sweet november.

Sometimes I make some pretty silly and slightly insignificant goals for myself, like wearing the same pair of socks for three days in a row or something. This past summer I made a goal to watch the movie Sweet November in November – cute, right? I realized almost too late that yesterday was the last day in November, so I threw on some slippers, ran out to my car into the pouring rain and picked it up from the library. Phew, that was close.

With only two hours left in November, I popped the DVD into my computer and watched Keanu Reeves transform from a busy, narcissistic businessman to a loving, thoughtful and kind man. Oh, the wonders a woman can do (…especially if you’re Charlize Theron, you know?)

This movie lures me in with it’s soft colors and character development. Gosh, I’m a sucker for character development. There’s this part when Keanu is standing on the street – he looks around and he realizes that he sees everything differently now. He notices details and people, and he appreciates it all. He runs upstairs and throws his cell phone and watch into a sink full of soapy water and asks Charlize to marry him. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the ending for you (…like you even care.)

Sometimes when I’m watching romantic movies I scream at the screen IT DOESN’T REALLY HAPPEN THAT WAY! or THIS IS NOT AN ACCURATE PORTRAYAL OF REAL LIFE!

Funny, I don’t seem to do that during action movies, like Spiderman or the Matrix. Though I wonder if that’s when guys need to check themselves (…I knew a few who should.)

But anyway. I think I’m finally past the whole Cinderella fairy tale ending, I’d just like a man who loves Jesus A WHOLE LOT and maybe even has a beard. A few years ago I was chatting with some single girls who were a good few years older than me – we were discussing what we wanted in a man. I said things like, “he must have brown hair and brown eyes and have big hands and be exactly five inches taller than me; he should wear t-shirts with jeans and a good hoody and he must like to read classic literature and have a mature understanding of the movie When Harry Met Sally; he should be into politics and play piano and appreciate the arts and go camping and enjoy mangoes and have the perfect combination of depth and humor. Also he should have a foreign accent.” My older girlfriends looked at me and laughed. “We’ve reached the point where we just want a man with two legs and all his teeth – anything else is a plus.” I was horrified.

But now I get it, I guess.

I don’t really know many guys these days, because I’m fasting from them. This basically means I run out of the room whenever I see one…ha. Kind of kidding, kind of not. But the other day this guy was across the room from me, and I only know about him because we haven’t talked much (the whole running out of the room thing usually prevents that from happening), but I looked at him and I thought, “I’d like him to be my husband.” It wasn’t necessarily an unrealistic, romantic fantasy as much as it was a practical thought. It was so simple in my mind that this guy has good character and we could serve well alongside each other – it just made sense. There were no butterflies in my stomach (or if there were, they were being smothered with a deathly force.)

Our future lives don’t seem likely to align, so I wondered… would it be okay for me to pray for this guy to be my husband one day? And this thought really stumped me. Because I don’t think I’ve ever wondered if something was “okay” to pray about or not. So I started asking around.

My family discussed it at dinner last night. My mom and dad were pro-praying about it, my 21-year-old brother, Philip, was not. My question quickly led into a heated and somewhat hilarious discussion about free will/presentation (…gotta love it!) And then I was thinking about how Christians are so weird, and if any of my non Christian friends were secretly watching this family dinner they would be FREAKED OUT. We were throwing Bible verses back and forth quicker than an auctioneer and using words like “arminianism” and “prevenient grace.”

(in the middle of all this my 13-year-old brother interrupted, “if those are mashed potatoes, and those are sweet potatoes – then shouldn’t they really be called sweet mashed potatoes?” He’s brilliant in his own way…)

Philip was so against the idea because he insisted that a person loses freedom whenever they are influenced. Meaning if I asked God to make it so this guy and I end up together, I am taking away that guy’s freedom. This turned into a joke where I told my brother that he was just worried that some girl was out there praying for him to be her husband, so that one day when he gets married he won’t know if it’s by his own will or not. He laughed nervously.

Then we all started poking fun at Philip, asking him to pass us the potatoes and after he did we said HAH WE JUST STOLE YOUR FREEDOM!! because we influenced him. We did this all night. At one point my mom said that she had prayed for my dad to be her husband, so I started calling my brother a “slave” child. Oh man it was fun.

ANYWAY. I’m writing all this to see what you guys think – is it a wise decision to pray for someone you hardly know to be your spouse one day? Or is that totally dumb and kind of freaky.

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About Hope Naomi

Lover of all things tea and travel.
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6 Responses to sweet november.

  1. shanaynegans says:

    Like I’ve said many times..I know nothing about nothing, but I am with your parents on the pro praying train. God already knows that you’ve been thinking about it so why not ask?

    I pray juuuust about every day for God to continue to give me the strength to stay away from men. I also pray that God puts a great single hott sexy Christian man into my life. I don’t know if they are cancelling each other out and that’s why I continue to stay single? Anyhoo, prayer to me is tricky.

