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It’s good to have goals. It’s healthy to plan and work toward accomplishing things you want in life.

But what if the goal is something hoped for, yet not promised?

110263I’m talking, of course, about marriage. As a little girl, a teenager, a young adult, marriage was a given. There was never an if, but rather a whenwhen I get married, when I have kids.

Now older, I see a bigger picture with more possibilities. And one of those possibilities is that I will never get married. It’s hard to swallow, but if I’m being a realist, I have to consider it. My parents refuse to believe it. Apparently if I pray hard enough or expand my horizons or agree to date someone I’m not interested in, love will blossom.

It just hasn’t happened yet.

I cannot count on both hands and both feet the number of amazing older women I know who are single, yet would like to be married. Some would love to be married.

We keep up our appearances, hit the gym, get our hair dyed, buy new clothes.

We hang out with new circles of friends, though awkward and not always fun, because it mathematically increases our chances of meeting new singles.

We try online dating… again… on yet another site, even though it’s failed us before.

We smile politely as yet another family member says yet another back-handed compliment like, “I just don’t know why you’re still single. You’re so pretty!”

I’m slowly learning and trying to accept that my identity is not found in my relationship status. The problem is that Christians can sometimes be the worst at laying on the marriage-is-a-gift guilt. The Bible, after all, talks about the blessing of marriage over and over (and over). Where’s talk of the blessing of singleness in the Word? Is the logical conclusion that marriage is better than singleness?

So I wait.

So I pray.

So I hope.

But I can’t help but wonder if I’m wasting my time. What if I’m praying for something that will never happen? What if I’m spending precious days pining after something that isn’t meant to be, when I could be using that time on more productive things?

Dear readers, I know this isn’t the blog post you wanted to read today. I know you likely prefer when I am hopeful and sure and confident in the notion that if you want the blessing of marriage, God will give it to you. On this Monday, however, that glass-half-full attitude is tough for me.

      • Why, even though we pray, do sick people die?
      • Why, even though we study, do grades fall short?
      • Why, even though we try, do the pounds not come off?
      • Why, even though we’re qualified, do we not get the job?
      • Why, even though we hope, do we remain single?

I’m thinking aloud today, via the keys on my MacBook. I don’t mean to doubt God. What I do doubt, however, is the Church’s promise that we’ll all get married in time.

Because sometimes it just doesn’t happen. And no one seems to be able to provide a solid answer for why.

~Ruth

Photo credit: WeddingGawker.com