I thought that 23 or 24 would be the ‘perfect’ age to be married. I would finish school, start working, live on my own for a while, then settle down and start a family. Why not? I know more than a few women who did just that. So when graduation rolled around, and there was no one to introduce to my parents, I thought, well, I guess God is asking me to wait a little longer.
God is infinite so I think He has a funny idea of time. I wouldn’t call this a “little longer.” Every month brings a reminder that my body is made to bring life into the world, but has yet to do so. Being single in my thirties is something that I never thought about in my twenties. I’m glad for that, because I’m sure that I would have expected it to be worse than it is.
There is some mourning that has had to take place; mourning for the life I’d hoped for, for the 8 children spaced well apart with a few adopted from Africa that I wanted to have, and for the marriage that lasted fifty years or longer, for example. I have certainly had days when loneliness was so intense that I could understand for the first time what led women to give themselves away without commitment, just for a moment of feeling loved and connected to another human being. I am sure that I would have done just that, but for the grace of God and His tremendous care for me. Sometimes even going to Church on Sunday is difficult, because there are so many beautiful families there.
But for all this, there are delights and surprises along the way as well. I have many friendships, deep and lasting, and there are families who have adopted me as an honorary member. I travel and buy pretty things and play music in the car as loudly as I want. I walk to the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings and enjoy a good book frequently. I still desire to be married and have a family, but I try to savor these little moments that bring joy.
Most of all, I have the opportunity to bear witness that God alone suffices. When my car broke down recently, and all I could do was sit in the office for three hours and wait, it was Jesus who kept me company. Unlike married women, I am forced to rely on Him alone. If I feel unattractive or unintelligent or ungenerous, I have to turn to Christ to tell me that He loves me anyway, or that He doesn’t think my haircut is the worst I’ve ever had. He takes care of me, and lets me see that in lots of little ways. If you’re a single woman like me, try to pay attention to little gifts—and let’s get coffee sometime.