I had a dream last December. It’s a dream that I’ve held really close to my heart because it makes me laugh and it’s pretty wacky and I hope it will warm your heart as much as it warmed mine. First off, you should know that it’s a pretty detailed dream. I’m not making this up, pinky swear. Also, I’m not a wacko…I know that this dream won’t come true and I’m certainly not advocating that we all go out and marry complete strangers. But before I confuse you any more than I already have, let me tell you about Phillip.
Commencing dreamland in 3…2…1…
I was done with dating. Completely and totally done. I’d been out on a handful of dates and none of them brought me satisfaction. None of them led me closer to Christ. None of them made me want to date the person I was with. I was tired of all the pointless flirting and encouragement that I had to give out to get a guy to ask me out. I was weary of pointless, shallow relationships. I was done, just done.
And I told God that. I was talking to Him and I said that if He wanted me to marry someone, He was going to have to put that guy in my life, right in front of me, because I couldn’t do the dating thing. I wasn’t going to marry anyone unless God told me to. I’d be a nun. (Black is in style again, I could totally rock it.)
I found myself wandering around the student union at my college two days after that prayer. The union was packed and I honestly wasn’t sure what I was doing there. I was getting ready to leave when this random guy came up to me. He was kind of short and he had dark hair. I had never seen him before and he looked like he was feeling really awkward, which made me feel awkward. He was looking right at me. And then I was like….oh crap. He’s going to ask me to marry him. I promptly took back everything I said about God putting a guy right in my face because I was not going to marry this dude.
“Hi,” he said.
“This is really random, but my friend’s not here right now, and, well, he told me that God told him that he’s supposed to marry you. So I’m asking you if you will marry him.”
Shiitake mushrooms. Marry a stranger??? This was what I asked for, right? Oh man. This seemed so, so wrong, but I felt like I was supposed to say yes.
“Sure.” I shrugged.
“Yeah, sure.” I had just asked God to provide me with a husband, hadn’t I? And for some unspeakable reason, saying yes just felt right.
“Okay, I’ll tell him.”
Random Dude–I don’t remember his name–somehow managed to get me in touch with my now fiancé’s parents, who also remained nameless. My mystery fiancé’s parents insisted on paying for the wedding (hey, I was broke, I wasn’t going to say no) and then they told me I would be getting married in two weeks. Hold up, what? Two weeks. But you know what? God sent me a husband, a husband that I felt a huge peace about in my heart, so I agreed. Two weeks it was. I found a dress and my groom’s mom planned the wedding. Sounds peachy, right?
Wrong. I was terrified. The closer and closer it got to being my wedding day, the more freaked out I became. When Random Dude initially approached me in the student union, I had this awesome peace about the situation. I knew that the man I was agreeing to marry was the man in God’s plan for me. But I didn’t know my husband-to-be and it was freaking me out. I had selfish doubts.
I was sure that my fiancé was going to be some forty-year-old man with balding hair and a beer belly. I thought he’d have a stinky breath disorder. I thought I’d be annoyed by the way he ate his food. I thought he wouldn’t like any of the same things that I liked. I thought he’d be completely incapable of playing sports. I thought he’d hate cats. I thought that we wouldn’t get along. I thought everyone would judge me for marrying a man I’d never met. I thought the whole world would humiliate me. I thought people would say that I was desperate for a husband and that I took the first one I could get. I thought that he would never be able to make me happy.
Meanwhile, I still hadn’t met my husband-to-be. He eluded me. I hadn’t even seen a picture of him let alone learned his name. All of our friends and family that could make it were going to be at the wedding…my wedding to a total stranger. We had a rehearsal dinner and I was sitting there in a white dress watching everything go on. There were so many people and so much food that the chaos made the rock in my stomach turn into a full-on boulder. My groom had not shown up to the rehearsal. Cue even more insecurities.
I was convinced this was going to be the future of our marriage. If we even got married. Maybe he wouldn’t show up to that, either. I thought I would constantly feel abandoned and dissatisfied. This marriage couldn’t have been what God wanted for me. Maybe I had made up that feeling of peace at the student union. Maybe I was wrong about what God had told me. Maybe I shouldn’t go through with it.
But that was a silly idea. I knew, in the depths of my heart, that my groom, whoever he was, was the man God intended for me. So, instead of calling off the wedding and waiting for a man in a more practical way, I decided to trust God. I decided to put on that white lace dress my mother-in-law had bought. I decided to take a risk and completely place my future in God’s hands. He could do with it what He would. I would have to accept that His love was the only thing that would satisfy my heart and that His love would be enough to bring joy into my marriage.
So, I walked down the aisle in a tiny church. It was packed, absolutely packed and there were flowers everywhere. I held my breath. My face burned red. My groom was late. Maybe he wouldn’t come, I didn’t know, but I was trusting God and in that moment, God wanted me at the altar. So that’s where I went.
Then, the back doors opened and I looked up to see a man in a tux striding down the aisle. Then all of a sudden, I knew. Phillip. His name was Phillip. He was tall and broad-shouldered and he had reddish-brown hair and a rough-shaven jaw. I thought he was the most handsome man I’d ever seen in my life. And I married him.
You know something? All those selfish fears I had about him were completely unfounded because he was wonderful and I knew that we were good for each other. I was happy. I was so, so happy. So happy that just thinking about it makes me smile. Our reception couldn’t possibly have been more beautiful. It was perfect. I was completely overjoyed because I knew in my heart that marrying Phillip was right.
I watched from outside of my body as we walked to the car after the reception. Everyone had sparklers and I was smiling. He was smiling. It was beautiful. All my fears vanished. Of course it was perfect. God had planned it.
He matched me. It’s really hard to explain because it was just a dream, but he challenged me. He wasn’t someone I would have picked out for myself. He was better.
That’s when a whole new slew of insecurities came up. Instead of worrying he wouldn’t make me happy, I started worrying that I would make him happy. Was I good enough for him? For this man, who was honest and kind and genuine? Who was handsome and loving and gentle? Who loved God more than anything? I was just me. I was nothing special. Would my husband realize that and begrudge God for allowing him to marry me? Would he hate that we were married? Would he ever truly love me as his wife?
While all those new fears were tucked away in my heart, we traveled to my home so that he could see where I grew up. I was afraid of people knowing that I was married to this man, but instead of being afraid that they’d know I’d married a stranger, I was afraid that they would think I had somehow conned him into marrying me. I was afraid they would show him that I didn’t deserve him. Because they were showing it to me.
He was flawed, sure, but he was good for me. We were good. And then I realized that I was fine with people knowing that he was my husband because I loved him. There was no shame in that at all. People could call it what they would, but I was married to a man that I loved more and more every single day. I was happy. I was utterly and completely blessed.
When I woke up from that crazy dream, I was kind of disappointed because Phillip didn’t exist. He was a figment of my imagination. He wasn’t real, but, I’ll be honest, if a stranger walks up to me in the Union and asks me to marry his friend, I’ll probably say yes.
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