After three days of fasting, praying and talking to our Spiritual Fathers. Deacon Hermon and I decided we wanted to take our friendship to next level. In the Tewahedo Orthodox Faith, this next level is called the “Engagement Period.” We both decided since it was almost our Orthodox Christmas, we would wait to share the good news with our parents. We thought it would be a wonderful Christmas gift.
However, the wait was literally killing me. I wanted to tell my mom, because she had come to the conclusion that I would never get married at the rate I was going. She kept asking me, “What kind of guy do you want to marry?” She would continue by saying, “You have had doctors, lawyers, pharmacist, businessmen, engineers ask you and you don’t seem to think anyone is good enough for you.” After graduating with my Bachelor’s degree and pursuing my Master’s, she didn’t understand why I couldn’t get married first. I was her oldest daughter and all she wanted was to see my wedding. My father on the other hand, was very patient, he would always tell me to take my time and to wait on God.
My relatives, family friends and Church members would always say, “A pretty girl like you should not be single.” There is something about our culture, where people constantly feel the need to find a husband for a single girl and when someone says, “I want to introduce you to my son, brother, nephew, cousin.” The answer they expect is “Ok” because if you say “No” it’s viewed as being rude and disrespectful. I’m sure many of my habesha sisters can relate. I would always say, “Sure, give him my number and he can call me.”
I wanted someone who was serious about marriage not someone who was going to string me along for years and then leave me. That is the modern day of dating and in our faith that is not acceptable, because it is not Biblical and we don’t practice “worldly dating.” When the guy called, I would start off the conversation with a simple greeting and would dive in to my questions. I would start by asking, “Are you Tewahedo Orthodox?” If the answer was no, then the conversation was immediately over. I didn’t entertain further communication, because I didn’t need to. I wanted a future husband, not a boyfriend. Besides, that was the number one requirement on my list. If the answer was yes, I would continue by asking, “How often do you go to Church?” If he answered by saying on Christmas and Easter. You better believe that was the end of the conversation. Anyone that attends Church only on Christmas and Easter is a Temporary Christian and I wanted my husband to be an Over Time Christian. Therefore, I would politely say, “Sorry, you are not what I’m looking for and please don’t call me.” It always felt as if we are encouraged to settle down with any guy that is Eritrean and who is considered to be good, but I didn’t want good! I wanted the BEST that God intended for me. I wanted someone who was rooted in the Tewahedo Orthodox Faith and who was not just a Christian, but a godly man.
Therefore, I knew I had to wait patiently and I didn’t mind regardless how many times I had to hear, “When are you getting married?” I always felt comfortable with my singleness. In fact, I honestly enjoyed it and I used that time very wisely. I read my Bible daily; I spent all my free time on getting to know God and building an intimate relationship with Him. I worked on increasing my faith and learning what love was from the Biblical perspective. I would volunteer in the church and in community activities. I wasn’t waiting around for a guy to come rescue me from my singleness. I embraced who I was as a single woman and understood when God felt I was ready to be a wife, He would make it happen and I was willing to wait patiently on His timing not mine.
Something we as females forget is that God doesn’t need our help. He doesn’t need your help to find you a husband. So stop taking matters into your own hands, that’s why you keep getting hurt and your heart keeps getting crushed. You rush to be with any guy and you end up settling for less than what God has waiting for you. Please learn to wait on God’s timing and to pray about it, because when it’s the right time, God will deliver him to you. I know this because, I lived in the US and Deacon Hermon lived in Canada. What are the chances that we would meet? We were hundreds of miles away from each other. The first year Deacon Hermon came to my Church’s negdet, I was at work and by the time I arrived he had went back to Canada, so we didn’t meet. I later found out, when we were in High School, Deacon Hermon was in Indiana with his family and they stayed at my Uncle’s house. My uncle’s house is a three minute drive from parent’s house. We didn’t meet at that time either, because God did not intend for us to meet. It was not our time to meet!
When God felt I was ready and it was my time. He allowed Deacon Hermon and I to finally meet. He blessed us with each other. I didn’t have to get on a plane or in a car to go find him. I didn’t have to climb any mountains to go see him. I didn’t have to cross the ocean to go meet him. I simply waited patiently and God brought him directly to me and He said, “This is the guy for you.”
To be continued…..