Sunday, March 13

the triple wedding

Welcome to my 200th's been a while since I've written something overtly personal. I've always been hesitant to blog about anything pertaining to my dating life because it's a fairly capricious subject, and lately there's been nothing lengthy enough (or at least that's worth sharing). At 25, I've hit the place where at least half my best friends are married and buying houses (or a dog), and instead of settling down, I quit my job and moved to a different state. My emotions on the subject of singleness bounce back and forth between a bad Kelly Clarkson song and an equally bad Queen song.

All joking aside, I have felt a tad discontented lately. There are far too many wedding blogs in my Google reader feed (my own fault, I know), so I'm constantly bombarded by happy shots of couples blissfully in love on arguably the best day of their lives. This always leaves me wondering the following: If they can make love look so easy, why is it so hard for me to find? 

Last week I was setting up a new password online for something, and I had to choose two security questions. All but one of them pertained to married life:
What is your spouse's middle name?
Where did you spend your honeymoon?
What is the name of your best man/maid of honor at your wedding?
Where did you meet your spouse? 
Seriously. You tell me. I'd love to know.

It's funny how being 25 and single makes some people think they have the right to ask you super fun questions like:
Why aren't you dating someone?
Do you ever think you're being too picky?
Don't you feel weird now that all your friends are getting married and you're not even dating anyone?

I've actually been asked that last one several times, and to answer it, friendships do change once marriage enters the picture, but I LOVE MY MARRIED FRIENDS! They all have solid relationships worth modeling after. And through getting to know their husbands, I've been blessed by gaining fantastic examples of what being a husband and partner should look like. So shout-out to all my blogging married girlfriends...and the husbands who adore them (here, here, here, here, and here). You guys have all taught me quite a lot.

So where am I going with this? 
The day before Valentine’s Day I had this dream: 
It was my wedding day…but this wedding was actually a triple wedding with my friend Janelle (who’s already married in real life) and some high school girl I didn’t know. We tripled up because we all wanted to save money on the same venue. The entirety of the dream was spent rushing around the day-of with our wedding planner—in sheer panic. I had bumped up my wedding date, so I was essentially getting married after being engaged for one month, and I hadn’t even seen the invitations that the planner had sent out. The dream ended with me realizing that Angela, one of my best friends, didn’t even know that I was getting married. I was frantically trying to dial her phone number to tell her to come last minute, but I couldn’t even type in the numbers correctly. To top it off, I didn’t even know who the groom was. 

For the record, I’ve only had one other dream about my wedding, but it also consisted of similar panic and chaos (bridesmaids not showing up, DJ botching the music, groom being my high school prom date, etc...). I don't always pick apart my dreams, but I do enjoy a good metaphor. I think it's apparent here that I'm trying to rush things, and I obviously have a hard time with patience. But in the case of love, over-eagerness only leads to disaster. Triple wedding? Reel it in, Maddie.

I really wish I could tell you that I did something dazzling on Valentine’s Day to make up for the unsettling dream the night before, but I’ve tried to dedicate this blog to honesty, so…
In reality I babysat for two hours, then watched the worst movie ever with my roommate, whilst drinking wine and painting my nails black (the emo color was a complete coincidence). 
At 25, I've made it through a lot of first dates, a few second ones, a couple healthy and fun dating relationships (to whom I owe a big thank you), and one longer-term one that I'm not so thankful for and fills me with regret. I never want my attitude about relationships to become tired and jaded, so I was extremely thankful for a sermon I heard at church a few weeks ago. 

Pastor Dahlstrom spoke about Hannah's Prayer in 1 Samuel. The sermon started off focusing on infertility, so I inadvertently began to tune out. But he ended up guiding the story in a way that applied to all people. He talked about fruitfulness and asked pointblank what areas of fruitfulness we thought we were missing out on. Do we have wants and desires that seem illusive right now? Everyone does.

We have all been given good things, and the Lord has provided fruit in each and every one of his children's lives. But it's always up to us whether or not we want to fully step into that fruitfulness and own it. If we're constantly living in expectation of something, we are missing out on the gifts we are currently being handed. And in my case, those gifts are not taking the form of a good-looking guy with his shit together right now.

This is the part where I wanted to stand up and exclaim, "Guilty!" Seasons in life are constantly changing, and I'm usually good about rolling with the punches, but lately it's as if I've been stuck in autumn, demanding that it be spring already. I'm surrounded by opportunity, fantastic friendships, free time, education, the potential of a great church body, a brand new city...and yet I'm wasting time pining after something that's not ripe or ready yet. Meanwhile all the other good suffers due to my distracted heart and ungrateful spirit.
“When hope is not pinned wriggling onto a shiny image or expectation, it sometimes floats forth and opens.”—Anne Lamott
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.


ika said...

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and Psalm 27:14. Knowing you, you know these by heart.

