Saturday, November 12, 2022

The Art of Being Single


"When God gives you somebody to marry, you will get to live life with that person, and it will be a great gift." - Ben Stuart

I love that quote from my morning devotional.  It's been a while since I've sat down and made time for a morning devotional.  Life is so busy and so fast-paced.

But as usual, God has thrown me a curve ball these past two weeks, and especially this week, and I am just struggling.  I'm lost and wandering.  No clue which way to turn.

I thought that quote would apply to me and the person I have been dating for four years.  But maybe now, I'm not quite so sure.

How do you know when God gives you someone to marry?  They may appear perfect; they may fit in flawlessly with your friends, children, and family.  But how do you really know?

For me, I feel worthless again.  I thought I was going to get to live life with my person and he was a great gift.  Turns out, he didn't feel the same way.

Dating SUCKS.  Let's be honest here.  I feel like a complete dummy that I never saw the signs coming sooner that, in his eyes, I was not his life partner.

I struggle with independence, wanting to listen to and hear God, and being a life partner.  I honestly thought I had found my life partner.  Seriously, I never thought of any other way of life.  Everything was perfect.

Yet, God threw a curve ball into my pathway and maybe the feelings were not mutual deep down.  Sometimes, the people we allow into our lives don't feel as deeply or as strong.

In my case, I was not a priority.  I came behind older Parents and a teenager.  It was tough being third consistently.

Over time, you loose the desire to give to the relationship as you should.  You start to focus (maybe unconsciously) on your own life, career goals, etc.  It varies for each of us as we get older.  The relationship stalls and clarity sets in that you weren't the person, as Ben says above, "...the somebody to marry...," "...the person your partner gets to spend the rest of their life with...", or their "great gift."

That's what I feel like this morning.  Garbage.  ...If I'm being honest.

I readily admit my personality weaknesses and things I need to work on.  We all have them, and through our life partner, our friends, and our family - we help each other say, "You should work on this," or "I need you to do this for me," but over time, if the other person isn't putting you and your relationship first and making healthy lifestyle changes to build your life together, what is really being achieved and accomplished in your pathway together?

At some point, we all need to examine our pathways.  For me and my pathway, I was always going to be just "the girlfriend."  Never the life partner.  Dating SUCKS, and it was heart breaking to realize that after four years.  (Did I already mention that?)

Back to Ben...

As I type through the tears, I read Ben's words, "I want to encourage you that you can have deep fulfillment in life and be unmarried."

"Your time as a single person should be characterized by deep friendships that will hold you accountable and keep loneliness and isolation at bay. A foundation of close friendships will help you stand strong in the midst of the stresses and strains of life. You need people who love God, who love you, and who aren’t afraid to tell you when you’re being an idiot.

This season is also a time to invest in God’s Word and prepare your heart and mind for service. With the support of God’s Word and godly friends, you will be able to take a stand against what grieves the Lord.

At every step of your journey of singleness, rest in the confidence that you are held by the One who called you. It is his hand that cradles the seas and for whose glory you choose to live. You control so little of what happens in life, but you are known and loved by the Author of life."

Well.  Now I see why I stopped devotions.  I needed to read this one today.  It wouldn't have hit home weeks ago.  Today, Ben's words matter.

"...your time as a single person should be characterized by deep friendships that will hold you accountable and keep loneliness and isolation at bay."  "...invest in God's Word and prepare your heart and mind for service."  " in CONFIDENCE that you are held by the One who called you.  You control so little of what happens in life, but you are known AND LOVED by the Author of life."

The last 48 hours of my life has had me cradled in the arms of a Godly and loving brother; an inner circle of four girlfriends calling constantly, messaging me frequently, and spending the night at my home.  They have all kept me from isolation and loneliness.  They have all said, "Do not accept what the devil is trying to heap upon you," "We love you," "We are here for you."

I am trying my best to rest in the confidence that I am KNOWN and CALLED.  I know I didn't control the decision handed to me this week.  I know I am not 100% what was heaped upon my head.

But knowing and feeling are always two different things.  I am crushed.

Ben asks this question in my devotion this morning, "How can others help you to stand strong in the midst of the stresses and strains of life? How is this support a picture of God’s love and care for you?"

God has shown me that while something I gave 100% to over the past four years has proven to be unequal in its commitment, others are standing strong.  They are lovingly showing me my weaknesses, how to improve upon those weaknesses, and to remember simple things like people's love languages.  This is the perfect picture of God's love and care for me.

Am I completely broken at the moment?  Yes, shattered.  But do I know God loves me and cares for me?  Yes, I do.

We can't make the people we love love us back.  We can't make the people we open our lives up to, open theirs back up to us.  It's difficult to know what is the devil and what is God sometimes. We can't know if Satan is trying to rip apart what God has put together or if God Himself is moving people in different directions for different purposes.

I guess I will never know why someone that fit perfectly in my life, didn't reciprocate the feelings or didn't want to put our relationship and myself first and move on to the next step.  Sometimes, people have to fight their own battles and grow at their own pace.  Every struggle we go through is a learning process from our Heavenly Father.

Maybe I needed to learn a few good lessons.  Maybe God needed my partner to move another way.

Yes, I am broken this morning.  Yes, I am grieving.  I have no idea what God is doing this past week - whether it's in our Country or in my personal life.  But one step at a time, I am inhaling and exhaling and praying for restoration, love, and completion.  In the meantime, I will follow the advice Ben Stuart lays out on how to be a successful single.

Wishing you all a pleasant Saturday and happy fall weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment