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Dreams That Aren't Coming True

When (if ever) is okay to tell your friend your dream isn't going to come true?

I'm now 31 and 3 weeks old. That doesn't seem too old to me, for anything, except probably the kiddie rides at Disney and toddler time at most parks. I mean, there are probably a few other things as well. I am probably too old to dream of being an astronaut or a firefighter. Although I could always go back to school for a new career. I mean, less than a year ago I just started a new career in a profession I had no experience in when I joined OSV and their sales team. But in the last week or so, I've heard from more than one friend that I might not get the dream of raising children and growing old with my husband. That it might be time to abandon that dream because if I want to be married, I need to take a look at who's interested and not be so picky.

I know you're going to need a lot more context for this discussion than I'm willing to give at this point - but I think I'll be able to do a good enough job.

This past weekend I was a Maid of Honor at the most beautiful wedding of my best friend and her new husband. It was an amazing ceremony to bind these two together in front of God and everyone after walking with them over the last few years of their relationship. It was an honor to be part of it. The hard part is that my best friend (and last single friend) is now a married woman and I'm still only RSVPing for 1 at any gathering.

I really thought there was something going with this guy earlier this year. We had a mutual friend introduce us with the express purpose of discerning a relationship (or at least I thought). He lived far away so we talked on the phone a couple times a week and then he flew out to meet me only to let me know he knows for certainty that God is calling him to be a priest. WHAT?! Dream of having a date to the wedding ... crushed. Probably for the best since I was SUPER busy all day - but still, dream destroyed.

There aren't usually a lot of men asking for my company on a date so March has been quite a busy month in comparison - but with men who want to be priests and who are too old for me. UGH! NOT the dream!

But back to my point - when is it okay to abandon the dream? When does an almost two decade (if ever) age difference stop being an issue? At what age does having a big family (or any family) become a non-factor?

I've got advice from friends and acquaintances that contradicts one another on this subject. Some who have a vested interest in me being married and some who have a vested interest in me being happy. I dream that one day those two will be able to be achieved at the same time - but happy is what I'm going for first. I know that life won't always be puppy dogs and rainbows and not every day will be a happy-fest. That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about overall vision of my life, where it's going, what the next 50 years will look like - I'm going for happy. I hope that includes marriage - but I know for certain I don't want marriage with happy. That sounds like more of a nightmare than a dream.


  1. Oh my, were we on the same brainwave for a second or what? I just wrote something about life not going according to plan today!

    You're in a tough position being the only single person among close friends. I see why some people might encourage you to change/give up your dream because they care about you and don't want you to be disappointed. But my first reaction is that that's rude. People can have their dreams, as long as they aren't stupid, dangerous, or wildly unrealistic dreams. It's not unrealistic at 31 to hope to be married one day! There's no magic age later in life when you stop being able to be married. Giving birth to a large number of children might become less and less likely over time, but adoption can help create the large family you dream of. That might not be ideal or even possible for some families, but why should other people say there's no way it could happen? It could!

    Whether or not people marry, we're all called to image God's love by giving of ourselves - whether it's in the context of a husband, religious community, consecrated community, or a cause. Not getting what we dream of or want doesn't mean we're doomed to an unfulfilled life. And it doesn't mean those dreams can't be met one day. What it does mean is that right now God's giving anyone in that situation a particular kind of cross to carry through the disappointment, loneliness, and confusion. And maybe he'll slowly change those hearts and hopes. It's okay to struggle with that. But it doesn't mean we have to give up hope! And with God's grace, he'll help us accept how our lives turn out when we give him the room to help us desire what he desires for us. There's nothing easy about that, but with all the stories of saints who were successful at that, I have to think it's worth it. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. thanks for commenting ... I just read your post and I wanted to scream an "Amen Sister" ... it's hard not knowing what will come next or if the things you want will ever come next.

    2. Amen. I bet it's something people can struggle with at any stage in life :-)


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