I am a cat-less cat lady or a grandchild-less grandmother (another post for another day) and I’m okay with that. I gladly identify with those things. What I struggle to identify with is being in my mid-30’s and single.
Yep, I said it.
It’s out there and it stings a little and some days it stings a lot.
You know those things that are so vulnerable in your life? Those things that you don’t want to give life or breath to because once you do there’s no taking them back. Even though people know said “thing” about you, you hope it isn’t what defines you? Or you hope that you can distract from it? But you know that once you mention it that’s all people will think when they see you? Like a large neon sign that follows you around. Like on one of those medication adds that lists all of the hazardous side effects and you think “why the world would anybody make this or try to sell it or consider taking this?” And then you remember big Pharma and ….
Oh, sorry tangent.
So back to the big neon signs following you around pointing out your vulnerable truth. One of mine is singleness. I think that there are more women out there that are my age or younger or older that feel the same way. And that is why I’m writing and hanging my big neon sign above my head for all to see. So that any of you out there that feel the same way can find comfort in knowing you’re not alone. You have community and other sisters out there that are in the same boat. I want to share in this experience with you all or maybe just you, yes you, but either way I want to share.
I remember being in my mid to late 20’s being surrounded by amazingly Godly friends who, one by one got married and then one by one started having babies. These same amazing women invited me and continue to invite me into their lives but at some point I started to realize I was walking a path alone. My community, our lives were quickly becoming so different. It got harder and harder to connect mentally and even just physically, meaning it’s hard to even plan to see my friends because our lives can be so vastly different at times that connecting becomes a challenge. (Funny side note. I was reading Lauren Grahams book today and she totally talks about this!! In my head I was like, I would totally be friends with Lorelei Gilmore!! Sorry, back to your regularly scheduled blog post) When I say my friends are the best I mean it. I know they are there for me through anything and just a text away. But I was missing a connection. I needed to connect with other single women my age, in my same life phase and I was finding it, well, hard to find. I searched the blogosphere and found one. One blog that I could connect with. One girl that spoke my single language who wrote words about feelings that I could relate to. I would sit at my desk and read the latest blog entry and many times cry because it was real and vulnerable and I understood it and it understood me.
I want to be that.
I am at a place in life where I think I can be that, or at least I feel like the Lord asking me to be that. I am ready to wear my neon sign in solidarity with or for women who aren’t ready to. And I’m ready to do so clumsily.
That’s what I hope this blog is.
I hope it is me wearing my sign so that you can see it and relate and be relieved of your burden of singleness or barrenness in any area of life. That area that is unfulfilled or that you feel your growth is stunted in. You see, I think this area of “singleness” is in many women’s lives not just the single girl. I think it’s also in the girl that feels alone in marriage or in parenthood or in her career or the woman that is having trouble having her own children or even for the girl who desires deep and true friendship. For Whatever state of “singleness” you find yourself in, my hope is, my heart is, that this would be a place of respite from the loneliness of it.
I also know better. I know that marriage is not a happily ever after. Just like I’m sure you see that children or new friends or a new career won’t fulfill you either. I get that. I see that. I don’t want that. I know I wont ever have that outside of Jesus because He has to be enough. I also know that even with Jesus that feeling of barrenness and singleness is real. I know that as a mom of young children you can feel alone and can get lost in the day to day of raising and caring for little lives, you can forget what an important job that is at times. I know that some days can just look like mounds of laundry and maintaining your sanity through tantrums and potty training. I know that you can feel just as alone or lonelier in a marriage. I’m not trying to diminish any of those things. I think what I would like or what I’m trying to get at is that we all need to bear with each other in love and understanding.
Ephesians 4:1-3 tells us “Therefore, I the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk worthy of the calling you have received, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, accepting one another in love, diligently keeping the unity of the spirit with the peace that binds us.”
I think we so often forget this. We need to remember this. We need to live like this. All sides, all opinions, all walks of life. We are women that God created. In different walks of life. In different stages. I think it’s safe to say we all want to be known and loved for who we are. For who God made us to be and in that we are not different. We are the same. Let’s work to understand and bear each other’s burden of “singleness” whatever that looks like for you or the women you serve with or your friends or neighbor. Let’s remind each other we are not alone.
P.S. this picture above is just a testiment to how awesome my friends are. I sent this post to a friend before I posted to get feedback and she sent this back to me. So much love. I love you my Deanna Schrantz😍