It seems that in recent weeks, I’ve really had to confront my own feelings and thoughts about blessings other people experience which I long for. As a single guy in a world of married people and families, there are many things going on around me in which I can not participate, only observe.
A few months ago, I wrote about how long it’s been since I last went to Disneyland. In my way, I was dealing with my own frustrations in a tongue-in-cheek manner. If I’m to be truly honest with myself, it was probably also a high tech mutation of the old scream-into-your-pillow therapy.
Lately, I have a friend on Facebook who I believe has started a group there about protecting marriage. It’s not a political thing, but kind of a co-ed Promise Keepers type movement. She has been very focused on getting the word out about her group and their purpose. In doing so, she has sent me a number of different invitations and Facebook doodads to promote her passion and bring awareness to her cause.
I think it’s great.
Here’s the rub, for me anyway. I’m obviously a wholehearted supporter of marriage. I am surrounded by wonderful friends who have been married anywhere between a matter of weeks, to 60+ years. The thing I’m trying to figure out in my own head is why the invitations and promotions which come to me affect me as they do. I don’t know if it’s normal, or if it’s a reflex to years and years of being single in a married world.
For years, I ran a youth basketball program in San Jose. In doing so, I was completely immersed in families. And you know what, it made my heart glad. I loved facilitating a great family environment. On any given week, you could find as many as 4 generations of family together. It was wonderful. But when the games were over at the end of the day, there were times my life felt as empty as the once bustling gymnasium. Not in a spiritual sense, but in a human sense. I didn’t despise any of the families. I just wanted one of my own.
Other times, I was scheduled to sing or do things at the church on weekends when married people and those with families were expected to be out of town. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, holiday weekends. It was simply assumed that because I wasn’t married and had no family, I was a no-brainer to schedule.
Back to Disneyland and marriage, I don’t believe there is a finite number of people who can participate in them. Therefore, when someone goes to Disneyland or gets married, (or gets married and goes to D-land on their honeymoon), I don’t feel they’re taking anything from me. I have really made it my mission to genuinely be happy for them and rejoice with them. I think I’ve actually gotten there.
I have been digging deeply into my own heart. I began to question if I was coveting. But when I considered the meaning of coveting, I felt good that it wasn’t the case. I wasn’t wanting to take away from someone what belonged to them, such as money or property. I simply want to participate in it in my own life.
Summer is upon us. It’s now June, the traditional marriage season. Families are going on their summer vacations and weekend getaways. I’m truly trying to find contentment in my own life, but I’m not getting any younger. Even if I met “her” this afternoon, she will never meet my mom. There are certain Hallmark moments I will never experience. It’s sometimes difficult to reconcile.
But today is a new day filled with blessings and challenges. God knows my heart, and I’m just trying to get His insight into what is productive and what is not.