I had many fears growing up. Of the many, they included being suffocated, drowning, and getting an arranged marriage. I know that last one probably just made you go, “Wait. What?” First off, I am not hating on arranged marriages! I am the product of an arranged marriage, and my parents are going on 27+ years strong. There was just something about it that made me squirm. Even though I knew that my parents were both proponents for it, I was still very much against it to the point that I would actually wake up from my sleep after having nightmares about it.
Let me explain part of the reason why I was horrified of an arranged marriage. In my mind, an arranged marriage meant that your parents found your partner, that there wouldn’t be any true effort of wooing or courtship, and that there really wasn’t a choice involved. In many of my nightmares, my parents would make me marry a guy I had never met or didn’t know. I know these dreams would never happen in real life, but I still didn’t want to marry a complete stranger that was picked out for me.
Fast forward to the summer of 2014. I was half way through my PA program and my whole family decided to come visit me! At this stage, I was loving life! I was in PA school, living in Georgia, making real relationships with people in my class and in my community. I was thoroughly enjoying single life while hoping that God would bring the right man into my life to whisk me off my feet. Well, my family decided to stop by and see me while on their way to a conference. I was so naïve to think that they had innocent intentions.
My parents actually decided that this was the perfect time to have the “marriage talk” with me. Yes, it was just as painful and awkward as you may be imagining it. They were talking about “proposals” that people had mentioned to them. They wanted to know when I wanted to hear about these supposed proposals… The entire conversation was so unexpected for me mainly because I was under the impression that I was free from all of this until I had finished up with school and started my career. Boy, was I wrong!
Well, after I got over the initial denial and shock, disappointment and anger replaced everything. I felt like every dream I had of falling in love and being pursued by someone was going down the toilet. I had to do some serious soul-searching, and I realized that I had to trust God to know the desires of my heart.
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. | Proverbs 24:1-3
Once again, I really had to trust God, and it took me some time to be more open minded to realize that having an arranged marriage was not the equivalent of compromising the desires of my heart. Maybe I would actually be pursued even under such circumstances… or maybe I might be swept off my feet without ever expecting it. I have learned that God has this way of doing things that isn’t how we expect and yet, is always the best.