Funny how an “innocent question” can leave one  pensive, even on a very good day…

The largest conference hall was flooded with some of the finest brains and biggest names from across continents. It was the last and greatest day of a prestigious international gathering. Everyone was on their feet. The deafening sound of their prolonged applause spoke volumes. I had just delivered what was received as a mind-blowing presentation. Everyone wanted a hand shake, a hug, an autograph, my business card, a selfie, a word. The press was all over me and so were the paparazzis with blinding camera lights.

I was flying doubly high 🙂

What a … day! I thought to myself with satisfaction as I headed to the airport for a homebound flight. Replaying the scene in my mind. I no longer felt as humbled as during the standing ovation. It was time to feel proud of myself. Girl, you did it! You are making history! I was smiling uncontrollably, walking as on air through the priority boarding. Taking my seat and humming my favourite praise song, I put on my ear buds and began jamming to some high praise. I was flying doubly high. Noticing one of the conference participants sitting next to me, I turned down the volume to engage my “fan”.  All was going on pretty well when, in an honest bid to get to know me more, he asked the dreaded question.  It was not nearly as tough the ones I had brilliantly answered earlier on during my presentation. However, I felt disarmed, lost for words and deflated. I managed to muffle out a response which didn’t seem to convince him – “God knows why,” I said in a broken voice, fighting back instant tears. I quickly excused myself and bolted for the bathroom. Lord why? I said, as I wept bitterly, looking into the mirror, feeling terribly sorry for myself. One moment I was on top of the world, and the moment this question comes up I am at my worst low. And … it’s a frequently asked question.

Questions should be easier to answer with age. Why is this harder? In many ways than we realise, life can be quite a question and answer session.  Ever wondered how many questions the average adult asks a day? About a hundred? Well, it fluctuates with age, gender, temperament, profession and family situation and lifestyle. We answer to questions as simple as “what is your name?” or as hard as “what is the monodioxide value of 7 antiperspirants?” Okay, I made that up…please don’t try to figure out the answer.

Another thing about questions is that they vary with age. What do you want to do when you grow up? Almost every child has been confronted with this question. A fire fighter, a doctor…they yell excited. Or, “I don’t know” they shrug with just as much excitement and indifference. 😊 You’ve got to love kids.

I have sometimes wondered why the question “Are you saved?” was once my favorite pick up evangelism line. Now that I think about it, I get so much meaning out of the responses I got – “what do you mean?”, “Are you?” “Is anyone ever saved?”; or just plain “From what?”

“How old are you?” used to be easy to answer. “Sixteen years, three weeks and five days,” I’d say. Or “I am almost 18!” I would flaunt my age, wishing I was older. Now? Well, take a guess 😊.  I hope you don’t think an age question brought me tears.

This particular question is different. I used to be pretty clever at it – ”I am still young, I am still at school, I’d like to have a viable source of income first.” I’d say in my defence.

Now I am not so young anymore. I had my first degree over a decade ago, I hold a Ph.D and have a “fairly good” job. A distinguished bachelorette, one would say. I love the Lord passionately and have from a tender age when I gave my life to Christ. Haven’t experimented with boys. I have heard people describe me as a “very good-looking lady,” an introvert to whom everyone listens, talented and busy in the Lord’s vineyard… even,  “a complete “marriageable” package” (whatever that means)

I guess that is the very reason why people can neither hide their astonishment nor refrain from asking me the question I now dread – “How come you are still single?”  It comes in fifty shades of gray: Do you plan on getting married?;  Now that you are done with school and have a good job, when are you settling down?; Is there a man in your life? 

Some would just assume that I am married and ask:  How is your husband?; How does your husband feel about your accomplishments and frequent travelling?; How many kids do you have?

I get this question from a mixed multitude. The “Offensives” would say things like: who would have thought you’d still be single? You are not getting any younger you know? (like I forgot my age); Do you plan on having babies? The biological clock is ticking, and you are being selfish (Ouch! Just ouch!); Do you want to be virgin Mary? (as though Virgin Mary never got married, but I know what they mean)

The Church folks (African church folks) are more creative. They would ask questions like: Sister, isn’t the Lord speaking?; Haven’t you seen any “vision” [of someone to marry] yet?; Have you been praying, like REALLY praying for a husband?; What is God saying about your marital situation?

Friends would quip: when are you inviting us for the cake cutting? When is your big day? Haven’t you met Mr Right yet?

Parents, (bless their hearts) their probing comes from a place of concern and worry: When will I see my grandkids?; Are you sure you are not being too picky? There’s no perfect man etc etc..

Colleagues, who are professionally just as blessed as me, but married (unlike me), are more straight forward: Don’t you think it’s about time you thought about starting a family?; I am sure all the men must be afraid of you, you are “too educated.”

Get the Idea?

