So I’m back from Egoli (Johannesburg)
To my surprise, I actually had an incredibly fabulous time. The city is huge and interesting. Granted I didn’t get to see much of the less attractive parts of it, I genuinely enjoyed Sandton, the North Rand and North Riding Nature Reserve where the reception was held.
It was an interesting wedding; the bride a Zambian born-South Africa raised-British citizen, the groom Scottish-but England raised-and South Africa based. Yes the groom and his party were in kilts-no there was no haggis on the menu. There was a lot of dancing and boozing as at most weddings. The racial and cultural mix was also very interesting. My table alone had myself-a Malawian born-several countries raised-South African immigrant, a Nigerian born-Botswana raised-Pretoria based lady, a Zambian born-Namibian based-married to an American-emigrating to Angola lady, two gentlemen from England, a Zimbabwean born-South Africa based gentleman, a Swaziland born-South Africa based lady, and an Angolan/Nigerian lady-raised in Angola and South Africa-now based in Hong Kong. This is just a sample of the general mixed variety of guests at this wedding, and we were all best friends of the bride at different times of her life in many different countries.
Being a Sociology enthusiast, this dynamic was super exciting for me, not only the diversity in dress, language, dance moves, but also the fact that we all shared one common link that brought us from around the world to be with our friend. I know other tables had people that flew in from Australia, America, Zambia, Mozambique, Scotland, just for the wedding. I made sure to chat to each person on the table and ask about their lives, their countries and what it is like being a multi-cultural person. The stories were riveting.
One interesting conversation I had was with the Zambian/Namibian lady. We spoke about how difficult it is finding a marriage partner these days. I’m sure there are hundreds of blogs talking about that so I will not even go into it. What I found worth sharing from that discussion is the fact that my friend-the bride-got married at the age of 36, a virgin. We spoke about how hard it is to be celibate, why certain women chose this lifestyle against so many odds and pressure in our modern times, and the fact that it can actually be done. I and this lady have both lived celibate lives, she has recently met and married at the age of 35, and she encouraged me to stick with it. I say encouraged because I find it so difficult to believe sometimes that after being single all my life, and being celibate at the ripe old age of 29(next month), that some man will magically appear and I will get married. I have been battling with the idea of giving up this hope, I mean really; after all this time is it ever going to happen? I do all the ‘right’ things, socialise, exercise and try to look appealing/presentable, join social groups, visit other churches occasionally(hehe) even tried the odd dating website that my sister signed up for me. None of these seem to work, and so my response was to give it up, resign myself to the spinster life and be happy. Which I have done on many occasions before meeting some random person that is bent on encouraging me against it! (This happens a lot-it’s a conspiracy)
I thought to share through this platform as it may speak to someone who walks on this road and place in life, and I am not only speaking to women here, I know men struggle with this as well. The advice, and testimony of these two women-as well as my two older sisters who both married in their late 20’s as virgins, is that there is hope for those who chose to wait on God’s timing. No one has actually told me to be this way, I made an informed and conscious decision as a teenager to be celibate and keep my body pure until marriage. As an adult, I realised that my goal should not actually be ‘for/until marriage’ because I might never actually get married-then what? So now I live celibate because I want to, and it is my choice of lifestyle that I believe pleases God. Again, many are the debates and discussions around this, I will not go there. You are free to make your own conclusions about the matter.
Lastly, a brilliant analogy that I read this week put it like this; you ask someone to bake you a cake, you give them the specifics-flavour, icing or no icing, gluten free-and so on, then you sit back and wait for them to make it. You can’t go to back to the person after five minutes and ask for your cake, they still have to check that they have all the ingredients, then actually make the cake, and depending on whether you asked for icing or not-they have to wait for it to cool before putting that on, then they must make it nice and presentable before serving it to you, all this takes time. The same would apply to those of us who have gone to the Lord and asked for marriage partners, choosing to let Him do the matchmaking. God has heard our requests and has started on the process of providing that person-if that is indeed His will for us. What I-and I’m sure some of you as well-struggle with is the waiting; why hasn’t it happened yet? Has God changed His mind? Maybe He said no…I should just give up. And so many give up.
Let’s not give up, ‘He who has promised will be faithful, He who has begun a good thing will complete it…’ somewhere in the Bible says. I still pray for patience and resilience for myself, and for your reading this who can relate. Those who have walked the road before us say it’s worth it, their lives prove that it can-and is being done.
I hope this has encouraged someone. God help you on the road you have chosen to walk on-whatever that might be.
Next blog-pictures of central Cape Town.