Part Seven of the Letters from Singleness series
Anyone who knows Melinda knows how easy it was to just love her. She has a gracious and generous spirit, peppered with adorable quirk and humor. I was a distant witness of this journey she's been traipsing. A very blessed witness, because I've been a recipient of the joy of the Lord that she has radiated in all her difficulties. You can't get this girl down; she loves Jesus too much. You can find her scribblings at her personal blog and as administrator of Meditations of His Love; or as her hilarious self on Twitter.
August 4, 2013: I hadn’t slept for several nights. I was horribly sick. I was at my lowest point; discouraged, faint-hearted, and depressed. A month before tonight, I had lost my grandpa after several years of deterioration because of Parkinson’s disease. The last few nights, I had been dealing with the shock of an abrupt ending to an 8 month relationship.
That night, I was struggling for hope and whispering prayers for grace and faith. It wasn’t until I did something that I had been resisting that the peace came to my heart. I thanked the Lord for the heartbreak and the breakup. I saw no reason or purpose for this whole situation, but I accepted it from the Lord’s hand that night and chose to trust Him.
And I’ve done that again and again over the months since my breakup. Choosing trust and thankfulness in the midst of pain and loneliness is something that is not natural. Some days, I have to force myself to thank the Lord and surrender to His plan in my singleness. However, I’m surprised to find that I’ve been my happiest and contented about my single state since my breakup than I’ve ever been.
I’m getting ahead of myself though. Let’s fast forward to my younger years of blissful childhood dreams of marriage. I honestly thought I’d be married by age 19. I laugh now at the thought. I was widely discontent in those years of 17-20. I thought about getting married all.the.time. I’m pretty embarrassed about how I revolved my life around my romantic notions marriage and family. Thankfully, I’ve grown a bit since then in maturity and brain cells. ;-)
Those early years of adult singleness were blessed years of learning and growing, being stretched and growing up. I know I didn’t deal with my tendency toward bitterness well and I’m thankful for God’s grace during those years. The biggest lesson I learned in my pre-dating adult years was diligence. God used that time to instill some habits and skills.
The year I turned 22, I entered into my first relationship. I thought I had arrived. Come to find out, I hadn’t. :-) That relationship was a huge wakeup call for me. It was a gentle push from God to take my relationship with Him to another level.
Even still, after that relationship ended, I still struggled with my single state in a less than godly way at times. I was bitter, sad, angry, and frustrated with the lack of manly, godly, single guys. I had good days, and really bad days. I felt guilty at my wrong attitude, but I didn’t seek to right it. I resisted the peace and joy the Lord offered and chose to display a frightful lack of trust in the Lord.
This last relationship shattered the last of my fairytale dreams about romance, love, and relationships. After I prayed that prayer of thankfulness in my desperately discouraged state, a tiny spark was lit in my heart. I’m slowly realizing that Christ is sufficient, even in the most difficult and lonely days, if I allow Him to be all in all in me.
This journey of singleness isn’t easy and it doesn’t get easier as I get older. However, with the Lord’s grace the pain is being used for much good in my life, and for that, I’m grateful. Recently, the Lord revealed my tendency to act like hurtful things (like breakups and loneliness) don’t bother me and to stuff my grief. It’s been a huge step for me to start admitting my pain and allowing myself to grieve. I find it odd that it’s difficult for me to embrace the grace of God and instead resist His love and peace, comfort and hope when I’m hurting.
My journey of singleness has taught me that this time, though difficult, is needful, beneficial, and only a tiny glimpse of all that the Lord has in store for me. It’s not for me to know what my future holds right now, but instead it’s a time for learning to embrace the grace of the Lord today, to abide in His joy at this moment, and to rest in His peace in the present. Marriage isn’t a fairytale romance dream, it’s a calling to embrace with joy, just like my present single state.
My daily prayer is for grace to admit the hurt, embrace the grace, rejoice in God’s hope, trust His plan, and allow the Lord to lead me in paths of righteousness. I pray the same for each of you, dear single friends!