I woke up early today - wish I wouldn't do that on my days off, but oh well, what can you do, eh? I made my coffee and sat for a little while while the cats looked out the patio screen door (they love it when I can open to door and they can look out and smell the outdoors!) As I was sitting there thinking, my mind wandered back to the earlier days of my marriage and to some of the choices I made when my son was little. I guess I was thinking about my life and how much I love the person I have become, and how free I feel today versus back then, back when I was a SAHM. I loved being a SAHM, don't get me wrong, it was more that I felt repressed in so many other areas, and while being at home was great, and I loved being a Mom; I also felt as though I was being forced into a role that I was not meant to be in.
I know now that God's preferred role for me was to remain single. When I say that to people they usually gasp because no one dares admit that God actually calls men and women to be single. Especially within the church, it is as if everyone must be married because that is God's ordained preference. I believe that God calls men and women to two states: single and married. Not everyone is called to marriage just like not everyone is called to singleness. God has given some, like the Apostle Paul, the gift of contentment in singleness. There are others like priests, nuns, and oblate's who choose celibacy for personal and vocational reasons -- to demonstrate their devotion to God. God clearly has designed men and women for fellowship and intimacy -- we are meant to share in relationships -- all kinds of relationships (family, friends and Church). I digress.
As I sat in my comfy chair and thought back on my inner feelings about my now-single hood status, I couldn't help but admit that God was right, that in my case, He did know best. I have blogged about this before, but as these thoughts have percolated up today, I thought that I had better get them written down so I can let them go to that peaceful place of remembrance no-more.
I was never interested in finding a relationship with a man. I liked the idea of marriage, and of having children, but I didn't actively seek a mate. I was the wallflower, the girl who never flirted, and would run and hide whenever any man (or boy) looked my way. I wasn't "into" dating, and I didn't go on a real date until I was almost 18, and then I only went because I was pressured into doing it by family and friends. I was happy being part of a crowd, and I was happy just going along with everyone.
After several very unpleasant experiences, I made the decision to cast off dating. I remember the day when I voiced my decision to my family. They all laughed at me and said that I would change my mind. I was determined not to change my mind because I believed that God called me to say "no to dating." I was deeply hurt by my families reaction to my announcement, and it grieved my soul to the point where I longed to run away, to move far from my family, just so I could experience life as a free and whole single person.
I tried to convince myself that perhaps God was calling me to a temporary life of singleness, just until I was healed from the emotional scarring that took place in that first relationship. Perhaps there was someone special out there, someone God wanted me to meet. Perhaps at some date in the future, I would meet "Mr. Right," and then I would willingly enter into a marital relationship.
No matter what I tried to tell myself, and no matter what I said to other people (often I lied and just gave the pat answer "I am waiting for Mr. Right), deep inside my soul I knew that this was what God wanted for me. I just wasn't strong enough to really admit it.
My life took the usual course, and I did get married. I had a child at thirty, and I devoted my life to raising him to fear and to love God. I tried my very best to be a good wife, but the reality of it was, that after all the trying, I simply was not good-wife material. I didn't naturally do the right things, and I didn't think about my husband in the way that my friends thought about their husbands. I liked my husband, and I considered him to be my friend. He wasn't of course, and in the end, that was part of our reason for separating. He didn't want to be a friend, he wanted a soul mate, and I wasn't the one he wanted.
I blamed him for abandoning us, and for not being a good provider. Granted, he was not the innocent babe in all of this, and we both suffered and we both sinned. Yet, I can admit now the fact that had I listened to the Lord all those years ago, I would have followed a very different path in life. I would have never experienced the sorrow nor the sadness of a broken relationship. I would have taken a different road, and while I cannot even think of what my life would be like now without my precious young man, there is part of me that understands that I am where I am because of the choices I made.
Yes, I am able to say that I made choices that went against the will of God. Thank goodness my Lord loved me, and He never let me go -- but I did make decisions that took me outside His plans for me. I chose a path He never intended me to walk, and I sit here today, a healed and gracious victim of my own willful stubbornness.
I cannot even explain the relief I feel inside when I consider my life now. I am content, so very content. I love being me, and I love who I am, and the person I have become. I don't have to try to be someone different. I am me, and that means that I am OK with all my weirdness, and quirks, and frailties. I am satisfied to be alone, and I thank God for His gift of singleness. I appreciate my former mate, and I accept him for who he is (and for who he is not). He is not perfect, and he is not many things he probably should be (a better provider for his son, for example); but overall, he is who he is, and I pray that he too will find a place of contentment.
We have a son together, and there is no doubt in my mind, that he loves his son deeply. We have shared memories, some happy, some bittersweet; but none that would cause me to reconsider my life choice.
I am hopelessly devoted to my Lord. I am in love with the One who loves me best, and who loves me most. The Lover of my Soul is the One who keeps me happy, who provides perfectly for me, and who shelters me from life's storms. I cannot think of a better husband, of a better mate, of a better friend, than my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I can freely admit that I am in love with God. I consider Him to be my best friend. He is my Companion, my Confidant, and the One with whom I share my innermost thoughts and concerns. He knows me well, He loves me completely, and with Him, I don't have to try to be anything other than the person He created me to be. I am so content and peaceful to be the person of His choosing, to be the woman He made me to be, and to live my life in the way He has chosen for me to live.
God is so very Good to me. He is so very GOOD, indeed.