“But what would you do if he asked you out on a date?”
My father sat completely relaxed in his refurbished antique easy chair; seemingly unaware of the ridiculous nature of his question. His chair with its nubbled and faded fabric was long termed the “decision making chair” by those who had heard verdicts handed down as a product of hours of thought and prayer in that seat. This is where my dad came to think and converse.
I sat across from him on my parents’ bed, legs tucked underneath me belying my adulthood and continued the conversation we’d been having for some time. Though I tried to hide it, I thought I’d never heard anything crazier than his question and my tone showed it. “Dad, it is not going to happen. It’s not like that.”
As my now six month old daughter napped soundly in the next room, my parents and I hashed through something that had been troubling me slightly since church that morning: the music intern.
He had been on staff for over a year and I’d met him and worked on a couple things with him before being pregnant, but he was a vague shadow on my consciousness at best. I’d only spoken to him once – on the Sunday I’d been able to share my testimony with the church – he’d sought me out afterwards and made a point of telling me how brave he thought I was. I thanked him for his encouragement and was promptly pulled into a different conversation. The moment passed and so did he.
Now, months later, there was no other way to describe it other than that it seemed like he was always “around”. A Sunday rarely passed that I didn’t seem to pass him in the hall or he’d be in the foyer and come over to greet me and see Darcy. His interest in Darcy made sense as he spoke often and with obvious pride of his new nephew. The rest didn’t make any sense, but I felt well and truly protected in a double cocoon of purpose and baggage.
I have never experienced so serious a season of peace as I did in those months right after Darcy was born. People often used to confide in me about their prayers for a husband for me and a father for Darcy, and though I appreciated their thoughtfulness, I couldn’t understand their urgency in this because we were so well taken care of between my actual family and our church family. In addition, I felt called to a season of singleness. My single-parenthood was a testimony to God’s faithfulness and grace in me and I had every intention of using it as such. I was meant to live out my life married to this ministry.
And not at all to disparage the reality of my feelings in the season, but even IF I ever experienced a change of heart towards my future; who would choose to align themselves to a woman with such obvious “baggage”? Lingering emotional scars, a body ruined in child birth, and most of all … a child. No date could ever be casual and dating me meant an instant family. Nobody wanted that.
So being at peace with a calling to single parenthood and ministry was truly for the best all around.
But what about the music intern?