Sunday, June 1, 2014

Why aren't you married?

I'm not married because... no one ever asked me to marry him. Well, maybe someone did once as a joke or something. But to be quite frank, I've never been in a serious enough relationship that we were thinking about marriage.

I've been in love before. But that's different. When I fall in love, I tend to do it all by myself with very little encouragement from the object of my affection. And strangely, I fall hard. It takes me years to recover. It's bizarre. I don't know why I'm this way, but I am. And it doesn't bother me enough that I feel like I should try to change it. In fact, eventually I figure it'll be a good thing when I fall for someone who actually loves me back and then I'll be totally loyal to that one person. Forever. I'm kind of looking forward to it.

But until then, I heart my single life. I get everything my way. I can do things on a whim. I don't have to support anyone else on my salary so I get to work at jobs I like as opposed to the ones that earn big bucks. It's awesome.

Don't get me wrong, I am all for marriage and family life and following the celestial plan, et cetera, et cetera. I fully support people who choose to marry young or who are blessed to find someone early on in life. I'm not saying my life is the ideal.

But I'm also not saying it's the end of the world if you're not married by the time you're thirty.

Why am I even talking about this? Keep in mind that I live in Provo. When I first moved here I was eighteen and one of my roommates was twenty-three and she was completely devastated by the fact that she was graduating from BYU and hadn't gotten married. I liked this girl. She was sweet and a little wacky in an endearing way. But I couldn't stand it when she looked down on herself because of her relationship status or rather her lack of a relationship status.

There is so much that is wrong with that mentality.

Obviously everyone has their ups and downs and I'll admit that there are times I wander into that line of thinking. I haven't always been so cool with my single lady lifestyle. But the older I get--imagine me stroking my beard pensively here--the more I realize a few things:

1. God has a plan for me and it's personalized. He knows exactly what I need to learn and when I need to learn it.
2. I'm doing my best to follow God's plan. I'm not perfect, but I'm trying, you know?
3. God is powerful. If He really wanted me to be married right now, I'm pretty sure He could arrange for that to happen.
4. There are things that I can do now and ways that I can serve that I wouldn't be able to if I were married. For example, if you're married and have young children, you can't be an ordinance worker at the temple. I've loved serving in the temple.

Ditto for when I taught seminary awhile ago. Or when I was a counselor at Girls Camp.

Or even when I worked as a nanny. Maybe I could've done some of those things if I were married and had kids, and I'm sure I would've had lots of other opportunities to serve. But not in the same ways. And I wouldn't have learned the same things or become the same person that I am now.

5. Eventually, as long as I do my part, I'll get everything I've ever dreamed of and then some.

Speaking about Christ's parable of the laborers in the vineyard, Elder Holland said,
My beloved brothers and sisters, what happened in this story at 9:00 or noon or 3:00 is swept up in the grandeur of the universally generous payment at the end of the day. The formula of faith is to hold on, work on, see it through, and let the distress of earlier hours—real or imagined—fall away in the abundance of the final reward. . . . So don’t hyperventilate about something that happened at 9:00 in the morning when the grace of God is trying to reward you at 6:00 in the evening—whatever your labor arrangements have been through the day.
I love this quote (seriously, who doesn't love Elder Holland?) because it reminds me that in the eternal perspective it really doesn't matter when I get married or have kids or do any of the other milestone things that people tend to use to measure their progress in life. What matters most is that I'm grateful for the abundance of blessings I do have and that I look forward with faith and hope to the ones I'll have someday.

I'm not worried about it. It'll happen when it's supposed to. And in the meantime, I'm having a blast.

End note:
In case you're wondering, that Elder Holland quote is from this talk, which is called The Laborers in the Vineyard. It's awesome. One of my all-time faves. You should really read/watch/listen to it again. Or for the first time if you happened to miss it.

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