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.