I sometimes say I’ve been waiting my whole my life. But the truth is, I’ve probably only been waiting about 19 years. Still, 19 years of waiting to get married is a long time.
I didn’t even want to get married right out of high school. I was headed to college and wanted a career. But somewhere about my Junior year, I had seen enough “ring downs” – the Taylor University tradition when a girl announces her engagement to the entire dorm — that I was ready for my chance.
But I didn’t meet my husband in college.
As I started my career as a journalist, I thought marriage could wait a few years. Not that there were any offers. But I was content being single, and even as I moved around and met a lot of single men – some I was even interested in – I felt like the world was a big pond and there were a lot of fish. Probably one for me, in time.
But I didn’t meet my husband in those early career days.
When I came to Indianapolis and found a wonderful church, and then when I moved to Northwest Indiana and worked at a wonderful church, and even when I was in Chicago, and again found myself at a church I loved, I just knew it. I knew my husband was sitting among the pews in one of those places.
But I didn’t meet my husband in church.
Years of illness that caused me to finally settle down meant an even deeper longing to find someone to share my life with. For some of those years, I gave up the hope of ever getting married. But when my life seemed to be restored to me after two and a half years of being cancer free, I felt the dream flicker again. Could it be possible that I still might marry someday?
It’s been a long waiting, this waiting to get married. It has been easy, and it has been hard. The longer I wait doesn’t make it easier or harder. It just makes it longer.
But I am still waiting.
Long waiting isn’t like waiting at workday to come to an end, or waiting to eat until supper. Long waiting is not something you can muster strength for because you know it’s temporary. Long waiting means digging in, not knowing when the end will come.
In that way, Advent waiting is long waiting. Oh sure, Christmas is just around the corner, and we will rejoice at the birth of Christ We’ll sing the songs of angels, and we’ll remember the fear of the shepherds. But likely, after the gifts are opened and ham is put away in the fridge, we’ll still be waiting for Jesus.
We will still be waiting.
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