Thursday, April 21, 2011

Who signed up for this? Anyone? Anyone? (Stella)

I must admit I love reading the comments on posts almost more then I love reading the posts themselves. I so appreciate the honesty that is shared and the realness in those words. Being a single woman (in the church or out of it) is a painful, infuriating, seemingly never ending journey. I would love to know how the single men feel - so if you're a fellow please speak up!More often then not our counsel and our encouragement is to keep going, have faith, don't give up, the Lord has a plan for you, every promise the Lord has made will be fulfilled in His time (if you hold up your end of the bargain, of course) in this life or the next...

Somtimes I wish that those with the proper authority and who have walked in these shoes would shout from the pulpit -

"This Sucks!" "I'm angry!"

"What the *!#&*#! happened to my life?"

In fairness, I have heard Sheri Dew speak and talk about the depression she experienced for several years in her early 30's after a broken relationship. I have heard Sister Perry (wife of an apostle, no less) talk about being angry at Heavenly Father for remaining single long into her adulthood and not one single Apostle who all but sobs how sorry he is for us single girls makes it out to be an easy thing. But, not one of these choice individuals have ever said anything that remotely comes close to how I've felt at times in my life. Time for a confession - I've spent the last 5 years...maybe more, but definitely the last 5...absolutely furious. I pasted on the happy face for others to see of course but inside I was miserable, angry, jealous and flat out pissed off. I compared my gifts, talents, and DESIRE to be a wife and mother with those I saw around me (who have what I want) and most didn't add up to what I thought I could offer. Now why in the world would Heavenly Father keep me from building up His kingdom and fully participating in the plan of happiness when all I want to do with my whole heart is raise a righteous posterity?

So - back to my point - have the Sheri Dew's and Barbara Perry's, and Barbara Thompson's and Kristen Oaks of the world not had the same feelings that you and I are dealing with? I'm quite certain that they have - and yet I've never seen or heard one of them give more then a casual reference to it. Why is that?

I can't speak for everyone, I can't speak for anyone actually. I can only speak to my own experience and hope that it speaks to your heart too. Throughout these 5 (maybe more) violently, demented, raging years I've tried as hard as I knew how to do to learn, to grow, and to figure out why. I prayed repeatedly feeling that only my ceiling was ever listening and gave up on family and friends offering me any comfort or even any real support. I have felt alone, I have felt forsaken, I have felt forgotten and have questioned my worth and value. I have desperately dated men whose choices make them unworthy for the life I desire to live in the hopes that one of them would marry me and my influence may bring one of the proverbial sheep back to the fold. I have raged against Heavenly Father while simultaneously clinging to the Gospel. I have done all of this (and more) in my attempt to control this area of my life and somehow I have been saved and protected and brought to this point of understanding.

I can't tell you exactly how I got here but somehow I gave up (in a good way.) Somehow I finally figured out how to CHOOSE to have faith, how to CHOOSE to believe my patriarchal blessing (as well as other personal revelations), and CHOOSE to trust that what I've been told is TRUE. My situation hasn't changed. I'm as single as I've been for the last 5, 10, 15, 20 years. Yet somehow I have HOPE that I don't think I've ever had. I have FAITH that I know I've never had, and I have CHARITY for others that is deeper then anything I've ever experienced.

Now don't get me wrong - I have my bad moments. I have moments when I reminisce about past relationships and question again why things worked out as they did but in these moments I have learned to CHOOSE to pray and ask for strength and the strength comes. I have learned DO NOT LOOK BACK (just think of Lot's wife - looking back does no good.) I have learned to PRAY with my whole heart - sobbing, honest conversations where I pour my heart out to Heavenly Father, I have learned to not just READ my scriptures but SEARCH for the answers to my prayers. I have learned to be PATIENT (well that's a lie - but I've learned that I must be patient) if I am going to make it through this trial and make no mistake - THIS IS A TRIAL!

Moroni 7 is my anchor during this storm. I encourage you to read it. I encourage you to mark it up, underline it, write notes on it, dissect it as it compares to your life. In my opinion it is a road map for unwilling single people - things that are good come from God (happiness, joy, hope, belief.) Things that are evil come from the jerk (anger, depression, low self worth, hopelessness.) Miracles do still happen (and I believe my marriage will be a MIRACLE!) What we ask for in FAITH the Lord will give us but it has to be faith like we've never had before. Please don't misunderstand me - I am not making some crazy statement that if we believe enough our husbands will fall out of the sky but I am saying that if we CHOOSE TO BELIEVE with our WHOLE ENTIRE BEING the Lord will either answer our prayers or He will show us our way and most importantly HE WILL MAKE IT OKAY. I love this quote - no idea who said it but:

"In the end everything will be okay. If it's not okay, it's not the end."

