Dear Single Girl Who’s Wondering if He’s “The One”:
When I was twenty years old I did something crazy: I got married and moved a thousand miles away to the hills of rural Arkansas. My husband and I didn’t have much to our name and I was still in school. To top it off, I had never lived away from home before.
Four years later, I look back and am shocked by that bold step. Yet, I’ve never once regretted that decision. Our marriage has had its ups and downs, just as any marriage does, but we are very, very happy. I do miss my family and the endless sunny days in Arizona, but I have never once cried from homesickness. In all honesty, that move from Arizona to Arkansas was not terribly hard for me.
I get asked almost daily why it wasn’t that hard. I’ve come up with all sorts of answers. My personality. I was ready to have my own home. I was raised to be independent. Modern technology makes staying-in-touch easy. All true reasons, but not enough in and of themselves. The real truth is that it wasn’t all that hard because of Andy.
When I was a young teenager, I got it in my head that I wanted to marry a man that I could follow. For a stubborn, bossy first-born such as myself, that was not an easy requirement. Yet, in my heart I knew that that criteria would be the make-or-break factor for my marriage. “Would You Go With Me?” by Josh Turner became my anthem. I longed for a man who would ask me if I’d go with him “to the ends of the sea”, and with whom I knew that I would.
I thought I knew what such a man would look like. He’d have to be loud and outgoing to balance out my quiet side. He’d have to be a good speaker, but a poor writer, so that I could be his helpmeet and write for him. Oh how wrong I was!
Thankfully, I would indeed follow my husband to the end of the sea. Yet, this man of mine is not what I thought he would be. He is quiet and reserved and gentle. When describing him, his grandmother once told me that still water runs deep. He has a tender heart, yet he can be sarcastic. He’s a good speaker, but he doesn’t like to be the center of attention. And he’s a wonderful writer.
When I married Andy, I knew I was marrying a man I could follow. I have come to realize that it is for this reason primarily that moving away from everyone and everything I ever knew wasn’t so very difficult. You see, when you marry a man that you can follow, actually following him isn’t all that bad.
You may never follow your man to the ends of the sea. You may end up getting married and never living farther away than the house next door to your parents. But I can promise that the time will come when you will have to follow him, and you will be asked to give up or move away from something or someone that you love. The question is, will you be able to do it?
And so, as you look for a man to marry, I encourage you to not settle for anything less than a man you can follow. Don’t look for a man who is good looking, or well off, or charismatic, or seems to have to have it all together. Don’t look for a man that you will always agree with or that will go along with anything you want. Instead, look for a man you can follow.
I know all too well how important that is.