God's Timing is Not Our Timing
We all know that God’s timing is not our timing. Or do we?... Sometimes we forget, and we try to do things when we want to do them. There are often times when we want to forge ahead with our own plans, but we just can’t seem to make them happen in the time frame that we want to. Waiting for someone else to do things isn’t always fun. Waiting stinks. I’m not a good waiter (or waitress, but that’s a terrible pun…).
Most people don’t enjoy waiting for things to happen. For example,
• when we’re waiting to hear back from a potential employer after an interview • when we’re waiting for a close friend to come over for an important visit • when we’re waiting to hear whether a medical test had good results or bad results • when we’re waiting for a new plant to grow and flourish • when we’re waiting for our child to finally potty-train • etc.
Or, when we’re waiting for a marriage proposal.
(That last one was completely hypothetical, of course. Or not.)
I used to believe women who waited for men to propose after 2 years of dating were, well, nuts. And then I found myself in that exact situation, except it was no longer 2 years of dating - it was approaching 6.
You heard me. Six.
You cannot imagine how often people made inappropriate comments (to my face, even!). Family, friends, coworkers, people I’d just met. It became overwhelming, so I learned to shelter myself from people when they offered their “advice.”
Waiting. Is. Hard. Especially, when both people in a relationship plan to marry the other person.
I’m a doer, and not a waiter. So, while I knew we were planning to get married soon-ish, I started trying to arrange some wedding/marriage things ahead of time to make things easier for us later on.
I contacted the photographer we both liked (it’s hard to find a photographer you can trust when you are a photographer yourself!), I contacted a realtor about the specific type of house we would be looking for, I looked in a store at wedding dresses to see what types were available and to find out how long in advance I’d need to order a dress.
None of these things worked.
The photographer did not reply. The realtor did not reply. The dress shop manager told me I’d need to order my dress at least 6 months in advance.
As time grew closer and closer to when we expected to get engaged, “life” got in the way a few times. Getting engaged got bumped a little further, time-wise. I no longer had time to order a dress. The photographer never did reply, and the realtor didn’t, either. Nothing was lining up, and we were getting engaged very soon. To top it off, churches were replying, telling us we couldn’t get married in their buildings because we don’t currently attend their services.
I came to a point (several times) where I realized that the important thing is that we’ll get married, and we won’t be homeless. I didn’t care if we had an actual wedding-wedding, or really where we live as long as it would meet our needs in the short-term and somewhat long-term.
Fast forward to approximately the week we got engaged.
• The Sunday before: In my small, 50-person church, we had some guest musicians playing the service. One of them turned out to be the photographer I had been searching for over a year ago. He looked to be leaving midway through the service, and I fought the urge to run after him to talk to him (I also wasn’t sure yet whether it was really him). Instead of leaving, he sat in a pew with his friends. Directly behind me. During coffee time, I turned around and talked to him. He is available for the date we are planning to get married.
• During the week: Some much needed conversations happened, and they went better than expected.
• I contacted the realtor again. He replied this time.
• Friday: We got engaged.
• Saturday: I walked into a small local dress shop with a good friend, just to take a quick look. I walked out with a wedding dress. Off the rack. Clearance price. No hemming required (just a few alterations right before the wedding).
• During the days that followed: My little church told me we can get married there, any day we want, and they won’t be trying to make a huge profit off us (like some of the other churches seemed to want to do).
There were more things that happened that week, but I’ve lost count of them. My point is, though, that everything I tried to do on my own to “plan ahead” didn’t work out. When the time was right for God, though, everything started lining up in the span of one week. Just, everything.
At first, I was elated that the photographer appeared out of no where. Then, the realtor. And then things just kept falling into place. It was so bizarre, and so exciting. We both knew that the only explanation was God.
It was happening in His timing. Not ours.
If there was any doubt in my mind about whether we were supposed to marry (who doesn’t have at least a tiny bit of doubt before a major life-changing decision?), it was squashed by the day after day lining up of events we had little control over.
God reminded us that He’s in this with us, and that we need to stop worrying about how things will work. We need to trust that He’s doing things in His own timing.
Waiting still stinks, though, don’t get me wrong. …It’s just that now I’m waiting to see where God plans for us to live, and where I’ll be working in Fall. Eek!