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

if I’m being honest….(part 2)

I’d like to start this off with saying I’m not putting all the things out there that I discussed I would in part 1. I’m realizing the line between vulnerability and sacredness.

I think I’ve been putting off writing the second part of this blog because no doubt it’s a heck of lot more vulnerable and real than I think I really want to be.

But I do.

I want to be.

I want to put this ridiculous notion that is in my head on paper and then hopefully let it die.

In part one I mentioned a conversation with Catherine. My team leader, the person with whom I always ended up in a car with day one of ministry in a new country in a situation that could probably be clarified as stranger danger.

And above all, Catherine is an amazing friend of mine.

I wish I could remember where we had the conversation, what country, what month…a lot of me wants to assume it as in Romania…

 (This is all just me procrastinating actually writing about the conversation)

 Anyways…I made an offhand remark about not getting married, not wanting to have kids etc.

I put my wall up and leaned on it like I always do.

Image

Cat took a sledgehammer from the other side, put a wall and peeked over.

She wondered if I didn’t want kids because I didn’t think I’d ever get married.

Gosh thanks Catherine.

 If I’m being honest…yes that is probably a part of it. I am fearful I am never going to get married.

Never going to be wanted in that way.

deep breath

And it’s not just me.

I’m never the girl people assume is going to get married.

No one ever assumes that I WANT to get married.

No one ever set me up (or attempts too)

I’m rarely told “you’re man is coming”

And yes, it could be how I look.

It could be that I have a nasally voice.

It could be that I’m shy.

I don’t know why I’m stuck in this category for a lot of people.

My hands are shaking as I write out the hurt I felt each time this situations popped up. Because each time my name wasn’t brought into a conversation about future weddings and husbands and kids…

Ugh.

And I’m not blaming, I’m not accusing.

I’m just saying it hurt.

And at the time I didn’t have the words or the emotional capability to form the sentences to say that it hurt.

I look at life a little different now and I can see it hurt and it probably ingrained itself deep into me.

And yes, there are probably multiple defensives etc. that I put out that cause people to think

 “oh that girl just doesn’t want to get married”

 And maybe it’s because I don’t.

And maybe it’s because I don’t think I’m good enough.

Maybe it’s because marriage isn’t in my DNA.

I don’t really know.

And that’s ok.

So this isn’t a huge revelation or something that comes from Jesus.

But it’s me.

Recognizing hurt, hearing my heart, choosing not to get

caught up in something that I might not ever want to get

caught up and also making the decision

to keep things sacred in my heart.

Thanks for reading.

Honest

If I’m being honest..(Part one)

OR

The more aptly named:

 I am almost out of my twenties and I have NEVER written a blog on marriage (part one)

I’m actually insanely proud of myself.

I went through the entire World Race without ever writing a blog on singleness, relationships or marriage. (Also: Team Leader, I didn’t break your rule…)

Not that it surprises me at all.

I don’t know if I have ever written a blog on any of those topics.

Not saying that I don’t enjoy reading them or get something out of them. I’ve read a few this week and of course that’s why the subject is in my head.

I just wanted to finally come out and say it.

I don’t know if I want to get married.

There

It’s a weird sentence to type knowing that I am going to publish it online for all the world (or at least the 5 people that subscribe to my blog thus far) to read.

I know what you’re going to say:

Of course you want to get married.

You’re just saying that because you haven’t

found the right guy.

You must just be bitter.

There’s a guy out there for everyone.

Or

(and I cringe)

Maybe singleness is what God has called you too.

 

Oh lord.

Or if you’re my friend Catherine you call me OUT on the statement.

But Catherine’s not here right now.

So I want to explain.

I think as a child, I probably played wedding once or twice, forcing the little boy across the street to marry me in my grandma’s front yard while I held a bouquet of fall leaves and marched down the perfect sidewalk aisle.

But I don’t think I’ve ever planned MY wedding.

Yes, pinterest gives me grand ideas that I think are cute.

Yes I have a wedding board.

Yes, I’ve been in, planned and coordinator more weddings then I care to admit.

Yes I always just say I am going to elope.

 But do I know FOR SURE that I want to get married?

I just don’t know.

There are so many reasons that float in my brain as to WHY I think I might not want to get married.

I remember a moment a couple years ago, I was discussing potential ideas for ministries, for things I wanted to do. And I the thought crossed my brain…oh I need to get married for that. It caused me to stop in my tracks…

I don’t need to wait. I can just do.

I don’t need marriage to live my life for Christ.

I’m actually thankful that I’m not saying I don’t want to get married out of spite of marriage.

Most of my FAVORITE people in life are married couples (I’m looking at you Peck’s, Garmon’s, Sherman’s, Wayman’s,…and SO MANY OTHERS).

I love these kingdom people so much. I respect their relationships and what they do together for God.

But I just don’t know right now if that is what God has for me.

It’s not something burning passion inside of me that my friends have. I don’t pray for my husband regularly.

Yes, I have a somewhat list of things I might want in a husband. I’ve met men who fill some of those characteristics.

But nothing pushing me to press in or step in to that season in life.

And I don’t want to pretend or waste energy on heart space that I might need for something else.

It might be a trust thing (you can read about that here)

It might be that I just haven’t met the one.

But until God put’s it on my heart and mind, we’re just going to leave it alone.

Like I said, I just don’t know if I want to get married.

And that’s ok.

(and yes…this says part one. I’m basically setting the stage right now. Part 2: Catherine’s smack down, the one guy I thought I could have married and the topic of children.)