It was early one Monday morning, and I was at work in the copy room making copies for the upcoming day. My roommate had gone home over the weekend, so we didn't ride to work together that day. As I stood over the hum of the copier I heard someone come in the door. We knew any day now that my roommate would be getting engaged to her long time boyfriend. For some reason that I can't remember, I had a feeling it had happened that weekend.
|Photo Credit: Creative Commons: Jennifer Morrow: Text Added|
I turned around to see who had come in the door and there she stood. She smiled then reached out her hand for me to see it. Yep, it had happened. A princess cut one-carat diamond ring in a white gold setting sparkled back at me.
Now I wish I could tell you that I started screaming and jumping up and down, hugging her neck in pure excitement for her, but I didn't. In that moment I chose my idol of marriage over my friendship. You see, I wanted to be getting married. And I didn't even have a boyfriend. So instead of rejoicing with my roommate, I allowed my jealousy to take over. I stood there and barely smiled. I don't remember what I said, but I'm sure frigid coldness in the room spoke for me. Basically I shrugged her off.
A few days later I realized what I had done. I was so ashamed, and I cried as I asked her for forgiveness.
That summer she got married. I was in her wedding. Then we moved and went on with our lives. We kept in touch for a while, but then loss contact for no apparent reason. However, I can't help but think that my response to her engagement left a permanent wedge in our relationship that never repaired.
So what do you do when all of your friends are getting married?
Like many young women, right after college I found myself making a new friend with the alternations lady from all the bridesmaids dresses I bought. I wanted to be the secure, mature friend who was happy for her friends, but all I could do was worry. What if I never get married?
Seeing your friends get married when you, too, desire marriage is difficult. I will not try to tell you that it isn't. However, the Bible tells us in Romans 12:9-21 how we are to respond when we feel envy and jealousy. Specifically we are called to "rejoice with those who rejoice" (verse 15).
How do we do this, though, when the very thing we want so badly is right there in our face surrounding us on all sides? We are to become holy, living sacrifices and we are to renew our minds. Romans 12:1-2 says,
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2It will be a sacrifice for you to lay down your own desires, your own emotions, your own needs for those of your friends getting married. You will be putting your friends before yourself. The only way you will be able to accomplish this is by renewing your mind so that it is filled with God's truth.
However, while your friends will be blessed through your love for them, you will also be blessed by the joy serving them brings you. You will no longer just survive friends' weddings, but you will share in the joy of the moment.
So what are some practical ways you can rejoice with your friends who are getting married?