Ryan Miller sang it like a cowboy. He sang it during communion at my best friend’s wedding. And I couldn’t help but cry at God’s faithfulness to Rheanna. I couldn’t help but recount how I had prayed that she’d meet someone who appreciated her like I did. Who’d recognized the gift of her like I did. I had prayed for her more than I did for me. I remembered the conversations we’d had when we were happy for friends and family but wondered “where’s my man?”
Even after I surrendered marriage to the Lord, there were hard reminders and weeks. Rheanna was the one who I could call and knew would understand and yet have a word that was truthful, empathizing, and spiritually-encouraging without being cliché. In the back of my mind, I had always wondered how I’d feel if she, my last single friend, married first. And here we were, standing at the altar.
I have to admit, three months ago during that song, I wasn’t just crying because of God’s faithfulness to Rheanna. I wasn’t just crying because I saw her come alive in a deeper way than I could have imagined with her fiancée. I wasn’t just crying because her husband was better than I could have imagined.
I was crying because I was telling God that I would cling to that old rugged cross and exchange it someday for a crown. Even though it meant turning 30 without being married. Even though it meant turning 29 with no prospects. Even though it meant that I might never know love, know motherhood, know what it’s like to feel valued, to feel important. To have someone to call when there’s an emergency.
I’d suffer for a while for the glory that I’d forever share of an eternity with Him. I’d bear my little cross because He wanted me to. I’d bear it for the one who bore the big cross to bear me to heaven someday. I cried because He was still good, because of that old rugged cross. I cried because He knows pain beyond what I know. I cried because just as He was faithful to Rheanna, He had been faithful to me in dark nights, and I knew He would continue to be.
I went through many lows without a significant other. I can look back and say that God is faithful. Not only or primarily because He brought a good and gracious gift into my life, but for His presence in each of those moments. For His tenderness and comfort. For the truths He spoke to me and over me.
Rheanna wrote it all those years ago…how “The Man” doesn’t show up as a prize or reward when we’re at some certain spiritual level. He’s an added blessing to what I already have with Jesus.
I’ve been given an added blessing. And just like my cat was a reminder of God’s faithfulness (I wish I were joking), so is this man. God is always faithful. He just shows it in different ways at different times. I’m grateful for the reminder of how well God knows me and thankful for how faithful God’s been in his provision of this particular man…but I’m grateful that God’s heart is always faithful towards me whether or not He expresses it with gifts.