I don't think you're lost in the Christian faith so much as lost in the unreasonable expectations of a certain subset of Christians. I grew up in the church and that's not the vibe I got at all, so it's not universal to the Christian church -- and it's definitely not stuff that's mandated in scripture.
Originally Posted by Spike
I'm not as independent-natured as a lot of girls/women I've known, but I've also never been the helpless little thing in cute skirts and heels. I worked to pay for my expenses in college (my parents did pay most of my tuition; I paid bills, gas, groceries, etc.), and I've always been pretty self-sufficient. My job involved hauling heavy camera equipment all over back and forth across campus, often working in less-than-cushy (and certainly not very female-oriented) environments like the sidelines of the football field or shooting from the baseball dugout. As a kid, I lived in the country and worked with our livestock, which meant hauling feed, water and equipment and being confident and strong enough to handle whatever the animals were up to. I've always been a jeans, tennies and t-shirts kind of girl because that's what you wear when you're ducking through barbed-wire fences, chasing down cows, or jogging up and down a sideline to follow the action. I have two brothers (no sisters) and I always preferred hanging out with guys because girls were too girly. I've always worked hard at what I do, and have always been successful at it. I have a brain and common sense, I speak up, and I have the skills to make it on my own.
All that said, I got married at 22, three months after I graduated from college. I dearly love and respect my husband, or I would never have married him. Got pregnant right away (we wanted kids sooner rather than later and sooner definitely happened), quit my job after I'd had it for about a year, and now I stay home with our 2-year-old and am expecting #2 any day now. The work I used to do was sometimes a nice challenge, but so is what I do now. Because I have a brain and common sense and all that, I'm able to handle a lot of the stuff that goes on involving our home and family. I don't sit at home having high tea. Just today I met with a contractor to get a quote on replacing our gutters, and a couple of weeks ago I dealt with some confusion with our insurance company that resulted in them sending us about $1,000 they owed us and didn't want to pay. I handle a lot of the routine financial transactions, and most of the time when we want to make a large purchase or undertake a significant project around the house, I do the research and pricing before we make a decision. My husband is perfectly capable of doing these things, but so am I. We make the final decision together, meaning we're both fully informed and express our opinions and come to a conclusion.
Aside from that kind of stuff, I love that instead of being stuck at a desk all day like my husband is, I'm out and about doing things. I can take the kiddo to the park and run around and wrestle with him in the middle of the day, or go to the pool with friends, or whatever. It's honestly a lot more "thrilling" than any of my jobs were -- and that's saying something because journalism isn't a boring field. Sure, there's work to be done too, but when you get a comfortable routine going you can fit in both work and play with a lot more freedom than any other job I know of.
I know you've said marriage and kids aren't for you -- but just so you know, there's a very different side to it from what you seem to be seeing. You don't have to shut off your brain and lose your individuality. If that's really what you feel your community expects of you, maybe it's time to look elsewhere and find a place where you can be better encouraged to live out your faith while utilizing the gifts and talents God has given you, whether or not marriage and kids ever become a part of that.
Give me one pure and holy passion
Give me one magnificent obsession
Give me one glorious ambition for my life:
To know and follow hard after You.