The Absurd and Amazing Adventures of Cafe Girl: On His Way

March 9, 2010

On His Way

As a Singleton who's been single for a long time, it's sometimes hard to believe that there is someone out there for me. On good days, I have all the hope in the world. On bad days, I plan to live alone and buy multiple cats.

My journey to the desire for marriage has been a long one. In my early twenties, I felt too young and too broken to consider sharing my life with someone. In my mid-twenties, I felt too in adequate to believe I deserved to share my life with someone. In my late twenties, my singleness became a source of pride - I didn't need to share my life with anyone. In my early thirties, I'm finding that I want to share my life with someone. And it's been a humbling experience to put my pride down and say this out loud - I would like to be married one day. It doesn't have to be today or even tomorrow. But I'd like it to be one day.

What God has planned for me, and what it means both theologically and emotionally to have desire yet to be fulfilled is a completely different topic for another blog post. For now, I think it is good exercise for my faith muscle to believe that God at least would like me to hope for marriage. Not for marriage's sake, but for hope's sake. Because, to hope is an essential part of every believer's life. Because God has called us to hope.

In my old church in Chicago, I had a pastor who didn't get married until she was well over fifty. She'd been single most of her adult life, but always believed that she would be married some day. Even when it was past the season where most women got married, she still believed that God had marriage for her. One day, she said something that struck me deeply. What she said was something I'll never forget. "My husband is coming," she declared, "He's on his way."

Believing that my husband-to-be is on his way, but not quite here yet, leaves me with choices to make about what to think. It's so easy to turn this current absence into something about me. He's not here yet because I'm not ready. Or I'm not healed enough. Or feminine enough. Or holy enough. Or sweet enough. Or obliging enough. Or simply that I am not enough.

That, however, does no one any good. Especially not me. It leaves me feeling small, defeated, and ashamed. It leaves me feeling inadequate and hopeless. Because no one is ever going to be enough. There is no such thing as a standard by which you are measured and declared "good enough to be married."

Recently, I've started to wonder if he's not here yet, simply because he's still making the journey. I've made journeys of my own, I've been a traveller. I know how journeys start off one way, and take a completely different turn. Maybe he's the kind of traveller I am.

If he's anything like me, maybe he's lost because he's got a bad sense of direction. My lack of direction is my hallmark. If I think we should take a left, definitely take a right. Don't ask me where north is. Forget about trying to orient me by saying, "The ocean is West" or "The lake is East." Because unless I can actually visually see said ocean or lake, I won't know where West or East is. I'd completely understand if he thought he was headed East, but was actually going West.

Maybe, like me, he's made an unexpected, but spontaneous stop a long the way. On a recent road trip back from Vegas, I pulled over to see the world's largest thermometer (Baker, CA, I-15, Exit 246). Why? Because I could. Because it was right next to a Bob's Big Boy. And because it was absolutely hilarious. I love making spontaneous stops on road trips to see sights strange and wonderful. It's a road trip, what's the big hurry to get there? Maybe the husband-to-be made a spontaneous detour because he wanted to see the world's biggest ball of string, or the world's largest thermometer, or eat at Bob's Big Boy, or get a root beer float from A&W.

It's also very possible he has trouble reading a map. Not all of us had Scout training, or grew up being taught how to read a map. To this day, it still takes me a while to orient myself, figure out what direction I'm facing, turn the map the right way, and go in the direction I'm supposed to. Maybe the husband-to-be got the map, but is still learning to read it. I'd have plenty of grace for that. Lord knows how many times I've had trouble reading even those maps they have at the mall, much less the road map of life.

Or maybe, just maybe, he has been looking, but has been having trouble figuring out which one is me. I've had my share of difficulty with that. There've been a few that've come pretty close, but as it would turn out, I was mistaken. And every time I make a mistake, my journey stops a little bit so I can heal, gather my wits about me, and start the journey again. Maybe he's made a few mistakes too and had a few pauses in this road trip towards me.

I hope that whatever the husband-to-be is doing, he's having adventures of his own. I want for him the fullest single life a man could possibly have, filled with as much joy, fun, and delight as possible. I hope, that like me, he's had Singleton absurdities that have made him go, "What the hell?" and then have made him laugh his ass off. I hope that while he's wondering where I am, he's also resting in the knowledge that this season of singleness is invaluable in making him the man for me.

And when we finally do meet, fellow travellers on this journey towards each other, I hope that we would look at each other and recognize, without any doubt, that we were exactly the people we'd been waiting for.

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