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.

 

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6 Responses to The Perfect Age to be Married

  1. Odette Govender says:

    Thank you… I’m 26 and it feels like I’m never gonna get married.

  2. Michele says:

    In God’s time, not ours. I myself did not get married until I was 29 and God in His goodness has blessed me with 18 wonderful years with my husband. We met when I was in the middle of a 6 1/2 year relationship with the wrong guy and saw each other in our work environment here and there over the course of a few years. When God wanted it to happen, it did. We began dating and were engaged within a year, married the next. I encourage everyone to ask for God’s guidance in leading them to the right mate. Ask for the Blessed Mother’s prayers in helping you to do God’s will, not your own.

  3. Missy says:

    This is something I often have to remind myself. I’m 48 and still waiting, and the longer I wait the more it seems like my vocation will not be fulfilled. My time to have children is past, and I’ve had to mourn that already. Yet I continue to pray that God will lead me.

  4. Tara says:

    Very concerning the neglect for unmarried people, I feel so lonely at Mass on a human level due to the lack of reverence and a family of my own to sit with. It is very worrying at Christmas and Easter once my parents die. I too am praying for a husband, and now mourn the babies I never had, past child bearing age. Still open to marriage and step children if a nice widower came along or adoption of an older child or special needs child if God’s will. My concern is not just for myself but the fact that there are many many one person households increasing and the lack of community in Catholic parishes are not helping. The fact is we risk having singles found years after they have died alone in their houses, Parishes MUST change their attention to people living alone of all ages. To not contribute this is contributing to the legalising of euthanasia that most of my unmarried friends, nominal Christian and non Christian are pushing for, the right to die on their terms due to neglect of singles and fear of being found years later as there’s no one looking out for them. The failure is that this has to even be mentioned.

  5. Anita says:

    I’m almost 27 and I wish I could feel that satisfaction you do. Most days in the last two years I haven’t felt his presence at all and that hasn’t been without trying. I grew up thinking God would not forsake me but he has.

    • MargoB says:

      Anita,
      I hope you see this soon. Know this: God has never, has not now, and will never forsake you. I have, at times, felt that He has, as you seem to have felt. But He said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Why should you believe that? Because He also said that He would rise from the dead…and He did! Jesus’ resurrection means a lot of things, but one of them is that when He says He’s going (or not going to) do something, He doesn’t fail to keep His promise!

      Satan wants you to think that God doesn’t care, doesn’t love you, and has forsaken you — because Satan is the father of lies. So don’t give in to anything he says. When he tries to knock you over, say a Hail Mary (or at least, “Mother Mary, help me!”), call a friend, open your Bible and read the Psalms….he’s just a bothersome fly trying to look like a scary tiger. In order for you to live as the Lord meant for you to live, you’ve got to ignore lies and hold on to truth. Ask Him to help you, ‘cuz “His power is made perfect in [our] weakness[es]”; He will help you to be faithful to Him. Your job is to choose that, and do whatever you can to believe, love, and obey Him. He will ALWAYS help anyone to do that.

      I’m preaching to myself, too (in case you can’t tell!); this is the encouragement I receive from my friends when I feel like God has disappeared. Reminders that my feelings are only telling me my *perception*, not the truth; not reality. What God tells us in His Word — *THAT*, my friend, is truth and reality.

      Here’s an article that I just found that helped me a lot; I hope it helps you! :
      http://catholicexchange.com/finding-release-fear-loneliness

      Peace,

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