The next 5 blog posts are going to be installments of an article I wrote for Daughters of Promise, a beautiful magazine for young women. The theme of the current issue is “intentionality, direction, and cheer”, so that was the over-arching theme I aimed for while writing about singleness.
If you and I would meet over coffee today and we’d introduce ourselves, I wonder how you’d describe yourself and your days. Maybe you’d tell me you were planning a bridal shower last night for your best friend. And tomorrow you plan to babysit your nephews after work. And that you love your job and your nephews and can’t wait for your friend’s wedding.
I’d notice your smile and the way you nod in anticipation. Would you also have the courage to talk about the pang that lies just under your happy activity?
Talking honestly about the ache of singleness might be taboo for you, but I’d like to erase some of that hesitance. Here is where we call it what it is, because honesty is the first step in walking toward freedom and light.
So on the night of that bridal shower, if something stabs you with wishing you could have some of those pretty things and lovely dreams, this is permission to admit the stab. Or your hunger when you hold your nephew to read a story and put him to sleep and you want your own little one to hold.
This is also a call for decisively stepping out of the pool of pain you could drown in. It’s not Operation Bootstrap. It’s the posture of open hands that will save you. Intentionally choosing another way of looking at things will also save you, as well as adopting purpose and joy here and now. These are some of the habits of abundance that God created us for.
I know there are times when aloneness hits you and the idea of joy feels like a joke. I don’t know if anyone really gets used to being alone. But do you want to live without joy? Please don’t write it off as an impossible quality. Even if your dreams aren’t coming true and even if you fight back tears while the sparkly-eyed bride unwraps her gifts.