So, this post has been bouncing around in my head for awhile. It always comes out this time of year, when I'm doing Kid's Camp, VBS, and Guatemala in one summer. There's always someone who is amazed by me, saying they can't believe all the stuff I do, can't believe how much I do for the church, etc. They praise me and thank me and say nice things about me.
It always makes me uncomfortable, for one main reason... I didn't ask for any of it.
I didn't ask to be single. I certainly didn't ask to be the poster girl for a single woman "living her life for Jesus." Using the time that others are caring for husbands and children to work for the church and the children and the orphanages, etc.
And to be honest, I would trade it in a heartbeat.
On Thursday, when I took the girls out to get some last minute Guatemala things, we had some good discussion at lunch. They asked if I was happy with my life and if this was how I imagined my life when I was their age. I told them honestly that it was not how I'd envisioned my life, and I would give up my single life in a moment for a husband and family, but I was happy enough because the only other choice would be to be unhappy, and I would never choose that. I have a full life, of my own chosing, and it just is what it is.
Of course, they both then went on to say that they were pretty sure they were going to get married "right away" (whatever that means when you're 17) despite my example of what you plan and what happens being completely contradictory. They're quite sure it will happen exactly how they plan it to happen.
Then, they went on to state the cardinal mistake for young single Christian women.
"Well, I'm really close to God, and trying to learn whatever lesson He's trying to teach me so He can bring me my husband." That's a paraphrase, but they were basically saying that God works by keeping something from you until you've 'learned your lesson' and then you get it.
(Let the record show that when this was brought up, I did not hurl my pickle across the table as was my first instinct.)
I tried to explain to them that I really don't think this is how God or His love works. I really don't think that I'm just missing some random lesson He's trying to teach me, and when I stop being an idiot, He'll send me my husband ASAP and preferrably by Federal Express. But I don't think it fully set in. And that's okay. Someday down the line, they'll go "Oh! That's what she was talking about!"
So, understand that while what I'm doing may be all noble and right...don't praise me for it. I didn't sign up for all of the free time to do it. I just happened to be listening to God when He said "Hey you. Go here. Do this. Right now."
And so I went.