The State of Being Single
Or better known as, my personal Hell.
I am a wannabe flower-child-pnw-hipster and I have been single for 3100 hours. Hours of tears, pity, shame, confusion, and misery as I try. Try to do what? I’m not even sure.
Why am I single?
Because every time I allow my heart to fall, it falls like a carnival glass bowl over oil-stained concrete. Because every time I choose a man, I choose out of selfishness to fill the emptiness in my heart. Because every time I invest in another, my worth is so tied up in their love for me that I cannot stand the thought of having to be enough for myself. Because yes, though God is my God and my worth and value is forever defined by him, sometimes I feel like I might mean more to Him, than to myself. And what’s more, I feel like He would love me more if I was in a relationship.
How do I feel about my singlehood?
First, I feel depressed. I question everything I am. Why am I not good enough for him? What if I was prettier? I wish he thought my jokes were funny. I must be garbage if I did all this and he didn’t even notice. Then, I feel angry. Why does this always happen?? What am I missing? I have feelings for him, and yet I cannot date him. This isn’t fair. What do I need to do different? Because I’d do it in an instant. Finally, I feel ashamed. I am reminded that God’s timing is perfect, and I regret my tantrum and self-pity. And I remember how it felt when my heart shattered, when my body went through agonizing withdrawals, when my mind was swallowed up in the hurricane of my untamed emotion. Then I quietly swallow my pride and apologize to my Father.
Why do I feel like this?
I ask myself this question frequently. My emotional roller coaster is fueled by a struggle to find my worth in God and God alone. My biggest hurdle in this is living in a world full of people. People who build me up, tear me down, and tell me all sorts of things about who I am. Therefore I allow people to tell me who I am. I care too much about what they have to say. I allow them to define me, encourage me, destroy me, torment me, and calm me. I recognize that this is harmful, since my God gave up everything, his very life, to give me joy, purpose, and a future, because He loves me. But sometimes it takes a while for these truths to journey from my head and into my heart, where I can fully embrace them. Until then, I just have to remind myself of my incorruptible worth in Jesus every time my heart starts to storm over with doubt.
What could I have done differently?
Simple. I could have actively worked to prevent heartbreak by pursuing my relationship with God before pursuing my relationship with men. This is what I need to work on most in my blasted singlehood. Finding acceptance in who I am, where I am in life, and in what I mean to those around me.
Can I accept that I did my best?
No. When I look in retrospect at my past relationships, it is clear as day that I was living so selfishly. Those moments were not my best, and to make matters worse, I knew it. There is so much pain and regret in my heart now because of my past selfishness, and I am torn between hating myself for it and just letting it be. I am constantly told “Those experiences shaped you into who you are today, so you shouldn’t want to take them back.” And while there is truth in that, I mourn the time and innocence that I lost through my investments in unhealthy relationships. Thank goodness I have God’s grace to cover my old life and the mistakes I made there. I may have regrets about my past decisions, but at least they don’t have to define me.
How can I love myself today?
By repeating God’s goodness out loud every time I rise from my bed and start to feel the creeping tendrils of doubt and worry sneak into my heart and into my head. CURSE YOU LIES OF SATAN, I AM A BELOVED CHILD OF GOD AND NOTHING IS EVER GOING TO CHANGE THAT.
Psalm 139:13-16 // For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Do I have it all figured out? Of course not. I despise my 3100 hours of singlehood, but I know I’m walking through this period in order to grow. I know that this is an opportunity to seek God’s face in the midst of the hot mess that is my emotions. And I know that while there is a very real possibility that I will be single for the rest of my life, God is Good, and God is in Me. He is good all of the time, and His will is perfect.
So I will continue to seek after God in my singlehood. And He will continue to hold me as I scream and yell and pull out my hair at my frustration, but I will walk in obedience, no matter the cost. I am His Beloved. That is all that matters.