Deep wounds, bandaids, and Christmas name tags

Band-Aid

Here’s a little disclaimer for you… The first part of this blog is about singleness. Again.
As I started typing all of this, I thought, very loudly,
“Dear Lord, am I really one of THOSE girls writing about singleness? I never, ever, EVER thought I would be.”

But here I am writing again on a topic that is plaguing so many of us.. we’re craving a different perspective – shouting from the rooftops when someone can put words to our deepest fears and suggest that maybe, they’re just fears and not our ultimate reality.

I guess that’s why I’m writing about singleness again. There are things in my heart that haven’t quite made it up through the attic and into the open air. Sometimes we wait and wait.. -I- have waited and waited, on the look out for someone to come bursting through the tops of their houses, feet on the tiles, shouting about the things that concern me the most. The thing is though, somebody’s got to come forward first. Sometimes you’ve got to be the first one to open your mouth, knowing that if no one relates, the journey to the roof was still worth it.

So here’s the deal – we’re told as single people, particularly single Christians, hundreds of cliche things. We’ve talked about this – “Oh, he’ll come when you least expect it!” “You’ve got to let the Lord love your heart more!” “It’s because you aren’t fully satisfied in God (BOO THIS IS ONE OF MY LEAST FAVORITES I GET SO MAD)”. However, this blog post isn’t about why all of the cliches are so awful and unhelpful and only 2 percent true.
There’s another side of the coin that I think can be just as toxic.. and that’s the perspective of the folks that have been single for awhile.

I don’t know about you, but I get more excited to hear from people who have ‘walked the path’ or are ‘on the journey’ (if I could post a laughy emoji here, this would be the place). Partially because they aren’t happily holding the hand of their husband saying ‘Oh honey, why are you doubting God?’ But mostly because I think ‘Surely they have hashed this thing out with the Lord and he has spoken some awesome, juicy things to them.’

But you know what I find WAY more than the awesome and juicy?
I find girls who have said “I’ve just learned that God is enough and being married isn’t everything.”
And OH, how that’s true.. Being married ISN’T everything and God is more than enough.. I know that and I’ve been there. But what I hear way louder than that statement is “I got tired of being discouraged, got really frustrated with myself, and decided not to worry about it anymore. But deep down? If you look at my heart, I still believe that God has come through for others and not for me.. Like I’m some second class citizen and for some reason, there are things that I just won’t have.”

I GET IT. I know what it’s like to be so tired of going around the same mountain. I know what it’s like to not want to talk about your struggles ONE MORE TIME because you’re tired of wearing your friends out, and mostly tired of hearing it yourself.
…and I don’t think that rolling around is the desert is the solution to the problem, but putting a bandaid on a wound with metal shoved to the bone isn’t going to fix anything either. Sure, it might heal on the surface, but give it a little time.. let that wound be hit the wrong way at the wrong time, and the whole thing will split wide open again. (Sorry squeamish folks)

We are offered so many bandaids for our deep wounds (this goes far beyond the topic of singleness). We’re offered bandaids because people don’t know what to say, or because it worked for them, or we prescribe them ourselves because we just don’t want to be the wounded one for one more day.

But this is what the Lord said to me this morning..
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are you when you push past the voices that say
‘You should be over this by now!’
‘Your beliefs are so out of whack! This whole thing is your fault.’
‘No one else struggles like this!’
‘Surely if this were only a season, you would have crossed into the Promise Land long ago.’
‘The bandaid didn’t work? There’s something wrong with your ability to heal.’
Blessed are you when you push past those voices, fall at my feet and say, ‘I can’t take one more bandaid. There’s something so much deeper than the surface, and I can’t pretend like it’s not there one more day.’
Blessed are you when you pray about things you feel you should have overcome by now.
Blessed are you when you get in my face, time after time, wondering why things haven’t changed yet, but still you say ‘This isn’t normal and you’re capable of fixing it!’
…for you cannot be comforted about things you won’t face.”

I’ve been told a million times that feelings aren’t facts, and emotions aren’t made to live by. That’s so true… sometimes. But you know what else? Feelings aren’t made to be ignored and suppressed either. Emotions are more like roads – Roads you can travel on that will ultimately take you to sore spots and holes in your heart. Emotions, a lot of times, are the first symptom that God is putting his finger on something he wants to fill.
He isn’t cruel. He didn’t give us these feelings that throw us into turmoil with nothing but the command to ignore them and pretend they’re not there. They’ll take you somewhere meaningful, if you let them.

The truth is that you, YOU, are God’s favorite, and you are his priority as if no one else on the planet were around. Every desire in your heart is something he dreamed up first and put there.. and he never puts dreams in hearts to be unfulfilled. He is a God of fairytales and happy endings. Good always wins and hopelessness never does. He has a tailor made story for your life, full of way more than you could have dared to dream. You won’t be left at the end of Christmas morning thinking, “All of this stuff is so nice, but the one thing I really wanted and cared about is no where to be found.” He’s not the grandma who, year after year, buys you ugly Christmas sweaters that will end up in your closet with the tags on them. He knows you so well.

One year when I was a kid, Santa brought this really cool laser tag game to our house with my name on the tag. I opened it, said “Oh, this is cool!” while my mom frantically said “OH! Umm.. I think Santa meant that for your brother.. Uhh, that’s your brother’s gift.”

I’m not being one of THOSE greasy gracers, so all you Pharisees about to stone me can put the rocks down. God isn’t Santa Claus, coming once a year to bring you everything you want. BUT, he never gets the wrong name on the tag. You will never have to watch someone else open a gift that was meant for you. It feels that way, a lot sometimes… but He’s way too good.

Honestly? Half of what I’m typing, I only believe 20% of the time. Believing that things will really work out and dreams will be fulfilled and you won’t be left disappointed are all incredibly brave things to cling to. But they’re ALL true. They are reality.. And I’m convinced that with time, we will see and know that all the hope and faith we’ve sown was never wasted.