I turned 35 yesterday. Depending on who you talk to, some will say I’m getting old, others will say I have my whole life ahead of me. For me, the numbers signify how many years I may have left to have kids someday. It was never my intention to be single at this age. I thought for sure I’d be married with five kids… at least two… at least married. I’ve come close. My early 20’s were part of my timeline and I was dating a cute guy who was in the military. While some can get married that young, we were too young. We didn’t know what we were doing. We didn’t know yet who we were. But being young wasn’t our only problem. My faith was his faith and as much as we cared about each other, we had different priorities. Different values.
Could we have gotten married and made it work? Yea, I think so. But just making it work doesn’t sound so appealing to me. That can’t be why God created marriage.
The following years were a wheel of rotating dates, rotating guys, no real commitment. I was so hopeful, so naïve. But how could I commit to someone I can’t see myself marrying? The truth would always reveal itself sooner or later. For me it averaged within 3 months. We’ve become so accustomed to wearing masks, afraid to show each other our true selves for fear of rejection, that we never really get close to anyone. And by the time we’re ready to peel back the layers it’s already too late. None of these guys were right for me anyway. I had to end things with the ones I knew weren’t right. And for the ones I wasn’t ready to let go of, God allowed them to reject me. And when they came back, because they always seem to come back, I had already received the closure I needed to move on. It’s crazy to think how something you thought you wanted so bad is the same thing you are thanking God for protecting you from.
When 30 hit, I was certain my time was right around the corner. So certain that I allowed myself to get into the most abusive relationship to date. Thankfully not physically, but sometimes I can still see the effects. I had never seen abuse, so I wasn’t able to recognize it until I was already in too deep. By the grace of God, I was able to leave. It’s crazy to think about the things you put up with if you think they are leading you to what you desire and crave.
Could we have gotten married and made it work? I don’t think so. I would have lost myself in the process.
As I reflect, it’s hard not to look at these relationships as failures. Wasted time. Empty promises. Pain. Hurt. And let downs. But isn’t that what dating is designed to do? The only alternative is to get married, and that outcome would have been so much worse. I can’t be the wife that gets married to check off a box.
I’ve sometimes worried if maybe I’m too much for some guys. They know they’d always come second to my first love, Jesus. Maybe I’ve pushed guys away. Maybe I’m too passionate about politics, making a difference. Too crazy. Too outgoing. Maybe my blog scares them away. I’ve been told to stop wearing my purity ring. I’ve been told to lower my standards. That I’m too picky. I’ve been called a holy roller. Too intense. Too much.
But the truth is, if I have to change who I am, I don’t really want to be married as bad as I think I do. I just want to be me. The me that God created me to be.
So I wait.
Wait for peace.
Wait for clarity.
Wait for no doubts.
And maybe that day never comes.
I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever get married, but what I do know is Jesus is worth it. He is worth having all my hopes and dreams. He knows what I ultimately desire and I trust Him. As time passes, it can be easy to question or allow doubt to creep in, but God knows my heart. And my heart belongs to Him. It always will.