Isn't this the secret fear of so many women – and even girls? We would be much more patient and willing to wait for God's perfect time if we knew for sure it WILL come.
Waiting is easy enough for a 16-year-old girl, who feels she has plenty of time ahead of her. It's not too bad for a 21-year-old like me, even though I already feel how quickly years are passing by. But what will happen if I turn 30, 35, 40 – and find myself still single? Am I still going to trust God, accept His plan for me? What about the day when I realize I can't have children anymore? Will I still praise God and make most of the blessings he gave me?
Marriage and children are so natural for a woman, and happen in such an overwhelming majority of cases, that trying to discuss one's possibilities as an older single usually gets responses such as these:
"But you're young, how come you're thinking about something like this?!"
"I know a very nice man who could be just the one for you…"
"Oh, don't be so silly; OF COURSE you will get married, just like everyone else!"
I agree one shouldn't give up too quickly and say "I'm probably called to singleness" – we all know women who got married and had children later in life. I also agree a woman can be more active in her search for a husband (praying is the first, but not only, thing to do). But some women – not many – will remain single. I know a few who did.
You can say they were probably career-focused, irresponsible, or unwilling to start a family until it was too late. Maybe you're right. But don't we all know many women who weren't marriage-minded at all and still got married and had children? The ultimate reason why some women don't get married is because God didn't have it in His plan for them.
I've read dozens of articles, essays and books for single women, and while all of them contained messages I agree with – that a woman shouldn't think "real life" only begins once she gets married, that we should be patient, full of faith, pray for a husband while making most of our single years – most of the time, the singleness is only regarded as a "period" in one's life; yes, a period of a few months or many years, but still – a period. Not many discuss the issue of women who will remain single and speak of possible options for them.
I can't say that at 21, I've already defined a plan of "what I'm going to do if I never get married". But I do know that whatever happens, I have two options: I can become desperate, bitter, lose my faith, succumb to feelings of frustration, envy, discontentment and emptiness, and feel my life has no purpose. Or I can seek God with all my heart, do His will, believe He has a plan for me, love the people around me and do everything I can for them, and live day by day, joyfully, with a smile on my face, with a gentle, loving heart.
Somehow, I think I already know which one I prefer.
Maybe I'm idealistic. Maybe this is harder than I think. Maybe I can't imagine the agony of a 45-year-old single, childless woman, who tries her best to keep a cheerful smile during weddings, or while babysitting for women twenty years younger than herself.
But no matter if my singleness is temporary or permanent – who knows? - I want to do God's will with a feeling of peace and contentment. I want to be a blessing to those who surround me. I want to make my life worthwhile.