Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Will of the Father

I gave a talk in church at the end of May. The topic? Following Christ's example by submitting our will to the Father.

I stifled a chuckle when the 2nd counselor in the bishopric gave me the topic. Of all the people in the ward, I'm sure am the worst example of someone who follows Christ's example by submitting to the will of the Father. Because the truth is, I haven't so much as submitted to His will as I've been strapped into it with ropes, buckles, and duct tape, and no matter how I try to wiggle free, I can't.

I would love to be married. Everything I've been taught in church (and continue to hear in church) suggests that marriage should be part of God's will for me. I've examined this topic for the past couple of months, especially through the lens of being a single woman in a predominantly married church.

A friend once told me that she wished I just knew when—or if—I'd ever be married. If I knew, for example, that I would meet a great guy at 41 and marry at 42, she figured my life would be a little bit easier to bear. True, that some of the angst I feel often springs from flat-out not knowing if it will ever happen. But isn't that the whole point of faith? To believe and hope, despite conventional wisdom telling me not to?

Faith is so hard. I often turn to the women of the Old Testament for support. Never mind the conditions in which they lived (no Sephora or indoor plumbing!), these women were TRIED. Sarah, who with Abraham shared the promise of millions of children had to see her handmaid conceive easily. Rachel, who wanted to badly to marry Isaac but her older sister got in the way. Esther, who had to essentially save an entire nation.

Each of these women—and I'm sure others who were excised at various councils as the Biblical canon was formed—had moments where faith failed them, and moments where faith sustained them, all the while keeping their eye toward what their Father required of them.

And this is where I know I can improve. I know what God asks of me, yet I consistently fall short. I'm mostly certain that He's not withholding a spouse until I stop making mistakes, but I'm also mostly certain that as I continue to develop more faith in His will for me—which I have to believe includes marriage—I will be so much happier.


Anonymous said...

I am a Mormon guy, and I also have never been married. It is a challenge for men and women.

Monica McDonald said...

Great blog! I've added you to the favs on my new blog. :)