I was sitting on my kitchen floor. Yes, for the first time since I moved into this apartment I plopped down on the kitchen floor. I suppose I could say that I was hiding from my laptop sitting on the table because I hit a wall planning the first chapter of my thesis.
There I was wrapped up in my house coat with my back against the wall. I refuse to turn on the heat to save money right now, so I’m just cold.
I was hugging my knees staring at the horrible laminate on my kitchen floor. The question just came to mind suddenly: “Did I miss the boat?”
I puzzled over this as I decided a hot shower might help my writer’s block and might warm me up more than sitting on the floor.
Let me explain this “Missing the Boat” concept.
As I’m learning, life is not actually what you expected as a 6 year-old. When I was around 6, I had all those little girl plans as I bedded down my many dolls. Yes, one day I would get maweed and have wots and wots of kids. I went to weddings as a kid and left all dreamy-eyed. You see, most girls have their weddings planned by the time they’re between ages 6 and 8. We just put a 6 foot tall cut-out that says “place groom here” in the appropriate place by the preacher at the front of the church in the wedding of our imaginations.
As a teenager and avid bookworm, I got addicted to tales of romance. Not the cheap dollar store kind. It was usually those books by Christian authors or just little books I found looking through books my grandmother or my mom had. I read and dreamed and read some more. I was just sure that I would open the door one day and see Mr. Right there to sweep me off my feet. Maybe that is slightly exaggerated, but it’s not too far from the truth of my way of thinking at the time.
In my ever growing bibliography of romance novels I did get tired of Grace Livingston Hill stories rather quickly. Even at that young of an age, I was critical of stories that repeated themselves over and over with just a change in characters and setting.
So, why did I have this idea that my life story would be just like everyone else in those novels?
You know guy meets girl, they sorta like each other, skip ahead a few chapters and he falls for her, she falls for him, the last chapter is the wedding. The book is perhaps then followed by a few sequels (such as in the many Janette Oke series) and their kids’ love stories are nearly the same, so on and so on.
My life is not a Grace Livingston Hill repeat!
Yes, as I see the friends I grew up with getting married and having kids, I do have that sigh escape wondering if I missed something. Like that matrimony boat. Then, I recall the confident thing I said several years ago at a Bible study camp during a devotional among young women in the “eligible” age range. As an 18-year-old, I said “Singleness has a purpose and marriage isn’t meant to be a cure to heal you from the ‘disease’ of singleness. If I’m not content now, how will I ever be content married?” I know now, I didn’t really even fully understand what I was saying then until God made it real in more recent years.
No, there isn’t some perfect state of “contentment” that makes you qualified for marriage. There isn’t some formula to follow. No self-help book about being the perfect single is going to help. All the advice in the world isn’t going to help either. Every time I ran to one of those avenues instead of to God, I pretty much got a V8 bonk on the head from God.
I found out that I can’t wait around waiting for my life to start if the “start” of life is supposed to be the day one dresses in white and walks down the aisle.
God has a plan.
From the part of my life that I’ve lived so far, I’ve just been amazed at how much of an adventure it has been. Yes, there have been some bumps and unexpected bends in the road, but it’s been a far better story than I could have ever dreamed up from reading those novels.
Every time I get upset or impatient about that blank page in my life where there’s still no love story, God always takes the pen from my hand and asks me if I trust Him. Yes, maybe that page isn’t meant to be filled, but I have to still trust that He has the best in mind. It’s a daily battle of handing back that pen though.
So, no, I don’t think I missed the boat. God is my captain and I trust Him to tell me when it’s time to board if that time comes.
Though, I really don’t think this “boat” is going to be a gondola. I picture more of a ship from the 18th century era that would be able to weather a storm and the high seas since life isn’t always a canal in Venice.