Just to recap:
In my head, things sound pretty good. My excuses are justifiable. My reasoning is logical. My conclusions are insightful.
Then I open my big mouth.
I hear words, in my own voice, and think "That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard!"
I grope for the words as they race through the air at the speed of sound. I can not reach them fast enough. I can not grab them in my fist and crush them into oblivion. I can not suck them back into my head so they can be recycled into new thoughts. I can only observe and react.
Often, when this happens, I find myself laughing. In truth, these have been some very enlightening moments.
I was one of those crazy little girls who can think of nothing but marriage and motherhood. I took it in phases, of course. But I can remember being very nearly obsessed with the idea of finding my "true love". I didn't outgrow this.
As a teenager I started making lists. This was my wish list for what my husband would be like. It changed often. Sometimes it said things like "college degree, wavy hair, blue eyes, tall, etc." It might change to "smart, hard-working, spiritual." Sometimes it was long. Sometimes it was very short.
I tried to be sensible. I tried to rely on spiritual guidance. I looked for clues in my patriarchal blessing. I prayed. I studied the scriptures.
My plan was to find a guy with these qualities. The perfect guy. *sigh*.
There were a few problems with this. For one thing, I found a lot of guys with many of the qualities on my various lists. But they often had other qualities that I didn't care for. On more than one occasion I was smitten by some pretty face, only to be seen as "just a friend" by him.
One night, I was pouring out my frustrations in my journal. I lamented the difficulties of "finding my husband". I felt that I was somehow failing in my duties. I was missing something important. I wrote something like "I feel that I should just turn this over to the Lord but I am afraid of who he will pick."
Yes, I actually wrote that. I stopped and stared at the page. Then I started laughing. Out loud. "What an idiot!" I said to myself. As if the Lord would pick the wrong guy! I realized that I was relating God to my parents or friends. I might not want the man they chose for me but if I left it up to God...how could I go wrong?!
I finally relaxed about dating. I lost that intense pressure I had to find the perfect husband. I stopped sizing a guy up and going over the mental checklist before he could say hello. And I had a great time! I was having so much fun that I was almost disappointed when I met my husband a few months later. It was what can only be described as love at first sight. I knew the moment he walked through the door that he was "The One." I was, and still am, very sure that he was the man God chose for me. I sometimes think to myself that I have an arranged marriage! :)
And you know what? He has everything on my list!