[note: I will be talking about the season 8 finale of How I Met Your Mother so just go ahead and leave now if you don't want me to ruin it for you.]
The other night I curled up in my bed and watched the latest episode of How I Met Your Mother. My heart pounded as Ted revealed to Lily he was moving to Chicago because he couldn’t bare to watch the woman he loves be married to another man (…his best friend, of course.)
And besides, Ted said, the relationship thing just wasn’t happening for him in New York. He tried. He dated. He waited. “I’ve looked high and low for someone I can love and adore and cook waffles for…and the closed I’ve come to is Marshall.”
Season after season Ted has wanted Robin to be the woman he can cook waffles for (until death do them part…)
…but Robin won’t have him. In the season finale Ted is about to go to her wedding with dashed dreams and a broken heart (which is why he’s moving away the next very next morning.) He’s never been farther away from love and marriage than this very moment. He’s hopeless.
What Ted DOESN’T KNOW is that he hours away from meeting his future wife at Robin’s wedding!
So actually, he’s never been closer to love and marriage than this very moment. I wanted to yell at him through the computer screen to just HANG ON and not lose hope because the love of his life is just around the corner! Seriously Ted, just believe me.
And then I heard God speak.
“That’s exactly what I’m trying to tell you,” he said.
I had so much hope for a husband last year. I would go on walks to watch the sunset and pray for him, for us. I would drive around singing “I Will Wait” by Mumford and Sons at the top of my lungs.
And then nothing happened. December rolled around and I wrote in my diary, “I’ve never felt so far from marriage.” That same night I texted Betsy (how do I even explain her? She’s the most fabulous 48-year-old ever) my single woes.
“I will be the happiest person at your wedding,” she said. I texted back, and I will be the most surprised – “it actually happened!?”
As winter rolled into spring, I moved into a new house and spent the nights in my bedroom broken and vulnerable before God. I had never felt so far from marriage, yet I had never felt so close to Him.
I briefly dated a friend, it didn’t work out, I felt even farther away from marriage than before.
For the first time in my life, I started to wonder where exactly I went wrong. Did I miss my chance when I was younger and uninterested in dating? Was I too picky? Too fat?
I saw friends upload pictures of their husbands and kids on Facebook – I wasn’t jealous, just confused. How did they do it? I went on the same summer projects, worked at the same camp, and went on the same World Race where they all found their husbands. And yet here I was, posting pictures of cats and bachelorette applications.
I watched the guys I liked chase after other pretty girls. I read Jane Austen.
This year I felt like Ted, hopeless and heartbroken.
But as a viewer, I knew the best was yet to come for Ted. Why couldn’t he just buck up and believe it?
And then, like I said, God said the same thing to me. It happened in the same room where I had experienced so many painful, tearful moments with him. In this moment he used a TV show to communicate that he can see what I cannot – he knows how the story unfolds, he knows that it’s good and worth the wait. So can I just trust him already? Like, for more than 2 seconds? My man is just around the corner (…whatever THAT means. According to God a thousand years is like a day, so yeah. I’m not clinging to timing.)
What I am clinging too is hope. For hope that is seen is no hope at all. Just like my tattoo represents.
And then, one day when I least expect it, the mystery will unfold…