I cannot believe that this mayhem is starting already. As a single, [almost] twenty-year-old young woman, I cannot believe that my some of my girlfriends are already discussing and planning marriage. It’s to be expected from a small, Christian, conservative community, of course, but still – are we really at this point in our lives already??
I can handle the impending engagements. Yes, it’s crazy weird, and I cannot imagine taking that path for my own life, but I learned a long time ago that different people have different hopes and dreams for their lives. So my friends want to be wives and mothers first and foremost; just because it’s not what I want doesn’t make it wrong or bad.
And it’s not like I don’t want to be a wife and a mom one day – I do. I’m just not really in any huge rush to get there. I have things that I want to do with my life and places that I want to go… I’m not ready to be tied down to a person and risk that sense of individualism, independence. Don’t get me wrong, I cannot wait to be in a relationship and in love and engaged and married and all that jazz, but when one’s own mother looks at you and says, in the kindest, gentlest voice possible, “Carly, I think you should wait until you are in your thirties to have kids,” it kind of forces you to rethink the notion of settling down early in order to be a young mom.
So yes, I’m single, and yes, I’m basically okay with that. What I’m not okay with, however, is all of the mushy, sentimental Christian literature telling me that it’s all right to be single. Really? That’s okay with you? Gee, thanks. I love hearing about God’s love for His children, especially as a woman, but do I really need books and articles and retreats geared toward affirming that I am God’s princess and that, even though I don’t have a boyfriend or a fiancée or a husband, He still loves me? I feel like this sort of mentality makes God into some sort of consolation prize – I mean, a physical, earthly man doesn’t necessarily love me, but the Big Man Upstairs does, so TAKE THAT, all of you non-single friends!!
I understand the need for this sort of thing, I really do. I understand that I am atypical in many ways, this one especially. I understand the loneliness and the heartache that can come from waiting for the right man instead of settling for a good enough man. More than ever, I understand the immense value of true, Godly, incredible female friendships and the community that God created us to experience together. But I don’t want to read [and I definitely do not want to write] sappy, feel-better books about being single, and about our intrinsic worth to God despite this singleness. I want to read about God’s love for me regardless of my relationship status. I want to have meaningful conversations with intelligent, thoughtful women about something other than guys. I want to be encouraged to pursue God and my dreams and my friendships and not to be treated differently because I’m single. I want to celebrate this part of my life, as it is, and not waste it wishing for something different.
Is that really too much to ask?