And in my meanderings, original goal possibly maybe fulfilled and long forgotten, I happened upon a blog post in which a woman mentions that she has her husband to fall back on. Nothing wrong with that; it's splendid and a huge blessing for her. But jealousy comes in different forms and is a wily beast...a parasite. And sometimes a fear. (problem three)
I want a partner to travel the roads of this life with. And as I am and have always been single, I sometimes wonder if I truly need another person--a peer, a teammate, a man, a husband. I've gotten this far and am making steps forward with life. If something truly needs done, I do it. Over the years, I've juggled and handled with moderate grace more things than I'd thought I could. What if I don't need a husband? What if I'm just fine on my own until I'm 91 and dying? What if I can handle the next sixty plus years as a single woman, on my own without any backup? Does that mean that's my future? These thoughts frighten me.
That life sounds lonely.
I know I'm not out on my own yet, but I will be. And I know I won't ever be completely alone: I'll still have my relatives and friends. Someday I plan to have a dog. Most importantly, the Holy Spirit abides in me, Jesus intercedes for me, and God the Father leads me. That's hardly alone (though I admit it often feels alone [...problem four]).
I want someone to mutually take care of. Marriage in all its mucky, gritty, intimate, loving, hopeful glory. But there are times I catch myself worrying (problem five) that I won't need it, so I won't get it. I'm too tough or too independent (those of you who know me, I'll wait for you to stop laughing...) to need a marriage relationship.
Earlier I was slightly marveling that I was cleaning away spiderwebs like they were no big deal when normally I will avoid them and pretend I can't see them just so I don't have to risk heebie jeebies. Or spiders crawling up my arm. But I handled the situation. I knew I could so I just went at it and did. (Like I was an adult or something!)
Around home I periodically joke "Reason # ___ Why I Need to Get Married". (To my ironic delight, opening up jars is not one of those reasons as long as I have this handy thing nearby.) But those are all in jest; I know I could find some other method, including do it myself, to take care of the need or want that a husband could meet. Spiders needing squished, peptalks and encouraging words, toilets needing plunged, communicating with the repairman, day/road/plane trips to somewhere new, budget planning.... Or I could simply do without. Cuddling up on a rainy day (okay, really any day), romantic dinners...anywhere, sex, going home to our home, being protected, talking about dreams and wishes and hopes before the day ends, having a partner for life, being wanted as a partner for life....
(*Please note, I know a husband is not for "honey do" lists and spider slaying with no other purpose, benefit, or need. [Though spider slaying would be a perk.] These two lists are just things that quickly came to mind and are not intended to be exhaustive.)
::sigh:: So, traveling this familiar path of I-don't-know's and will-I-ever's (problem six), I remembered a quote by Paige Benton that I saw in a book about people in the Bible who were single (and can be found in her article which I found here. The quote is good, and the whole article is worth a read.) Honestly in the moment it's hard to swallow, but at the same time I know it's true, and after a little bit of thinking through, it helps recenter my thoughts:
I am not single because I am too spiritually unstable to possibly deserve a husband, nor because I am too spiritually mature to need one. I am single because God is so abundantly good to me, because this is his best for me. It is a cosmic impossibility that anything could be better for me right now than being single. The psalmists confirm that I should not want, I shall not want, because no good thing will God withhold from me.
So for now I'm single. And for now I'm learning how to be single well, however long I remain such. Whatever happens next, it will be because God is so abundantly good to me.