July 10, 2005

Fear or Faith?

What is the scariest thing about being single? For me it is one thing; the thought of being elderly, ill, destitute, and all alone. Of course, this can happen to widows and widowers as well. My grandmother was widowed in late middle-age and lived almost 4 decades as a widow. She never married again. But she was never ill, destitute, and all alone. Quite the contrary, she was always close to friends and family. But if you are single and never have any children, what family do you have when you are in your advanced years? If you get sick and have no money or any family around you, what can you do? You are utterly alone, forgotten, forlorn, and desperate. The desire for security leads me to seek for something to trust in this world. But God is ultimately the provider of all good things. He knows every need we have. God is able to provide finances, help and friends. He already has in other situations. Why would that change in the future? It also discounts the power of friendship. As long as I remain social and nurture healthy friendships, I don’t need to fear being forgotten and abandoned. Even if that did happen, God would stay constantly near me in my suffering until it was time to welcome me home to the place that he has been preparing for me. He promised, “Let not your heart be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me… I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:1-3). That is what Jesus told the disciples and it is true for all those who believe in him. So whether I marry eventually or not, it does not change the source of my security. There is no reason to fear. He also promised, “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).

There is someone I occasionally see who gets on my nerves. Mostly because he reminds me of what the culture of the American Dream values most and how it measures people. His conversation is mostly like this, “Steve Foster has done really well. He’s made a lot of money in Real Estate. He sold a 2 million dollar house on Lake Washington to one of the Seahawk players. He married Jill, one of the Meyer girls from the old neighborhood. They travel to Europe every year and take cruises. They have 3 great kids who have great jobs and make a very good living. The oldest just got married and her husband is a doctor. They bought their first house for over 700,000 dollars. They can afford it.” (names changed to protect the innocent. Ha Ha.) It is all about how much money people’s houses cost, having a great career, earning a high salary to pay for the house, and associating with well known people. He loves to drop names. It makes me nuts to listen to him for too long. I admit that it wouldn’t make me quite so frustrated if I had any of those things. It feeds into the part of me that still would like to have some security and to feel recognition and approval from the world around me. But I can’t buy into those values as the real measure of my worth as a person. I need to be more like another person I saw today. She is a feisty rebel and has never apologized for who she is. She has gone against the grain and led an unconventional life. She raised her children as a single mother when there were very few single parents. She worked in a male dominated career and provided successfully for her family. She is strong-willed, brash, funny, courageous. She is a risk-taker.


Dixie Ramblins said...

Well now, you have a lot going on in your life, family, friends, work
prospects, workouts with Mom, sister and brother in law who you
like a lot. So, be thankful and be
calm, the Lord of Hosts is in charge of all our lives. "Be not afraid, for I am with you always, even unto the ends of the Earth."
There is someone special out there
just for you, so be patient but looking. My son, a doctor down in
New Orleans use to worry all the time about relationships, what with
med school, always working and studying, when was there time out to meet someone special just for him. Guess what, a blind date did the trick for him, married now with
one child and another on the way.
So keep the Faith. Bob

Cheryl said...

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. God bless you, too.