Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I guess I'm a lesser woman

I just ran across this quote from Elisabeth Elliot's Quest for Love:

I know a woman who, when asked for a date, told the man quite candidly that since she had reached thirty she was no longer in the dating scene but was ready for marriage. The man proposed shortly thereafter. A lesser man would have been scared off, which is probably just as well.

I remember when I first read that story. I was a sophomore in college, and I thought it was pretty spunky of the woman to jump the gun. Wise, too, since she'd reached such an ancient age. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I'm going to be thirty in a few weeks and I don't feel that way any more. :)


Rachel Ann said...

WOW. And happy birthday in a few weeks. Can I take you out for a birthday dinner? Or maybe the beach? Or, better yet, the arboretum or Huntington Library?

Mary Rose said...

My dear Rachel - a future happy birthday greeting to you!

Goodness, you mentioned one of my "spiritual mothers" for many years. Elisabeth Elliot is an amazing lady and if I may be so bold, probably espouses more Catholic thought regarding modesty and chastity than any other female Protestant teacher I knew of. I never met Elisabeth "face-to-face" but have devoured many of her books. Such good stuff!

The book Passion and Purity is just the sweetest book and powerful in its admonition to wait for the Lord's timing in all things - including marriage.

I, myself, didn't marry until I was 39 years old. I had placed my desire to marry on the altar and served God within the church. (albeit, a non-denominational church for many years.) After I married, I became a Relationship Coach, helping women find more opportunities for love. (that's a story in itself!) I did this for three years. I had non-Christian women attend my workshops but actually had quite a few older Catholic women attend.

I did mention more than once that I prayed for my husband - both praying that God would bring me to him and asking God to give me prayer requests so I could pray for my future husband. This ended up making him more "real" to me.

I created a list of what I desired in a future mate and said to God, "Okay. If I could have anything in a guy, this would be it!" My spirit was hopeful. At this time, I was 37 years old. A little over a year later, I met my husband and he matched everything I had listed. Yup. It happened!

Now, I never thought I'd return to the Catholic church, so my husband is not Catholic. (Although I recently found out his grandfather was!) So, although things are little complicated right now, I still believe God has brought us together for a reason and I still love my husband dearly. He loves me as much and together, I believe God is going to do something amazing.

Prayer is the woman's best tool to use when her heart yearns for marriage. During this time, I spent hours meditating on the Psalms - especially the ones that spoke of waiting upon the Lord. And I offered up my single life for His Glory. He does indeed give us grace to accept all things. :-)

Anonymous said...

Rachel and Mary Rose, love you both! Did you know that Elisabeth Eliot is the sister of Thomas Howard, the author of Evangelical Is Not Enough, On Being Catholic, and other books? He was received into the Catholic Church at Easter 1985.

Jacqueline Y.

Rachel Gray said...

Thank you for your story, Mary! Personally I think you should post some about those years as a Relationship Coach on your blog. :)

Elisabeth Elliot has had a huge influence on my thinking as well, maybe more than anyone except C. S. Lewis. I heartily wish I had followed her advice in certain ways and am very glad I followed her advice in other ways. She's very straightforward and logical and absolutely committed to God.

Hi Jacqueline, and I have heard that about EE and TH being siblings... You and Mary Rose may be interested in the following. A brief interview with Thomas Howard, in which he says how his family took his conversion:

"My family 'reacted' with nothing but good will and charity. They are all mature Christian believers, and, while none of them could espouse all that I had espoused in becoming Catholic, there was no notion amongst us that I had 'left' the Christian fold. Our fellowship continues undimmed."

And a report about Elisabeth Elliot that absolutely made my jaw drop (though it's only one reporter's account of what apparently was a private conversation...)

Anonymous said...

Rachel, thanks for pointing me toward that article. I never would have expected EE to say something like that.

Elisabeth Eliot also wrote a book called Passion and Purity. Are you acquainted with the chorus that begins "Let the beauty of Jesus be seen in me, all His wonderful passion and purity..."? I learned it around a campfire at a Baptist high school retreat, and still sing it sometimes when nobody's around. I became a Catholic when I was 21 in (yikes) 1967.

Jacqueline Y.

pritcher said...

From another convert who'll be turning "ancient" in a few weeks, happy early birthday!

Rachel Gray said...

Thanks Pritcher! To you too. :)

Jacqueline, I've never heard that song before, but now I know where Elisabeth Elliot got her title! I have read P&P; it's excellent. I'd be interested in how you came to convert at 21.