According to private journals I kept between September of 1977 and April of 1993, my unfulfilled desire to be married dominated my life, defining it with despair and unhappiness. I typed endlessly about the various men I fancied, celebrating hopes only to mourn disappointments as I'd try to manipulate the Lord and (upon grudgingly accepting His answer of "no") straining to understand His purpose in withholding marriage from me. Those years, it seemed at the time, overflowed with depression.
Yet I look back on those years now, and remember an active social life of Bible Study groups, parties, jaunts into San Francisco and (best of all) writing and directing church plays. I still chuckle as impassioned debates in our book club come to mind (was Madame Bovary's husband Charles a gentleman or a wimp?), and I treasure memories of those three and a half months in North Wales and London.
During those years, I cultivated quite a reputation for playing practical jokes. In fact, I even got blame (credit?) for jokes I didn't play! I love looking back on some of my more elaborate ones, particularly the time I got a friend to call Bob (who hated cats) to say he was from the Humane Society and needed to verify Bob's address in order to deliver a kitten.
Of course, working for Love In Action allowed me to travel for Exodus conferences. I enjoyed New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Toronto and San Diego. Additionally, I visited Houston once to visit a friend and again to attend her wedding. All this travel began with two trips to Oregon--first for a river rafting trip and a year later for a Christian writers' conference.
Some of my stories about those years should start inching into this blog, if only to remind me how abundantly the Lord blessed me during a period that I had characterized as lonely and depressing. Certainly, I've never been happier than now; marriage to John is infinitely more satisfying than I ever imagined marriage could be! But why did I refuse to appreciate those years, with all their activity? Now that I can't be as active, due to both marriage and aging with a disability, I realize how happy those days made me.
But why, I wonder as a postscript, was a Christian book club reading Madame Bovary?