In the name of the Father, the Son, & the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen!
I am your typical hopeless romantic girl. I grew up on movies like Titanic, The Notebook, A Walk To Remember, The Vow, The Fault In Our Stars, Pretty Little Woman, Disney fairytales, basically all soppy, romantic movies. As such, my ideas of love were very movie-like. I expected to be swept off my feet and charmed by a knight in shining armor. I ignored and dissed all the men that weren’t prince-like. I eliminated guys because of their looks, job, or other superficial things. I thought if I found a guy that checks everything on my list he would be the right one. When the time came for me to start thinking about marriage seriously, I selected three bachelors who were ready for marriage. Two of them had everything on my list and one none at all but he had appealing qualities. My love life which I had hoped would be like a Disney fairytale was turning out to be like a Korean drama. How do you decide between three qualified bachelors? I was troubled, to say the least. So, I asked my knights to give me three months to decide and went to Eritrea. Almost two months went by and I was still unable to make any decision. As I was dealing with this dilemma, one of my spiritual sisters advised me to pray about it. So I did.
I am sorry, I don’t pray often. I am sorry I only come to you when I am troubled. I am sorry I don’t thank you enough. Please forgive me for all my sins and show your mercy once again.
God, I have to make an important decision but I am not sure how. Please tell me what to do? I want to live my life according to your will and for your glory. The choice I will make in these few weeks impacts the rest of my life. Please help me to choose a path closer to you.
I am surrendering. I am leaving it all in your hands. Whatever you tell me, I promise to do it.
Just fyi, I am a bit slow, please make the answers very clear so that I can understand.
Thank you in advance.
That was the prayer I made every morning when I went to Saint George’s church. After I made my prayers I would sit on the benches near the gate and there would always be this older lady (Adey Eitaye) wearing a yellow dress, white shawl, and yellow hat reading a prayer book.
I am not a social person but I would approach the Adey Eitaye and chat with her. I talked as she stares off to the picture of Saint George on the church building in front of us. For a good 15 minutes, I would tell her about all my troubles and leave. The Adey Eitaye doesn’t say anything, yet, I continued talking to her every day after my prayers. Two days before I had to return to the U.S. I came to the church and did my usual routine. That day as I prayed. I told God, “Today is the last time I will be coming to this church to pray about this topic.” I had made peace with the fact that maybe God doesn’t have an answer for me at this moment, and sometimes no answer is an answer. I had decided to say no to three of the guys.
As I had been doing for the past couple of weeks, I complained to the poor Adey Eitaye who was a victim of my venting. I said my goodbyes and as I stood to leave she held my hand and motioned for me to sit. Then she said, “Eza gualey eti melsi eqo abe lebeki ahediruwo yu. Kab kdem abe lebeki neru, ketsemiyo aydelken ember.” (The answer is in your heart, it has always been there, you were just unwilling to hear it). Shocked that the lady could talk, I was speechless. I had never heard her utter any words as I talked a mile per hour, thus I had assumed she doesn’t talk. All I could say was, “Entay maltken?” (What do you mean)? Adey Eitaye continued, “Eti zeblechelch eyu ember awanawinuki lebiko negiratki ala. Gen nseb aytmerxi, neti msti seb tehlefyo hewet merxi. Kedsna hewet merxi. Menyu nabti megdi haki zmerhaki kabzomkulom?” (You couldn’t pick because you were being fooled by sparkles (what looks appealing). Don’t choose a person, choose the life you would spend with the person. Chose a holy life. Out of all of them who is the one that will lead you to the path of God)?
I didn’t have to answer her questions and she didn’t have to say anymore. It seems the answer had always been there but I was choosing not to see it or I wasn't ready to see it. I thanked the Adey Eitaye for listening to all my rumbling and for being the vase God used to give me an answer. I asked her to remember me in her prayers and left.
When I returned to the U.S. I knew what I had to do. I felt so light-hearted as if a heavy burden had been lifted off me. I called my now fiance and told him I would marry him. My heartfelt at peace because I had listened to God, but I won’t lie there were times when I got tempted by the sparkles of the world even after I had said yes to him. The devil tested my loyalty again and again by bringing other options that SEEM better. The grass will always seem greener on the other side. However, at the end of the day, the grass God gave you is the greenest of them all. Like Adey Eitaye advised me, don’t choose for the wrong reasons. Don’t choose for someone's look, money, job, race, country, or family. Choose the person who will lead you to God.
Three days ago, I got engaged to the man who didn’t have anything on my list. To all my girlfriends who were asking me why I chose him? I did not choose him, I chose heaven. Marriage is one of the most important sacraments of our church. If we do it right being married can be as holy as going to a monastery. Marrying him is living a holy life.
All the events that led me to my engagement day have taught me a few lessons. My first lesson is that fairytales do exist but they might not look like the ones in the movies, they might be even better. Have an open mind and let God give you a love story beyond your imagination, one that hasn't even been written. My second lesson is that sparkles fade. A person’s most attractive characters should be their spirituality, heart, and personality because everything else disappears or loses value over time. My third lesson is that time doesn’t wait for you. It pains my feminist self to say this but for us (ladies) time is essential when it comes to marriage. Don’t be fooled by your beauty, once you reach a certain age your chances become smaller and smaller. If marriage is in your plans do it when you have options, you can always fit everything else you want to achieve around that. Not delaying marriage is also beneficial for your biological clock. Last but certainly not least, let God chose for you. Sometimes it’s not the guy who has everything on your list, it’s the guy you haven’t even considered that might be good for you. God has bigger and better dreams for your life. When the time comes for you to decide which person to marry, pray about it and talk with your spiritual father. But remember, whomever you marry (say I do in front of God), that’s your right guy. Ultimately, the right guy is the one you marry.
May God help us make wise decisions.
Glory to God,