Left Behind?

My friend had a baby yesterday, and while I’m excited for her, I’m also kind of wondering when I got old enough to have friends with children.

Weddings used to be simple. At first I attended the weddings of relatives, then I watched some of my friends’ older siblings get married. The fact that they were all much older than me made those weddings seem normal. But when I started watching my friends walk down the aisle, I got a little weirded out. I guess I missed the moment I “grew up” because sometimes it floors me to think that Amber is going to be a mom and Megan’s a wife. What does that make me? Well, right now it makes me the only one of the three cousins my age who isn’t pregnant. I always feel weird when I think of that.

It’s not like all my friends are married. In fact, most of them are still single. Still, somehow I feel a little left behind. And while I’m really not anxious to get married right now, I can’t help but wonder when it’s going to happen and who it’s going to be. Some days I think it would be nice to have a husband and kids, but most days I’m perfectly content with the freedom that comes in being single.

Our problem doesn’t lie in our relationship status; it lies in our perspective. If you’re looking at the situation as if you’re being left behind, then that’s what you’ll be. You might be tempted to give up your other dreams and settle for the next guy who comes along… Or you can focus on the blessings of singleness.

As for me, I’m taking my time, living the journey, and waiting for the day God taps me on the shoulder and points out the man He intended for me to marry. Let all my friends tag “Mrs.” on their names; I kind of like being Miss Rebekah for now.

The Best Year of Your Life

I had an interesting conversation with a coworker the other day. It was one of those conversations that left me thinking, then praying, then writing, and now blogging. He asked me this question: “If you could relive one year of your life – not to change anything, but simply to relive it – what year would it be?” Now, my initial thought was, “What’s the point? I’ve already lived that year once, so why would I want to return to something so familiar? What would be the fun of that?”

What left me pondering this thought long after I had gone home from work was the fact that I didn’t have an answer. Every year of my life has been filled with ups and down, joys and pains. How could I choose one that stood above the rest? The only answer I could offer my coworker was, “Well, I know which year I wouldn’t choose.” But now I’m not so sure. As I laid awake in bed thinking of that year I have long considered to be the worst year of my life, I began to think that maybe it wouldn’t be so terrible to return to it. In fact, if I could go back with renewed vision – if I were able to take with me the perspective I have now – that would probably be the year I would choose.

I learned so much in that year. I learned how to stand in the midst of a storm while the wind and waves pressed against me and the sands shifted beneath my feet. I discovered how to love through the course of that nightmare – unconditionally, that is – because up until that year, no one had presented any conditions that I was required to love around. I learned how to fully trust the God who creates the light at the end of the tunnel, because throughout that year, I knew nothing but darkness. And if I could go back with the perspective I have now, I might be able to see the things that I missed. Perhaps my worst year would become my best year, but I guess we will never know.

The only thing I am left absolutely certain of is this: I don’t want to live my life stuck in the past, savoring the moment. I don’t want to get so caught up in a memory that I miss what is happening here and now. It’s like the old proverb says,

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery; but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

So here’s my answer to my coworker’s silly question: This year, 2010, is the year I want to relive. And next year it will be 2011. And the year after that, 2012. My lesson learned (and encouragement to you) is this: Don’t walk around yearning to relive the best year of your life, but strive to make every year a year worth reliving.