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Maybe A Million Things

I turned 28 a few days ago. I’m single. I’m not in a serious relationship. I have been in serious relationships. I’ve thought that I’ve been on the path to marriage. So far, I’ve been wrong.

If you are reading this on the Blessed Is She website, your eyes might dart over to a photo on the right-hand sidebar. I’m in it. I’m standing next to a large stone chimney, holding a baby while I wear a huge and cozy cardigan. It was taken last September, shortly after I’d turned 27.

You might have seen that picture and thought I was a young mother, comforting my own child. But really, I was standing there, holding this sweet seven-week-old boy, and praying that by this time next year, I would know I was on the path to holding my own child. Maybe the crush I had at the time would have been kindled into a relationship. Maybe I would have met someone new and started dating them. Maybe a million things.

Right now, that path doesn’t seem much clearer to me. Nothing very significant has changed in my love life. If anything, it’s a more bare landscape than it was last year. A lot of times, I feel adrift in my vocation. Each of the last several years, I’ve thought, this is it! This is the year I meet my spouse! Maybe I’ve been wrong. Maybe I’ve been right, but I just don’t know it yet.

In the Gospel, Jesus says: Again, amen, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.” (Matthew 18:19-20)

And I believe Him.

I don’t think that every human prayer I utter will be granted in human time in a way my limited human mind can understand. God’s plan for my life, my vocation, my holiness is so much greater than I can perceive at this moment. Only through discernment and prayer can I even begin to understand how He is granting this prayer. I am drawn ever back into community to pray in this way—as two of us agree to pray together, with and for each other.

Pray for me today and I’m praying for you.

Brigid Hogan is a midwestern graduate student who finds peace in lakes, the Mass, and fiction when she isn’t ensconced in schoolwork. Find out more about her here.

15 Comments

  • Reply
    Sherrie
    September 10, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Brigid, I can totally relate to where you are coming from. I am 30 and I’ve always thought I was supposed to get married for as long as I can remember and it still doesn’t look any closer to it happening for me either. I have felt very lost in my vocation as well seeing as I don’t feel a strong calling to anything else. But with my current situation I don’t see any chance for finding someone in the near future. I will pray for you today. With united prayers perhaps, we will get closer to answers.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    September 10, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Brigid! Your love story took me back to mine! I spent most of my twenties pining for a man to marry. Constantly looking at mass, school ANYWHWERE!! Where could my husband be!!! I would pray and pray and ask God “why!! Why am I single again! Why are all these guys soooo much work!!! Why didn’t this relationship workout!!!” When I was young my mother told us to pray for our future husbands that they remain chaste and wait for us. Looking for a husband was on my heart, mind and in my prayers since I was a young child. Finally, when I was 28, I gave up. I was so fed up with the never ending search and so caught up in this elusive dream that I told God I was done. Soooo DONE!!! I wanted out of this merry go round (that wasn’t very merry). I told him to take it away. Take away the desire for a man and lead me to YOUR true will LORD. And guess what?? I felt so free! I was free to be me! Free to focus on my mission in life and free to be God’s heart wondering the earth for HIM. It was the best feeling! Three months later I met Eric. I didn’t look at him like a potential husband (again, so freeing!). In fact I was blind to the fact that he would be my husband! Ha! We are celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary this year and awaiting our 3rd baby. I’m 36 and many of my friends are just now getting married. A friend of mine was married at 39 and is now 43 and had her second baby this year! My point is—God has no time limit. I was you! I should have spent my 20s being free from the constant desire to find a husband but I just couldn’t shake it! Until I finally submitted to God. Really submitted…..in adoration….with lots and lots of tears. We can sometimes cling to a future of uncertainty and make it suffering. Prayers and Love to you strong Brigid. God has a beautiful sweet plan for you!

  • Reply
    Debby
    September 10, 2017 at 8:39 am

    I have a single daughter just a year older than you. I pray that she finds the spouse that God has in mind for her and I will pray for you too. Stay on your path and continue to believe dear sister.

