Is it just me or are there actually some “emotions” that come along with being twenty-nine and still single? It was my birthday this year and while the birthday wishes from friends and family were pouring in, I was privileged to spend a short time with my mother. All through our time together, my mother’s attention was divided between her laptop and me albeit, for one moment she looked up and asked in an unusual finely composed tone “Wait… How old did you say you are again?”
Now I was certain there was a real problem because even if my mum could not remember my age at that moment, which is perfectly understandable, I have observed over the years that she has safely preserved the birth years of all her children and the series of events that happened in those specific years. In her normal hilarious way, she would say “I know I had one of you in 1989 and that should be….”. So, I wondered why she wasn’t doing the calculation herself. Obviously, I immediately knew it wasn’t that she forgot but she needed me to say it to my hearing, this was to serve as an introduction and preamble to the usual ‘marriage’ speech she was about to give me. She ended the speech with lines I had grown accustomed to, “I am just saying this because of your age, but it is well, your generation is fortunate to have technologies that can help one still give birth at an old age” What a perfect speech for my birthday!
As far back as I can remember, my mum’s marriage speeches began when I turned twenty-five. It is quite loving and comprehensible when worried parents, caring relatives, and concerned friends follow up on one’s marital aspirations or status but sometimes I believe a couple of the follow up methods are rather more destructive than constructive. I mean, when a single adult lady is asked or told: “You are not getting any younger” “Why are you not married?’’ or “When will you get married?” these are rather too difficult and some worth insensitive questions to ask! As much as there might be singles who never plan on getting married, a better approach to such ‘marriage’ discussions, if you desire a probable and reasonable answer from them might just be to ask, “What is your opinion about marriage?” or “Are you in a relationship?”. At least these questions are a lot easier and would open a line of conversation that can allow you offer your advice, prayer, possible solutions and match making services.
From a very young age I have always known that there was a certain stigma attached to being a single lady at 30. There was a time as a little girl I overheard someone saying, “Any woman above 30 who is not yet married is an ‘old-girl’.” I am not exactly sure of where and how I developed this notion, but I am pretty sure you most likely relate to or understand what I mean. It seems like once a lady’s clock strikes 30 and she’s still single, something scarier and mind-wrecking than rags, rats and pumpkins might emerge!
If a lady is 30 or more and she is not yet married, that is when everyone becomes officially worried and so sure that her village witches, house hold adversaries, “frienemies” (friends who are enemies in action) are strongly fighting against her progress. I am not denying the existence of spiritual barriers to one’s marital destiny; of cause “We are not ignorant of the devices of the devil” (2 Corinthians 2:11) but the reality is that not all ladies who are single at 30 have spiritual issues or need deliverance as the narrow and myopic assumption has always been. Not all singleness has a ‘spiritual’ remedy. Having done all, sometimes, it may just be that the lady needs to reduce the hours she spends locked up in her room and get more involved in a Godly-community or social activities, so she can make the “finding” process of her Boaz a lot easier.
Back to me! By God’s grace I would be turning 30 in a couple of months and to be sincere there are silent thoughts, mixed emotions and flashes that come as I approach 30. Yes, I know my times are in God’s hands (Psalms 31:15) and My Heavenly Father makes all things beautiful in His own time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). But sometimes I feel like I am waiting for a verdict to be passed once my clock strikes 30. Sometimes I battle with a few anxieties which not only stem from my “marital status” and “biological clock” but from my “purpose status” and “career clock”. I wonder sometimes if I have done enough or taken any steps towards achieving my dreams and visions. Obviously, almost everything on my list is still unticked! It can be really overwhelming to give it a ‘thought-time’.
Therefore, in the midst of the wait for uncle BIG 3-0 to arrive, I have learned that there isn’t actually a clock or list, it’s only “me” (you) that has the ability to put myself (yourself) on a clock; society, family or friends have no power or permission to put me (you) on a clock except I (you) give them a chance. I have learned the very hard way to give up my list and clock, so I can fully adopt and embrace God’s list and clock for me. I have learned to daily, practically and intentionally put every thought and imagination under the authority of Jesus, to jealously guard my heart with all diligence, to stay present every moment, remain hopeful, rest and delight myself more in the Lord, in his purpose for me and all that he has instructed me to do. (Proverbs 19:21; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Isaiah 43:19; Proverbs 4:23; Romans 5:5; Isaiah 30:15; Psalms 37:4-7)
The wait at ‘Road 29’ for ‘bus-30’ to come along may not be easy for me but with the comfort, guide and help of the Holy Spirit, I have been able to scale through for the past few months and I am very positive that I would spend the remaining few joyfully and purposefully. I may not know exactly how I might feel when I turn 30, but I am sure that I would be thankful because I may not be where I want to be, but I am nowhere close to where I used to be. God has been super loving and faithful. It is indeed a precious mile stone to climb the ladder of my 30’s and I know God is set to do more glorious things in and through my life, far more than I can think or Imagine! so, the best I can do now is to seat pretty and get busy with my Heavenly Father’s business and probably start filling out my forms and application to join the “old-girls’ club…. LOL
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Psalm 27:14 (NIV)