NAS: The Depth of My Despair


Welcome back to the Not Alone Series! Check out Morgan and Jen for more perspectives from fellow single ladies!

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 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.



16 thoughts on “NAS: The Depth of My Despair

  1. Motherhood is definitely something I despair about, for as long as I can remember I have wanted a lot of kids. There have been times I wished that I didn’t know better.
    Thank you for the links.

    • Thanks, Nikki! It’s my pleasure to share the wisdom of people much wiser and wittier than I! 😛

  2. I love this. 🙂 It’s funny though, I have just the opposite fear. I am always despairing I will never marry but feel very calm and confident that, God willing, I will have children… and given my faith, that’s a tricky one to make head and tails of! 🙂

    • Hi, Laura! Thanks! Heh…that is interesting! Perhaps it’s the call to motherhood in general, even if it means spiritual motherhood.

  3. Oh my gosh. You could have just taking all the thoughts out of my head. YES. I SO worry and fear about NOT being a mom. That is what keeps me going… I am not too stressed about being married, blah blah b/c it will be all ok whenever I can have a little babe of my own! It will be wonderful and great and awesome… and heavenly.

    But… what IF that isn’t realllllly in God’s plan. Oh, my heart! It hurts just typing that. My friend Martha (whom I talk about a TON on my blog, I am the godmother to her daughter) and I were chatting last night and for whatever reason we were talking about the future in 10 years. The baby will almost be 11… and Mart and I will almost be FORTY. Ew. Weird. And, then I just blurted out, “I am going to be so old when I have kids!” I seriously almost busted out crying. Motherhood is such a different game when you are older, ya know? Your energy, the amount of kids you can physically have, etc. It does worry me. But, part of me thinks I am crazy! Calm down Jen, it’s not that big of a deal. But, it is.. right?

    All that to say… I feel you, my friend. I feel you.

    • Hi, Jen! Does it help to think that children are always in god’s plan for you, but maybe someone’s free will messes it up? I’d much rather blame us fallen humans than our loving God. It is a big deal, and it is scary. I think all we can do is run crying to Father and Mother and trust that they will soothe our pains. When I am in good spirits, I tell myself when I am forty, I want to enthusiastically say to my childless self in the mirror “Well, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. now where can I put my energy?”

      • Hmmm… maybe. I hadn’t really thought about it like that. I will try to spin it around in my head. 🙂 And, I mean… I wouldn’t blame it on God if it’s all part of His will for me to not have children. It would suck at first to realize that… but I would never blame Him for His plan.

      • Hi, Jen! Oh dear, I did use “blame.” I suppose what I was trying to get at was I’d rather believe some of these things had more to do with our free will than a divine plan. I’ve been puzzling on this and now my puzzler is sore! There may be a future blog post soon of me trying to sort it out!

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  6. First off, I will be pondering that “marriage is a choice” and fully digesting it over the next few days. Second of all, I completely understand that lose of motherhood can often cause the most heartache. Sometimes spending so much time with kids and nannying is challenging because I decide all the ways I would want to do things. Lastly, I love to hear the obvious peace that is overflowing from that last paragraph. Awesome!

    • Thanks, Natalie! I wish I could say I live out the peace more often than not, but life is a work in progress. 🙂 And spending time with kids (and reading about them and writing for them like I do) when you ache so bad is a real tension. With regard to the “marriage is a choice,” I suppose what I meant is that we can choose to follow the promptings of God to our call to make the sacrament with a specific person by marrying Mr. Right or not marry Mr. Wrong; or choose to ignore God’s promptings and marry Mr. Wrong or not marry a Mr. Right.

  7. Oh, I too have despaired about not being able to have children….sometimes it’s so easy to allow your worries to get carried away from you. Because, after all, I would need a husband in order to truly find out if I was or wasn’t going to be able to bear children…but needless worrying multiple years in advance is perfectly logical, no? 😉

    PS I will totally take you up on that jello shot offer….or maybe we could just make it a beer? haha

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