  • Reply
    Jaimee
    September 10, 2017 at 9:33 am

    I am reading and meditating as I wait out the storm known as Hurricane Irma. In this moment I am pondering God’s word and experiencing awe and wonder at His creation, yes even destructive hurricanes. While hurricanes were not part of the original plan of creation, He has permitted this to occur. I have had to push in and trust that He would see us through whatever came our way. We gathered, my community and I, and offered many prayers as we prepared to weather this storm. Hence, I’ve been ensconced in a cloud of peace. Jesus didn’t calm the waters when Peter stepped out of the boat onto the waters of the stormy sea. Instead He told Peter to keep his eyes on Him to stay sturdy and steady in the midst of the storm. That, sisters, is what we’ve done here in Florida. Thank you for your continued prayers.

  • Reply
    Nancy
    September 10, 2017 at 10:30 am

    I too was in your shoes… single at 27. Now at 63, I can relay how God answered my prayers in hopes that it will encourage you to just take each day and do what is obvious that God wants. My husband, who I married at age 29, turned out to be someone I met at college and was very good friends with… He went off to the Peace Corps in Africa and we kept corresponding – no phones in those days. When he came back, I went to visit and then we slowly realized that not only our friendship was changing, but that I needed to confront my prejudices against the Catholic Church. God changed my heart in that I joined the Catholic Church after studying a lot. But I also realize now in restrospect that my husband also had his own journey to complete before he could approach getting married. It was hard to wait, but worth every minute. I hope this encourages you.

  • Reply
    Judy
    September 10, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Praying for you, Brigid. I understand. Met my spouse in church when I was 28, married at 29. I have a niece single in her 40’s, now, and two that got married in their mid 30’s. It is hard, but trust and praise God and keep asking Him for what you desire. The single life is also a beautiful calling and vocation that blesses you and others. Marriage does not always fulfill God’s plans…and it isn’t always the right vocation for some who choose it, anyway. God bless you!

  • Reply
    Katie
    September 10, 2017 at 11:40 am

    My boyfriend of almost 2 years suddenly and out of nowhere broke up with me the other day. We were literally talking about marriage the week before so to say that I am shocked is an understatement. I’ll be 30 in October and I have thought that I was finally getting my forever. Im confused and just don’t know whether I just let him walk away or if I try to fight for our relationship… Please pray for guidance, peace, strength, and wisdom as I walk this path of the unknown. I pray our hearts can find peace and happiness… especially if this is God asking us to end our relationship. I’m praying you, sisters; please pray for me as well.

  • Reply
    Deborah
    September 10, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Praying for you sister. May God answer your prayers in His timing, so that your answer is beyond your wildest dreaming. Because so often I have found that the reason we must wait or go through the rough patches, is because God’s will for us is so much better than what we can, in our humanness, wish for. God bless you, and all those women out there seeking their vocation.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 10, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    I feel like your post and these replies are just what I needed to read today. I turned 30 this year and have been with my boyfriend for 4 years. We have known each other for a total of about 11-12 years. If you had told me 4 years ago that I would still be un-engaged, un-married and motherless today, I would’ve been in complete disbelief.

    This is something I have prayed for as long as I can remember. Just like most of you my fellow sisters, I went through these relationships thinking what went wrong? Why wasn’t he the one? Isn’t this the path God has for me?

    Something I failed to do for a long time was put God first in my life. For a while in my youth I was involved in my parish and formed lasting friendships but with college on the mend and finding full time work, my relationship with God fell on the back burner.

    Our Lord always has our backs. He hears our prayers, He knows what our hearts ache for, and He gives these to us in His timing. Every time I have questioned it, every time I have felt bitterness towards my boyfriend and friends and family for their consistent questions of “when are you 2 getting married already?!”, that only means I don’t trust God.

