I wish I could say that I feel this confident and secure today. Things rolled down hill fairly quickly after I wrote this and haven't really picked up yet.
Originally written on August 19, 2009
Some quick thoughts that I'm not going to smooth out and make glossy, or entirely readable for that matter.
I ate lunch with my Mormon friend at work today. We have both read (I'm so close to finishing) Sister Oaks's book A Single Voice. It is the very best of books and I encourage you, whatever situation you find yourself in, to read it. It is a book all women should read.
Well, we got to talking about marrying later in life, plus marrying a widower, and I said, "I don't think I could handle being a step mom to grown children who don't really need a mother mother anymore. I don't think I could walk into another woman's family and try to carve out a place for myself." This is something that most single women fear. We don't want to feel like we're sloppy seconds, or the poor man's fill-in-the-blank, or that we have to share a man since we weren't good enough for a husband of our own when all the regular or blessed people were getting married. We're afraid to show up on the other side of the veil and have the first wife look us up and down and say, 'Go back to the little league, sweetheart.'
So that's one of the things that single women worry about when we're worrying about being single.
But then, here's the thing that my friend and I have realized-- As we've started moving towards the end of our 20s, being single doesn't feel that awful anymore. In fact, maybe it isn't awful, just difficult. We've transitioned to this point because now our testimonies are stronger, we have a firmer grasp on the reality of eternal blessings, and we have a better understanding of the purpose of life and Heavenly Father's love for His children. All these things have calmed us down.
Add to that the fact that we've reached a point where we aren't at our first jobs anymore, we're starting to get a small taste of what it's like to be an adult with the salary of a grown-up full-time job, and we see that there are a million great opportunities, expectations, and freedoms that we have because of it.
Anyhow, my friend and I were talking about this unforeseen shift in attitude, and I said, "After a certain point, like, 50, I just don't know if I would see the point in getting married anymore." I didn't say it with bitterness, but in a ruminating sort of, 'why would that option be attractive to me?' sort of way. Think of who I would be by then! Meaning that after I'm out of my childbearing years, and after I've spent so long building and living my own life, and considering that I would be closer to the end of my life than the beginning, would I really want to switch gears so drastically just to become someone's second wife for a few years, then face an unknown set of circumstances in the hereafter?
What my friend said back hit me square in the heart, and I knew that her words were true and that I needed to spend some time thinking about their significance. She said, "True, but you don't know what you'll feel like at 50."
And that is the point. I don't know what I'll feel like at 5o. I had no idea that I would feel the way I feel at 27, no idea at all.
Doctrine and Covenants 98:12 -- For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith.
This is a beautiful concept. At 27 I know what I need to know. At 50 I will know what 50 requires. Do you see why this is so great? We will always be prepared for what we need to do. The situations that frighten me now won't necessarily frighten me later in life.
This is the meaning behind my friend's words -- any time that we're doing something that God ordains, it will bring us happiness, and anytime we are part of something that God ordains, we can be hugely happy in a way that we can't understand right now. It's like trying to conceptualize heaven. Sometimes I look at beautiful landscapes and wonder how you could possible improve upon what we have here. But as my sister told me once, you just have to believe that the next life is amazingly better, even though we have no way of seeing it now. You just have to believe because it's true, we just don't have the capacity to understand the fullness of it yet.
If you read Sister Oaks's book, you could not deny that the woman is over-the-moon ecstatic about her life. She doesn't feel cheated or sad because of what she missed out on in this blip of mortality because the deepest desires of her heart are wrapped up in her faith in the Savior. She knows that every good thing will come her way at some point in a future that isn't as far away as we imagine it to be.
That's the point. Done and done.