OMG – What if I never get married? My breath catches in my throat each time the question crosses mind. I just don’t know how to be comfortable with the thought of being single for the rest of my life. Sometimes it fills me with fear and trepidation and I quickly brush it away. Other days, like today, I go with the thought, let it develop, and see where it leads.
Up until now, I considered myself the kind that just doesn’t know how to dream; especially when I cannot clearly see the road leading to the dream. I am not one of those that dreamt of their bridal gown and wedding colors since they were five. I took it for granted that I would one day meet some fabulous ‘fella’ whom I couldn’t bear to live without. And he would sweep me off my feet, we would successfully climb Mt. Kenya together and eventually marry, have kids and travel the world – in that precise order. (I am convinced that if you can love each other through a mountain trip, you can survive anything 🙂.)
In about a year I will be 30, that grandiose age, and i am still as single as they come. Now I have no clue why 30 is a fear-inducing age when it comes to marriage but I always did want to be married at 30. I think I got it from Oprah, who I know is not exactly the most reliable source. She had some psychologists interview couples for some million-dollar wedding prize. The psychologists indicated that people who married in their thirties were more likely to have a loving-nurturing-sharing bond and less likely to divorce. Plus I think the married-by-30 plan offered the best of both worlds. Independence, excitement and single-girl fun in my twenties and then husband, marriage and babies in my thirties; all before I can cause my aunties any social distress. Ha!
Ok, I know 30 is just a number, I will be the same person with the same interests and the same issues. So why is it so hard to keep myself from buying into the hype and panic that comes with 30? And believe me hype is all it is. I am absolutely enjoying being single. I love being able to do what I want when I want – studying, travelling, living as I will. God has blessed me with an array of rich experiences and nourishing friendships along the way. I am not wanting for much in that regard. And no burning maternal instinct has kicked in either. Nope. I am also not holding my breath waiting for ‘real life’ to begin with marriage. I have definitely been fully-alive; I can’t think of one thing I have not done because I was not married. So why is my almost-30 and single-status all up in my face right now?
Perhaps i feel it’s a social norm that I need to meet in order to fit in. Sometimes I feel like marriage is a private club. We all went to primary school, then secondary school, then college, began working, moved out of home, began living independently and then…then everyone else got into the club and I didn’t make it…and perhaps never will. What if I have the DNA for spinsterhood? Now that is a scary thought. We all know of at least one bitter older unmarried lady; and we can’t figure out if she is unmarried because of her mean and sour qualities or she became mean and sour because she was not married. Unmarried life stinks of “not-getting-chose” like a faulty store item alone on a shelf.
Now I know there are worse situations than not getting married. The saddening examples of wounded marriages around me are just one. The truth is if I really wanted to be married, that wouldn’t be too hard to fix. But I have looked around and seen what heartbreaking distress can follow a hasty choice of partner and I don’t want that to be me. So I wait patiently for God’s choice, I am confident that He knows best. I am not desperate, or frustrated, or purposeless, yet whenever I feel the quiet yearning I can’t help but ask God, what about me?
I would be much more patient and willing to wait for God’s perfect time if I knew for sure it WILL come. I have prayed for my husband-to-be, and I can hardly wait to meet him. I don’t buy the stories that men are hard to find, because I am not waiting for any man, I am waiting for God’s awesome choice.
I have many reasons for wanting to marry God’s awesome selection for me. For intimacy; companionship; to have a witness to my existence; someone to share my passions, adventures and calling; to have someone to raise children with; someone to take my car to the mechanic and fix all household electronics (absolutely dislike these tasks) and help me zip-up dresses with back zips that come all the way up! (Any single ladies out there who know what I mean? Zipping up clothes when living alone can be quite the adventure).
I know God has made me to love and be loved, it is he that gave me this desire. Still, what if married life is really not God’s plan for me, can I trust that his plan is wonderful even if it means permanent singlehood, can I trust that he can make single-me truly joyful, content and whole, can I trust that God has my best interest at heart? It’s hard to say yes. Yet I know that I need to let go of the life that I had planned if I am to begin to discover God’s plans for me. And believe me; his plans have always been way cooler than my own.
I don’t know how temporary or permanent my waiting shall be. Until further instructed, I choose to fully love the friends, neighbors, colleagues that God has already placed in my life.
And to the big-three-O: here I come :-), I hope you are going to be even better than my twenties. (PS – my editor has expressly instructed me to clarify that 30 is a good 14 months away. Lol. For a moment there i really did think it was this year :-).)
Today the Songs of the Week are thematically aligned with the blog post. Enjoy.
This Is The Stuff — Francesca Battistelli
I’m Letting Go — Francesca Battistelli