This is a really hard post for me to start, because I don't know where to begin. How can I write about celibacy? I mean I am...celibate...although, it is hard. Maybe that is exactly why God wants me to write this, as a reminder to myself why this is so important.
Long story short on how I got to this point. After my divorce, I dated. I had sex. And the relationships ended, and I felt not only alone, but used. Especially after the one that lasted almost a year, ended because he didn't want to be around my kids. Yes, he knew about them, in fact he met them a few times. But he knew (and I found this out later) that he wasn't going to be able to be "that man" for months...yet, never said anything to me, leading me to the conclusion that he was sticking around. because I was allowing him the benefits that only a husband should have, and he had no intention on making me his wife.
That hurts. No matter how old you are.
God and I had a long conversation the night when that relationship effectively ended. I was so hurt, so upset, that I felt like I was fifteen years old again and breaking up with my boyfriend. I prayed that night on my bathroom floor, I prayed harder than I had in a long long time.
I prayed, not to bring this undeserving male back, nor for any revenge. I prayed that God would lead me to a man, a real man worthy of my love and affection. I promised God that I would remain faithful to HIS command, no matter what, because I am worth the wait.
God answered my prayer pretty fast. I met Tim on Catholic Match, and we instantly connected. It was a strange, yet peaceful calm feeling that I finally met the man that God intended me for. Everything falls together, just as it should. But, there is the matter of that promise, to remain pure for my husband...and he is not my husband (yet-key word).
I would be lying if I said this wasn't a challenge. I would be lying if I said I didn't think about it, or that it hasn't come close. There are times when I want to say "no it's OK because we are going to get married anyway". I get mad sometimes, frustrated even. We are two adults, we have both been in relationships before, why can't we just have sex?
Then, I am reminded;You are a child of God, and you are both worth the wait, and you are setting the example of how you want your children to behave.
A word real quick on the children. Together, we have six. Neither one of us was married in the Catholic Church. This does not make our children spawns of Satan or anything crazy like that. When explaining to the children the importance of waiting until marriage to have kids, I have to remind them that they are still loved, still wanted, and my marital status does not change that.
It is hard setting a good example, especially with something that is done behind closed doors. Is it really any of the kids business if we have sex? No. However, when we do talk to them about remaining pure, to be able to say "We waited, and yes it was hard at times, and yes we started to slip, but we both came back to God and vowed to keep pure until we got married" is going to be one of the most powerful lessons we teach them.
It is waiting for your Boaz. It is hard, but God has a plan, and it is bigger than what we could ever imagine. It is about staying faithful to God and yourself. I firmly believe that the reason no previous relationship worked out,was because that individual was not who God wanted me to be with. There is a Hebrew word beshert, which means "predestined one". In the book My Jesus Year, Benyamin Cohen writes "Before we are even born, God knows which two people should spend their lives together in Holy Matrimony. There is such a bond between these two souls that God has to use all of His strength just to keep them apart, until the appropriate time for them to find each other...like God pushing apart the waters of the Red Sea with all His might. Only when the time is right, are the two brought together. Finding each other is not the hard part. It's waiting until the right time."
Think of how powerful that is. If God had to use the force and power like "pushing apart the waters of the Red Sea" to keep us from meeting each other before the time is right, then imagine the force and power it takes us, as mere mortals to keep from making the union consecrated? That is some seriously powerful forces to work against, yet, because we both know it would be wrong, we have to fight the temptation.
Now, this is more than just a post about my sexual frustration and reminding myself why we are waiting. There have been some unintentional side effects if you will. I have become more devoted in prayer, more forgiving of myself and others, and I have been reading more of the Bible, and have become a more devout catholic. I also have been dating for marriage, not just dating to see what happens. Tim and I have been focusing our relationship on our friendship, rather than sex. We can go out on a nice date, and there is no assuming anything will happen when the night comes to a close. We can be together for hours and not say a word to each other, yet everything is just right. We are learning about each other, what we like, what we don't, our good sides and even our dark sides.
Dating for marriage is not just dating, hoping you will "catch a husband". It is also not about just having a good time. I don't think it should be called dating. It is really courting. The difference between dating and courting is; "Dating does not necessarily mean the persons are interested in marriage at all, let alone interested in determining if this person they are dating might be the person they should marry one day. For many, dating is a form of entertainment, something to do with one’s free time. It is completely possible to date someone with absolutely no intention of considering them for marriage. Courtship, on the other hand, absolutely does have marriage in mind. To say that you are courting someone or are in a courtship is basically to say “I am moving toward potential marriage with this person, and we shall see how it goes.” It also absolutely implies exclusivity with the person. To enter into courtship means to put a hold on considering any other person for marriage in order to focus on determining if this person you are courting is the one to become engaged to marry" (Anthony Buono, The difference between dating and courtship Catholic News Agency).
Keeping in mind that I have never been treated so well before in a relationship than I have been in the past few months of being in this courtship, shows me that God is at work here, and I just need to be patient and wait....because we are both worth it.