an honest post

Okay, all of my posts are honest … I guess I should have called this a vulnerable post, but I’m not going to go back and change the title because all my posts are published on my Facebook account, and I don’t want to draw too many extra eyes here.

I turn 31 two weeks from today.  Thirty-one.  I know it’s not, but it feels old.  (It’s the oldest I’ll have ever been, ha!)  Life is so different than what I thought it would be.  Some good, some bad.

I have more joy and freedom than I have had since I was a young child.  I survived a ravaging war against OCD and found victory.  I have an assurance of salvation that was brought about by a paradoxical embrace of uncertainty.  I have better friends than I could have ever imagined for myself.  I love my job as a recruiter and would have never guessed I’d be good at sales.

On the other hand, I think about myself as a senior in high school, and I had my own little plan for life (How do you make God laugh?  Tell him your plans.): I’d go off to college, meet the love of my life freshman year, marry him after graduation, get an advanced degree, write lovely little poems that everyone would clambor after, and have a family.

No graduate school.  I am pussyfooting my way through fiction.  My first manuscript was rejected by an embarrassing number of agents.  And I am completely single– don’t even have a crush.

I look around at the friends of mine who are living my old dreams, and I don’t resent them (most of the time)– but I do feel light-years behind other people my age.  They have masters degrees, 2.5 children, own their own homes, have husbands who work hard for them so that they can stay home with the kids.  I live an apartment, hang out with college kids, take joy in being published in no-name literature journals just so I can update my writer’s resume in the hope that I will fool someone on a grant committee somewhere into giving me money.

My dream has changed a little.  I’m not sure if it still includes children.  I adore children– my friend Tracy’s three daughters (Emma, Ava, and Elsie) are so dear to my heart that I’m not sure I could love them more even if I’d birthed them myself.  But I’m not sure I want to be a mom– I feel a little too selfish with my time.  I want to write.  My novel is (at this time) my baby, and I’m scared I would resent anything that took my attention away from it.  I don’t know.  We’ll see.  I’ve learned to hold plans loosely.

But I do want to be married.  Like, yesterday.

There have been so many boys, so many crushes, through the years– I burned through them like fuel for my poetry fire.  And I don’t regret liking these men or “letting them go.”  My friend Kristin says, “When God loves you, everything is mercy.”  I am grateful to be where I am.  I trust in his holy plan, believe in his masterful timing, even if that is that I remain single forever.

But I hope I don’t.

I have areas of brokenness in my life that I want to fix before I meet someone.  Sometimes.  Sometimes, I want to meet someone who will love those broken parts and pray with me for healing.  I am glad I didn’t get married straight out of college– now I look back and realize that we were just babies then!  Working at a university, I see these students getting engaged and I think, You don’t even know who you are yet.

Maybe that’s okay.  They can learn together, grow together, change together.  But I have seen plenty of failed and/or unhappy marriages amongst people who married young.  I’m just making observations, not offering judgment.

I know I’m rambling, using this blog as a diary of sorts, which I try not to do.  Maybe it’s okay once in a while.  For this one honest, vulnerable post.

I try to never view a husband as life’s greatest gift, because I know that it’s not.  Not by far.  The gift of salvation by grace, the gift of daily knowing and loving my sweet savior– these are my life’s greatest gifts.  I remind myself that a husband is just icing on the cake I already have.  But I still want one.

Two weeks, and I will be 31.  I already have Jesus Christ, who is a more permanent lover than any I could imagine; I own my faith; I have control over my mental illness; I have a job that I love and enjoy; I don’t own a home or have a graduate degree, but I write almost every day and believe in my story, believe I have messages on my blog and in my life that speak to people.  Life is good, but sometimes I am still lonely.

And I am going to dare to say that that is okay.  I’m not sure, but I think so.

cheer up

23 thoughts on “an honest post

  1. Reblogged this on My Life with Christ. and commented:
    Advance happy Birthday! i dont know if. your post was supposed to be funny, but I had quite a laugh there 😀 You type a lot too, which was the funny part… Maybe because there’s not much talkative people now a days… Anyways, I got a bible verse for yah! You must’ve heard of it already, but I would like to share anyways… It is 1 John 4:16 🙂 God Bless!

  2. I used to hate when people said this to me (nobody does anymore 🙂 ), but you are still young, with plenty of time for all your dreams to come true, whatever they may be. Just keep going after what you want! Happy “almost” birthday!

    • Thanks Janet! I try not to waste even a day! I do love my life– just have been thinking a lot about singleness/marriage since my roommate started dating. Guess I’m just feeling left out! 🙂

  3. I guess I’m echoing Janet’s comment that you are still so young and there’s plenty of time to get married and, if you want, to have children. I didn’t get married until I was 40. I’m not saying that you will be 40–not trying to scare you–but you just never know when your life will change. In the meantime, enjoy your life and making your dreams come true! 🙂

    • Thanks Tina! I know I’m still young– I just need to quit comparing myself to everyone else. In the Christian community I’m a part of, so many people get married SO YOUNG, which just makes me feel behind. But really, I know I’m not.

  4. Thank you for sharing this honest, vulnerable post. I’ve been doing that a lot lately–measuring myself against other people my age, seeing where I’m at compared to where they are and often wishing we could switch places. But I’m being reminded more and more–through your post and other messages from God–that I am at the right place for the right reasons. This isn’t a “waiting room” until I meet a guy, fall in love, and get married; this single time in my life is just as valuable as the relationship stage, perhaps even more so. Thank you for sharing, friend.

    • We should keep reminding each other that we’re in the exact right place. And YES, you are exactly right– this single time is so important! My goodness, if I had been living just to get married, I’d have completely wasted the last ten years of my life, which have been INCREDIBLE!

      You’re the best. Thanks for the comment. It always helps to know I’m not alone.

  5. Jackie, I appreciate your vulnerability, and, while I can’t say I can completely relate because I will be turning 10 years /younger/ than you next week, I understand (: (and btw, I never think about our age difference, really. It doesn’t seem to matter and I think of you as a friend!) You are such an encouragement to me always!

    I seriously thought I would be in the same exact boat as you (and in fact WANTED to be there rather than in a relationship any time soon). But God surprised me by teaching me that His plans are definitely not mine. I hesitated to date my best friend (his asking me was a complete surprise) because I didn’t want to lose that gift of singleness and independence, but God opened the door and now I know that my relationship with my guy is about being more ourselves and who God wants us to be, just with each other (: God’s thoughts are so much higher than mine.

  6. Hey, I may not be able to fully relate to you regarding Singles Awareness Day but I do resonate with your comments about how life has gone. I have yet to use my degree (Youth Ministry) and I almost wonder if it was a mistake since it’s not really usable in the work world. Sucks that our education was so expensive, too! I don’t have any real inspirational encouragement but just know that I know a little of what you’re feeling!

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  9. This is an amazing post, trust Gods timing he has a perfect man in store. I’m glad that you having crushes/wanting a husband gives me hope for my HOCD as my emotions for relationships are so messed up. Thanks for this post!

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