Dear Brave Heart,
There will always be those who don't understand you or the issue. They have their own bias/assumptions/opinions/emotional baggage/wounds and maybe aren't open to another perspective and that's all they know. You weren't writing your posts for them. You were writing your posts to help your near and dear understand you better. I know you've been mulling this series of posts over for a long time and finally felt ready to share. I know it's difficult when people don't understand and pick you apart and you feel violated in some way. Keep your eyes on the purpose and those you hope to bless with your story. There are others out there like you and you want them to know they aren't alone.
You don't fit into any clear box or label and that's good. =) You aren't even trying to fit in to any particular teaching or group and that's very good. You are navigating this life the best you can. And staying true to your convictions. Would you have done some things differently? Maybe, most of us would have if we were honest. Would you have become a career woman if you'd realized you'd still be single at this point of your life? Not likely. That's just not your style or your ambition. You've always been a homemaker/care-giver/nurturing type of person and you've blessed MANY, MANY people with your talents and love through the years...whether it be church folks, extended family, friends, neighbors, strangers, political comrades, etc, etc. EVERYONE is different and not all women desire to be what the world would have them to be....many simply want to love and serve their family (and extended circles). It is the highest and noblest of callings....nothing to be ashamed of. Nothing for which to apologize to ANYONE.
Most who can't understand why you are “waiting” for a husband don't have a grasp on the Sovereignty of God. If He'd wanted you to hang out your shingle and say “looking for a husband” He'd have put that on YOUR heart...just as He has others...He obviously has a different way for you. Like you wrote, you aren't an Amber, or Marianne or Lydia, etc. Your personality IS more reserved and that is the way GOD made you. Most people don't know that there have been several possibilities that you chose not to encourage...for various reasons. They weren't right for you or (we knew) you weren't right for them in some ways or other. Most people don't know that you've had the opportunity to meet/rub shoulders/work with thousands of people and certainly hundreds of men who were all potentials...it's not like you've been hiding in a closet!!!
And you certainly are not a shrinking violet trying to be invisible (well, only on occasion!)...many of those have been brother type friends and you interact with them as such...playful, open and friendly and ready for a hug. We certainly trust you to “be alone” with someone you are seeing...you aren't a teenager. You are a mature young woman and you trust yourself, too. We also know that you wouldn't want to be alone with a guy until you felt comfortable with that...it could take one hour, one day, one week, one month, etc etc....only you know how long that might be and what you'll feel comfortable with doing whether it be kissing etc. But YOU have decided that you won't be in that position or situation unless the guy is someone you are intending to marry. You aren't interested in casual dating, relationships that aren't going anywhere or whatever. When it's time it will happen. With the right guy and you'll know it. That's where you are coming from. At least right now. Who, but God, knows what tomorrow will bring?
Some naysayers are simply a variation on “sour grapes”. Deep down they are envious that you have such a life. I would have liked such a life, but my personality and situation were different and I had to get free and scramble up. But deep down I only wanted to be married as well...even though I always worked and was usually in some school or degree program up until and after I married and had children....but that's not where my heart was and I just didn't know it at the time. All those years ago.
Yes, you've been raised to be a “keeper of a home” and partly because that's where your heart lay...from a very early age. If you'd been a different personality and been an ambitious “go-getter” you probably would have gone on and “done more”. But why complain to the Potter for making you the way He did? He's obviously fitting you for some purpose, for some person somewhere yet to be seen.
Be thankful, you ARE blessed.