    I am praying for you Brigid! He is working overtime perfecting your future husband just for you because you are so worth it. Just continue to live your life to serve our Lord and He will send him in your direction. <3

  • Reply
    Sarah
    September 10, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    I feel like your post and these replies are just for 4 years. We have known each other for a total of about 11-12 years. If you had told me 4 years ago that I would still be un-engaged, un-married and motherless today, I would’ve been in complete disbelief.

    This is something I have prayed for as long as I can remember. Just like most of you my fellow sisters, I went through these relationships thinking what went wrong? Why wasn’t he the one? Isn’t this the path God has for me?

    Something I failed to do for a long time was put God first in my life. For a while in my youth I was involved in my parish and formed lasting friendships but with college on the mend and finding full time work, my relationship with God fell on the back burner.

    Our Lord always has our backs. He hears our prayers, He knows what our hearts ache for, and He gives these to us in His timing. Every time I have questioned it, every time I have felt bitterness towards my boyfriend and friends and family for their consistent questions of “when are you 2 getting married already?!”, that only means I don’t trust God.

    I am praying for you Brigid! He is working overtime perfecting your future husband just for you because you are so worth it. Just continue to live your life to serve our Lord and He will send him in your direction. <3

  • Reply
    Karen
    September 10, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    This brought tears. I am 63 and single so far in Iife. It is had to understand the plan God has had for me. I always want children. I do have 8 nieces and nephews plus 8 greats. I do sports score books, this is year 31, so am around kids. I wanted to get married, I am alone. Very depressing to see friend celebrating 50th anniversaries, Grand children, etc., etc, etc. I struggle with having faith God has me on the very right life road. May God Bless you greatly!!!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    September 10, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Love this! I also just turned 28 and the landscape for love is sparse. But, as you say God’s ways are not our ways. Thanks for your thoughts and the reminder that God has got this no matter what may happen or not happen. Prayers for you!

  • Reply
    Mary
    September 11, 2017 at 4:54 am

    It has helped me so much to read your post because I am in the same boat, unmarried way past the age I thought I would marry and I feel like it’s never going to happen. Recently I have felt that God is telling me that it will be alright, that I will be alright no matter what happens specifically in my life because He is with me and that is all that I need. While a part of me is panicked that that is God helping me to accept a life of singleness, even though I don’t feel like being called to singleness or consecrated life, another part of me feels relieved, God is taking care of me and I want for nothing because he is with me. And so though I sometimes fear I remind myself I remind myself that I will be alright because He is with me and with Him I can live anything, married or single. I am praying for you, you pray for me; in this sometimes oh so difficult path.

  • Reply
    Darleen
    September 11, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I am literally on the same boat. I just went through a breakup (my first serious relationship) that has caused a great deal of anxiety, however, this relationship pulled me so far from God I never knew I could be this distant from my first love, God. So the breakup still hurts, but what hurts more is having to mend a relationship that should have never been broken, which was mine and God’s. I’m still trying to figure out my vocation as a single 26 year old. It’s very stressful and all I want is to focus on my relationship with God; to trust him and to know he has my best interest at heart. I knows he’s what I’ve been missing, but how does one let go of the anxiety and depression when it’s all they’ve known. It’s tough, but I do love God so much and I know I’ll overcome this. Just like I know all of you will too. Please pray for me girls and know I’ll be Praying for you girls too. Thanks for the post. It’s comforting to know we have a community of women feeling the EXACT same way.

  • Reply
    JoAnne
    September 12, 2017 at 9:36 am

    My oldest daughter will be 31 in November, and she has never had a boyfriend. She is a kindergarten teacher and is wonderful at her chosen profession. She is very shy around men. I believe the reason she is afraid of getting into a relationship is because she was hurt so badly during her school years when the people she thought were her good friends turned against her and ridiculed her about her looks, clothing, etc. I truly believe that this is her way of protecting her heart from being hurt again. Several nice (and good Catholic) men have expressed an interest in dating her, but she pushes them away. I pray everyday that God has a plan for her , will open her eyes and heart, and that He will send the man that He wants her to marry very soon.

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