I was talking to a friend about God and religion (as you do), pretty much telling her that I don’t believe that God plays chess. I don’t believe that God picks and chooses who gets what blessings and when just because that person prayed for it or because they are ‘more favoured’ than the next person. Nor do I believe that God withholds blessings because that person didn’t deserve it or it wasn’t the right time for them.
After leaving the charismatic church that I went to for over 10 years, where I was pretty much taught these lessons, after being so hurt and confused (on so many levels) by the process, it left me with a lot of questions. I was left asking ‘why were other people more blessed than me when I was praying to?’ ‘why didn’t I deserve to hear form God like they did?’ after all I was doing what I was supposed to be doing (by their rules), I prayed, I tithed, I used the approved language, I had faith…. I sadly believed that God didn’t hear my prayers, that He didn’t see my heart and that I wasn’t good enough.
I guess that the only way I could survive that hurt was to redefine who God was and what God meant to me. Amongst other things I decided that God wasn’t vengeful and that He wouldn’t punish me for operating in the capacity that He created me to be able to operate in – He created me with a mind, with the ability to think and make choices – therefore could I really be wrong (for my actions) in His eyes especially if my intentions were honourable???
I decided that He created us (humans) in all our glory giving us one of many simple rules… ‘You reap what you sow’.
For me this means that there are consequences for everything we do, every decision we make. From experience the concept of a consequence always seemed to be a negative thing, something bad that would occur from a bad decision for example. I am not sure why people chose to only see a consequence as only being ‘bad’ but I realised that any outcome/ consequence to our decisions can be both positive or negative why not let it be what it is and find my learning in that experience. This for me became a kinder way of navigating my way through life. I went from feeling ‘not good enough’ to knowing that I am good enough because He created it to be so. Simple put ‘we reap what we sow’ or ‘as you sow so shall you reap’.
Anyway during the conversation my friend asked me ‘So is it my fault that I didn’t get a husband then?’. We didn’t get to finish the conversation but I have been thinking about her question for some time now so thought that I would attempt to answer it here…
Thinking about my own dating life that resulted in my marriage I questioned what it means to have a husband. I looked up the word husband (via google), being the curious person that I am, and came across the English dictionary’s definition – Late Old English (in the senses ‘male head of a household’ and ‘manager, steward’), from Old Norse húsbóndi ‘master of a house’, from hús ‘house’ + bóndi ‘occupier and tiller of the soil’. The original sense of the verb was ‘till, cultivate’. Ok I am none the wisher here so will continue with my own train of thought around this. I do find it difficult to get away from the idea that marriage became a societal expectation, which in some ways is about control. As beautiful and fulfilling as the experience is who can say that others who didn’t get married have not experienced or do not have the same relationship as a married couple. I have come across a number of people who have had relations that have lasted longer than some marriages and in many ways have been more fulfilling. So why should that not mean anything just because they did not sign a piece of paper. Why is my experience as a married woman more valued than the woman who had a beautiful, meaningful relationship in the absence of vows in front of God being witnessed by others?
I have come to this point in life, mainly because of the grief work I’ve been doing as a result of my childlessness, where instead of focusing on the negative experiences and the sadness around them (which can really be a source of learning and growth), I am choosing to let a situation be what it is, honour it and hold onto the good memories. Just because I got married I do not see myself as more than someone who didn’t especially where that someone has experienced love and all the joy that came with it. In that moment (no matter how long it lasted) they had the commitment of their significant other, which may have lasted for a short time or may have lasted for longer – show me a marriage that hasn’t followed this path too.
So in the vein of ‘we reap what we sow’ we’ve all had a committed partner at some point in our lives and will have that again it, these relationships flourish depending on what we sow into it. I spent too long rejecting a perspective partner because he didn’t come in the package that I believed that he should come in (based on the messages I received from the world I lived in over the years). All relationships serve a purpose and some will last longer than others. I read once that not everyone has a ticket to ride your train so now I want to be open to what life has to offer knowing that I can make the choose to stay or go depending on what my heart leads me to do and to take all the good memories along with me. So to answer my friends questions No it is not your fault that you don’t have a husband, all it takes is a shift to be reminded that you have already experienced a husband, he served his purpose for that time. You are now in the process of preparing (because or your growth) for a new relationship that will better suit the woman you have grown into.