Whew! It’s happening.
In a matter of weeks, I’ll be moving out of the house I’ve lived in for most of my life, and while it’s exciting, it’s certainly a bit scary.
At 27-years-old, this is clearly an inevitable, if not overdue, step in my life. And while it will be bittersweet for all the obvious reasons – the leaving behind of the comfort, familiarity and history that is home – there is one not-so-obvious reason that will make this change a hard one. For while I’m certainly proud of myself for buying a house and excited about the fresh start it will give me, the hard truth is I never expected to be doing this…alone.
When I was a senior in high school, I was voted “First To Marry” in our senior poll. I’m not sure if it was due to my innate leanings towards domesticity or my string of drama-filled relationships that sealed the deal, but it was evident that my vocation in life was to be that of a married woman.
Flash forward almost 10 years. Many (if not most) of my classmates have passed through the gates of wedded bliss while I continue to wait patiently (OK – more often impatiently) outside. I really try hard not to put myself on a timeline; my doctors, clients, accountants, and overburdening family members do it enough for me. But it’s hard not to compare.
What went wrong? Why am I so behind?
Like so many women, I’ve always had an idea of what time in my life I’d be getting married and starting a family. And I suppose some sentimental part of me always figured that I would leave my childhood home when I got married, hopping from one warm nest to the next.
But as a favorite saying of mine goes, “We make plans and God laughs” – not in a mean-spirited way, of course, but in the way a parent watches a child try and master something that can only be done through time, acceptance and faith.
I’m also turning to James 5:7-8: “Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crops from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.”
I’m certainly not known for having an abundance of it. Type A, only child, entrepreneur – clear trademarks of a most impatient person. But one thing I have learned to appreciate about this all-too-elusive virtue is that while waiting for something to happen – say, waiting for Mr. Right to come around – patience allows you to stop, breathe, and look around at your life. (After all, you’re waiting – what else do you have to do?)
And in doing so, you begin to appreciate what’s happening now and think less about what it is you were waiting for. Patience becomes not so much about the end goal, but rather about the stillness it creates, allowing you to focus on the blessings you already have.
So, yes, these next few weeks may not be part of my “dream scenario.” I’m buying a house and not getting married. But I’ll also be exercising my patience, taking a step back and thanking God for the great blessings he has given me. After all, he gave me the ability to buy a house and the good sense not to have married someone who wasn’t right for me.
Amazing the kinds of silver linings you can find when you spend some time…alone.
According to this USA Today article, I’m not alone: Single women bought one of every five homes sold in 2005.