Last weekend when I had some of my friends from Illinois visiting, we got on the topic of me moving out. For about a year or so, my married friends had been asking me to move in with them because for some reason they think I’m awesome, and because we are all in a financial struggle and another person in the house would help with that burden (so I have gathered). As wonderful as it sounded to live with my dear friends, I had to hesitate, not because I didn’t want to, but because of a request from my parents.
A few years back, my parents requested that I do what I could to spend some time living alone before I got married. When they first presented it to me, it was out of anger. They were frustrated because it had appeared that I was going to get married very soon, because of the kinds of conversations that my now ex and I were having at the time. So in turn I was angry. But after a few months went by, and the hurtful words of “you are not an adult in our eyes” or something of that nature that implied that, we revisited the conversation and it wasn’t unreasonable to ask that of me. Granted they did mention, they would be hesitant to offer the blessing of me getting married if I didn’t at least try, which was a pretty big incentive. To live alone without a roommate didn’t seem like a bad idea after that…even if I did know this was out of my parents fear of thinking I couldn’t take care of myself.
So when my friends brought up the topic, I tried to explain it…but in my head I was embarrassed to admit that I was doing it for my parents. Not necessarily because I was people pleasing (thought part of it is that), but because my parents are my God given authority until I am married. I was asked to do this, and it wasn’t unbiblical or unreasonable. So I felt it necessary to accomplish.
For a Christian that isn’t a foreign concept. Many young women are raised that way, including myself….which is difficult because I can have a pretty defiant nature. A bit of a feminist. However, lately I spent a great deal of time having some heart talks with myself and God, and I am realizing as a woman, if I want to feel loved and protected in my singleness I have to seek it from God and my parents. No one else can provide me with that kind of love and protection here on earth….at least not while I am single and not in a healthy way for sure.
Of course, when I was talking with my friends slightly embarrassed, I didn’t do a very good job, because how do you tell people who share your strong will and intensity that you’re submitting to authority? How to you tell people who think you’re an adult because of your age that your parents have set a different kind of standard for you? So, I came off more or less a little whiney and probably a little fearful.
To be honest I am a little fearful. I am afraid of failing at living on my own and losing my parents respect. I suppose I shouldn’t be afraid though. I’m pretty good at managing things. I pay my bills and work hard. I don’t go above and beyond with my money. I don’t spend what I don’t have. I also find myself a little fearful of being so counter cultural. It’s kind of embarrassing to tell people I moved out because my parents required it of me. To explain the whole story is a little painful, and in my rebelliousness, takes a hit to my pride. To admit it even now gives me a burning lump in my throat of a combination of anger and sadness.
What can I do? If I want to be “right with God” as some would call it, I have to honor my parents wishes. Even if it is at the expense of my desires. One day, perhaps it will happen, but for now, I am in the planning stages of moving out…slowly. On my own.
I’m absolutely terrified.