Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the final countdown

exactly one month from today i will be a married lady.

if that sounds impossible to you, don't worry about it. it does to me, too.

i have been reflecting a lot on my rapidly disappearing single days and years lately, putting my experiences in their proper place and perspective, packing them up to bring them with me on my next adventure.

there is lots to share, and hopefully i'll get to it all. but tonight i would like to share this.

a few months ago AWD and i were talking to a church-related grown-up who shall remain nameless and, after congratulating us on our engagement (which was still fairly new at the time) he looked at me and said, "kind of makes all that time seem worth it, eh?"

and because i couldn't believe that he had just said something like that, i didn't really have a very good response. i think i sputtered out something like, "it didn't actually feel that long." which is true (for the most part), but it's still not a very good response.

what i should have said (and what i will say if anyone ever says that to me again, mark my words!) is that "all that time" would have been worth it whether i had met and fallen in love with and gotten engaged to and eventually married AWD or not. my single years don't retroactively have meaning and value just because he came along and put an end to them.

which isn't to say i am not terribly glad that he did.

but i am also confident that i would have found ways to be terribly happy even if he hadn't.

the fact is, i have carefully reviewed the past many years of my life, searching and scouring and turning over stones and demanding honesty from myself and my emotions and my conclusion is that i do not regret a single moment of it. i wouldn't change a single thing. it was worth it then, it's worth it now and it will be worth it forever independent of anything and anyone else.

and i feel really good about that.

in particular, i have been turning over this idea in my mind.

i feel like a lot of mormon women who are "older" when they get married say things like, "i wish i hadn't spent so much time worrying about getting married when i was single!" which is a pretty easy thing to say when you have come to the end of the tunnel and you don't have to worry about that anymore, and it always seemed a little silly to me.

of course, there was no way to know then how i would feel about the same thing now, but since i am not really one for suspending judgement, i didn't.

and now that it's now i can honestly say that i wouldn't change a thing, including the time i spent worrying and wondering and crying and pleading and hoping and losing hope and finding it again.

i wouldn't trade it and i don't regret it because i didn't know then what i know now.

and, more importantly, it is part of my experience and my experience is part of me. and more importantly than that, it is a part of my experience that forced me expose my vulnerabilities, confront my insecurities and learn how to trust heavenly father and jesus christ in new and more powerful and personal ways.

in short, faith is never wasted. it is often the struggle that matters oh-so-much-more than the outcome. and my struggle gave me faith. a faith that i am so grateful to be able to carry forward, packed away with all my other lessons and experiences, ready for the next adventure.


Lindsay Jane said...

Hi Frances. I don't know you (yet) but I do know Andrew. I'll be at your Salt Lake reception and really can't wait to meet the person that's marrying one of the greatest guys I know. Anyway, I love your blog and am glad I found it. This post was especially poignant because it echoed many of the thoughts I've been pondering lately. I'm 30, and very single, and I love my life. I want to get married eventually, but my value will never come from my marital status and my faith building experiences will not have purpose once I have a husband. Thanks for articulating the feelings in my heart, I can't wait to meet you.

Evan and Holly said...

I'm glad I read this because I'm pretty sure I've said, would say, or have thought that sentiment that was said to you. When I got married, I was 23, which is not that old. But I had graduated from college and 90% of my roommates were married. I felt old. I had no purpose, no idea what I wanted to do with my life, no sense of self. So I was glad when I got married. Now I realize, that I still don't have those things figured out and being married does not change that. I think that thought comes from those of us who are less secure, less sure, and less able than you. We define ourselves by our relationship status. In our LDS culture, we tie our selves and happiness to whether we have husbands and children, because family is purpose of this life. But it does not change who we are or signal the start of our lives. We existed before and we will exist after we are married or parents. It's a difficult concept and not all of us figure it out at the same time. I hope this makes sense. Thank you for enlightening me.

CS said...
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