Now that I had given up on being anything but what my parents wanted from me, I began to gain some sort of sense of contentment. I was still afraid that I was going to be a stay at home daughter the rest of my life, but I had hope that “the time of the singing” would eventually come. So I poured myself into being the best daughter I could be. I had discovered some food allergies that had been impacting my health, and after removing the troublesome food from my diet, I had more energy. I got better and better at cooking and cleaning, I dreamed about how I would run my own house someday. I was usually too tired to work on anything for my hope chest, but I was “happier” than I had been in a long time.
When I was almost 19, my family started going to a church for the first time in 10 years, and I looked forward to the service and fellowship every single week. Breaking out of the isolation my family had been in for so long was making a difference in my life. My skills at the violin were improving, and since music teaching was something I was possibly able to do out of the home if my husband ever needed extra money, I was allowed to get certification in Suzuki Violin Training. I had half a dozen students and I taught once a week at a local music group. I was good at it, and I enjoyed the chance to have an outlet.
I tried not to think about how long I could be waiting for the “time of the singing” to arrive, and spent the time as best I could. I got up early every Sunday morning and my sisters and I tried to get everything ready so we would be able to go to church which was almost an hour away. Every Sunday I would hold my breath and wonder if any of the young men would notice me. We were even allowed to participate in the bi-monthly Young Peoples group since it was attended and led by the parents. So I was getting more time around other teenagers than I ever had.
I had hopes for one young man, but he never really showed any interest. There was another young man I’ll call “Dave” who came over to say hi almost every Sunday, and I hoped that perhaps there was something there. I wrote down everything he ever said to me in my journal, hardly believing that anyone actually sought me out to talk with me. But months went by and nothing further ever happened, no other prospects appeared.
The pastor’s son (who was planning on going into ministry himself) offered a class in biblical Greek, and my Dad decided that this was a great chance for all of us to get better at it, so two of my sisters, myself and my Dad all went together each Monday night to study Greek together.
It was an interesting class, and the teacher was fun. “Hunk” was my age, but I never really considered him as a potential mate. He was tall and had tons of poofy blond hair that stuck up all over his head. He seemed to be a decided nerd, always dressed in dress pants and a polo shirt. He was very smart, and when we had been to dinner at their house earlier that summer, he and I had ended up talking for some time about the Greek language and the recent reading I had been doing on the history of Israel. But he had been interested in another girl from the church, and I was sure that they were going to be together soon, if they weren’t already. Plus he was kind of loud and energetic. You could often hear him talking from the opposite side of the room, and that made my serious reserved self a little uncomfortable.
After awhile, my Dad started to make it to class less and less, he was busy with work, so he would send us girls by ourselves. Sometimes after class we would all hang out for a few minutes and talk before heading home, and I liked this teacher. “Hunk” was interesting to talk to, and he was considerate and smart. But I still never thought of him in a romantic way. Class ended early in the year, and “Dave” who had continued chatting with me every Sunday still hadn’t made a decisive move. I was starting to think that there was no one in our church for me to marry.