    Sorry this is rambles. But I say pray about it and invite me to your wedding. I will make an unplanned toast/speech and catch the bouquet.

  2. Rothman says:

    hmm… we chatted about this and I have no idea what I said earlier.. but.. I don’t know…

    I know that if I like a boy, and pray for him or pray for us to be together, then I become emotionally attached… then i daydream about him and think about us getting married, having sex, and doing ministry together.. wow. im weird.

    but yea.. that is me… so I know for myself that if I pray for a guy I like to be my husband, I might end up liking him a lot more.. and this begins the pattern… without ever knowing if the guy is even interested in me…

    But God is God and He’ll do whatever He wants whether we ask for it or not… hmm…
    I’m with shayners… prayer is a tough concept.

    ramble ramble ramble.
    Do what you want.

  3. Rainbow says:

    First- Sweet November is my favorite romantic movie of all time. I especially love the A-typical ending… and the bubble machine.

    Second- I LOVE that this was a family dinner table discussion. I wish I was there!

    Third- I haven’t really taken the time to think this through… since I just read your blog and now I’m responding- but I’ll just write the first thoughts that came to my mind and you can chew on what tastes good and spit out the rest. Deal? 🙂
    My thought is that I think we (all us single Christian girls) would probably be better off praying for our husbands in general than for some specific guy we’re not really sure about. So something less along the lines of “Dear God, I wan’t to marry , please help it all work out” and more along the lines of “Dear God, I ask, whoever my husband is, that you bless him and grow him and and bring him my way (sooner rather than later?)”. Because let’s face it, we’ve all prayed for God to make someone our spouse that turned out to just be bad news- so *phew*- glad God didn’t grant that one. If we’re praying for our future spouse and it is the most recent guy who has caught our eye than it will go to him, but if its not him than it’ll go to whoever and wherever he is and that’s what we really want anyways right? Plus, if we’re really praying about a specific guy it’s not a far cry from convincing ourselves its “meant to be” if he stays in the picture for any amount of time or we start to read every little thing he does as confirmation from God. Does this make sense at all? I realize I’m rambling. I’ll stop now.

  4. mac! says:

    okay. not sure if it’s okay for dudes to comment on this?

    also…please don’t be freaked out that the day or so after you clued me into the blog i’m posting. we’re at debrief, and i am checking people’s blogs like crazy while internet is fast and free.

    also also…i’m a sucker for commenting.

    now, on to the business at hand. i never ever think it a bad idea to be honest and up front with our Abba. i think scripture speaks to His great desire for us to do that. but i think praying for a specific person who you think might be a good match to be your unified partner in Christ is risky. because…

    a. don’t we have faith in God to lead us to He has for us? that god has a specific plan for our life, which includes our spouse, and that my greatest desire is to live out His will…because it’s the best one…regardless of how it looks or where it takes me. and don’t we trust Him to lead us into and through all of it if our eyes are always focused on Him? don’t we believe that if we’re called to marriage, God has someone for us that is so much better for us than we could pick for ourselves? that they are so much more precious and beautiful and interesting and dynamic and radical and challenging and just gosh darn amazing than we ever even knew? yes. yes i believe that. and i trust that God, who seems to love to surprise me (or at least constantly show me how little i really have my own life pegged) will lead me to the woman he knows will compliment me best, and will be the best partner i could ever have (other than Jesus and the Holy Spirit) to live in and advance His kingdom.

    so i’m praying that He will lead me to her, point her out, speak to my spirit about her, in His timing. and at that point i will pray like mad about discerning if she is to be my partner and how in the world He’s going to give me cash for a ring.

    wow…that was a lot longer than expected.

    b. i kind of agree with rothman about the whole emotional attachment thing that creeps in, though we always tell ourselves it won’t. not this time. no way. i’m being smart about it, and mature. and…oaw crap, now i have a major crush on this person that i didn’t before, and dangit…here we go again.

    c. i have a friend who specifically prayed that God would change the feelings of a guy who liked her. she didn’t like him at all, wanted him to quit asking her out, and asked God to change his heart. now they’re married. so, take that for what you will.

    d. is there a mature understanding of when harry met sally? i mean really?

  5. marissavilla says:

    So it’s taken me forever to give you the answer after you asked me days ago. But after thinking and then reading this, this is my input…

    -My initial thought was, “whoa. she talked to her parents about this?! that’s awesome. when i told my mom about my now ex-fiance, it was really weird and uncomfortable and… we just don’t talk about that stuff. it’d be nice to have a parent to share these things with…but wait, God is my Father!” So since he is, why wouldn’t you share this with him? i mean, he already knows, but why not further your intimacy and talk to him about the guy? if i were to start crushing on a boy, i’d run to my phone and call you to tell you. i’d tell you that i wanted to date him. i’d tell you every detail of our conversation and ask your thoughts on it. you’re my friend. we’re close like that. we have a deep relationship. people who are not my friends or close to me? i wouldn’t talk to them about it. so talking to God about this guy would only bring you closer to him (God), i think.

