(Singleness) doesn't discriminate between the sinners and the saints.
It takes and it takes and it takes
And we keep living anyway,
...I am lying in wait.
This is what the character Aaron Burr sings in the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton. His frenemy, Alexander, is relentless in his drive to succeed in life. Burr prefers to keep all his cards to his chest. He's willing to wait for his opportunities to come, while his friend seems to get everything he wants with very little effort.
Never married women in the church can relate to Burr, it's frustrating watching the coach put others in the game while you're still stuck on the bench. With 150 Mormon women to every 100 Mormon men, it’s hard to be a single college-educated woman in Utah. To make mattes worse, women are held to a double standard: virtuously waiting for the other person to express interest, yet, if we aren't relentlessly competing for the attention of the few eligibles left in the rapidly shrinking dating pool, we face the very real possibility of ending up alone. The world tells us unless we become more marketable by objectifying ourselves, we will end up alone. Our only consolation is knowing that someday, our turn for temple marriage and eternal families will come.
If we continue to wait for it.
So, how do we get everything we want without lowering our standards? Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf in his General Women's Session talk, Fourth Floor, Last Door was all about faith. That is the key.
What is faith? Is it simply trusting in God that if we jump through all the right hoops, all our dreams will come true and we'll get everything we ever wanted?
Elder Uchtdorf referenced Hebrews 11:1 for the best definition of faith: Despite having no evidence, we continue to hope for the things we cannot physically see, hear or touch.
To hope is to wish for something, look forward to it with confidence and expectation, trusting that it will, eventually, come to pass.
Does this mean we wait for it? To wait is to remain in rest, in expectation, until what we want catches up to us. If we are simply lying in wait, doing nothing, how can we expect anything to happen? At the same time, we may feel we're already doing everything we can. Our desperation grows to make it happen because we want to be in the (temple sealing) room where it happens.
Life doesn't discriminate, it takes and takes, leaving us exhausted, wondering why we even bother to choose the right, increase our education, plug away at a job and stay true to our values despite opposition and ridicule. We may even convince ourselves that God has forgotten us. We justify our choice not to exercise faith and works. Having faith is the key.
Elder Uchtdorf said, "(Many of us) don't need a sea to part or a mountain to move." We just need better health, a loved one to come back to the fold, that perfect job offer or perfect dating opportunity to materialize, "an eternal companion to appear on my doorstep with a bouquet of flowers in one hand and an engagement ring in the other."
You may be the perfect candidate for that dream job or would make mister tall, dark and handsome in your singles ward the perfect date, God will never compel an employer to hire you or Mr. Right to ask you out on a simple date. You can fast and pray for those blessings till the cows come home, God does not force anybody to do anything.
Instead, we are invited to come unto Him.
Perhaps you, like me, tried to make all that happen-graduating from college, pounding the pavement with interviews, emulating Great Aunt Rose as insurance against ending up alone when the girl's choice dances and dating you initiated were all to no avail. I'm not twenty-four years old anymore. Young, scrappy and hungry was a long time ago for me.
The fact is, I'm in my Fourth decade and I've reached the Last Door.
I cannot force God to comply with my desires for the dream job I want or the temple marriage I long for either. I get that. I know the routine: I do all I can then trust in God to make up the rest. Trust that He hasn't forgotten me. That my life does matter to Him. That if I come unto Him, I will be blessed.
Trust and Faith. Just keep knocking, seeking, and it shall be opened keeping in mind that all the blessings may not come until the Millennium. In the meantime, there's bills to pay, married people and family members to serve, friendships to tend, hobbies and talents to develop.
The opportunity to be a married wife and mother, to bear children of my own is all I've ever wanted. That's probably not going to happen in this life, but
I'm willing to wait for it.
Here are the links to my book blogs:
All (well, eventually) the Anita Stansfield books summarized here, it's a work in progress!