Something hit me today. I'm afraid to be married. For someone who has pined for little else in life, it seems completely paradoxical. How could a woman who believes her greatest purpose in life is to demonstrate the love of God as a wife and mother, be afraid to get married? Well, sometimes it just is what it is until it isn't.
I had a conversation recently with someone who knows me only professionally and from this conversation I began to think about why I haven't gotten married and why my honey and I have struggled so much in a very different light. This person asked me, "What's the worst that could happen?" I had to admit, the worst that would happen would be that it didn't work out and I'd have to move back home with my mom and hear the sighs and see the eye rolls of well meaning friends, "Oh, there goes Stacey again, jumped head first and now she's all wet." The next worse thing I discovered later. The next worst thing is the isolation that will come from my family if I marry in an unconventional way, as seems very likely.
I hate isolation. I mean, like everybody there are times when I like to be to myself, but to be disconnected, to miss conversation, affection and intellectual exchange is like unplugging the phone. Case in point, when I was in high school, I began playing the violin. I was as close to a prodigy as you can be when you pick up an instrument for the first time at 15 years old. My orchestra teacher recognized my gift and decided to put me in the back room during class. He would give me two or three pieces of music to learn and then leave me in that room to teach the rest of the orchestra. By the end of the class, I had the music down pat and needed only a bit of correction and encouragement. This went on for what seemed like much longer than it probably was. I felt like I was losing my mind. I begged and begged to leave that room and join the rest of the class. My teacher warned me that if I joined them I would fall behind. That was enough to hold me for a while, but then I had enough. Despite the knowledge that I was far more advanced than the rest of the class and I would drop down several levels, I just had to join the pack. Thirty seven years later, I'm relearning how to the play the violin. I still have the talent, but the "gift" well, it's not what it was.
TD Jakes spoke of elevation of a few, Peter, James and John being taken from the 12 to the mount to see Jesus transfigured. They were already part of an elite group, but they were exclusive. When they returned to the 9, there is no way that they didn't behave or think differently than the rest. Today's daily bible reading was Daniel 1 and 2. When Babylon conquered Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar had all the best young men brought to him to be trained as wise men. Of this elite group, only Daniel, Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael were taken to the king. Daniel was elevated even out of this group, as he alone sat in the king's gate. Greatness requires a certain amount of isolation. Most people never achieve greatness because they are too afraid to separate from the group.
I told my honey that I'm afraid to move to Nashville for fear it might night work out for me again. I don't want to do the same thing over again. But this time would be different, I would be married, but my marriage and probably many other callings will require me to lose some relationships, to forge paths that I can follow no one, but Christ himself. This is petrifying to me and why I have remained single and emotionally dependent for so long.
Now that Mr. Mandela is gone, I see yet another picture of how being set apart is not just a by product of greatness, but a vital necessity. Am I ready to be elevated and leave behind the crowd? Am I courageous enough to overcome the fear of being Me and My Man against the world? I don't know yet, but I don't have long to figure it out.