Hope,  Marriage,  Patience,  Your Letters

Age–Does it Really Matter?


Dear Darlene,

I just turned 39 in October; I’m single, never been married, nor have I ever had a baby.

I came close to getting married once back in 1997. He wasn’t a Christian but was a very nice guy, however he made bad choices and had a baby with someone else. I was very hurt, but more than that I was hurt that I would never find someone else.

I’ve always prayed and talk to God all the time, but it seems as though I’m either doing something wrong or sometimes I even wonder if God is mad at me. I seem to always have bad luck with men and I can’t help but wonder why.

It’s even scarier for me now because of my age, and because I’ve always wanted a family of my own. I wonder if it really is to late for me like everyone says. I tend to brush people off when they mention that I’m getting to old, remembering that Sarah [Abraham’s wife] was also older.

With that, people tell me that I’m asking too much from God. I look around and I see people (I know I shouldn’t, but the ‘human’ in me does), and I see the troubles others go through. I don’t want that for myself so I tend to wait on God. Still others tell me that I’ll be waiting forever. I don’t want to believe that.

It makes me believe in God even more. When everyone tells me stuff, I want God to do something bigger! Am I putting too much pressure on God when asking for what others believe is impossible?

Shauna

Dear Shauna,

Thank you for your letter. I appreciate hearing from you and pray that God will guide me in giving you wise direction.

If you have asked Jesus into your life, prayed that He deliver you from your sin, and are walking according in the Spirit (directed by the will of God), then God is not mad at you. Romans chapter eight verse one says,

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

For years I struggled with guilt from past sin and blamed the loss of my five unborn children on my actions. I believed that I was being punished for sins I had committed in my past. It wasn’t until I deeply understood the sacrifice that Jesus made for me, that I was able to see it differently. I couldn’t pay for sins that Jesus took to the cross, because my sin requires a perfect sacrifice that only the life of Christ could offer. It’s paid, it’s done. God’s love and forgiveness flows freely to all of those in Jesus Christ, who walk in His will.

Forty is a strange age, and many of us (including myself) hit the panic button when the number arrives. We see an expiry date upon our flesh that we’ve never noticed before, and we start to look at our life in terms of deadlines. But consider this: eternity doesn’t have a deadline–you aren’t closer to death than you were at sixteen-years-old, you are that much closer to life. Ever since I started looking at life my life in terms of the long run I started to see things a lot differently.

Now let’s get to the topic of patience. I don’t often quote from the Message translation of the Bible, but I’m going to make an exception because I think that these passages are translated so beautifully:

God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times.
~ Lamentations 3:25-27

I’d recommend reading the entire chapter of Lamentations. I was tempted to copy and paste most of it here–it’s that encouraging!

God is well aware of your situation, and you haven’t been forgotten. My friend Lisa just got married at forty-one-years-old, and plans to start a family. It might happen for you in the next few years, but this might also be a case where God is leading you to something far better than what you hope for yourself.

I know of women who couldn’t have children, and because of that were immensely blessed through adoption (in fact in one case the baby was born on her birthday). There are also women who marry men with children and fill the role of their mother. These are only two examples of different paths, but let me remind you that with God anything is possible.

I stand by this scripture:

“To know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
~ Ephesians 3:19-20, NIV

The love of God and the compassion that He has for you is greater than your fear; His mercy runs deeper than your sorrow, and His kindness is bigger than your grief.

You are not forgotten.

For every woman who’s waiting for the right man to come along, there are countless women wondering if they made a mistake in getting married too quickly. Whether we are old or young, the decision to marry someone should not be taken lightly. It should never be in haste.

In fact Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7:7-8, “I wish that all of you were as I am [single]. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do,” which tells us that marriage isn’t necessarily the best decision for all of us. It’s good and of course ordained by God, but sometimes He has something better in mind.

I wish I could fast forward your life thirty years. Maybe then we’d understand where this path will lead you, and why–but we can’t. All we can do is cling to the hope that He is in control of every step that we take.

Hold on to that verse in Lamentations which tells us to diligently seek, quietly hope, and stick it out through the hard times. God is at work.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

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