Unlike many girls I know, I grew up a tomboy. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that it occurred to me that I was a grown woman and started desiring ‘womanly’ things like marriage and children. I didn’t have any specific ideas in mind…it was not something I had given serious though before.
I attended a church meeting once where the preacher encouraged everyone present to write a list of what they desired (depending on their situation). He asked the single ladies to be very detailed about the type of husbands they desired and when we were done, it went in a huge pile for prayers. At another fellowship months later, the preacher admonished those of us present that we should not dictate lists to God and if we had such lists, we should tear them up or burn them even.
In the following 10 years, I lost count of how many lists I wrote and tore up mentally and physically. I put out fleeces and mentally withdrew them (if you don’t know what this means please read Judges 6, especially verses 35 – 40). In that time, I met all sorts of men with different agenda but none seemed to click. Most were comfortable with my faith as long as I kept it to myself and it didn’t get in the way of our relationship. When our values conflicted, it was because I was being ‘holier than thou’. At some point, I was not even sure God was interested in the desires of my heart concerning a husband and I was ready to settle. I thought maybe everyone was right…maybe I was 30+ and single because I was being too ‘picky’.
Fast forward to now that I am happily married and with the benefit of hindsight, it is now clear to me that God was listening all the time, even to the seemingly silly little details. I remember that as a teenager I had told my mum that I wanted to have a traditional wedding completely out of the blue. At some point, I also told her that I would like an English surname. Then at some other time I said that I would like to marry someone from a different tribe who spoke my language; like I said, silly details that don’t mean much in the large scheme of things but that’s what I got…and so much more.
Because God loves me, and perhaps because at some point, my prayer changed to ‘Father, let Your will be done in spite of my desires’, I think that He taught me what to desire in a man, then He introduced us. I definitely didn’t desire all that I got up all by myself. What He gave me was a God-sized version of what my finite mind could imagine and I am so grateful things went His way and He didn’t forget my silly desires.
We all have desires. It may not be in the area of marriage as I have shared, but there is something. I have written this piece to encourage you that God is listening, and to remind you of a key scripture:
Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Remember that whatever it is you desire, it should never replace God in your life, otherwise it becomes an idol. Put God first and let Him be your delight. With time, He will refine your desires until what you want and what He wants for you merge. In this place, you will recognise your answer when it comes, even if it’s not packaged the way you imagined. That is the place of provision where you will receive your ‘good gift’ with no sorrow added.