Eight months ago, I was blissfully living a very single, focused, and uninhibited life. We are talking forever third wheel, single women’s symbol, type of single. I had no intention of marriage in 2017, 2018, and possibly a few years after that. I had come to peace with my identity a few months before
I had plans to launch a website in the following month. I slaved at that website for months before two of my closest friends told me I'd better launch it before it never got published.
A month later, I was planning a wedding with a man I met only one month before.
God is really funny.
If you have spent five minutes reading my work, I go out of my way to not give into Christian or Indian stereotypes. I was pursuing a calling that required me to step out of my comfort zone and lay on the table every card I had ever written, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Because of that, I felt my life was meant to be a little public - outwardly displaying my journey because I knew so many women had many of my many crazy thoughts.
I wanted people to be themselves. I wanted them to be themselves and feel less alone in it.
Writing was not the appropriate career path for me. Being both not technically trained nor qualified, and especially because I was not taught not to share “this much”, it always surprised everyone around me that I did. The most surprised were my parents. My father heard me with customer support just hours before I set my content live. That night, he told my mom about the website. They both flipped through the website in their room. I heard both gasps. I heard my mom cry.
"No one will marry Rachel Varkey.com."
My parents called me into their room after that statement. Feeling both ashamed and terrified of what they would say next, I heard my father say:
"The man who is going to love Rachel is going to love her for her writing."
That statement both shocked and baffled me. My father, the patriarchal, classic Indian man — the man I both respected and feared the most believed that that could be possible.
My parents held both of my hands and prayed for my partner. They never read anything I wrote. They just wanted to ensure that someone would marry me.
I imagined God sitting up in heaven, channeling our prayers, and bucketizing them against His Will. I learned that night the God in heaven who hears all of our prayers had a plan involving the desires of my parents’ hearts and my own.
When I left for the airport, my mother told me about a few naysayers who had asked my mom if there was something wrong with me. They told her my writing came from a "hurt place." That I sounded bitter, sad, and angry. It sounded like someone had did something to me. She didn’t say bye to me when I walked out the car door.
It really stung me the person I loved the most didn’t believe in my calling.
It just didn’t matter though. In the grand scheme of things, the person who I loved the most couldn’t stop me from being the person God had called me to be. This person has a God-given ability to femininely communicate across layers of God-allowed pain in all of my shells — person of color, a follower of Jesus, and an immigrant’s daughter balancing a culture that I don’t know a lot about and the one I had been immersed in since I was born.
Christian people get hurt — a lot. We get hurt by sin the same way non-believers do — sometimes a lot harder because of the potential that lives inside of us to interact with others. We are meant to share God’s goodness to others and that doesn’t protect us from hurt. I don’t believe anyone lives in this world with the ability to bypass brokenness. Even if your life is clean cut, simple, or easy — life and the people in it can be both tricky and messy. I believed God had given me a gift to write and relate over that. I wasn’t going to waste it because of what others’ thought of me.
Two weeks later, a man reached out to me over my website. His correspondence was a little silly, but revealed a deep admiration for my person and courage. He asked me if he could interview me for a piece he was writing.
Two days later, I had the most honest, refreshing, and genuine conversation I had ever had with a stranger.
Two weeks later, he told me he would marry me.
The next day, I agreed.
There is something about believing the God who calls you to unique, confusing, and challenging work will surround it with his blessing and goodness. I didn’t know when I started writing God will literally bring my partner in life through it. I didn’t know he would introduce me to new opportunities, challenge me to pursue new mediums, or even begin speaking publicly at events.
I didn’t know that this gift that lived inside of me could grow.
I tell this story not to promise my crazy fairytale to anyone. I still sit around and wonder why this happened to me. Yet, in some ways both myself and my partner were given a story like ours because of our God given nature to share publicly of the goodness of God.
I share this story because if there is something inside of you that feels insatiable, that feels like you must do: go and do it. That thing — will lead you to your glory. It will lead you to new roads. It will engulf your entire life.
I didn’t want to get married in 2018. Now, I am planning my big fat Indian wedding because there is no way I can build into the kingdom the way God intends me to without my partner in life.