Adam said...

It is refreshing that you view your love life through the lens of faith. Sometimes it's too easy to just cut God out of the equation entirely. And it's even more nice to read that you are learning contentment in Christ and His gifts, even when they are not exactly on your wishlist. A very personal and relatable blog. You're not alone in your thoughts. I mean, if I had a dime for every triple wedding dream I had...

MAK said...

I was sorting through some old childhood things and memories when I cam across a letter from you when were about 12 (remember MEM?). Anyway, you seem to have uncovered a multitude of opportunities awaiting you in Seattle. Some relationship shouldn't change if YOU sieze those opportunities. I can't wait to hear about your findings and adventures!

Lisa said...

My husband and I got married the day before his 29th birthday. In Mormon world, where most people get married anywhere between 19 and 22 years of age, 29 was OLD. But if he hadn't waited, if he hadn't been picky, if he had settled for good enough, he never would have found me... and I think I was worth waiting for. You'll get that too.

Annie said... hearing from your heart and what is really going on in your mind. You express these common human faults so well! miss you love you always

tishthefish said...

it's truly heartening reading these words. someone gave these words below in a laminated boomark. i was quick to write them in my journal and i think you will find comfort as i did in these words... And apparently the author is unknown:

Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone, to have a deep soul relationship with another, to be loved thoroughly and exclusively. But God says to a Christian, "No, not until you are satisfied and fulfilled and content with living, loved by me alone, with giving yourself totally and unreservedly to me alone. I love you, my child, and until you discover that only in me is your satisfaction to be found, you will not be capable of the perfect human relationship that I have planned for you. You will never be united with another until you are united with me, exclusive of anyone or anything else, exclusive of any other desires or longings.

"I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow me to give you that most thrilling plan existing, one that you can't imagine. I want you to have the BEST! Please allow me to bring it to you. You just keep watching me, expecting that satisfaction, expecting the greatest things, and know that I Am. Keep learning and listening to the things I tell you. You must wait!

"Don't be anxious. Don't worry. Don't look around at the things others have received. Don't look at the things you think you want. You just keep looking off and away up to me, or you'll miss what I want to show you.

"And then, when you're ready, I'll surprise you with a love far more wonderful than you would ever imagine. You see, until you are ready and until the one I have for you is ready (I am working this very minute to have both of you ready at the same time), until you are both satsifeid exclusively with me and the life I have planned and prepared for you, you won't be able to experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with me...and this is perfect love.

"Dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love. I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with me and to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty and perfection and love that I offer you with myself. Know that I love you utterly, I am God Almighty. Believe and be satisfied."

Pardon the cheesiness and length.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

-Jeremiah 29:11

Allie said...

GREAT post, Mads. I'm so thankful to have you here. Let's team up and help each other not to pine... too much, anyway :)

Bridget said...

girlfriend. you are great. i know you're not all 'i'm sad, compliment me in the comment box' but seriously you are and when you least expect it... bam. here comes mr. right.

and he's gonna be handsome.

Micah said...

Hi, I stumbled onto your blog somehow (i think through Bridget actually) and although I have never commented on a blog post by someone I don't know, I felt really compelled to tell you this morning how wonderful reading your musings have been over the last couple weeks. Your authenticity and humor rolled into your honest sharing of personal quandaries, interests and hopes makes your blog a lovely place to drop in. And I'm sure as your story evolves to ultimatley include a crazy fabulous love story, it will only continue to be so lovely.

Elizabeth {e tells tales} said...

Another reader stumbling in...but I just have to say that my friends and I went through this very thing. It's hard being "the only one left" and it's equally hard being the first one to do anything.

Hold onto those married's so easy to let them go now when you've got nothing in common. But sooner or later, it'll fit perfectly again.

Caroline said...

Yes, please don't rush things! I made that mistake and now I find myself at 25 occasionally discussing grad school as a chance for a "trial separation" from my husband of 3.5 years. Some weeks we're fine, others I'm in some funk for some unidentifiable reason and we're fighting again. Looking back I'm quite certain that my reasons for saying "yes" were wrong for several reasons, not the least of which was just being unsure of where my life would be headed after college graduation and jumping at the chance to at least appear somewhat adult by getting married, instead of moving back home with my parents.
We'll see where things land... Enjoy the time while you have it!

Madeline... said...

I've been able to respond via email to the other commenters (thanks, guys!)...but Caroline:
Thanks for the comment and encouragement...but I feel like I should
be encouraging YOU. Sounds like you're in some rough patches lately. As a
very-much-currently-single person...I can't truly relate, but I do know that
life ebbs and flows and there are different seasons of life for different
things. Trying to embrace those seasons when it's one you don't particularly
want...well, that builds character. Sounds like you've got a lot of it.
Praying that you guys will make it!

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