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“Ask a Priest: No Husband, No Kids, Gave Up Praying … What’s the Point?”
Q: I feel so lost in my life. I am in my late 30s with gynae problems, which means that it is increasing unlikely that I will conceive a child. I am single and so lonely. All I ever wanted was to meet a good man, get married and have children. Since I was 15 or 16 years old I have prayed for this, going on pilgrimages, getting Masses said, saying novenas. I have led a good life. All my siblings are married with families as are all my friends. I have now stopped praying and stopped going to Mass. I know there is a God, but I also know that if he cared about me, he knows how much I want to be married and have children. I feel hopeless and joyless. Since I stopped praying (nearly two years), there has been no changes in my life. I just think, what is the point to it all? I feel so let down by God. -M.M.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: You mustn’t think that God hasn’t heard your prayers or that he doesn’t care about you. You are his beloved daughter.
I can’t explain why you haven’t found a husband. I do know, though, that married or not, you have a mission in life. Sometimes we ask for one thing and God answers by giving us another. He does that out of love, not out of a desire to irritate us.
It might be good to do a retreat. That could help you to discover that the heart of your faith should be a relationship with the perfect man, Jesus. He loves you more than anyone, he suffered and died for you. If that one truth can sink in, it will help you deal with your situation.
Three of the RC Spirituality online retreats in particular might help: “Trouble with Trust”, “Cure for Discouragement” and “Who You Are”.
In the meantime it might be good to get involved in volunteer work, such as helping out at a pro-life crisis-pregnancy center. This will help you realize how much you can offer others.
Your desire for marriage and a family is, after all, a desire to love and to be loved. You can achieve that right now, by reaching out to those who could use your help.
You might find two of my earlier columns helpful: Single and Best Dates.
I hope some of this helps. Count on being included in one of my Mass intentions.
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