“Are you worried about getting married?”
My heart sank. Shocked and humiliated, I looked around to see if anyone had heard her.
I felt like I had been caught. How did she know? Was it that obvious?
No matter how much I knew it shouldn’t be true or wished it wasn’t. Yes, I was worried about getting married. I am worried about getting married. Every day of my life.
But luckily, before I could utter a word, she quickly followed with a second question. “Do you want to get married?”
Well that was an easier, less shameful answer. “Yes, I do.”
It hadn’t been an easy morning. My emotions had gotten the best of me at church and I couldn’t tell you why if I tried. Welcome to womanhood. I guess sometimes emotions collide, circumstances come to a head, and you stand before the Lord, a wreck, and there’s nothing you or the hundreds of people around you can do, except admit that the timing is less than ideal. (Yeah, I usually prefer to have breakdowns in private, thanks.) I guess sometimes you don’t have a choice, and a beautiful moment of vulnerability in the midst of your people, people that know and love and walk with you, just happens.
I’m normally a night church goer. (Y’all evening services are where it’s at.) But I had gone that morning in support of the daughter of a dear friend who was being baptized. Amelia is nine, just started the fourth grade, and is now a ferocious follower of Jesus. A week prior I had sat at her kitchen table with her mom and watched her scrounge her entire house for the perfect super hero costume, complete with an eye mask made of wide-ruled notebook paper, and a sparkly belt that was either pink or green, I can’t remember. But I remember she looked fierce. That morning, I watched her stand proud and just as fierce in front of five hundred people in order to tell them she had trusted Jesus to save her. She was a Jesus lover, and I stood, with her family, friends, and most of all the God who created her, an Amelia lover. Mark my words, God will use her boldness and tenacity in ways unimaginable for the Kingdom.
Afterwards, with about forty people in tow, Amelia set out to celebrate her day in true Texas form, over chips and salsa, and sour cream enchiladas. I felt bad at the time, but for some reason, Amelia took to me that afternoon and asserted upon her arrival that she was going to sit next to me. After checking with her mom, making sure Amelia didn’t need to appease her out of town family with her presence at their table, I embraced the beginning of a sweet lunch sitting next to Amelia.
I can’t tell you what happened before or immediately after, but at some point during lunch, Amelia, in the blink of an eye, exposed my greatest weakness. A weakness I’ve carried for a decade, she brought up with no preface and no hesitation.
“Are you worried about getting married? Do you want to get married?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Well… God just hasn’t picked your man yet. But don’t worry, you’ll get married.”
And that was it. You’d probably think I left encouraged, elated even, that this precious friend, newly anointed with the Spirit of the living God, had no doubt that marriage is in the cards for me. But I didn’t. I left humiliated, messed up with embarrassment. I felt like all my efforts to have it all together, or at least appear to, had failed. A nine year old saw right through me.
Maybe I did stick out like a sore thumb among couple after couple that day, every single one with kids or kids on the way. Maybe everyone was wondering the same thing, feeling sorry for the single girl. Is it ever going to happen for her? Maybe they all know why it hasn’t and no one is telling me. But, as I’ve processed the whole encounter, moved past the insecurity, the fear and uncertainty that is stuck to this area of my life, Jesus has showed up in a way that’s undeniable. I fully believe God spoke through Amelia that day. Here’s why.