40 and forgotten: When will I be married?
Tricia Tan // November 29, 2017, 4:29 pm
I am a single in my 40s who is still hoping to get married.
So whenever I read a piece on singlehood by someone under 30, my heart’s always tempted to say, “Wait till you hear my story.”
I mean, I’ve been praying about marriage since my 30s. I’ve tugged at my Heavenly Father’s sleeves many times. My four siblings are already married!
I feel like time is passing me by. I am tested each and every time I see blissful pictures on Facebook of my former pupils and friends getting married.
I want to be in one of those pictures. God, have You forgotten me?
SINGLED OUT FROM THE CROWD
I was once at a conference where the main speaker, Heidi Baker, asked all the singles to stand up so she could pray for us.
Unfortunately, I happened to be seated that day with all my young friends from Bible school. When the call was given, none of them stood up – some just didn’t want to even though they were unattached.
But I did … And I still wish I hadn’t.
As I was being prayed for, I could see from the corner of my eye my young friends stealing glances at me. They were wearing strange looks on their faces, grinning to each other. I felt so humiliated.
When the prayer mercifully ended, the young girl beside me offered a sympathy vote: “You must invite me to your wedding.”
But it didn’t comfort me at all – the damage had already been done. And the next day at Bible school, those same young friends made no attempt to hold back the cheeky grin on their faces when we crossed paths, twisting the knife in my gut.
God! Have You forgotten me?
LEFT BEHIND BY THE WORLD
I was reading the Bible one day when a particular verse gripped me.
“Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.” (Genesis 40:23)
I don’t know why, but every word seemed to sting me.
Joseph had correctly interpreted the butler’s dream, which foretold the servant’s eventual restoration to Pharaoh’s service. Joseph had simply asked the butler to remember him then.
But the butler forgot him when Joseph needed to be remembered most. Joseph remained in prison without any idea of what lay ahead, radio silence from the friend he helped. Just one word from the butler would finally release him from the torment of the lonely jail cell – but the butler forgot him.
I felt a bit of what Joseph might have felt in that cell. I realised how forgotten I felt in my prolonged singleness.
REMEMBERED BY GOD
For many years, I’ve been praying with my buddies about finding our life partners. Although I am thankful that God has given me these precious sisters to journey with, there are still some paths I must walk alone.
In those times, I remember that even if the world forgot him, God did not forget Joseph – and He has not forgotten me. He has promised to never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5).
I choose to believe in the truth that faith in God is the one thing in life that doesn’t disappoint. And I still believe His delays are not denials.
For instance, He recently fulfilled a long-standing dream of mine, which greatly reminded me that He knows everything about me and delights in satisfying my heart’s desires.
I still believe God’s delays are not denials.
For 5 years after I resigned from the teaching service, I was without a regular job. God had spoken clearly to me to say no to teaching and yes to writing.
Since then, I’ve received writing assignments on occasion. But it was never an easy journey. There were months with so few projects I’d be tempted to ask again, “Have You forgotten me?“
Yet God’s provision always came through; I was recently hired as a full-time writer! To my delight, God reminded me of His promise in Psalm 40:
“He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; many will see and fear and will trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:3)
Now I’m determined to live this undeniable goodness out – single or married – that many will see His goodness in my life and praise Him. His grace is enough for me.