“Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.” – Song of Solomon 8:4, New Living Translation
Now before you write this scripture off because it’s addressed to the women of Jerusalem, let me give you some context. Song of Solomon follows the story of King Solomon and one of the women he loved and married. Towards the end, after sharing her passion for Solomon, the woman who is Solomon’s lover advises her fellow women not to awaken love before it so desires because once it takes hold, that’s it.
I remember when I graduated college with the silly belief that I would be married within the next 12 months. In my mind I was ready and wanted to get on with what it meant to be married. I later came to understand I had no idea the significance of what I was asking. I just knew I wasn’t ready for a big girl job yet and I felt like the prospects of being a wife were better than being nothing.
I’m so glad God pumped the breaks, sending me 12 hours away from our college town of Columbia, Missouri to New Orleans where I’d get to know Him in a more intimate fashion. Away from Geordan, I realized how many areas of my spiritual life still needed maturing. I discovered how much I’d shortchanged time with God in exchange for date nights with G and I saw that without God at the center of our relationship, we were setting ourselves up for a very hectic and hurtful relationship.
When Geordan did move down to New Orleans (and got his own place) in the spring of 2014, I had more solid footing. I’d gotten baptized again the fall before and felt like for the first time, I had a grown up relationship with God. I could handle solid spiritual food now, I wasn’t still craving milk (1 Peter 2:2) and where I was once looking to Geordan to complete me, I’d come to understand only God does that and Geordan’s role is to complement me.
In the following months, Geordan and I would talk about marriage more and more, with no set date but a willingness to look into next steps. Instead of leaning on our own understanding which all believers are advised against in Proverbs 3:5, we armed ourselves with Proverbs 15:22 which says “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed,” we decided to take premarital counseling and agreed we would not get engaged until it was complete.
We read books like The Five Love Languages, Before You Plan Your Wedding, Plan Your Marriage and what I’d deem the best and most insightful, Love and Respect. Through our young adult pastor’s leading and teaching, I began to feel completely confident that marriage was the next step in our ministry. God had pulled up a lot of the weeds that had been hiding in my heart and G’s and surrounded us with a great deal of young people who were married. We saw and had conversations about what this covenant would mean and it changed everything.
Now, less than a month until our wedding, I’m filled with such a great sense of peace in knowing the time is right and grateful that God paid no mind to the plans I was making. If I’d gotten married when Geordan and I initially discussed it, I think the word wife would have been the only solid way to define me because I believe I still would have been searching for all the other things God says about me. I am an author, a teacher, an encourager, a digital marketing coordinator, a friend, a camp counselor, a sister, a ministry leader, a traveler and so many other things, all of which make Geordan and my story all the better for sharing and will ultimately prove to strengthen our ministry.