I follow a fabulous blog called Big Mama. She's hilarious, gracious and pretty darn real, capturing snippits of her life as she struggles to be a mom and wife in Texas.
Last September, Big Mama wrote about singlehood. Now, for those of you reading this, you may very well be single. But if not, I am sure you know someone who is. Her words inspired and encouraged me, and that is hard to do because this 30 year-old has heard almost everything you can imagine when it comes to being single or the desire to not be anymore.
Side note: Please do not ever tell me that "it will happen when you least expect it." Them are fightin' words, folks.
Side, side note: I don't really fight. I am a terrible fighter. Most people tell me that. I am actually a pretty big wimp. I said that just to sound scary.
Anyway, for some reason, this post came to mind today so I am re-posting her words. Here is the actual entry if you want to check out her blog and I recommend that you do!
"I was in the midst of dispensing my deep wisdom and insights on being a twenty-something single girl (it took all of five seconds) and AJ said, “You need to write a post about this because a lot (at least five!) single girls read your blog. You can even say I told you to.” And since I’m never one to turn down free blog material, I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
Here’s the thing. I have a deep love in my heart for twenty-something girls. Honestly, I sometimes feel like I relate more to the twenty-somethings than I do to women (girls?) my own age. Maybe that says something about my maturity, but let’s not explore that too deeply. I think part of it is that I didn’t handle my early twenties so well. In fact, I tried my best to make a big hot mess of my life and, but for the grace and mercy of God, would have totally succeeded. I totally appreciate how hard the twenties can be because they involve making a lot of grown-up decisions for the first time in your life.
(The late thirties are a little difficult too which is a whole other post that I’ll write someday after I quit crying about my baby getting older and searching my head for new gray hairs)
During my sophomore year of college I remember sitting next to a girl who eventually became one of my dearest friends and I asked her what she was majoring in. She answered, “Sports Management, but all I really want to do is be a wife and a mother.” I was shocked that she actually said it out loud. It’s one thing to think it, but on the outside we’re supposed to act like we aspire to be important business women who speak Japanese and wear business suits. Or maybe that was just me.
But on the inside, all I really wanted to be was a wife and mother. Which is great. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a wife and a mother and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be an important business woman who wears business suits and speaks Japanese, although you should know that Japanese is an extremely hard language to learn and you might possibly make a D in your second semester.
The problem was that I was looking for a man to complete me. It was all very Jerry Maguire-ish before Jerry Maguire ever came out. I was filled with fear and insecurity about what was waiting for me in the real world and just felt like if I could skip over that whole single career girl thing and get straight to the house and the minivan and the 2.5 kids then life would be a lot better. I would be complete and whole and secure. The problem was that I wasn’t seeking God in any of this which led to a series of heartbreaks, including a messy broken engagement.
Because here’s the thing. I was a big emotional wreck and marriage wasn’t going to change that. Marriage wasn’t going to take away all my fears, insecurities, and worries. And after twelve years of being married, I can safely say that marriage tends to just amplify whatever junk is in your life because you have someone who may or may not point it out to you and call you on it but you have to love them anyway because you’ve pledged to be bound to them until death do you part. Plus, hypothetically speaking, you may have a child who looks just like that person which is God’s way of helping you remember why you fell in love with them in the first place.
At some point I found myself at the bottom of my large pile of issues and began to realize that only God could help me get out of it. So I let Him. It was a gradual process but I just kept letting go and then letting go some more. Ultimately, when God brought P into my life it was just as a good friend. We were best friends for several months before we ever started dating which was exactly what I needed. I wasn’t trying to impress or be something I wasn’t, I was just me. And P loved me for me, not because I tried to transform myself into some version of what I thought he wanted. Which is a good thing because twelve years would be a long time to keep up that kind of charade and might also require me to get up and go hunting at 5:00 a.m. in the freezing cold.
My point is (I took the long way to get here) that if you can’t find contentment and security as a single woman, then you’re not going to find it in marriage. Marriage is great. Marriage is wonderful. Marriage is hard. It takes work and sacrifice and dying to what you want in return for what’s best for both of you.
So the best advice I can offer, based on my love of learning things the hard way and doing things wrong the first several times, is to trust God to show you the person who is right for you. Someone can look great on paper, your friends may love him, he may have the best job, a cool car, and not wear jean shorts, but that doesn’t mean that he’s the one. Basically you need someone who you’d want next to you in battle, who can make you laugh even in the tough times, and will encourage you to be the best that you can be. Apparently, marriage is like being in the Army.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve just because less is right in front of you and the best may still be unseen. I guarantee there are many women in marriages that are so lonely that they long for their single days when at least they had the hope of finding someone who would understand them, love them, and care for them.
Your twenties (or thirties or season of singleness) is the last time in your life when you are free to do whatever it is you want to do without having to answer to anyone else. If I could change anything, I wish I would have embraced it more instead of wishing it away. When it’s all said and done it seems like a mere blip on the radar of life and it’s hard to imagine a time when the most romantic thing in your day didn’t involve someone telling you they don’t mind eating leftover chili for the second night in a row. I’m not kidding. I adore a man that’s willing to eat leftovers two nights in a row.
And, ultimately, keep in mind that we’re all waiting on something no matter where we are in life. Being married and having kids is wonderful, but I guarantee that every person who is reading this has some secret desire in their heart that they would like to see fulfilled. I have so many things in my life to be thankful for, but there are other things that I dream about and hope for and, honestly, I don’t know if those things will ever come to pass or not.
All I can do is keep my eyes on the One who knows everything in my heart and trust that he knows what’s ultimately the best for me.
He hasn’t let me down yet.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” I Corinthians 2:9"
Amen and amen.
Enjoy your day, my friends.