I’ve been thinking a lot about the cost of marriage lately… which should shock none of you. (Hi, I’m Annie and I’m the single one around these parts.)
(And before I go much further, let me just bounce this in here: you aren’t all going to like this post. I’m okay with it. I’m not sure I like it either. But I want to talk about it with you, whether we are happy with the outcome or not.)
I like how I spend my life.
I spend a lot of time with college students here in Nashville that are part of our college ministry at church.
To be fair, I spend a lot of money on college students as well – buying meals when we eat, grabbing coffee, finding a book I think they need.
I also spend a lot of time with my friends. Pretty much, I spend as much time as I want with my friends.
I spend a lot of time reading and a lot of time writing.
I get to spend my money how I want to, albeit as wisely as possible.
Also? I sleep in the middle of the bed.
I’ve really grown to appreciate how I get to spend my life – doing the ministry I love with the people I love. And in July, I’m going to the beach. I know what day I’m going down there, but I don’t know what day I’m coming back.
Because it’s my life and I get to spend it how I want.
I’ve wanted to be married since I was old enough to define the word. I’m not sure what God is doing in my heart and mind, but I spend some portion of every day lately being really grateful for exactly the life I have right now.
I wonder if this selfish single living for my entire adult life has made my brain start to not desire anything else? Is this an effect of being almost 33 and single? That what I currently have actually looks better than what I’ve always wanted?
Or maybe this is right? Maybe this is what it means to be content with where you are? Is this an effect of being almost 33 and single and being (gasp) okay with that?
My friend Lyndsay wrote a very interesting piece about the complexities of being single after college and the lack of rose-colored glasses once you reach a certain point. And I think she may be right – I never saw the cost of marriage as a 21 year-old college graduate. I just saw it as EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED.
And it is. I still want that. I still think God gives us beautiful gifts in relationship and I hope that marriage is a part of His story for me, even if unforeseen costs are attached.
Because you know what I haven’t factored into a single sentence of this post?
We are willing to give up lots and give lots for love.
Had I gotten married at 23, I would have never known any different. I would not know this travel-when-you-want, do-what-you-want, minister-where-you-want, it’s-all-about-what-I-want lifestyle.
I’d be a mom (I bet). And I’d be in love (I hope). And it would probably be awesome.
So the rewards would be great. I know that.
But for today? 33 and single? The cost of giving up this life I love seems great, too. It seems that even the best gifts have some degree of taking up your cross, don’t they?
I don’t know.
People often say, “marriage won’t complete you” and I used to respond with, “I’d like to prove that for myself” because seriously, quit saying stuff like that to single girls.
But the truth is? I know they are right.
Because even though I am single today? My life is complete.
. . . . .
Your thoughts are welcome here… let’s talk about this. How do we fully embrace the season we are in without giving up hope for the next? Or can you only fully embrace when you think this is the best it is going to be?
by Annie Downs
ABOUT ANNIE DOWNS
Annie Downs is a freelance writer in Nashville, Tennessee. Flawed but funny, she uses her writing to highlight the everyday goodness of our great God. Annie has been telling stories her whole...