As a little girl, I remember telling my mother I was going to get married and have 12 children. It was as much a fact in my mind. I was going to live in a big house in the country, have a garden, and hang my clothes on the line. There were going to be ducks and geese roaming in our yard and we would have to pick up eggs before we mowed lawn. My husband would wear bib overalls and he’d have to take his boots off in the entryway. I couldn’t wait to hold my babies and as I got older I could almost smell the hair of my newborns. I’m not exactly sure when all this changed – when reality slammed into my dream but I never married until I was 46.
I liked school from the moment I set foot into my first classroom. I loved the smell of books, the smell of crayons, the sound of chalk on the chalkboard. I couldn’t wait for reading and math was fun. Senior high got complicated from a social perspective but biology, english, algebra, physics, and choir kept me motivated from sun up till sun down. I loved living on the farm too – but I knew I would need to use my mind to be happy. College became my new frontier.
I was accepted to UCLA and Gustavus and my mind was on fire with hopes and dreams. I had good grades, I was motivated, and I was as poor as a church mouse. Awe, who cares! I’m going to college somewhere – anywhere. I attended Mankato State University full time for 4 years, worked 2-3 jobs at a time, paid my own way, and was employed in my profession before I even graduated. I was living the American Dream that said if you put your mind to something you can do anything.
My 20’s were spent developing myself in my profession. I was on the fast track for leadership and there was nothing that would stop me from climbing the ladder. I found myself in long term relationships but marriage wasn’t even a consideration. The thought of getting married in my 20s was as foreign to me as wooden clogs. My 30’s were spent 1 step from CEO and I began to think about what I was doing and how much longer I had to work. The tides would change – even then I could feel it. Just as my career would crest to the tip of the mountain I was climbing, God called me to a completely different career. Here I go again…
I could go on and on describing the twists and turns of my life but through all of it, I never once met a man I couldn’t live without. I can’t count how many people asked me if I was married and when I told them “No”, they gave me that look that was so easy to interpret. Most of the time these people with inquisitive minds even asked me “why?”. I can still feel the fabric under my armpits getting wet thinking about this question! Did they really want me to start at the beginning? Was I supposed to tell them that God put a passion so deep within me to learn, to perform, to succeed, to reach, to never sit still? Was I supposed to tell them that every man I ever met was out to live better than they did before but couldn’t give two shakes about my life? The fact of the matter was – He hadn’t introduced me to the man he had prepared for me and whom I was being prepared for. I didn’t know that the reason was because the man he had for me wasn’t done healing from the death of his wife yet and I hadn’t learned all there was to learn about surrender.
I still remember the day like it was yesterday. I was sitting in my big chair in my living room. I had had a relationship with God since I was 17 – it was a long relationship with many ups and downs but I had come to the fork in the road. I was being asked “when”. When would I finally surrender all of me? I looked to the right and then to the left – there was no exit. I had either to go toward Him or forever go against Him. Finally, like the knot at the end of a balloon coming loose I gave it all. I was ready to go where He would take me – hand in hand, arm in arm.
The day ended quietly and the next day was peaceful. My life filled with God’s love in quiet harmony of singleness. I could go anywhere to work for Him – and life was good. He would take me up this hill and around the corner, down the hill and over another. Living life with Him was grand. And then…as quietly as a falling leaf, He introduced me to the man who would become my husband.
What I can share with the world is that it’s not a sin to be single – it’s a sin to live any way other than the way He created you to live.