Posted by: karanoel | October 27, 2010

Yeah, not so much

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. John 2:9

As a single person, I have a lot of loving married people in my world who believe that I’m some kind of a catch, and ask how it is I haven’t been snatched up. Despite the fact that many of them are related to me and others haven’t seen my, um, quirks, I appreciate the encouragement. For quite a while, this robust team of cheerleaders had a plethora of possible mates for me – catches, of course, just like me – but nothing ever seemed to materialize and after a while I think they just gave up.

There remained, however, a contingent who were frustrated by my seemingly passive “do my own life and see if it intersects with someone else’s” approach. I can see how going without a date for nearly a decade might reflect poorly on my method, but I felt I was definitely outpacing all the hares in the race.

Anyway, a couple very dear friends, who were of the proactive, take-the-bachelor-by-the-horns school of thought, took on a personal ad campaign/life coach role. One in particular would walk by my desk with a big grin and share about every eharmony or match.com success story she heard of. It charmed me and I certainly had nothing against internet dating, but I just didn’t feel like it was for me. But my resistance wore thin and the next time eharmony sent me a teaser deal, I went for it.

I signed up for three months and was probably the most pitiful user the site had ever seen. In addition to being busy with real life, I was overwhelmed by the sheer drudgery of it and spent the majority of those months with the “don’t send me new matches” box checked. Toward the end of my tour of duty, I decided I should put in a little more effort. So I unchecked the box, and tried. I mean, I kind of tried. I did ice-breakers and answered questions and sent some of my own. These guys seemed like good people, but I didn’t feel compelled to talk to a single one. Well, maybe one. The mechanic in Huntington with his arms around his three teenage sons, who seemed good-natured and normal. But not enough to go anywhere with it.

My surge of effort crested and fell, leaving me utterly discouraged. I didn’t want to see this as a full-time job like another coworker who found her husband after wading through profiles like a stack of legal documents, and lining up dates like business meetings. If that was the way I had to find someone, I wanted nothing to do with it. Which made my plight feel hopeless.

But then, some truth seeped in. I remembered something I had learned about disillusionment pointing to misplaced trust, and it clicked that my disappointment that night uncovered my trust in eharmony, rather than in God. Which is a very different thing than trusting in God and using eharmony. So I looked up to God, acknowledged him as the source of every good thing in my life, and felt great relief that this wasn’t my only chance in life for happiness or a relationship. And relief that I didn’t have to prove to myself, God, or anyone else that I was doing my part… which I think is just enjoying God and following his lead anyway.

So I held my breath and counted down to the following week when my membership ended. It was a glorious day. The funny thing in all of this is that I’m not even set on getting married anymore. Not because of any bad experience. I think it is a great thing and would still be happy to be a part of it if something worthwhile came along. But my expectations are changing and widening, and I feel like I could be happy will all sorts of different things God might to do. Which is exactly where I’m leaving it for now. Not so much, God, this is what I want; now make it happen. But more like, hey God, what’s in your heart? What would you love to do in my life? Lay it on me because that is what I want.


Responses

  1. Yes.

    God says to me, “your husband is not in your computer” and I sense the world’s disappointment with me. You have once again articulated what God’s further message is… “Keep your eyes on the prize, how can disillusionment visit you when I have promised you every good thing?” He knows the plans he has for us, plans to prosper and keep us. Thank you, Sweet Kara!

    • Do you realize how much we’ve grown Sarah? I know there have been struggles and all in the process but holy moly we are doing this thing and coming into that abundant life. He is so good and we are going to look back and laugh at how we ever doubted his perfect plans and wildly good gifts for us… and to others through us. I have no doubt that you are going to have every single true desire of your heart.

      A comment by my friend, Kristi, who got married at 38 and has my favorite marriage, which I pass along to you:

      God wants us to be content right where we are…in the moment. Because I kept abiding in Him, I was available and ready when he brought Chris into my life! HE IS faithful and knows exactly where we need to be, when we need to be there! You keep trusting that, and your joy will be FULL!! xo

  2. Ahhhh…I have to say I loved, and related to, this post. Everybody around us always seems to have the answers to where our purported husbands are. I used to be amused and sometimes annoyed at the things people used to say to me when I was single (you know, “don’t you want to get married?”… my answer, of course, and when I meet HIM I will most certainly marry him!) I finally started saying…I am “ok” with my singleness, in fact I am having a great time and enjoying the perks of being single…it seems that you guys are more bothered by it than I am. Why is that? God wants us to be content right where we are…in the moment. Because I kept abiding in Him, I was available and ready when he brought Chris into my life! HE IS faithful and knows exactly where we need to be, when we need to be there! You keep trusting that, and your joy will be FULL!! xo

    • You are one of my greatest role models in this area!! Your patience and refusal to buy into the madness obviously paid off because you got the best guy ever. And he got the best girl. And you married for all the right reasons. Your story has definitely helped me arrive at this very liberating understanding. So thanks! I kept thinking that marriage had to be the “next step.” Partly because I live with my parents and have felt incapable of moving past that. But my whole world is opening up and I’m seeing that God can do great things in my life that do not require a mate. And how wonderful to choose someone as a complement rather than some necessary step in the process. Thank you for your wonderful encouragement!

  3. LOL and bravo! Love your depiction of the eHarmony experience. As someone who’s tried eHarmony, and actually pretty successfully, too believe it or not (I was in a relationship for six months with someone I met online), I can identify.

    But I identify with the rest of your post as well… I’m similarly told I’m a “catch” (whatever that means) and am used to being set up, though not so much any longer. People have learned that I’m just not interested in blind dates or “getting to know” strangers that may or may not be interesting. Frankly, in this season of my life, I’d rather not spend the time.

    We’re close to the same age, and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t had some extended moments of anxiety at still being single. But it always comes down to the fact that you just can’t expedite love, or create connection with someone just because you’re nervous about the lack of activity in your romantic life. At the end of the day I’d rather be single and occasionally restless than married to the wrong person and miserable.

    🙂

    • Funny how all of us “catches” out there never seem to get caught 🙂

      I’m very impressed that you went for it and used eharmony the way it was intended (waaaay more than I can say). And got a relationship out of it and everything. Very brave and adventurous! I actually know some extraordinarily well-matched married people who met there. And it seems there are thousands of other people like them. So obviously there is something of value there. Just not my cup of tea.

      Love the way you expressed they way we “can’t expedite love or create connection.” And having been married in a not-so-great context – and as someone who actually enjoys being single – I fully agree that occasional restlessness is preferable to being married for the sake of being married. I have to say that I’m over the moon about the way I’m learning to enjoy and embrace the here and now… and then getting to enjoy the rest (whatever that may be) when it comes. Really, really excited. And very happy. 🙂


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