Looking back over my archive of posts, I found more than one past entry in which I declared, "That's it. I'm done! I give up on finding a husband!"
I laugh because each time, I recall being so horribly frustrated and weary in my years of waiting, but even I wasn't entirely convinced by my conviction. The ugly truth is that rather than handing my heart over to God and saying, "Thy will be done." - it's more like a bitter, "FINE, God! It's obvious that You have no plans to give me the gifts you grace upon other, somehow more deserving women. So I'll try to accept that." Mumble, grumble.
Oh yeah, that's really what Mary would say, hmm?
Right now, I must admit that I'm not entirely free from bitterness, but I am getting closer to, "If it is Your will, God - I'll wait for the call."
That's me trying to chill out.
I think a couple of things have influenced this. One and two are the last two guys I dated.
One who really saw my heart. He said himself that what drew him to me was seeing that I had the purest heart of anyone he's ever met. That's quite a compliment, and knowing my own heart intimately, I worry about what sort of people he's been around. (I'm partially kidding, but that's not entirely fair to me either - in the past few years I've been told, randomly by several people that just being in my presence makes them feel peaceful and recharged. One described it as being able to just rest. It took several people saying it for me to realize it must be so - and that is obviously a gift of the Holy Spirit.)
Anyway, that guy really thought he was in love with me and he treated me like every woman hopes to be treated. It was difficult for me to realize that I just didn't feel the same way about him. That sort of realization is excruciating, because when you're finally treated the way you've prayed about, and it still doesn't feel right, you really start to wonder whether or not you're made for love.
Ultimately, I thought "Well, know I know how Mr. Burns felt when we dated." There is a cross to knowing you're with someone wonderful and faithful but still not for you. Oh, and wondering what to do about it. Sigh.
Penultimately, I realized that I had to let this other guy go, so he could find someone who would really appreciate him. I think both people in a relationship/ marriage should think that they are the lucky one - and he deserves someone who will feel like she won the lottery when she met him.
This taught me, in a new way that the right one is worth waiting for. Settling is settling, even if it's wonderful man, but your heart is not in it. Now I know that the right man will see my heart, and appreciate all that is in it.
Two, is the guy who seemed like everything would fit together - Catholic, Annulled, an adult child, and his being open to more children... followed by great dates, laughs, chemistry and what seemed like a solid connection... then POOF! He admitted that I possessed every quality he was looking for in a woman, but that he was going to pass.
What a blow. But that experience taught me that I am so not in control. Nothing I can do, ever do, will bring my husband to me. Only God can do that.
The third thing was the dream I had, in which I met my husband and my heart felt rest.
Because of that I believe God really does have a holy spouse in mind for me, and He will bring him when it is time.
That has made my heart relax a bit. I'm not looking. I meaning I'm always "looking" but I'm not looking. I'm making sure I get out to socialize more. I've joined some meetup groups to make sure that I both get out, and expand my social circle, because my social circles are very secular right now. There's still no assurance I'm meeting faithful people, but who knows who they might know?
I am also reminded that as much as we want certain life experiences, or stages of life... getting married, having babies, having grandchildren.... in this earthly life we'll never stop praying for more. A stronger marriage, a healthy child, a reliable car....
One of my dear friends was so weary of her single life, she cried almost every day for a very long time. She also dealt with some tough symptoms of endometriosis and feared that she wouldn't be able to have children if she ever did get married.
Then she was engaged twice! Thankfully the first one didn't work out - he was so wrong for her (quite similar to my examples above for me - this is close enough, maybe I should make it work, kind of situation). The second is her wonderful husband, and they now have two beautiful babies.
But now, she is consumed by wanting their own house, to such a degree that she feels her prayers aren't being answered - all she wants is a house!
Today I told her, you sound like you did when you were praying for a husband and for fertility! You have everything you've prayed for, it is amazing. Relax, the house will come at the right time too.
That's all we can hope for.