I don’t think I’ve done this in a while, but tonight, I’m going to put my heart out in the open for a bit. I can’t seem to get past a recurrent thought on my heart/mind, so I think it will be therapeutic for me to write. Always is.
I am single.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy being single.
I just really don’t like the fact that I’m so aware of it, so vividly… all the time.
It’s in my face. I’m constantly reminded. I feel like I’m being taunted or threatened with the possibility of keeping this label. Forever.
There are a few reasons I believe that my mind and heart are perseverating on this one topic.
Number one: I’m moving to Haiti.
I haven’t been opposed to the idea of beginning a relationship before I move to Haiti. I felt like if God presented the right person at the right time, then I would consider it prayerfully. It wouldn’t be preferable, as no one wants to attach their heart to something/someone and then leave… but I decided I wouldn’t close my eyes to opportunities, either.
Don’t get me wrong for one second. I am so excited to begin this new journey and live out the call God has placed in my life. He is SO GOOD! But I just need to be real about my emotions. The fact that I’m leaving my American life behind and becoming a foreign missionary for at least a year is very scary! To be quite honest, I feel like I’m putting my life on hold. And this reminds me that I’m single. I will be 27 in one month… which means that I will be 28 when I get back from Haiti (assuming I come back)! My mom was 27 when she had me, and already had one other child. Most people are married and are having children by the time they’re my age. But me…? I’m putting these things on hold, and chasing another life, another dream. It’s scary.
Number two: Reminders EVERYWHERE
I would delete my Facebook if it wasn’t such a powerful tool for keeping in touch with what’s going on with my Haiti family and keeping my friends and family in touch with MY updates on the process of getting to Haiti, etc. My feed is one large bulletin board of everyone’s engagements, marriages, pregnancies, and growing families… and one large reminder of the fact that I don’t yet have these things.
Number Three: I used to…
I used to be married. It wasn’t for very long, and there was actually never a point in the marriage where I’d say it was “good.” But that doesn’t negate the fact that there was a time in my life when I thought that I had the security of marriage… which meant that I would beautifully belong to one man for the rest of my life.
When I was abandoned, that all changed and I was thrown back in to this world of singleness with the ugly “divorced” title. I never wanted it… never dreamed it would happen to me… but it did. And now… in place where I “used to”… I have not.
I think the “what ifs” that pop in my head are the most irritating.
“What if I’d never made the mistake of marrying someone who wasn’t ready to be married?” (Maybe I wouldn’t have wasted so much time and would have met God’s choice for me by now…)
“What if he hadn’t left?” (Maybe we’d be starting our family by now…)
I do not want to be mistaken here at all. I am so thankful that God is sovereign and that He has and will continue to use this painful area in my life for my good and for His glory. He already has.
My point is simply that it has been difficult to go from having the gift of marriage back to a single, abandoned woman. When I see the beauty of the gift of marriage reflected in so many wonderful couples I know, it reminds me of this traumatic event in my life and I mourn for what should have been.
These reasons for my struggle to remain content and trust God in my singleness make perfect sense to me. I’m living my life in a way that is not mainstream… of course I’m going to be fearful that I’ll never have the things that “everyone else” has if I don’t live in a way that “everyone else is.”
All these things considered, there is one main reason that I believe that these above-mentioned thoughts are present and that this thought of singleness is always on my mind…
“…He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” – John 8:44
Satan is a huge douchebag. He knows our weaknesses and he knows how to bring us down. He hates when people live out God’s will for their lives. He hates when God’s kingdom is advanced and people are saved. He hates when God receives glory. He hates God and he hates God’s children.
He knows that I am following in obedience to God to leave life as I know it in order to serve Him, so he’s doing what he can to bring me down, destroy me, and keep me from going… including teasing me with the idea that if I go to Haiti, it might mean that I will be alone forever.
I know that I have a burning, passionate desire to belong to and serve one man for the rest of my life. I will be a faithful, submissive, servant wife to a strong, leading, servant man. I know that together with the Lord, my future husband and I will make an amazing team for the advancement of the gospel.
Satan knows this too.
And he will threaten me and bring me down in any way he can – especially by reminding me of my weaknesses (including the fear of being alone) to keep these wonderful things the Lord has set before me from happening.
Thankfully, recognizing the enemy at work is a huge part of winning the battle. I’m not battling against myself. I know that my fears and doubts aren’t from myself or of God, but that they’re from the enemy.
So along with a request for your prayers, here is my game plan in this battle against falling in Satan’s trap:
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
1 Peter 5:6-10
The Lord is faithful to keep His promises.
Whether He has marriage in store for my future or not, what matters is that I resist Satan, and “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:4)
Nothing else matters.