Every day, I wake up wondering what God’s plan is for me. Life so far has been kind to me. I have been blessed in many ways. I am a happy go lucky person with a bubbly attitude and I very rarely get sad. I believe that no matter what situation I find myself in, I should find the grace to smile. But sometimes I hurt too. Although when compared to most I have everything, I have nothing. I consider myself beautiful with a great physique. I have a very good job with benefits and awesome friends who think I am adorable. I am quite comfortable but yet I feel empty.
I feel empty because I am counting down the days to my 30th birthday in 9 months and I live in a society that tells me that my intelligence, my career, my successes count for nothing if I do not have a partner and a family to show for my womanhood. Here, securing yourself a husband and becoming a mother is what makes you a successful woman. Even for this strong and independent woman, it hurts sometimes.
It hurts because I was raised to believe that it would all fall into place easily. No one told me it would be this hard. I thought we were all allocated our prince charming and that a knight in shining armour would have rescued me by now. No one told me that society would give me the side eye because I am choosing to wait on God. Even my mother suffers the brunt of it. She is often asked; “So when is your first daughter getting married?” She usually turns to look at me as if expecting me to answer on her behalf. Her gaze is always hopeful.
Yes I want to get married and have a family. But I also know what I don’t want. I am a Christian woman of faith; I believe that marriage is a great institution created by God. I would love to have children and I pray for the wisdom to teach them the right things so that they can make the right decisions for their lives. But can that happen with the wrong partner? I refuse to lock my life; tie my destiny with a man who thinks he is doing me a favour and who sees me as a weaker vessel and not his other if not better half. I refuse to let desperation take over my heart.
I have been told many times that selfishness is the greatest destroyer of marriages and relationships and also the reason why many women like myself are still single. I have been told that my expectations are too high and that I must be selfless to attract love. That I should think of myself a little less. That marriage is not about “me” it is about “us”. But why don’t they tell our men that too? I always find the assumption that I am looking for a perfect twin who is just like me frustrating and at first I was always eager to defend myself and explain that I just want to be loved and respected as an equal. But now I just don’t bother. I let people assume what they please. After all they aren’t the ones writing my love story. God is.
African women like me and maybe even you are being judged because we do not want to settle for less than we know we deserve. Because we do not want to be in an eternal prison of companionship with no love. Because we do not believe that “a bad man is better than an empty house”. And what if the house still feels empty even with the “bad man” in it? Because we do not want to get married and then end up getting divorced. Because we decide to wait on God’s timing for the one who will be good for us.
And understandably, a good number of us will give up and give in to the pressures of society because we want to command some amount of respect. We want to be seen and heard. We want to be counted. We don’t want to be ridiculed. We do not want our womanhood questioned. We give up and settle for whomever and then when it all comes crashing down as we knew it would, we go back and ask God to take control. But would God have wanted us to compromise? Was the person you chose to settle with your intended? God wants us to be happy; we are His children and He is our father. It is my belief that He will help and direct us if we are truly patient and if we call on Him earnestly and sincerely.
Waiting on God doesn’t mean waiting for Mr Perfect. It simply means waiting on that one person. And while I wait, I continue to work on me. I do not want to be “a stealthy, manipulative, conniving woman who does not wait on and trust God, and from whom a godly man will escape.”(Ecclesiastes 7:26) I have seen women trying desperately to trap the men in their lives into staying. It never works and often times ends up causing more pain than they bargained for.
Instead I look to the Proverbs 31 Woman and yearn to be her; a wife of noble character – “She is clothed with strength and dignity. She can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honour her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.” (Proverbs 31:25-31)
A wise woman and pastor once said that marriage can change your destiny; for better or for worse. On your wedding day you acquire a partner for life. Someone to share dreams, goals and aspirations with. Someone to work with. Someone to grow with. Two will inevitably become one as you build your lives in unison. Together you will either make each other better or break each other. In that regard, marriage in many ways is a gateway to salvation, our Train to Heaven: a partnership that should encourage fellowship with God. I refuse to hop on the wrong train hastily. I choose to wait on God.
This GoWoman Diary entry was submitted by a GoWoman reader from Ghana. If you would like to share with us, please send your GoWoman Diary entries to firstname.lastname@example.org with GoWoman Diary as the email subject. Thank you.