Dear X-ATI Girl,
I started writing The List when I was around six years old. It has now grown to 240 items representing the man that I (and my mother and father) believe will be only God’s best for me. My mother has told me that I should settle for no less than everything on the list. If “broccoli lover” is present, broccoli lover God will provide. After all, there really should be no exceptions to the list if you remain in God’s constant will and under your father’s guidance and protection.
I have met a few nice men in the past year during which my family was attending a home church hosted by a fellow Gothard disciple. All of these men come from ATI families. I met one very nice young man 11 months ago who constantly shows humility before God and our church by confessing his sins before the congregation. I am moved by his obedience to the Lord and his parents. I rush home from church every Sunday afternoon, excitedly pull The List from my hope chest, and begin to examine whether this could the man that God has sent to ask my father for courtship.
- Male – yes! CHECK!
- Humble – yes! Check again!
- Compassionate – oh yes
- Strong – we’re on a roll
- Under his parent’s authority – definitely
- Building a barn – wow, I’ve never gotten this far before
- Pure –there is no way that this man could be anything but pure
- Respectful to his mother – he was holding her hand when they walked in!
- Wants kids – already overheard his dreams of raising mighty sons
- Respects me – of course! He hasn’t even looked at me yet!
- Respects my father – he didn’t even shake his hand he is so scared of him
- Goes to church – faithfully
And so down the list my pen has flown, checking off each ever-so-important item, and getting more and more confident that God has given me the willingness to be his wife. The young man did ask my father for permission to court me! My father prayed about this matter for 4 months before telling me (and the young man) that while the answer is not a decided ‘no,’ it is a definite ‘not at this time.’ This is item 57 on my list – I know that God will send me a young man who my father will immediately love and I should not accept a waiting period.
I knew I should have used a pencil this time when marking off my list, but it just seemed so very sure. X-ATI Girl, have you had a similar experience? An older woman in our church suggested that I stop my list at 200 items, what are your thoughts on that? Would that be settling for something that is less than God’s will?
May you find a rhema this very day,
Waiting in Wisconsin