#9 – An unfulfilled desire allows for other life opportunities that the fulfillment of the desire would eliminate. I am particularly reminded of this because of two particular life opportunities I got to take advantage of precisely because I wasn’t married right out of college. First, I was able to get my bachelor’s degree. Undoubtedly, I could have done this even if I had gotten married, but I am greatful for the four years I was able to spend on my degree with a more directed focuse. If I had gotten married and started a family, I would have been much more distracted from my school. Secondly, I was able to spend three and a half months in Israel. If I had gotten married, I would not have been able to spend a semester overseas. I learned so much from that semester, academically, spiritually, and personally, that I am so greatful I had the opportunity to spend that time in Israel.
#10 – Unfulfilled desires teach empathy toward those who are experiencing the same unfulfilled desires. It always meant a great deal to me when someone who was also longing to be married came to me and offered some encouragement. It wasn’t quite as meaningful when women quite a bit older than me and who had been married for quite some time came up to me and said things like, “You’re still young…you have plenty of time.” The greatest encouragement came from those who knew exactly what it was like to long for marriage. Right around the time that Carrie began her relationship with Carrie, God brought two friends into my life who were a great encouragement to me. He also strengthened a relationship with another friend. These three really helped me through that time. Because I appreciated the empathy from other young ladies who also wanted to get married, I started this page of links to encouraging articles.
#11 – Unfulfilled desires taught me not to expect life to be easy. During the time that I longed to be married, I was confronted with an expectation I had that life should be easy . . . that I shouldn’t have to struggle so much with unfulfilled desires. A Sunday school teacher I had during that time though shared the following quote (which he got from his dad): If you weren’t in a difficult situation yesterday and you’re not in one today, then watch out on tomorrow! This saying got me to thinking that God no where promises that life will be fun or easy. In fact, some Scripture even seems to indicate otherwise. The fact that it seemed like life was difficult didn’t mean God was picking on me. Quite the opposite. This was normal. Life is difficult; God doesn’t promise to make life easy, but he does promise to walk through the difficulties with me.
#12 – Unfulfilled desires taught me to recognize the benefits in my life without the fulfillment of those desires. It is very easy to see all of the ways life would be easier or better if my desires were to be fulfilled. It took more work for me to recognize the blessings of life even though God wasn’t fulfilling my desires. It took radical transformation about how I thought. It humbled me before God because it caused me to acknowledge that God actually knew what he was doing! God works all things for good for his children . . . it was just hard for me to recognize the good without my desires being met. But there was good because God’s hand was involved in my life.