I always thought Immanuel was spelled Emmanuel. In case you were wondering, both are actually correct. Immanuel is translated from Hebrew while Emmauel comes from the Greek. But I’m getting ahead of myself and have to back up.
When I was in school, there was a rhyme type game that you could play with coke cans. After you finished your soda, you could bend the tab back-n-forth going down the alphabet and whatever letter it broke on was supposedly the first letter of the name of your future spouse. (The things we do when we are younger. lol) Well There was a period of time when I kept landing on the letter “I”. And I was like, “what name starts with “I”?” Isaac, Ian, Ishmael, Igor… My family actually had an inside joke because one day I just burst out that Igor, who ever he is must be really hot, and we all laughed.
But truthfully, I prayed to God a lot about marriage. And at one point, I felt like finally God just told me that He had heard me. He had heard the desire of my heart and I could stop stressing about it because He had heard me. So I started wearing one of the pop-tabs as a necklace. I didn’t (and still don’t) know if that meant I would get married one day or not, but there is comfort in the fact that: the God who is sovereign over the whole universe has heard the desire of your heart and loves you beyond measure.
(Psalm 84:11, James 1:17)
Since then, there are a lot of thoughts I’ve had about marriage and it would take a long time to really sort through them all but here are just snippets so that we can get back to the original story. At one point, I realized that I was living for marriage. I mean the whole world tells you that the main goals in life as a woman are to get married, have a job, raise kids, and retire. But as a Christian, our purpose isn’t for the American dream. Our purpose is for God. So I started wearing a ring on my left hand to remind me that while marriage was a desire of my heart, a deep desire, it wasn’t my purpose.
My purpose is to live for God and if he brings marriage into my life then great! But if not, then also great! (As my friend Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7).
At another point, I realized that I also had to be careful not to place expectations on my possible future husband. What I mean, is that I could never love him the way I love God. For example: I can expect God to show up and fulfill all my needs, but that’s not an expectation I can place on a normal man. Yes, you love your husbands, but they don’t complete you. This isn’t Lion King where the two halves make one whole. It’s something unlike anything ever seen. Two full humans become one. And God unites them in a bond unlike any other. But it’s two full human beings coming together because God fills and fulfills each of them independently. So I threw my pop-tab necklace away and handed over my future “Igor” to God.
So now that you know a little more of the background, here’s what was interesting. I was sitting there for the 2015 Christmas even service and we were singing Christmas songs. And one of the songs mentioned “Emmanuel”… and then the next one mentioned “Immanuel” with and “I”. And I was floored. I actually nudged my mom because I couldn’t believe it… God was my love. God is the “I” that I was looking for. He is my future, whether I get married or not, God is and always will be the love of my life. And He’s so much more that just that. And that… that’s pretty cool.