It occurred to me over the past month or so that I know so many wonderful single women in their 50′s to 70′s,many of whom are devoted Christians, all of whom have never met a man with whom they have found that second chance at a good and solid relationship that suits this stage of their lives. I am one of them.
As is often the case for me, it was looking at their situations and how I could encourage them, that led me to realize none of us had really made any kind of commitment to looking for that special man. Nor had we thought very much about what he would be like, so that we would be sure to recognize him when we met him.
I came to see that ten years had pretty much gone by as all of us got more and more comfortable with our single state, and more and more isolated from anything that might bring a single man into our path. We were content, yet still had a nagging little part of our souls that yearned for someone we could be sharing our lives with right now. Our kids are grown, many of us have grandchildren, but still there is that flicker of hope for a romantic love that most of us still haven’t really given up hope for, even as we approach the last quarter of our time here on earth.
Pushing through my own fears and uncomfortableness, I decided to go onto a christian website and see if the man I was looking for was there somewhere, just waiting for me to show up.
As I had done this experiment several times unsuccessfully in the past, I also looked at the reasons I gave up so easily before. First, I made no game plan. I didn’t really think about the qualities I wanted in the man I wanted to meet. I didn’t think about my deal breakers, so I would know how to recognize them when they appeared in writing or in person. I realized that I was also finally ready to accept the fact that all the men my age and older were likely to remind me of my father or my grandfather at that age. Truthfully, it meant I had to realize I would be reminding them of their mother, more than the hot young gal they imagined they might still meet. I also thought about the men most of my friends were married to, who now looked very different from the man they had married. I decided to put looks, if not last, at least not first in my priorities, as it really was not the most important thing. Second, I had previously made no commitment; I went on, threw together a profile, and ran off the site after the first disastrous date that didn’t measure up to the picture I had allowed to creep into my head. This time I signed up for a year, making a commitment to a process rather than a person. I figured I had put more effort than that into finding a job many times, and yet never into something where the net result of my efforts might be life changing! Third, I had never before prayed about it. This time I am bringing God into every aspect of it, and trying to follow His clues.
I have no idea if this will be different than before in terms of the final outcome. But I do see major growth on my part as I take it one day at a time, one step at a time, and look to see what lessons God has for me to learn in the process.
A friend of mine at church was praying with me the other day and as I shared a bit of this with her, I realized I felt a kind of sadness that I didn’t understand. I think on some level I felt like I was somehow saying God was not all sufficient for my needs and that made me feel like I was being ungrateful in some way. He and I have shared a 30 year relationship more intimate than any I have known with any man. He has filled in all the empty spaces where loneliness might have found a home. He has covered me and provided for me in ways no man might ever have thought to, in ways I could never even have expressed a need. To actively search for a partner seemed in some way like seeking a replacement, which is not the case at all, but it made me sad enough to cry at even the thought of it. The difference is that I have never before sought a man who also knew God in the way that I do, and so this would be a very different kind of relationship; a man not knowing Him intimately would be a deal breaker, and not one I would consider even for a second date.
In much the same way as God steps into the empty or hurt places when we have lost someone special, I believe He can also step in to help us find a counterpart who can cherish and care for us as much as is humanly possible. For those who have lost, and for those of us who have yet to find, that person who feels to us “like God with skin on”, I believe He is right there with us and will be the first to shout for joy when our paths cross and we recognize it is He who brought us together. I have seen Him do this countless times in my life in other ‘chance’ meetings with people, I just never thought to ask Him to go on a date with me before!
So I begin yet another journey to see where He is leading. I am content to stay right where I am, and yet I feel as though I may need to step out in order for Him to lead me, so that perhaps I can be a light and a hope in the future to others. I know if it is a journey He is on with me, it can only be exciting and it can only lead me closer to home.