Irrespective of how the question is posed, it sometimes reduces me to tears: because, well it just gets me. It shouldn’t, but it just does. It almost feels like my attention was drawn to a menstrual blood stain on my white ball gown during a dance with the prince. You know menstruation is normal, but you still beat yourself as onlookers debate the incident; or, in this case, as I wrestle with the sharp contrast of my desire to have been married by now and the fact that I am still single.

Previously, it was easy to answer this dreaded question. In my early twenties my response was more natural. Mid-twenties – logical, Late twenties I got diplomatic; thirties  – more spiritual and prophetic. I’d say things like “He makes all things beautiful in his time, God’s time is the best, God knows best …” etc 

“God knows best” is the answer I gave to the man on the plane. Now I am in my room, trying to figure out what that really means. How else can I answer this question? Or.. God, will you just answer it for me once and for all?

Truth be told, I ran out of answers and I wish people would just let me be. I know they won’t (mostly because they care, hate or are just curious). So, I guess I should just be myself. At 30+ in a married world, owning your marital status is not always easy, and that’s OKAY. #ThisCupOfSingleness

Feel me? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section here below. It helps to know that someone is reading or remotely relates to my experience with this dreaded frequently asked question 🙂 Will share a new post in two weeks. Please click on ” like and follow” if you would like to be notified of new posts.

Thank you for stopping by.

The Christian Bachelorette

15 thoughts on “The dreaded Frequently Asked Question

  1. Life indeed is full of “questions and answers sessions.” Even when no body is asking the questions, we still try to formulate answers to our life questions.
    I find your story very interesting, one coming from a bachelorette who toi my opinion is not writing out of desperation, but a fulfilled and hopeful bachelorette in Christ Jesus.
    I will personally share your story and hope many find strength and encouragement.
    Thanks to this nameless and faceless writer.
    I think anonymous person gives room for each reader to sketch out their own perfect picture

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I must say I loved the writting style.By the way,that has been my experience for so many years.One tends to wonder why people only seem to be interested in that question despite one’s academic or career height in life.I guess it has been so since Genesis and may never change. However,I want every accomplished bachelorette out there to know they are the envy of many married women.Besides, though God created marriage, He is more interested in us fulfilling our purposes on Earth than in us getting married.A married friend of mine told me of a life transforming experience.She was lying in the bedroom one afternoon while her husband was in the living room reading.Suddenly she saw her spirit leaving her body.It passed through the living room and tried talking to her husband but he didn’t amswer or even raise his head.That is when it dawned on her that she might be dead.An uncontrollable force was moving her toward the gate but when she got there, she remembered a vision God had given her to minister to women and cried out to God “Father,don’t let me go.I have not yet fulfilled my purpose on Earth”.Immediately, her spirit entered back into her body and she woke up.She said she found her husband still sitting exactly where her spirit had seen him in the living room .Today whenever she recounts the story, she emphasizes on the fact that her purpose and not her marriage saved her life.Marriage is just one facet in the multiple facets life has and shouldn’t be the scale balance on which our worth is measured.
    If you are serving God and making impact accross the world like our writer is,then married or not, you have the right to be proud of who you are.
    I understand it gets very painful when this question arises
    Truth is, every human being has a thorn in the flesh and a dreaded question.The fact that they wear rings on their fingers not withstanding.Apostle Paul provided an answer for his own thorn and every other thorn
    and it was “The grace of God is sufficient for you”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I do not qualify to comment because I have not walked this walk before. However, I remember my struggles in other aspects of my life and I go like hmmmmm… O for grace to walk victoriously until the struggling chapters end.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi
    Have enjoyed reading your all posts so far. I have been learning a lot to impact and improve my personal principles and life style. My comment is a question, I melted when I read the part where u cried facing a mirror and it made me wonder, what is it about the question, is it that its been asked so frequently or at all or is it what it reminds u of. If the Latter, why may I ask?

    Like

    1. I appreciate you taking the time to visit, read and comment. Your question is thought provoking. I believe I attempted an answer to it somewhere five paragraphs towards the end of the post. Check out the paragraph that begins with « Irrespective of how the question is posed ». You can also refer to the last but one paragraph. Blessings!

      Like

  5. Life really is full of questions!And don’t be surprised, post marriage, the dreaded question is when is the baby coming, or how many kids now? Or no sons yet?????
    we all have a dreaded question- in different shades of gray!( to borrow the line)!. I recall some years ago when my husband was abroad for further studies that seemed like forever, and the question” When is your husband coming back”, or “Why didn’t he just stay with his family” would get me that onion chopping experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I absolutely love your writing and openness.
    I’m in that diplomatic stage now. I think what hurts about the question is how it inadvertently makes you feel like it’s all in your control and you aren’t doing something right. I’m often tempted to respond that it’s not like picking up chocolate from a supermarket shelf.
    Also, the question often echoes your own thoughts and sometimes self-chiding.
    But hey, my life is in God’s hands He definitely knows what He’s up to. Sometimes I wish I would get the memo but He’s also pleased with my faith so that’s cool too.
    Now I tell myself “though the winter is long, even richer the harvest it brings” #Seasons

    Liked by 1 person

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