Have you ever been so torn about something in your life that you just want to scream? Like on a consistent basis? That’s how I have been feeling for the last couple of years. You see, I enjoy being single. And I hate it.
I got married very young, so I didn’t have very much experience in being a single Christian woman. While I experienced loneliness at times as a teenager, and also while married, it pales in comparison to the loneliness one feels after divorce (or becoming a widow). The intensity of it can take your breath away, it makes your muscles ache and your heart feel like it wants to bury itself. I have never experienced anything so tangibly sorrowful.
While I dipped my toe, very briefly, back into the dating world my first year of being single, I quickly realized how unprepared I was for the new relationship step. Not to mention that dating in you mid thirties with kids in the picture, in this day and age is not an easy task!!! My fears and anxieties of being controlled again, deceived, abused or of losing my sense of self were so strong that I quickly recoiled. I could write many many stories or paragraphs about what that quick stint in the dating scene taught me or what it is that I long for in a relationship. I think my time would be better spent on where I am now.
This month I have been investing significant time in trauma therapy which uses muscle testing and tapping and rapid eye movement, but most importantly prayer and scripture. Through this therapy I have learned how to name sexual trauma that has happened to me, released shame that I have carried around since I was 18 related to said trauma (this is before the marital abuse) and taken steps to rewire my thinking. One area that needed re wiring is in regard to singleness. I have been wrestling with this for some time because of my split feelings on the issue. On one hand I hate it but on the other hand I actually enjoy it. For some reason my heart of hearts truly believes that if I am single for a long time it proves that I am unlovable, not worth loving or even despised. So I had to confess this wrong thinking this week. I had to cry and pray and be willing to let God’s voice ring true in my heart. Singleness right now is a gift to me. It is Jesus caring for my heart. I need this time. And when I am honest I want it too. But that makes me weird right? Who in their right mind wants to be single? Everywhere you turn there is the message that you should be in a relationship. That being single is sad and pathetic. What a lie that is! Look at the apostle Paul and what he wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:28, 34-35
“But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this. …An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs, her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of the is world, how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”
Paul was not saying that being married is bad, on the contrary, God created marriage and rejoices in a godly union, but what Paul is saying is that being single isn’t bad either. Both are good, both are hard. And maybe the work that God has for me during this time requires my full attention, not one that is divided.
My heart longs for God, for his presence, his fullness, his love. I don’t believe that this season will last forever, I do believe that when the time is right God will bring someone into my life who will honor me and most importantly honor God, but in the meantime I can stop fretting, stressing or worrying about who it might be or when it might be. And THAT means freedom. I feel free to be myself, to take care of my kids and work hard and not worry about when or where I might meet someone. I can let go of my self condemning voice who screams that soon I’ll be too old to find love again. I am not a naïve 19 year old anymore, I understand the complexity of relationships and how hard it would be to blend two families or how to trust someone to parent my kids along side me. I understand that the butterflies of a new relationship fade over time and marriage is hard. I understand that even though my experience was not so, marriage can be beautiful. Maybe one day I will get to see that for myself, but for now I am going to be thankful for my singleness.
I will keep praying that God would comfort me when the loneliness hits, because while I think this singleness is a gift, it does not take away the physical ache of wanting to be held from time to time. And to be honest I really just miss having a good guy friend. I grew up a tomboy, I always had guy friends. Then I got married and obviously gave up male friendships, but now I am in this boat of really wanting just a male friend and have no idea about how to achieve such a thing without giving off the wrong idea. So I guess for now I will hang tight. After all I have been blessed with some pretty amazing girlfriends, not to mention a whole family who loves me and bring me joy.
So I will pray that in all things, in all seasons of life, I will be content and trust the Lord to make me feel whole and complete in Him.
Letting go of who the world expects me to be, and embracing who God created me to be!