I need to be real with you: I have been a really pathetic single girl this week.
You see, some weeks I’m like a Single-Girl Superhero, conquering every bit of insecurity and self-doubt with my super-single-girl-superpowers. Those are the best weeks- the weeks I am so thankful for the path that God has laid out for me. The weeks that I feel so incredibly blessed- even to the point of tears- to be living a life devoid of the heartbreak and distraction that dating can bring.
I have such an incredible amount of freedom to live spontaneously, dream freely, give myself fully to my relationships with friends and family. I have so much time to be involved and work and study. And some weeks, that’s exactly what I want.
And let me tell you, friends… Those are good weeks.
But some weeks… well, some weeks it’s harder. Some weeks I am reminded of my humanity, the one that yearns and hopes and desires. Some weeks, more than others, I want to share. Share my time and meals and favorite bench. Share my thoughts and future and Friday afternoons.
Today I sit outside, enjoying the first pleasant day of the school year. The life-sucking humidity of the last few weeks has disappeared, Friday classes are over. My favorite bench, the one surrounded by ivy-entangled trees, sits open and free for me to occupy for an hour or two. I sit writing, my favorite thing to do, belly full from a wonderful lunch with a friend and a slight smile on my face thinking of the three day weekend ahead of me.
And yet I’m frustrated. Why? Because I sit here, overwhelmed by the fullness of this life I live, and yet desperately feeling at loss.
And complaining to God that I’m single.
It just… feels so wrong to me. It feels so wrong to ask God for anything after He has given me everything, all the way to the point of the cross. To know I have things to do, but to be unable to get the same thoughts out of my mind.
Why am I still single?
How come that girl can date guy after guy when I can’t even get one to talk to me?
Why is every good guy taken??
Am I too forward?
Do I say the wrong things? Act the wrong way?
Why is it so impossible for me to grab a guy’s attention? Go on a date? Hold a conversation?
See? Pathetic. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
And sometimes the hardest part is knowing that it’s not wrong. It’s not wrong for me to desire a friendship, a relationship, a marriage. I know it’s not wrong, this desire that God has given me. But, honestly, that’s the most difficult part sometimes. I know it’s not wrong, but it’s also not real in my life right now. Sure, I can hope for a relationship all I want, but at the end of the day my life is the way it is.
So, the question stands: what do I do with that?
I’ve been stuck in Philippians for days now, my poor Bible underlined and highlighted to the point of becoming un-readable. I used to read my Bible out of obligation, checking my to-do box every day as I read a chapter or two.
But then, well, then life began. As I’ve grown older, I have known times of complete desperation, loneliness, loss. And in those times, the Bible has become vastly more to me than simple religion.
It has become my lifeboat.
More and more, I am finding myself on my knees, staring at this life and this Earth and crying out to God, “Please! Help me believe! I need to believe. I need everything you say to be true! Because if you’re not everything you say you are, God, then… then I am lost.”
If God’s not everything He says He is, if He’s not my Savior, the one who raised Himself from the dead 2,000 years ago after being crucified on a Roman cross. If He’s not everlasting, all creating, all loving, all forgiving, then I am nothing.
If God is not who He says He is, then I am going to live 80 years on this Earth and then die. That’s it. No purpose, no hope. If God’s not who He says He is, then I guess it’s just my job to have fun and let live and let go.
And if God’s not who He says He is, then… I guess my love life is pretty urgent because it’s all I have, my only worldly way to “true” happiness. Without God in the picture, I guess I should be sitting here freaking out about whether “he likes me” or not.
And in light of that, I pray we consider another reality, the one where I don’t have to sit on the most beautiful bench on campus and ruin my day by feeling sorry for myself.
If God is who He says He is, what does that mean to me? If every Word in the Bible is true, then what does it mean for me, sitting on a bench in 80 degree weather on a Friday afternoon, wishing I wasn’t single?
Oh, friends, if only I could somehow put into words the incredible importance of this truth.
If God is all that He says He is, then He created the world, carefully designing every animal and tree, every hill and valley. Then He created me, knitting me together and loving every ounce of me, seeing me and planning my days on this Earth.
If He is all that He says He is, then God really became a human and was born in a barn to a teenage mother. He grew up as a carpenter and lived a humble life and made no complaint when He was nailed to a cross for something He didn’t do.
If He is everything He says He is, then He really laid in a grave for 3 days and then rose Himself to life.
If this is all true, then when He says that I am saved from the utter hopelessness of this world, that’s true too.
You may be wondering, “Ok, but what does this have to do with being single?”
I don’t know about you, friends, but when I look God in the face and see Him for who He is, it’s just…
Well, it’s impossible to feel at loss.
When I remind myself of who God is, of what He has done for me, it is absolute absurdity to be in want of anything.
The more I think about it, it is less about minimizing my desire for a relationship and more about remembering what is so much more that a relationship could ever be.
So, yes, this bench is occupying one person. But this occupant is seen and loved and saved by the one true God, and the only loss here is allowing myself to forget that.