The evening started out innocently enough. Having just finished my last spiritual growth book, I went to my TBR bookshelf and picked up Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney. The subtitle “Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother” made me chuckle, since I’m not a wife or a mother and have no prospects of becoming either.
But then I sat down to read it. Read the forward, great. Read the first chapter introducing the studied scripture Titus 2, no problem. I’ve even written a paper on it myself.
But then I got to the next chapter, “The Delight of Loving My Husband.” As I continued to read on as merely an interested observer I thought, “What if I still will get married?” My heart started to beat loudly within my chest.
I’m sure that sounds silly, but it’s true. While somewhere hidden inside I still desire to get married, I’ve written off my 28-year-old self as a hopeless cause.
I guess you can only hear “I’m sure you’ll get married” (always accompanied with a look of pity and a pat on the shoulder) so many times before it becomes a mockery.
In the last two years, I’ve come a long way towards being content in my singleness and have truly enjoyed it and the freedom it affords.
But somehow with that, slowly but surely, has come the resignation that since I’m 28 and contentedly single (well, more often than not), I’ll continue to be single the rest of my days.
I don’t know where I’ve gotten that ridiculous idea. I’m 28–only 2 years over the average age women get married. I think it must be the same kind of thing you tell yourself when you’re up for an award: “It won’t be me; it won’t be me,” just to try to keep yourself from being too disappointed when it’s not you (though somehow you still really think you will win because you “deserve” it).
But when I read that chapter, I allowed myself that dangerous hope once again. The hope that I won’t be spending the majority of my evenings alone.
And as I felt that hope rising within me, I felt my hardened heart opening itself up, allowing itself to be vulnerable, showing its soft inside.
And it hurts.
Photo Credit: David Schexnaydre