God for His words, dealt with the embarrassment of being so ready to give my heart away, and asked Him to return any part of my heart I’d given away in the past.
I prayed for soul ties to be broken in the name of Jesus and asked God to restore my heart to its original condition, removing the hurt and restoring it to the way it was meant to be.
It wasn’t the first time I had given my heart to God but this time I was determined to leave it with Him. I wasn’t taking it back.
Daughter Wait! is an invitation to consider a different approach to dating and relationships. If you have ever wondered: How do I have a Godly relationship? How do I know if he is the one? What are realistic boundaries in a Christian relationship? How do I move on from a broken heart? Then this book is for you.
Written in Carly’s unique conversational style, you’ll cry, laugh and cheer as you follow her story of love and loss. Daughter Wait is a timeless reminder that regardless of your past, God has the best for your future.
Carly lives on the Gold Coast, Australia with her husband Joe and their two girls: Beni and Selah. She is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, a lover of His Church, His people, His Word and life in general. Daughter Wait! is the first of many books she hopes to write.