The details and circumstances of my life leave me in kind of a limbo socially. I’m 35. I have 4 children. I have no husband.
I don’t quite fit in with the single, twenty-somethings who not only have youth that has passed me by, but have the freedom that comes with being unattached. I am maritally unattached, but with four children, I’m hardly in a “care-free” phase of life where spur of the moment plans and late night hang-outs are feasible.
I don’t quite match the marrieds with children either. While I spend plenty of time with other moms and their kids for get-togethers, there aren’t complete family hostings because having the kids and I over is our whole family, so there is no need to plan a time to have us over when all of us can come, meaning a husband to socialize with her husband.
I’m not a typical middle ages single either, although I am middle age at this point (when did that happen) and I am single, once again, I come with kids.
Let me be clear. I love my kids. I am thankful for each of them as individuals and all of them collectively. I am grateful for the joy they bring to my life. I appreciate the sanctifying effect they have on my rough spots and sinful tendencies. It’s not a matter of wishing I didn’t have them. It’s a matter of trying to figure out where I fit enlight of having them. Given our family circumstances, who do I identify with?
At the end of the day, there is no clear cut answer for this. I feel like my own personal Venn Diagram. I have similarities with each group but am not exactly any of those groups.
There is a tendency to allow bitterness to seep in as a result. Why can’t we just fit somewhere? Why can’t I just fit somewhere? But this is where we are and this is who we are.
So daily I need to set my mind right. Daily I need to see this as an opportunity to connect with numerous groups. Daily I need to seek ways to be a blessing and an encouragement to my friends in each category.
I can relate to the married with kids: I was once that. I can relate to the parenting frustrations as well as the marital joys and marital issues that can occasionally arise. And when a visit is particularly enjoyable, I don’t have to rush home to meet a spouse returning from work. I have greater flexibility than my married with kids friends because I do not have a responsibility nor an accountability to a husband.
I can relate to my younger single friends. I was once young and single. I once longed for marriage. I once lived carefree, making last minute plans and not worrying about the time other than to ensure I could sleep enough to function at work the next day. I occasionally miss those days, but at the end of the day, I get to go home with my four children and enjoy the sounds their laughter and their hugs and kisses as I tuck them in.
I can relate to my single friends in the same age range. I understand the loneliness that can come with the unfulfilled desire for marriage. I know the pitfalls of making a poor choice in a spouse and the immense hurt that can come from that and can rejoice that while they do have those unfulfilled desires, they have not made a foolish choice in a spouse and are walking in a path of blessing as they wait upon God’s timing.
When I am me focused, selfish, I see all the negative aspects of circumstances. I take the mindset of a victim of circumstances instead of seeing them as uniquely ordained by a loving Heavenly Father who has gifted me with the specifics of every detail of my life. I am where I am, geographically as well as situationally, to be a blessing to others. To seek ways to bring joy to others. To find ways to encourage others in the Lord. I cannot do that when I’m focused on me.
So tomorrow I wake and do it over again. I choose how to think. I choose what to focus on. I choose. The Lord gives me my circumstances – as I plan my steps He directs my path and then I decide how to respond.