This week, we’re getting real by sharing the Drama of Our Discernment (TM Auntie Seraphic). When I first considered this question, I felt real pleased with myself, for I don’t feel like I’ve truly despaired being single. Frustrated—yes. Upset—of course. Snarkily misanthropic—a lot! But never actually lost all hope and confidence that I would end up married. To me, marriage is something that two people enter into freely—if I want to be married, I can be. I just need to put myself out there, live a good Catholic life, and someone eventually will want to make me his wife.
What gives me hope is seeing marriage to a man as a choice, built upon a series of smaller choices throughout my life. I know there are advice-givers in our community who believe in the “missed marriage vocation” concept—that through the world’s brokenness women whom God called to be married are not. But as I wrote about my personal belief that debunks the “soulmate” theory [Part 1, Part 2], there is no one person we are “supposed to” end up with, but don’t because of free will choices made by him or hiring managers. So I actually do feel confident that if I keep meeting people (I personally know success stories from Catholic dating sites, Catholic Young Adult groups, and even Match.com) and keep being the wonderful woman God calls me to be, I will be married. Plus, I pray. That whole mindset gives me hope.
I do despair. The issue that freaks me out the most—to the point where I really have to consciously control myself so I don’t blow up at friends or potential dates—is never becoming a mom. Motherhood is the vocation I despair never having. Marrying late is one thing—I know a handful of women who have and they are very happy—but only one managed to birth children. I fear that if I marry late, my mom won’t be around (or around, but not aware) by the time I might become a mom. (She was on the scary side of 35 when she had me and my twin brother). I fear that with all the crazy restrictions, waiting periods, and challenges of adoption, that my husband I will never become parents. I fear that I will have problems or miscarry. The fears are so deep, that I get anxious, and when I get anxious, I tend to do drastic things and want to inappropriately speed up the process or mentally give up entirely. Both of those feelings fluctuate from day to day.
What light is there in the darkness for me? I try to remind myself that motherhood can be spiritual, and I should dote on the children presently in my life; that the Church allows for single adults to adopt; that probably thousands of men are turning 21 every day (he has to be able to buy me a drink when we’re out! :P)…But really, the best bet is prayer. God will relieve our burdens. We have to make sure we ask Him. And thank Him, no matter what. Plus, as the OrthoGals wittily demonstrate, we’re not alone. Railing against the delay of our vocation is as useless as railing against the plane that is quite rightly delayed. All we can do is sit back and let the ones in charge take control, and take comfort that we are safe and will get where we are going.