    -second. maybe i’m wrong, but i don’t think the whole “guard your heart” thing is a preventative measure for heartbreak. i mean, it can be but i think heartbreak is inevitable in life. i think guarding your heart is to always seek the lord, to put him above anything or anyone else. he is the ultimate protector so when we seek him first he is guarding it better than we can. so wouldn’t you going to God about the guy and not the guy be a sign that you are, in fact, guarding your heart by seeking his guidance? and yeah, we need to be responsible about controlling our emotions and feelings and all that, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be perfect and we’ll be happy forever. so yes, be wise about your relationship. if you pray about it make sure you’re ACTUALLY leaving it in his hands and not taking it into your own.

    -and last. so let’s say you do ask God to make guy 1 your husband. you pray about him for 6 months. then one day on facebook you see his relationship status has changed and it now says “in a relationship” or worse, “engaged.” and it’s not to you. Is it gonna hurt? heck yeah. you’ll probably cry a lot. and you might be upset that your prayer wasn’t answered the way you wanted. but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have prayed about/for it. it means that God had better for you. so when guy 2, who actually will be your husband, comes along you will see with greater clarity how it was sooo much better than guy 1 ever could have been. if you hadn’t have prayed then you’d just think guy 2 was really cool. by praying about guy 1 and not getting your specific request, but way better you’d realize he always has greater gifts. he has better than the piddly stuff we ask for. not calling guy 1 piddly. you’d also be so, so, so much more grateful that God spared you from guy 1. i’ll be honest and a little bit vulnerable here. i thought my ex-fiance was a really, really amazing guy. he treated me well, pushed me to be better, knew my different laughs (fake, nervous, real, etc.), and all these other things i didn’t even know i liked in a person. i prayed about him from the beginning, when we were just talking on the phone! two years into it, it didn’t work out. so if he was amazing and wasn’t the best…then how awesome will my actual husband be?! and even though most days it’s hard for me to understand why it’s taken this long for the actual husband to come along…i know that one day i’ll be like, “all that hurt, all those tears, all that frustration? totally worth it.” Why? a. because it made me who i am now b. brought me to this really cool guy who’ll serve God with me and most importantly c. made my relationship with God immovable.

  6. Matthew Milo says:

    Dear Shaw-tay Mendo-lay,

    I think it’s completely valid to ask the Lord for practical provisions (i.e. Food, work, spouse, lolz w/friendz, a better MIA record). In fact, he even tells the disciples to do so in the Lord’s prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread”.

    In that same Matthew chapter (6?) He’s saying that the pharisees assume their prayers will be answered based on their fancy phonetic formulation (<- alliteration :), but that the Lord knows our desires before we do.. yet STILL he models a prayer of request.

    I'm sure anyone reading this can admit to offering up a prayer for a +10 job, +15 husband/wife, or an otherwise specified +100 outcome… & while it might seem picky to our hearts, Christ longs for us to bring the (sometimes gritty and selfish) reality of our desires before him. Sometimes to answer them outright, other times to reveal the selfish nature of our demands, and to reform our desires.

    Also, one of the intended outcomes of true prayer and supplication is PEACE! (Phil 4:6-8) If we are beating our hearts over the head with heavy prayers and worrying that our desires wont be met, we are showing a lack of faith! We should be using prayer as an opportunity to lay our desires before Him and trust Him to meet them in His power. (ex. "Dear God, that boy is super raw. I'd 'greaterthan3' to marry him, I trust you to provide a husband & will wait 4 your grace.")

    I'm guessing that in your convo, the James 4:2 passage "You do not have, because you do not ask." was brought up, and I've heard Christians mistakenly use this to support prosperity gospel, but that negates the real context of the latter half of James (in summary: "a lack of faith leads to many sins"). James isn't saying "ask & you shall recieve" (#eternalsalvation), he's saying "don't be greedy & fight w/ your neighbor over something, just ask the Lord 4 your own portion." (#12tribesofjacob)

    In conclusion (but not conclusive):
    *The Lord models requesting.
    *The Lord knows your desires, & openness can lead to killing hidden sin.
    *Prayer should result in peace & more faith.

    …If these things are true, then you're prolly in the green. 🙂

    It's awesome to read along w/ you wrestling with a desire for marriage. Even this longing itself can be offered up as a real sacrifice (via: Elisabeth Elliot, Pass&Pur). Their are practical ways to help you figure out if ur ready though (going on a few lite dates, not leaving town for months at a time, & spending time w/ married couples 🙂 Our desires are always being formed by something… & desire formation is good if it's enforcing good desires (aka: leading to a self sacrificing, sanctifying marriage) and terrible if it's not (aka: living like Samantha & the girls in NYC. No rules + plenty O'shoes!!)

    You're a wonderfully fun & beautiful girl, & I'm excited to follow along as the Lord reveals every good & pleasing gift in your life. Look for them, and be eager to trust in His future grace in every situation!

    Grace,
    -MmJ

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