For reasons that only the heavens seem to know our generation (again both in/out of the church) carries this painful burden. Fear, unbelief, and selfishness seem to drive many. Living too close to the world, a refusal to grow up and accept responsibility, even watching the experiences of parents, family and friends are often offered as explanations. These explanations bring me little peace - actually they just tick me off - but this I know: Let mankind (and womankind) do what they will. The Lord's plan will not be thwarted - the plan of happiness does not change - my promised blessings aren't going anywhere - and those who have withheld or hindered the blessings of others and ignored the council of Prophets will have much to answer for. I have come to believe we are pioneers, after all what other generation has been asked to endure like we have? Just like the early saints who were asked to endure physical hardships beyond what I think any of us can really imagine, WE are asked to endure a daily (sometimes minute by minute) ASSAULT on our Spirits, our worth, our value and our life purpose.

Hang in there friends. Keep going - one more step, one more day. The answers are out there but if we are to receive them we have to stop looking at only one door.


Art Tidesco said...

Life is a never ending journey the way you feel about it is your choice.

The race car driver Dale Earnhardt Snr once said why let one bad moment spoil a bunch of good ones.

In Africa folks genuinely struggle to keep food on the table from one day to the next, yet ask most people who visit Africa outside of famine zones what their overwhelming memory is and they are sure to remember lots of smiling faces even amongst the poorest of the poor.

Life when it is understood and utilised for what it is tastes sweet.

Worrying or getting mad about being single sucks and makes life taste bitter so why choose to be mad ?

Anonymous said...

Because dear Art - when you've gone your entire life dreaming and hoping and believing that things would happen or turn out a certain way and they don't it's only natural to go through the grief of loss - which includes anger. All part of the process. Doesn't sound like that's been your burden to bear so please don't try to minimize or tell others not to feel what they need to feel.

Anonymous said...

I have an active friend who is single in her mid 30s and doesn't seem to be the least bit angry, sad, or desperate to be married. She is always full of smiles, fun stories about her amazing career, international travels, and likes to brag about her nephews. I have heard her once say that it stinks sometimes to be LDS because you can't date non-LDS (she has had crushes on co-workers) but other than that, she has the attitude of "it'll happen when the time is right and i'm going to live an awesome life until then." She never lets on any kind of real sadness or depression and anxious desire to be married.

BUT--I honestly wonder all the time if her attitude is just a front, and if deep inside she is hurting. I don't know, because she acts like she singlness doesn't really bother her and that her life is amazing regardless. I don't think she would admit anything to me. Can an active, over 30 LDS woman really not care? I honestly don't know.

That said, I am guessing at least ONE of the "famous" LDS single women (or former single women) you mentioned, like Sister Dew HAVE felt intenese anger, rage, bitterness, and jealously at some point. Maybe not all of them....but at least one. But I am guessing they do not mention it over the pulpit, even though many women would like to hear it, because the hard truth is, negative feelings don't get you anywhere.

Its a lesson I'm still learning for sure, but feeling angry, jealous, sad, etc....doesn't help you get what you want any faster. It only serves to greatly diminish your enjoyment of the blessings you do have. It can suck all hapiness and joy out of your life. It can control you. It can become an obessions. None of this is happy. Intense negative feelings leave you drained and miserable, and unable to enjoy the wonderful blessings you DO have.

I sometimes have to fight the "jealous" monster I do look at others who have what i want and think that I would appreciate their blessings more...I need it more...I deserve it more...I would do more with what they have than what they are doing...why did I have to be the one to "lose out?"etc. I KNOW its the wrong attitude, but it still flares up. Its normal. But we have to try to control it or we can't have joy. We'll just be bitter and bitter never got anyone anywhere. Still, it stinks when you really want something, and there isn't much you can do to get it.

Anonymous said...

It's a good reminder that none of us have the same hurts or pains. What bothers you doesn't necessarily bother me. I think there are plenty of single women who live life and don't worry about marriage. I think there are those who worry about it everyday and who ache constantly. Enduring well - whatever your particular difficulty - is really what life is all about. Good post thanks!

HS @ Our Debt Blog said...

ok I'm lost LOL...


Marlee said...

I like your writing style you seem very passionate. Vent when you need to, you'll pull through in the end!

Rebecca said...

I appreciate you sharing that you now have a hope that you haven't had before because you are choosing to believe. As a single woman in her 30s, I have struggled with feelings of anger, abandonment, lonliness, etc. What works for me is what it sounds like worked for you - choosing to believe Christ and the promises He makes. It's not easy and sometimes you have to choose on a minute to minute basis.

Thank you for sharing your experiences and reminding me that happiness, in or out of marriage, is a choice.

The feelings from this post reminded me of this entry of mine. (See, you're not alone!!) I posted the link below if you are interested.