To the single girl who cried alone in her car on the way home after another wedding;
To the girl who dreams about the layout of her one-day home with Anthropologie mugs and friends at coffee tables, candles and week-night dinners, kids storming through the house and sink loads of dishes, bedding and towels and couch pillows that comfort down deep;
To the girl who swallows hard each time hope deferred hits as another person asks if you’re seeing anyone;
To the anxious heart who feels that they will never be picked or find compatibility;
To the girl who has fled from Instagram a half gazillion times just to pretend, for a short while, like wedding hashtags don’t exist;
To the girl who has been overtaken multiple times by the fear hurricane that comes each time another friend pairs off and your circle of company dwindles even more;
To the girl who has wondered just how many roommates you will have to learn to live with and adjust to, and how many houses you will have to move into before you get to settle for good;
To any girl who has felt unwanted, unloveable, third wheeled, pitied, or overlooked.
I see you, I know you, and I am you.
I am not going to tell you that you should be letting God fill you completely. I’m not going to shame you for longing and ask you why Jesus isn’t enough —
I’m not going to pull the “why aren’t you feeling complete” card because somewhere in that message, it is communicated that there are certain kinds of girls that don’t have to learn that hard lesson, and certain kind of girls that do. Somewhere in that message, striving kicks in, and at best you’re putting on a great, “look at how satisfied I am in the Lord” face — but I know that the pain is still there.
I applaud you for making the most out of your life right now. I applaud you for being independent and taking your freedoms and embracing the ‘little obligations to other people’ season you’re in.
–But I also know those nights when unintentional comments are made that tear you apart, when loneliness creeps in and seems to be claiming a bedroom of its own in the home of your heart. I know too, too well how many ugly, deep, painful cries you’ve had when no one is around. I know what it feels like to be ‘running out of time’ — to wonder if you missed something, did something wrong, or just weren’t provided for.
There’s a particular voice of shame that comes in when you’re trying, with all of your might, to celebrate with the friends who are being handed the very thing that you asked for. The voice that says that you’re selfish, needy, and broken by your own choice.
I want to tell you today that shame is a liar. Thank you so much for the broken congratulations and the ‘give it all you’ve got’ celebrations that you’ve given despite the pain.
Here’s the problem with singleness blogs —
We all want an answer. We all want a once-and-for-all solution to the mountain of anxiety, fear, and loneliness that rears its head at the most inconvenient times.
And a lot of times, we try to offer one to those that are hurting, but I don’t really think there is one.
It’s like trying to come up with a once and for all answer to the “Why do bad things happen to good people?” question — or the “Why did my loved one die even after I prayed for them?” mystery.
Some things aren’t black and white. Some things can’t be solved with a few sentences strung together on the internet or a few faith concepts you ‘should be’ putting into practice. Maybe we don’t need an answer that will fix us, but a journey with the One who is healing, who is peace, and who is the one that will stand with us forever despite the time or season.
Here’s what I know – I have lost count of the days that I have found myself a broken mess. I have become well acquainted with the belly of anxiety that swallows me when I’m just not strong enough to fight it off.
I also have a record of all of the times that Jesus comes in and calms the storm. I have promises and truths about his nature that are laid like planks of wood in the foundations of my heart because I’ve been willing to be honest. The storms keep coming, but He’s faithful to keep on coming.
I have a record of all of the people who have let me borrow buckets of faith when my barrels had run dry — of all of the friends who have prayed and continually fought for God given dreams, and those who have sung my own song back to me.
And just because you’ve found yourself in another storm doesn’t mean that you’re failing. You have Jesus in your boat, and when you don’t have enough faith to speak to the waves, you can wake him up.
It’s true that a man won’t complete you and that you’re already a whole person.
It’s true that there are beautiful gifts in this season of your life that you’ll never get back, and they deserve to be savored.
It’s true that there will ALWAYS be something that we’re longing for that threatens to drain us of our peace — longings for direction, connection, new jobs, children, whatever.
But you are not being shamed for the longing, and the Lord knows what to do with your brokenness. He is faithful to heal you and speak to the places of pain that reach far deeper than whether or not you have a spouse. From the beginning He has always been loving you into wholeness, one step at a time — never fixing you so that you can perform and produce and become all of the things you’ve been told you should be by now.
Please don’t feel that you have to hide in shame or fix yourself or conquer this thing on your own – He is a present help that sees, understands, empathizes, and wants to give you truths that will last for all eternity.
May we fall more and more in love with the One who loves us perfectly — the God of the journey and the process, who sees the whole picture, knows and cares for our desires, and has our best interest in mind.