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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

Found Wanting: Deborah Kurtz, "I wanted a husband."

I am curating stories for a blog project called, “Found Wanting.” (If you’d like to submit a guest post, learn more here.) During Jesus’ earthly ministry, it was not uncommon for him to approach the sick and sin-sick with this question: “What do you want?” In John 5, he speaks with a man lying next to the healing waters of Bethesda, a man who has been an invalid for 38 years.

“When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be healed?’"

The man seizes an excuse. “I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up.”

Was it too much for this man to hope for healing?

What is too great a risk to invite the responsibility for walking again?

There can be fear in desire: fear that we will want what God will always refuse to give; fear that we will not want whatever God, in his sovereignty, chooses to give.

Ultimately, we are profoundly afraid of ceding into the hands of God our trust.

I’m grateful for those willing to share their stories of desire here. I'm neither applauding nor condemning their stories: rather, I am amplifying their desires - and reminding each of us that to be human is to want. In my book, Teach Us to Want, I claim that:

“Desire takes shape in the particularities of our lives. We cannot excerpt desire from the anthology of our stories. Our desires say something about us – who we have been, who we are and who we are becoming. They tell a part of the story that God is telling through us, even the beautiful and complicated story of being human and becoming holy.”

To catch up on the series, read these featured stories: Amy Chaney, "I didn't want to be a coach's wife." Beth Bruno, "I've wanted beauty." Wendy Stringer, "I didn't want to move to suburbia." Steve Burks, "I've wanted to produce entertainment." Faydra Stratton, "I didn't want a child with Fragile X." Brook Seekins, "I never wanted to be a missionary in Africa." Sarah Van Beveren, "I have always wanted to be strong." Holly Pennington, "I didn't want to find out what I wanted." Larry Shallenberger, "I wanted to know what I wanted." Hannah Anderson, "I didn't want - because I couldn't afford to." Megan Hill, "I want your blessing." Bronwyn Lea, "I wanted a boyfriend, college scholarships, permission to sleep over at the popular kid's house." Jennifer Tatum, "I've wanted to be a woman of faith, but . . ." Sarah Torna Roberts, "I didn't want to be broken." Suanne Camfield, "I want a bigger house." Courtney Reissig, "I wanted a baby." Cara Meredith, "I've wanted it all." Anonymous, "I want to not want marriage anymore."

Today, Deborah Kurtz shares her story of desire on the blog.

* * * * *

I wanted a husband.

I’d wanted to be married ever since I was a little girl. My dream husband was wickedly handsome, strong, and capable of anything. I imagined that he would someday sweep me off my feet, and together we would live. Happily. Ever. After. I was very young and very naïve.

As I grew older, and after the Lord captured my heart with the good news of what He endured on the cross to secure my justification {and wholly undeserved right to be an heir of the King}, I noticed a change in my desire for a spouse. While looks were still important to me, I realized that of far greater importance was a man who possessed a certain inward attractiveness; namely, a man of God. I longed for a husband whose aim was to treasure Christ above all. This kind of desire for a spouse, I knew, was good and right. I believed that it was God’s desire for me as well. But it soon became my idol.

It became my idol when I longed to have a husband more than I longed to treasure Christ and know Him intimately. It became my idol when I grew angry with God for not bringing my husband into my life. It became my idol when I chased after young men who did not know the Lord, yet showed interest in me. But God. But God, in His inestimable love and grace toward me, reminded me of a far greater love that was already mine – His. In the middle of a relationship that was not honoring to Him, God graciously broke me in my sin. And I returned – by His grace - to the great Love of my soul, the One who was pierced for my transgressions and crushed for my iniquities; the One whose wounds healed my soul (Isaiah 53:5).

A while later, God did fulfill a great longing of my heart when He brought my husband into my life. And he is a man of God. We have been married for nearly four years, and my husband is a daily reminder to me that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights (James 1:17)”; and that I am quite undeserving. I see glimpses of Christ in the way that my husband sacrificially loves me, and this turns my gaze heavenward and reminds me of the greatest desire of my heart – to be with the Lord forever. I am often humbled and awestruck that God has chosen to not only fulfill my desire for a godly spouse, but that He - through my spouse - reminds me of my very greatest desire which will eventually be fulfilled: the day that I will be with the Lord, my true Bridegroom. Until then, my heart cries: “soon and very soon, I will be with the One I love. With unveiled face I’ll see Him! There my soul will be satisfied, soon and very soon." ("Soon" - Hillsong United)

* * * * *

Deborah Kurtz is wife to a seriously awesome guy named Tim, who has just finished his first year of seminary studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. They reside in the Midwest, and are hopeful parents of two children by way of international adoption. You can read more of their story at Deborah’s blog, Journey of Faith: