Honest

please stop calling my singleness brave 

A friend sent me a blog to read last week that was a letter to single Christian women.

I’m going to be honest, I almost didn’t read it.

But I thought, maybe this one won’t tell me that when I least expect it the “right one” will come along.

Maybe it won’t tell me my singleness is brave.

Maybe.

Or maybe not.

I have been, for the past couple of days, trying to figure out why I get so up in arms when I read these blogs or books or hear podcasts on the topic.

But I guess, what it is, is that I am only not ok with being single in the moments where I feel like my singleness is a disease. And, if I am being honest, when I read those very lovely, well-meaning blogs about “being brave” and listing a lot of rules for being single, I feel less whole than I should.

When I get told to “live in spite of” I feel as if there is something wrong with having lived without thinking of the fact that I am single.

And it’s funny because I know that this isn’t just a single-married person thing, it’s a kids-no kids, run of the mill job-dream job thing. I get that.

But today, for me, it’s a single person thing. Specifically, a single Christian woman thing.

Being single in the church is not easy.

Sometimes it seems as if we are standing on one side of the street waiting to cross over. Staring at the party on the other side where couples do couple things and get to minister together and have a partner in crime and go to marriage classes and double date.

Then, there are all of us singles. Male and female, watching, living life.

Just on the opposite side of the street.

It’s quiet on this side.

Trying our best to not be defined by something that most in our culture define as being “not quite there”.

So what do we do?

We read the blogs and books and we listen to the podcasts and we join the small groups.

And we don’t feel better.

There are over 2,000 books on Amazon when you type the words “single Christian woman”.

2,000.

That’s a lot of words and thoughts and ideas and advice that people have given and put out into the world.

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We are meant to learn from each other’s stories. And take pieces for ourself and figure it all out as we go.

But just like married humans can never fully be prepared for every possible emotion and feeling they will have in that phase of life, us single humans can say the same thing.

Because we could be single the rest of our lives.

I could be a single Christian woman for the rest of my life.

And it won’t mean I am brave. I’m brave for many reasons, and one of them is not for being single.

I am grateful for those around me in relationships that I trust. That I can talk to about these things.

But most of them will never know what it is to be a 32 year old Christian single woman and all of the connotations that brings. I am talking about contemplating owning a home by myself, being an island of a human making decisions by myself and pondering about the moral implications and qualms I have about sex outside of being married.

And I wouldn’t know right know what it’s like to manage a budget with two people in my late twenties or make decisions as a whole or decide on birth control or no birth control.
Neither thing is lesser.

Neither thing is brave.

It’s life.

Let’s save brave for actually brave things.

Let’s encourage people in the paths of life they ARE going down, not where they are lacking, or moreso where we BELIEVE they are lacking.

Let’s not create story for poeple.

Or give them false hope.

Because spoiler alert: I don’t neccesarily want to be single.

But I am choosing to keep walking out my life as who I am.

And that’s not brave.

It’s just exactly who I am.

A mimosa-drinking, tiny human wrangling, story-telling, cake-baking human.

Not brave. Just me.

Honest, washington whimsy

wear the damn tiara

I was thinking a lot while I was in church today about why I go to church.
I’m not from a regular church attending type of family. We were able to make our own choices and decisions, we were about to choose our path.

I’m grateful for that.

I’m grateful that I know, from the very depths of my being that ,at some point in my life, I decided of my own accord, to choose Christ.
I technically became a Christian the summer of 2000 (youth conference in Indiana). I’ve done a lot of Christian things in my life. I’ve been on mission trips and outings as close as my backyard and as far away China (and everywhere in between). I’ve taught Sunday school, I’ve led worship, I’ve ran VBS, I’ve been on the payroll of 3 different churches at one time, I’ve been on the writing team where I written recaps of sermons for the church website. I went to a Christian university, was the president of a choir there. I began a probably never going to be completed Masters in Leadership in spirituality. I went to a Christian leadership academy in the south of Spain.

What I am trying to say is I have an extensive resume of Christianity over the last almost 17 years of my life or as my friend Krys put it once, I’m a serious Christian-I’ve held babies in Africa.

But like, really, why?

After I went on the World Race and during my time in Spain, I went through a crisis of faith. What it came down to was this: I had always been a good person. I had always been kind, service oriented, people loving.

After I came to choose Christ and do all of these Christian things, my life felt as if it fell apart. And through all of the things I had to come to terms with the fact that all the good things from before, all the loveliness in my life that I deemed Meghan were actually indeed one and the same with the loveliness that was Christ in my life. It wasn’t just Christ. It wasn’t just Meg.

It was both/and.

Then I moved to Bellingham.

And there is an incredibly long, winding story as to the how and the why which I’m sure I’ve written about at some point.

But, the short of it is: I came to Bellingham for a church, for a community.

I think I might have come to bring something even though I don’t quite know what that is still.

So, this morning, I was in that very church, the one that I have been to most every Sunday since I moved to Bellingham, wondering why. 

Quick side note before we move on: I love my church.

But, when I was thinking about why church this morning it wasn’t necessarily why MY church. And I keep trying to type as if my fingers will just perpetuate the correct answer to my question. I think that, in all honesty, I don’t know why. 

Part of it (as I just messaged to my magical unicorn Betsy) is that I’m struggling with being in a box these days. So questions of things that pertain to my identity are hitting me hard. Whenever I feel firm and rooted and knowledgeable of who I am, I feel a lot of pressure. 

In all honesty, it feels like in books about normal girls becoming princesses and all they want to do is push against it, all they want to do is not be that thing. Even though they know it is part of who they are. That all the things are in them for a reason.

I don’t want to wear a tiara.

But it has my name on it.

(I need everyone to know that writing the above five sentences physically made me gag).

Holy rabbit trail Batman.

This is 700 words that I wrote off a singular question in my brain (that I didn’t even answer) about why I go to church.

But, what I did, is continued the questions I ask of myself.

Even when it feels slightly painful, or uncomfortable, or when I don’t want to know the answer, I never want to stop asking myself questions.

As much as I would love to have it all figured it out, I’m glad I don’t. 

And I guess, that IS part of the reason I go to church, whatever that may look like. 

Moral of the story: don’t stop asking questions of yourself, don’t stop seeking wisdom, and don’t stop being who you are–even when it doesn’t feel as if it fits.

It does.

Wear the damn tiara.