Just last weekend I was on my way to one of my friends’ weddings.
I texted one of my friends from work who knows me very well.
I said, “Tell me I am awesome and that she (my future spouse) is out there somewhere!” She replied: “Rico, you are awesome. And she is out there somewhere.” It made me feel better for about 15 minutes.
I am in my early 20s, and it feels as if it’s every weekend I have a wedding to attend. (I think that’s part of the reason why I am broke.) As I write this, I am looking up directions to a wedding I am attending tomorrow. I am sure I will think about sending my coworker a message that is similar to the one I sent her last weekend.
I have been single for a little over a year now. I try to see everything in my life as an opportunity for me to grow and develop spiritually, physically, and/or professionally. But to be honest with you, the first six months or so of singleness most recently, it was hard to see it as a time for me to grow. So often I hear people around me talk about the idea of “she’s out there.” The reality is that this is harder and harder to believe with all of the weddings that are going around me. I find myself asking the question, “But why can’t it be my turn, God?” I think about past mistakes I have made in my relationships. Sometimes I wonder if this is me “paying the price” for those mistakes that I have made before. For a while, I thought God was punishing me for all of the times I jaywalked across the street during my college years.
I keep comparing myself to everyone around me.
All my friends seem to be finding someone, even those that are younger than me. I am constantly thinking “Maybe I will meet the one at this event!” just so that I can have what most of my friends have. Writing that thought feels pretty immature, but it’s real. I am a firm believer that good things do take time, but it’s becoming harder and harder to believe that when I can have great things in my hands in no time. If I really want a new phone, I can drive to the mall and buy it. If I want a new book, I can easily download it to my iPad. Heck, if I want groceries, I can have them to my house in about two hours. As amazing as that is, it has conditioned me to think that I need everything right away.
After sending the text to my coworker, I realized something. God has not promised me a spouse.
He has promised me that he would be with me, but he never promised that that would come with a significant other. Scarier still, a leader in the Bible named Paul states that not everyone is called to be married. In all honesty, this part freaks me out. It freaks me out because 1) I don’t want to be a monk for the rest of my life and 2) I have dreams of a future family that includes kids one day. However, God’s promise that He will be with me still resonates in my heart.
When I read verses such as “be strong and courageous” and when I hear the promise that “He will be with me,” I am learning to view it as an invitation to cherish the stage that I am in. It’s a stage of uncertainty. I don’t know if I will ever marry. Maybe I will; maybe I will not. However, right now I am learning that family in this stage of life looks like being with my coworkers who do have families, my friends who are married and engaged, and my younger siblings. I have a precious thing to give them: my time. It means the world to them when I show up at their house to play with their kids or help build furniture as we drink a few beers or take my brother to get fitted for his prom tuxedo. They are my people, and they are in my life right now. It’s just not the traditional family I had envisioned.
What I am currently learning is that this time right now is building things for the years to come.
It might be a wife and kids one day, only God knows. It might be that I never marry and I will be perfectly content with that (I’m not there quite yet). For now, I know that for the time being, I am called to trust the promise that He will be with me and that is enough. On the days that comparison gets the best of me, I can take comfort in the fact that He has my back. He will carry me through it all. I get to live life with the non-traditional “family” of those He has placed around me. So instead, of writing about them, I am off to another friend’s wedding to celebrate with my people.