They say the heart wants what the heart wants. For me, the difficulty of this desert experience is not that it’s tiring in itself but because for the first time in my life, I’m facing a gaping chasm between what I want and where God has me. I want to travel again; if it were up to me I would join the Peace Corps or do a Critical Language Scholarship in the Russian sphere or go back to Spain and be a duolo for GBU. Maybe I’d go back to Argentina and hook up with the Campus Crusade chapter in Mendoza; maybe I’d go to Brazil and work on my Portuguese while doing something similar there. That’s what I want. I want to go somewhere and be useful. My heart is not content to stay. And for me, the hard part is knowing that it’s my responsibility to fight that off.
Sometimes I resent being a Christian. I’m an independent and strong-willed person. I don’t like relying on anyone and like to be open to major changes and transitions at the drop of a hat. I like to serve and to give everything I have to whoever needs me at the moment. And I believe very strongly that that part of me comes from God. The resentfulness comes in at having been called to be a wife. In May, I’m going to be marrying the most incredible man I know. I can’t believe he’s in my life. I’m amazingly blessed and fortunate to be his partner and I want to be his wife. But that’s not the only thing I want. The things I want are polarized and I have to choose between them.
Even harder for me is that there’s a right choice. I would even go as far as to say there is no choice, not really. God orchestrated Luke and I. I know I’m supposed to marry him, that that’s God’s plan. But being a Christian wife means submitting to him. That’s the part I’m having a hard time with. His mission field is the United States. And because I love my God and my soon-to-be husband, it’s my responsibility to put my own desires aside and submit to his.
My feminist friends are probably in an uproar right now. If you’re wanting to grab my shoulders and shake me until I realize that I can have what I want, I want you guys and gals to know that I’m not making an absolute statement with this. I’m not dropping everything I want—I will be going to grad school within the next few years, but over the past month Luke and I came to the very difficult decision that because of my health and because of some job opportunities on his end*, I will not be going right away. Luke is a faithful man of God and wants to be able to provide for me to the best of his ability. Since going abroad right now would undermine his ability to do that, we’re putting that desire of mine aside until or unless the Lord brings it up again.
I’m not some kind of martyr. My dreams are not as time-sensitive as Luke’s. Furthermore, I would appreciate the time to study a couple of languages and work on some of my writing projects as well as doing some work that’s a bit less intellectually demanding than what I’m doing now. I need a break, and this coming season is designed to be that for me as well as the first stepping stone in Luke’s career. I’m still coming to terms with this myself—that’s a big part of why I’m writing this, because telling it to someone else helps me to process it—and it takes a lot of trust every day to remember that God is working everything we’re dealing with together for good.
I’m starting to get the idea that God doesn’t want me to try and make sense of where I am. I think he wants me to just trust him—which, for someone like me whose default setting is to try and make sense of things, is actually rather difficult. It’s hard for me not to act. It’s harder for me to do things when I don’t know why I’m doing them. And I have a lot of things I still need to learn about being a wife before I’m ready to jump back into the world I know once again. Perhaps that’s what my mission field is for the time being: learning to love and respect my soon-to-be husband and to be the support he will need as he starts building his career. No, this isn’t exactly what I want. But as I’ve said about a lot of things lately, what I want ultimately doesn’t matter.
* As of recently, on mine as well. I’ll keep you guys posted.