I was 30 and still felt “unready” for marriage. There’s still quite the stigma on women who marry or bear children “late” — I’ve always wondered, but whoever set these “time” rules? For the faith community especially, what happened to Ecclesiastes 3? I understand the panic of those who don’t share our faith, as the world is very harsh in perceiving women as “left on the shelf” or all that biology talk of having “less fresh eggs” — I’m not saying science is wrong, but Sarah was 90 when she had Isaac so…
Already we live in a social media age that celebrates being a “young bride” or a “young mom” — and “announcements” are a rite of passage in a modern woman’s life, and the inevitable envy or insecurities (by nobody’s fault really) when you are not on “that timeline”. But maybe we can do more as a church or faith community in resisting stigma — and always be asking, how are we living counter-culturally from society and better empower women across seasons or “timelines”?
I mean, I don’t know any woman of faith who are just turning down man after man or overloading contraceptives to avoid having children? And if you don’t have a message about “waiting on God” then you feel like you have an unsound doctrine on marriage or motherhood. I was 29 when I met Edward — I had not dated anyone else in my twenties, I had casual dates and explored guys here and there, my last relationship ended at 19. But, in that decade, I was not waiting — I was just all out living the life He designed for me, and live it up to the fullest.
Because I believe in Ecclesiastes 3 with all my heart and soul — which is why I write on “seasons” so much. Whether 19, 29, 39 or beyond. In every change of “season” you will find me mourning a little for the end of it. I still grieve for my singleness season every now and then — not because I don’t love my marriage, it’s been of my wildest dreams, the first five years we have had is unreal magical stuff 🙂 And not gonna lie, but he’s very good on the eyes too.
But, I grieve the end of my singleness season because it was just. as. great. as. my current season in marriage. Just differently. If you had followed me and my journey since my twenties, I pretty much felt I was unstoppable. Friends could not keep up with where God was taking me to next — what my next mission was — it’s just a wild adventure around the world God and I had. In my marriage, I still feel I am unstoppable. And I don’t feel I’ve missed out on anything at all — because the fact of the matter is quite simple, I held on to His unique vision and mission for me that I just was not going to relent or waste any guy’s effort if it wasn’t quite in alignment.
It was the second date when Edward asked me out that I asked him pretty straight up in his car if he likes me, which he answered without hesitation! (I only asked because I was attracted to him, so let’s go for it!) By our third date or so we were very up front talking about being in alignment on our vision and mission in life — shortly after, he said he knew he was going to marry me and we did months later :). Five years later, and it keeps getting better!
As with majority of things in my life, this came totally unplanned. So though we got married just days before I turned 30, I honestly didn’t feel more “ready” than I was if we had met in our teens or twenties. All I knew was, my time for this new season has arrived, the only thing I could do was to just yield, respond and step into it — despite how I felt of being “unready”, adequate or inadequate to be someone’s wife. With everything in life, I’m the learn-on-the-job just figuring it out as I go along type of person.
That’s all we can really do — when our season comes — “early” or “late” there is really no such thing. The concept of time is never ever ours to begin with, it’s His. Whether He brings us into the season of marriage or motherhood at 19, 29, 39 or even beyond — it’s just what it is — time, His time as written in Ecclesiastes 3. And this week in our household we really dug into this passage. Being in a sabbatical year, I’ve had to wrestle with the concept of “time” a lot, as so much of our inability to “take time off” and especially if it’s perceived as “doing nothing” (even being with God!) — it all boils down to our misconstrued notion of who really owns the “time” on earth? Selah.