I have met some married women over my lifetime who have told me that they just happened into marriage. Meaning they never had a burning desire or even a plan to be married. Well not me. I definitely did not just happen into marriage. It was part of my plan and I had a burning desire for it. The only hard part was that the journey to marriage was way more difficult and longer that I could ever have imagined. But it certainly did not dissuade me. Even though I was sometimes low on hope, my desire for marriage never ceased and if anything it got stronger.
Perhaps it is not surprising that I felt marriage was for me. Growing up as a Roman Catholic girl I saw only two clear choices for my adult life, become a nun or get married. Like perhaps many Catholic girls I thought about being a nun but this was fleeting and I knew this life though admirable was not for me. My calling was to marriage. I must admit I had a good role model. My parents had and still have a happy successful marriage and at least in my earlier childhood years it seemed like many of their friends and our relatives did too. As I grew older I realize that many of those other“successful marriages” were far from successful. There was infidelity, unhappiness, some divorces and some long suffering situations. However was I put off or turned off from marriage in anyway? Oh no! I just knew that I wanted to get it right.
So how does it feel for a single woman who is meant for marriage? It’s like an unshakeable emptiness despite every effort to fill a void. It’s like living the best life that you can but still knowing that something is missing. It’s like a small shadow over happiness. I sometimes felt envious or disconnected from my married friends, especially those who happened easily into marriage or relationships. They just didn’t get it. I sometimes felt lonely in family gatherings. Holidays and Valentine’s Day were often difficult. A break up had an added dimension, not just the loss of a relationship but the realization that despite another relationship I was no closer to my goal. I could not retreat and safely keep away from getting hurt by avoiding a relationship because I would never achieve my goal – being a happily married woman. It was almost as important as the air I breathed. Yes that may sound a little melodramatic but that’s how it felt for me at times.
I remember my married girlfriend telling me that the pain of a woman who could not get pregnant was worse. But I could not see it that way; I thought at least she could adopt a child. I could not just adopt myself a husband. At times I felt I was experiencing either punishment or torture.
But now I realize that it is ok to be meant to be married just as much as it is ok to be meant to be single. Single women who want to be married should not need to apologize or explain themselves if they are dissatisfied with their single life any more than single women who do not want to get married should conform to other people’s standards. I think the only job for her or for you is to decide which are you.
Be proud of who you are and what you are called to be. Know that it may take longer than you hope but trust that you will be better for the wait. Be confident that if you walk in faith you will get to your planned God given destination. Forgive the people who do not feel you or hear you. They just wouldn’t understand.