I love it when you are reading something and the author speaks your very thoughts or ideas in a way you've always wanted.
I read a few things in recent weeks that did that for me.
My cousin sent me this link. It is a blog post by a single, Christian, 33 year old woman. She stated a few things on being single and older as a Christian. Here are a few of the thoughts that I've had too and feel are sometimes misunderstood:
I want you to know how excruciating hope is. I think if I knew that I'd be single for another 10 years, I could let the dream go. I have a good life. I get to work with kids who I know and love. But it’s the “not knowing” and the scoping out other guys, and the staying 'open' and 'available'--it’s this hope that just won't die, that is just excruciating.
I want you to know that I have prayed and prayed for God to take this desire away from me because it is too painful to live in this in between place. I want you to know that when I meet an attractive single guy I start doing the math—if we dated for 8 months, got married in a year, started having kids in 2 or 3 years....and I want you to know that I know that is SICK, that it's not fair to that unsuspecting nice looking man, who it turns out is only 24 anyway!
I want you to know how important it has been to me to have people pray for me and stand in the gap when it was too disappointing to keep praying. How I've needed friends to say “there has got to be someone out there for you” and keep hoping when all hope was lost. I want you to know that when you've passed my name a long to a good guy, or I've contacted someone you've suggested and it hasn't worked out, I'm still grateful. Grateful that you would take a risk, grateful that you are 'for me'. I want you to know if you prayed for me right now or hooked me up with the guy who I end up marrying I will be forever grateful for you (...and there might be a little cash prize in it for you! Just sayin’!)
However, that being said, I want you to know it is a married world out there people! I know marriage is work, that it's not perfect, that it causes growth and growth is painful, but I still want it. And if you're reading this right now and you’re married, I want you to know how incredibly blessed you are to be married and have someone who is committed to you for the journey. In the end, I've come to see relationships, all relationships, as gifts. Not perfect, not painless. But still undeserved blessings, that we didn't 'earn' and oftentimes don't 'deserve'. I don't know if I'll ever be gifted with a husband, but I want you to know there will be a serious celebration if/when I do!
Okay, I am tempted to copy the entire post here. There were a few things that didn't really apply nearly so much to me. I don't feel quite as alone as she does. I've chosen to go against the social norm and live at home while I wait. I understand that it wouldn't work for some, but it does help with some of the loneliness.
I also don't want to come down too harsh on some Christian guys. It stinks though to have one take the initiative, and yet not be the one for me. Just because I'm getting older doesn't mean I can't be choosy. I don't want to be married simply to be married.
Interestingly enough the June 4th issue of World Magazine featured "young Christians confront dating and courtship confusion." They interviewed some young adults and I had a few more of those "Aha!" moments where they spoke my mind.
To get that particular guy to take notice, Nestor and Arevalo at the University of Texas say that girls often resort to "tricky girl things," meaning they find out if a guy is going to be at a particular activity, and then make sure they are there. They find out what time he's arriving, and happen to arrive at the same time: "They end up a default stalker and feeling pathetic."
Or as Ratcliffe explained, "We feel we are intelligent women with deep thoughts...mature and competent in how we handle our relationship with God, and our academics, but in relationships, it's like the Disney Channel." She observes the pressure to have "intentional romance" and concludes, "Now we just need romance."
I know a lot of my friends are passed this or never experienced this, but this is where I'm at EVERY DAY! It sucks feeling left behind, but this is where God has me. My life is good. I enjoy being here and being a part of my family. It is a balance sometimes though, a balance.