Frankly, I did not care to serve my Lord as a single...My nose was poking over the fence into the "young married people's camp," wistfully gazing and dreaming. I was rendered useless for the Lord, and didn't even realize it.

When I was single, I had some very strange ideas. By the age of 16, all I ever thought about was marriage. A man, the perfect man, would rescue me from my lonesome existence, whisk me off my feet to a faraway castle, and we would live out our dreams together watching sunsets and eating strawberries dipped in white chocolate. No longer would I be bored. After all, being alone meant that I was stuck...with just me.

Do you know that as a teen I actually made a list-slash-prayer card and then in some weird, ritualistic, sing-song way, burnt it in the trash as a little offering to the Lord? It was from me to God and was no less than my "order for a man" -- right off the menu, I suppose. Praise God that He doesn't abandon us in our absolute immaturity and absurdity. I cringe when I look back.

When I was 18 years old, I shamelessly begged God for a man I could call my own. I prayed relentlessly. God, please bring me a man. Here is a list for you, Lord. He needs to be strong, and a Christian of course. Be sure that he is handsome and oh, tall would be nice. Can he have a good job? Oh, and as you know Lord, I don't care much for housework. Can he be one of those men who works hard both in and outside the home? Just a good smelling, hard working, tall, handsome Christian. Indeed, this will be all that I need to be happy. I just want to be happy.

At 19, I still longed for my prince. Life was a drag, thought I, without someone to call mine. Besides, it would be neat to have children, something to cure me from my incessant boredom...of me.

Still 19, I met Paul at one of those college youth groups, the kind that you attend in search of a mate...a Christian mate, of course. Now, I'll say here up front that my view of that group and Paul's were completely different. He was much older than me, almost the same age as the leaders. He was there to study God's word, counsel the younger men if needed, and support our leaders in their evangelistic efforts. Paul was not there looking for a mate. In fact, he was 30 years old and felt that the Lord had probably called him to remain single. He knew that God might use him more effectively for the Kingdom as a single man, and was content in his position of service. There were times, naturally, that he was lonely, and occasionally he prayed that if it were his Father's will, perhaps it would be very good to have a wife. He did not pray, however, for a somewhat spastic, 19 year old, desperate young woman.

I was tired of being single my whole life. Why didn't God take my little "prayer card burning thing" seriously? I was a real woman now, deserving respect and should be married. What was wrong with me? Why sit around and wait another decade? A 19-year-old "woman" on a mad mission to marry...Yikes.

My eyes sank into Paul like a dart on a target board one night at a college youth holiday event. Bull's eye. There he was. Handsome, strong looking, a godly man nose deep in God's word. What more could I need? My single days were OVER. I set out to make him mine.

God is very humorous at times. Once in a while we get just what we beg for, yet upon receiving the gift, it turns out to be completely different than what we had envisioned. Other times, He simply says, "No way," and we do not get the thing we're crying for. In my case, shockingly to me, I got exactly what I asked for. Paul and I had a big wedding (the story of our courtship is beyond ridiculous - that poor man!) and by about the third week of marriage, we were pregnant. Before I knew it, I was knee deep in four children, a husband and a whole lot of responsibility.