Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Behold My Bridegroom! Come and Meet Him.

I felt that I waited for a long time before I was able to finally meet my bridegroom. I considered a number of men but no one had the faith and the strength of character to cooperate with God to fulfill His grand plans for my love life. No one gained God’s favor long enough to become my anointed bridegroom. Not until my bridegroom came…

As I’ve shared in Chapter 5 of my book When My Bridegroom Comes, I made mistakes along the way. There were times when I was attracted to the wrong men.  I had been heartbroken a number of times as well.  It was only after I have finally surrendered my love life fully to God and allowed Him to lead me by the hand that I slowly saw the light.

It wasn’t an easy journey though; for, submitting my heart and mind to God on this aspect of my life had been an inner struggle. Submitting to God meant surrendering to Him my preconceived notions or ideals about the kind of man who is best for me. It meant offering my own list of essential characteristics and preferences regarding my future husband to God and letting Him purge or overhaul that list. It was scary. But God’s grace prevailed.  I was able to trust God completely that when He reveals the final list of essentials and preferences I should look for in a future mate, these would surely lead me to the one who is best for me. All I need is to follow the standards that He has set.

In October 2001, God started revealing the character traits that I should look for in my future husband one by one. I did not always agree with God right away whenever He revealed a certain character trait to me.  I felt then that finding a man with those qualities was hard. But I took note of them in my journal just the same. God inspired me to go on a personal silent retreat for three days in October 2003 where He helped me refine my list of essentials and preferences. God enabled me to journey into the depths of my heart so I could recognize clearly what kind of man can really make me happy.

For years since that time, I have guarded this list and used it in my journey as a single lady. I have shared it only to a handful of close friends who have been my support group during those days. It was only after I got married that I revealed all the traits in my list.

King David
Here is that list. Let’s begin with the traits that are essential to me, things that I would not compromise or live without.

1. He must have the qualities of King David – humble and obedient to God, has a servant’s heart and strong faith in God, passionate and devoted to God and a man of prayer. He must exhibit humility and obedience to God by submitting his plans to Him and admitting his sins, shortcomings and wrong doings. He must be active in serving God through the Church or any community where he generously shares his time and talents to advance God’s kingdom here on earth. He must be willing to take risks and be a fool for his faith. He must on his own have a strong desire to come before God’s presence and worship Him, express his love for Him and offer Him his longings and desires.

2. He must be like Abraham who had a very strong faith to the point that he was willing to do anything that God would tell him, even if what God tells him is very difficult to follow or it meant God would make a miracle for His promise to him to be fulfilled.

3. He must have the character of Joseph, husband of Mary. He must have a strong faith like his ancestor King David. He must be righteous and a responsible husband and father. He must be a good provider and protector for his family.

4. He must have strong leadership qualities so he can lead me and our family.

5. He must be supportive of the things I’m passionate about like serving God through my talents and pursuing my profession/craft.

6. He must be a good friend of mine.

7. He must be sweet, expressive or demonstrative of his love for me. It should be obvious to me and to those around us that I am the love of his life and there is no other girl who is more important to him but me.

8. He must be a good conversationalist. He must be someone I can talk to about anything that interests me, from very intellectual issues to trivial ones.

I bargained with God beginning with the very first qualities that He revealed to me. I thought that it would be almost impossible for me to marry if I use King David as a standard. And yet God was not satisfied with that. He even added Abraham and Joseph. I had to swallow hard before accepting and finally embracing God’s guidelines. It was really a tremendous leap of faith into the impossible. It meant living the verse “There is nothing impossible with God” literally for many years.

My bridegroom serenading me
during our wedding reception.

Do you think that my list ends there? I still have a list of preferences, things that I wish my future husband would also possess. These qualities however were optional. I thought that I would be happier if he would have these qualities, too.

1. He must sing well.

2. He must also love dancing just like me.

3. He must be obviously taller than me so that when I wear heels, he would still be taller. Preferably, I should stand just around his shoulders or lips.

Dancing with my Prince Charming
4. He should be able to make me laugh. 

5. He must also love to travel. 

6. He must be someone who has been a member of a Catholic group or community for a long time. This is just a preference; because over time, I have learned that a person’s number of years of membership or service in a community is not a guarantee that he/she is a person of strong and stable faith or godly character.

7. And lastly, he must be someone I’ve known in years.

Now that you’ve read my list, I’m sure you would agree that having this list as guide in searching for my future husband would definitely be difficult if at all possible. That’s what I also thought before; but, I had to stick to this list if I wanted to be true to myself and to my God. I knew deep within that marrying a man with these essential qualities would make me truly happy. That was my heart’s deep desire as a single lady. I knew how it felt to compromise these things and I felt miserable then. (You can read about this more in Chapter 5 of my book.)  I didn’t want to make that mistake again. So, with all the faith in my heart, I journeyed with God until He led me and His anointed to finally meet face to face.

At a Singles' Conference  
I did not recognize all these qualities to be present in George right away when we met. God revealed them to me gradually. We started having a brother and sister relationship since we met at the Light of Jesus (LOJ) Community Singles group where we were both members. Our fondness for each other was brought about by the common faith in God that we shared. Then, we became co-servants as we served in the LOJ Singles Service team. After a year of serving together, I grew to admire him as a friend and brother who manifests qualities such as having a strong sense of responsibility, dedication to God and his service, generosity, humility and leadership skills. He was only new in community but he showed a sincere hunger for God and His Word and he was eager to know Him better in whatever way possible or available to him at that time.

Serving together at a Singles' Bowling Tournament
On our second year of membership in the LOJ Singles Service Team, he was appointed Head. It was a bit surprising considering that there were other members more “qualified” because they had been in community longer than him. But God’s choices are sometimes mysterious and He sees things differently. It was during this time that he started courting me, just before he was chosen as Head of the Service Team. I grew to respect and admire him more as I witnessed him lead and serve. I was able to see at close range how he handles difficulty, problems and challenges. I witnessed also how he treated brothers and sisters in the faith as well as strangers. In a short period of time, we became close friends but I was not romantically attracted to him then. God however would not let His anointed be defeated by rivals. God intervened, surprised me, and moved my heart that I chose him over other men as I was attracted to at that time. God removed the scales from my eyes and revealed more qualities in him that matched my list of essentials. The details of which is another story.

God continued to show me one by one over our period of courtship that he indeed possesses not some but ALL of the essential qualities I longed to find in a future mate. I was in tears when God helped me realize that. Ours was a short engagement; for shortly after I agreed to be his girlfriend, God already showed me that this man has all the qualities that will make me happy. Discovering that he also possessed most of my preferences was a bonus. The only things he was not able to satisfy in my list of preferences (to my pleasant surprise) were numbers 5 to 7 (loves to travel, a member of a church group or community for a long time and someone whom I had known more many years).

My Bridegroom, George

I thank God that He gave me the grace to give him a chance and be patient in observing him. I thank Him for the faith to accept His choice/anointed. I thank Him for teaching my heart to submit to His perfect plan. If not for His grace and His guidance, I wouldn’t have met this wonderful man who is my husband now. Truly, with God nothing is impossible!

If you’re a single lady who’s still waiting for your bridegroom to come or is not yet sure if you are with the one who is best for you, I recommend that you order a copy of my book When My Bridegroom Comes. Find inspiration from it and and learn how your journey as a single lady can be more joyful, hopeful and fulfilling. Allow God to reveal to you His perfect plan for your love life and begin your exciting journey towards finding your anointed bridegroom and one true love.

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