I had decided when I was 12 that I didn't want to get married before I was at least 27.
My teen years were during the Big 80s. Women had careers. Movies like Baby Boom (Diane Keaton) reinforced the career now - babies later philosophy.
That was my plan. Start the career. Know myself as an adult. Then get married and have kids.
So when I turned 27, I was stunned that the man wasn't already in the scene. I was supposed to date him for a while then get married and have my first kid by age 30.
So when I turned 30 I was really surprised there was no man at the ready.
By 35 I really started to worry. I remember telling my older cousin (old enough to be my parent) that I was worried I might not get married in time to have kids. She scoffed and said, "Well, unless you want to have a kid without a husband there's no sense wasting energy worrying about it."
Okay. So I came to terms with the thought of never having children.
That lasted about a year. Then one day the thought hit me. If I never have kids, I'll never have grandkids... and that's not OKAY! I don't want to become an old woman who has no one to come visit her in the nursing home.
Over the years, I sort of settled into the idea that I'll just be alone. Even though I continued to pray and pray for God to make one man (any man - whoever He had in store) ready to become my husband.
Then I prayed from a different place in my heart. Asking God if he didn't have a husband for me - could I at least have a boyfriend?
I realized that I was still asking for something pretty special. This boyfriend would have to be a good man of faith. Someone who realized that sex is for marriage. Someone who could be ideal for a husband - even if a husband wasn't in God's plan for me.
Careful what you pray for.
The hardest part is... I had accepted that I may never get married. Never have kids.
Then I met Mr. Burns and my thinking changed. My thoughts turned to the possibility - maybe just maybe - marriage and family would be for me.
Maybe I was worthy enough to be rewarded with a family of my own.
All the while I remembered the deal I made with God. If there is no husband, a boyfriend. Please.
But then, with Mr. Burns as my boyfriend, I could picture my possible family album. A wedding. A marriage. Months of trying to concieve. Becoming a 40 year old pregnant woman! Good thing I'm still mistaken for a 29 year old! I can picture having a family. Me. A mom!
But now Mr. Burns is proving to be the boyfriend I prayed for. Not the husband. I have to be ready to let go.
Now I have to accept all over again that God wants me to be alone.
Just me and God. A pretty good team. No question.
But for a while there I really, really believed that I might just get it all.
Or at least part of what God seems so eager to hand everyone else.
What plan can He possibly have for me that requires me to be alone?
Let's not even mention the career situation. I can just barely support myself... there's no way I can adopt on my own or even be a foster parent. And I really can't see myself trying to raise a kid without the support of a loving husband.
What on Earth is His plan?!!!