In all honesty, I did not think I would still be single at 38, but it’s not the daunting prospect
that I feared it to be. I had assumed and hoped that by now I would be married and have a family. As married women go, they tend to shy away from the single women they befriended as single women themselves. The question at hand, if [married] women don’t talk to me is there something wrong with me? In the beginning, it was what I thought; I needed to find out what would help me to discover my own unique path that would, lead to the true representation of what God had created in me. And that is really what started me in earnest. I tried reading Christian books that speaks and promotes singleness, and encourages women. After reading a couple of books, I knew there had to be a better way to drag myself through singleness.
After my initial conversion, my parish, at the time was a mecca of sort for young adults. I was new in my Catholic faith, still going through healing… and fumbling through the dark tunnel trying to get to the other side. When I turned 30, I realized that there had a been an exodus in my midst, but I did not become aware of [it] until it was through. It was a shock to the system to realize that I had been left behind, and I felt bitter towards God. I couldn’t see what God was doing at the time and because of that, I misunderstood Him. I didn’t quite claim his promises in my life to know He is faithful in all things.
It wasn’t until my depression was diagnosed, that I began accepting pieces of who I am. Had I gotten married in my 20’s, I have no doubt I would be a divorced woman. I lived in fear and afraid of the person I might be. In my mind, being single was equivalent to having a contagious disease, and I wanted to separate myself from that kind of categorization. I didn’t even want to think of myself as single, but as my self-knowledge grew, the more I found contentment in my identity. Having authenticity in my life was the most important thing to me. Singleness isn’t the crucible of being the absolute worst thing that I perceived it to be in my 20’s and early 30’s. I love learning about who I am and the quirks that go with it.
I am finally feeling comfortable in my skin not to be concerned about my relationship status. I can breathe a sigh of feeling grounded and freedom in my identity. When I am choosing friends, I base it on what I need now, not what I may need later.
Still it’s having trust in the Lord that he knows supremely more than I do, and that even means that I might not ever might meet ‘right’ person and that everything will continue to be good in my world. He has surrounded me with everything I need. If I stop looking at every single man as a possible ‘husband,’ I am able to shift my focus on the gifts he has given me and cultivate them. I am a process and that begins with being honest with my feelings about being single.
Being single in the secular worldview I have found it is often easier than being in a Christian Catholic view because there is a segregated line that singles can’t cross. It is easy to be forgotten as a single. These two examples has been where some of my loneliness has materialized, and presented problems to my ability to focus on what God wants for me. On the other hand, secularized singles have a different and wilder notion of what it means to be single.
“When we remember our identity in Christ, it changes the way we see these relationships because we no longer base our worth on the approval of others but the approval we have already received from our Father through the work of His son.” Amy E. Spiegel, Letting Go of Perfect: Women, Expectations, and Authenticity