Sunday, November 05, 2006

Single and Satisfied?

From the time that I can remember, I have always wanted to be a wife and mother. In fact, my sweetest memories from childhood is playing with my Fisher Price Family Playhouse.

I dreamed of being a mommy and a wife. I dreamed of my handsome husband and our two adorable kids, a boy and a girl. I literally planned my wedding from age five.

When I was 12, I planned my life. I'd graduate high school at 18, college at age 22, marry at age 23, have baby number one at 24, and number two at 26. We would live in this huge fantastic home with a huge backyard and a pool. I would stay home and care for the children. My husband would work some sort of business. I didn't know what kind of business because I was 12. What did I know? Magically, dinner would be on the table when my husband arrived home at 5:00. I say magically because even then I didn't fantasize about cooking.

That was how I fantasized life to be, but that ain't how it turned out. At 23, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She was and is the light of my life, but even though I became a mother, I didn't become a wife. For the first year of my daughter's life, I didn't even worry about it because I had a new baby and was trying to adjust to that. But by her second birthday, I started thinking how wonderful it would be for us to be a traditional family. So I started looking for a daddy for her. And a husband for me. Although I never would admit at that time that I was really looking for a husband because gosh that would mean that admitting that I was single, and who wants to admit that? I know, it sounds crazy, but that was my line of thinking at the time.

Let me just stop and say here that except for my daughter's father, I had no prior dating experience whatsoever. Well, I did go out on three blind dates, but those were disasters. Here's my background. I am an Air Force brat, so I grew up everywhere; however, Colorado Springs would be what I consider home. And no offense to my Caucasian brothers and sisters, but it is the whitest place on earth. So, here's me, 'That black girl' as I was commonly referred to, in a place where there were few other blacks. And there were even fewer blacks that lived on my side of town. And here's me, 'That black girl', who is dark skinned, and the few black guys who live on my side of town who actually date and like black girls (because most of them dated white girls) are not attracted to me because I am dark skinned and I wear coke bottle glasses. And I sport a Jheri curl for a time. About the only thing I have going on is during high school I had a banging figure, if I do say so myself, and I do.

Add to all this is the fact that I wasn't allowed to date. Check that. I was allowed to date, but the boy would have to come to my home and stay there. With me. And my parents. And my pesky little brother. Of course this would meant that my mother would inevitably ask my date, "__, are you saved?" [Sidebar: for non-Christian readers 'are you saved' is 70s/80s Christian lingo which means do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?] So, you can imagine that I went through high school dateless.

So here we are in the 21st century and nearly 20 years later in my singleness. I am older and wiser now. I have so much to say on singleness and being satisfied. I really don't know where to begin and where I want to take this post. I guess I want to say I'm always perplexed at two perspectives. One comes from my married Christian friends who say, 'Oh, singleness is a gift.' Ok. I know where they're pulling this scripture from. I know what they're saying. I heard the joke about marriage being like flies on a screen door: the ones on the outside want to get in, and the ones on the inside want to get out. I know marriage is hard. Lord knows I know people who should have never gotten married and rue the day that they ever did. But if you're a single like me, and all you've ever wanted from the day you were a little girl is to be married, hearing that is like having your heart pulled out. I'm being a little dramatic here, but you get my point. I know that being single opens our hearts to be about doing God's work. I get that. We have to get to that point, and it takes a little bit of time and a change of mind, I suppose.

The other perspective I hear is from single women like myself who spout little sayings like, "I'm single and satisfied" and "Jesus meets all my needs", and my personal fave, "You don't need a husband if you got Jesus". Now, here's where the rubber meets the road and where I'm probably going to tick off some of my good Christian readers. But in the words of Joan Rivers, can we talk here? I don't get this. I am content in my life for the most part. There are places in my life that could be better, but really I've learned you gotta take the bitter with the sweet. However, as much as I believe in abstinence and practice in my own daily life, I'm not seeing this perspective at all.. Because I'm just not seeing how Jesus is meeting "all of their needs" if you know what I mean. Abstinence is a struggle for me. I mean it's a battle, and these women just spout this off like 'I eat a bagel and cream cheese every day for breakfast'. Can somebody help me out on this one? Is it something I'm missing?

I love the Lord with all my heart. He is the Lord of my life, but this is one thing I'm not getting. If somebody has the answer to this one, please correspond with me and I'll be happy to chat with you on that.

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