I was married for 32 years but never had a 25th wedding anniversary. No, it’s not new math. My “wifedom” was spread over two marriages and nearly four decades.
Plans for my life didn’t include being married twice. Like most young girls, I believed in “till death do us part” and even “happily ever after.” And I still do!
But sometimes, things happen beyond our control and we have to just deal with them. My first husband, whom I met at a Christian college, is now living an openly gay life, which he hid for years. And my second husband died just four days before our 13th anniversary.
The time between marriages was stressful: raising two teenage sons, holding down a fulltime job, and earning a master’s degree so I could keep both my job and my house. But those experiences helped me become more confident and gave me the courage to create a new life for myself and realize my lifelong goals.
I had always wanted to be a motivational speaker and teach others how to maintain a positive attitude despite what they face every day. Now, I do that very thing, in front of an audience, in writing and in the way I live.
Since becoming a widow, I’m single for the third time in my life. And you know what? It’s not bad. Not bad at all.
Of course I miss my late husband, but I’ve learned to be content. Hmmm – that sounds familiar. In Philippians 4:11, Paul tells us, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (NIV). And being content as you are today is much better than living in the past, regretting your choices, or wishing for things that can never happen.
Both times I became single again, I took inventory of my life. In addition to finances, I looked at the future and options that lay before me. Instead of giving up and being satisfied with a mundane life, I decided to do something out of my comfort zone.
Near the end of my first marriage, I finally got the chance to complete the college degree left undone years earlier. And while I was in the education mode, I went on to get a graduate degree, something I hadn’t even thought of before.
After Bryan died, I started writing a book about his illness and passing. There was so much I didn’t know about writing and publishing, so I’ve spent years learning all I could. Back to that education thing!
With all this knowledge poured into my brain, I’ve become even more confident. My education has taught me make intelligent decisions, think objectively, and live calmer. Besides being a public speaker and sharing insights into living a positive life, I now teach at writers’ confer
ences, helping others become better writers and get their work published.
Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I am not looking for another husband. I’m content and not frantically searching for a spouse, like some other women who find themselves single again. My life right now is satisfying, so I don’t need anyone to “complete me,” even though that was a cute line from the movie “Jerry Macguire.”
If God, in his infinite wisdom, sees fit to send me a man I can’t live without, well, so be it. But I’m not shopping. And in case that happens, I have a “shopping list” for any man who wants to be considered for my next husband. It’s quite a long list, so be warned if you’re applying for the job.
God and I have a great relationship and we’re content together.
Life is good, even as a single.
Jerry Maguire image © 1996 TriStar Pictures, Inc. All Rights Reserved.