(Many times we receive emails asking similar questions. We have turned some of these questions into posts so others can benefit from them. Brian and I aren't experts and we simply share our experiences with you.)
Dear RoL, I have always wanted to be married and raise a family. I have been praying to God and trying to find a good Catholic spouse but I am over 30 now and still single. My clock is ticking and I do not understand why God hasn't answered my prayers yet. Any advice?
I know it is difficult to understand why God must make us wait for things that are so strongly on our heart - for you to be married. For us it is to be able to conceive another child. My clock is ticking too and we are having no success! So how do we handle it? We can only place our trust in the hands of our Heavenly Father and do whatever we can to (morally) help the situation.
In the same way, continue to pursue suitable avenues - Catholic friends, church young adult groups, Catholic online services (such as Ave Maria SCOL), etc. Avoid extremes in your search, being neither totally obsessed nor completely inactive.
More importantly, instead of focusing on asking, "God, why am I still single??" ask, "God, what are you asking of me while I am still single?" Keep pursuing your search but also take advantage of this time to see what God is asking of you at this very moment of your life.
For me, I have only one child so I have a greater opportunity to do apostolic and ministry work as compared to a mom with five kids. God is using me as He sees fit. Sometimes we get so caught up in the "if only" or "I can hardly wait until…" that we lose sight of what God is asking of us at this moment.
It's tough, I know. The other day I broke down and just closed my bedroom door and sobbed. I couldn't understand God's plan and I was tired of trying. But that is when grace kicks in. After crying and feeling sorry for myself for awhile, God strengthened me. It's a constant work to take the focus off me ("I want this") and put it back on God (What do You want of me, Lord?). And this applies to many matters in our life, not just major things such as singleness or infertility.
This is also a perfect time to really test our love of God. Are we a fair weather friend that only sticks around when things are going well? Is our love conditional - we'll praise God as long as all our prayers are answered as we want them? Or does our love go beyond our wants, and even needs? Do we trust in God's judgment with the faith of a child, knowing that He will never do anything that is not the best for us because He loves us beyond comprehension?
There is no easy answer but all we can do is draw closer to God, take comfort in His love and wisdom, keep busy with His will at this particular moment and help one another through prayer. Our prayers go out to you, my friend. Take care and God bless. Bobbi
UPDATE: It has been a couple years since this letter was answered. I'm happy to report that this year both of our prayers were answered. This woman is engaged to be married and we are expecting a baby. Blessed be God!