Ministering Angels

"They neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those what are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory."

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Introductory Navel-Gazing

By Melinda

I'm your typical angst-ridden, bewildered, over-educated, Happy Valley dwelling, self-pitying, faithful, single Mormon woman whose biological alarm clock is refusing the snooze button. A lifetime Mormon, I've run the gamut of Mormon single experiences -- Young Single Adult wards, blind dates, tri-stake dances, LDS matchmaking websites, annual chastity lectures by the bishopric, the Set-A-Date program (hey, if it can work to meet someone to baptize, it should've worked to meet someone to marry), aging out of the YSA ward, fasting and prayer, the culture shock of a family ward, and responding to people who wonder how someone as cute as I am could possibly still be single.

Being single at 33 is a shock. I never questioned the truth that marriage and motherhood is the state in which a woman reaches closest to her divine potential. I believed that I was headed for a husband in the bishopric and eight kids. (With an ambition like that, God should have granted it just to punish me for my pride in thinking I could handle it.)

Somewhere, I must have taken a wrong turn. I never intended to actually have a career. If I had, I would have thought twice about getting a law degree. I don't have the personality to be a lawyer, and I've known that from way back. But I figured I'd only have to work until the kids were born, then I'd stay home and take care of them. Instead, I landed a dream job at a fancy Salt Lake law firm.

I kept granting God continuances. Okay, God, I'll finish my college degree, then I'll meet my husband. Hmm, a B.A. Okay, I'll start law school, then I'll meet my husband. Hmm, first year done. Okay, I'll finish law school, then I'll meet my husband. Hmm, a J.D. Okay, I'll find a job, then I'll meet my husband. Hmm, my one year anniversary at work. Okay, I'll finish this vitally important project at work which is, of course, the reason I'm not married yet because no one else could handle this, then I'll meet my husband. Hmm, a settlement. Okay, death.

Ah, denial. Cheaper than therapy.

Denial about being single is actually a show of faith. Really. James tells us that you have to be convinced you'll get what you ask for (a husband and kids). To think that you won't get it would be letting your faith waver, and then you've jinxed yourself and you definitely won't get it. See James 1:6-7.

I finally jinxed myself and thought, "so what if I don't get married?" Bad reaction, very bad reaction -- anger, depression, confusion, self-pity, betrayal, discouragement, hopelessness and desperation. I wondered if I had any worth at all as a woman. Was this my fault or God's fault? Because this can't have been intended as the ideal situation.

I see other singles who are happily Mormon, and wonder how to be like them. I have a sneaking suspicion about those single folk who are happily Mormon. I think they've been where I am now, wandering through their own dark night of the soul. I've been in the dark long enough that I think I caught a glimpse of daybreak. But I could be wrong - it might just be a firefly.



at 6/19/2005 7:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog you have here, ladies.

First, let me say that one of your phrases is very telling: though you are self-revealed as "overeducated", you never intended to be a career woman.

It's really a catch-22, because we are taught to live for and pray for the ultimate blessing of family life. However, when things don't work like clockwork, the "second choice" becomes a "first necessity."

Too many of us resent that necessity instead of embracing it. Maybe (for now?) your career is (or should be) your family! Put as much time, energy and love into it as you can!

at 6/19/2005 10:13 PM Blogger Melinda said...

That's great advice! Maybe I need to post about changing careers, since I ended up in one I can't sustain on a long-term basis!

at 6/21/2005 8:09 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Melinda, I wrote a poem: Within the pitch-black tunnel, do not give a sigh/ If you realize it was only a firefly passing by/ See the hope in this sliver of light in the night./ One foot in front another press forward until the true light is in sight.

at 6/23/2005 3:04 AM Anonymous meems said...

Hi, I hope I'm not unwelcome here because I am married, but I had a similar bunch of feelings when I wanted a child. We'd been married 10 years and in all that time I had only one pregnancy (miscarriage). I kept praying and praying that it would happen, and then suddenly I realized that everything depends on our willingness to lose ourselves and submit to the will of our Heavenly Father. Maybe I wasn't ready. Maybe my husband wasn't ready. Maybe having a child would ruin our marrige. Maybe my daughter wasn't ready to come to earth yet! I couldn't presume to know. Instead I changed all my prayers to say, if it's for the best, please bless us with a child. If it isn't, that's okay too. Of course, within a very short time, I was pregnant. While this isn't exactly the same situation, I think taking a really zen, almost "Eastern" approach to life can be helpful. Whenever I have had the biggest problems about something, I step back and "let go." I don't try and control a situation. (Well, ideally!! - If you ask my husband he's tell you I was a control freak!) But with the really important stuff I try to experience the present and try to let go of my ego. I think this can be theoretically hard if we're not used to it and try to keep our life in control all the time, but once you start to practice even a little of this attitude (for lack of a better word?) wonderful things can happen. Who knows why you are where you are? Just presume there is a reason and enjoy it! I think everyone spends way too much time worrying about how things should be or could be. Love who you are right now and the rest will come in Heavenly Father's own due time.

And there's no such thing as being overeducated! Sorry if I ramble. . .


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