I, Annie, take you…
Last night I was married. I started 2015 off married to a gorgeous man – he’s a Captain; a famous one at that, you’ve probably heard of him, my husband. Lovely hair, a tickle of a beard. People make fun of him because he’s only got one hand, and the other one he replaced with a metal hook. That’s right, last night I married Peter Pan’s worst nightmare.
I can hear you now: Annie has lost her marbles completely.
It was a costume party, and in true Annie fashion, I thought it might be fun to turn a cheeky lad of a villainous man into a much cheekier curly lady for NYE. It was really fun, actually, being married. Hmm, I hear you say, you weren’t really married though Annie.
I know. I had fun being me.
I’m starting a new blog series on singleness and Jesus. It’s something I’m worried about and sad about and excited about all at the same time, this issue of singleness. Not because I’m sad about being single or worried about it (although I have had my moments, believe me) or particularly excited about the actual issue of singleness, to be honest, it’s just sort of there. But the thing is, singleness is a gift. That’s right, a gift. My life is a gift. I believe that gift comes from God, and I want to live that life in a way that honours and glorifies Him – and if I can do that as a single lady, then move over Beyonce because I definitely do not need a ring on it (only kidding Bey, please be my friend. Please)
It saddens me because, especially within churches, anyone under 25 who’s still single is still on the shelf with no hope of ever getting off it, and heck 30+? You’ve been superglued down by Cupid and there is no hope for you at all.
Er, or not. Massively not.
I’m writing this series from a Christian point of view, as I write everything else, but definitely this because Christian relationships fascinate me. There’s the old quip made about a shot-gun wedding or a ‘typical Christian wedding’ where it’s been 2 weeks and suddenly Mr & Mrs are going at it (if this is you, good for you lovelies, honestly <3). Then you have those who wait for ‘The One’ and who try and find that One in every person they meet (I’ve done this many a time in the past) and usually try to suss out if this one is the one God is pointing us to.
Before I go any further, I just want to make it clear that I am, in no way, having a go at anyone who’s married, or single, or a little bit in between. I’m slowly getting better at this whole honest-up-close-and-personal blog stuff where I let a bit of the real Annie out (turns out there’s more to me than curly hair and a cracking sense of humour, who knew?) when I write and share with you all. Singleness was a huge issue for me, and if I let it get to me, it can still be now. There are times when I have doubted – I’ve let it effect me mentally and even physically far too many times now. I’ve gone on fad diets after one particular breakup to ‘get the real Annie back’ because I felt so rubbish and unloved and unwanted – when the truth was I was searching for anyone but Annie because the real one clearly hadn’t been good enough. I’ve changed my image completely out of brokenness and shame. I’ve been rejected, haven’t we all, but I’ve taken it really personally. I’ve taken the route that something must be wrong with me and have lived off of my friends saying Annie, it’s HIM not YOU which in a few cases may well have been true, but anyway. What I’m trying to say is, this whole singleness issue has really effected me before – and the truth is, I’ve had enough of being that version of myself.
The version of Annie who’s fished for compliments because her self-esteem was gone; the Annie who preached the goodness of God and then went home and spent the evening shouting at Him because He hasn’t given me ‘the right’ boyfriend yet. This version of Annie, who, buys outfits just to impress – not for a date, I totally understand that one, but every day clothes just to feel good and to feel like someone will notice. That Annie I do not like, and that Annie is well on her way. Jesus has been lifting these layers of insecurity and worry and sadness from my heart and healing the gap left by them for a good few years now, and I’m happy to say that whilst it’s not perfect, it’s so much better. I look at this Annie sometimes and I wonder who she is. I don’t recognise her.
But then other times, I really do. I see her looking back at me in the mirror telling me not to wear that dress because, well, it’s not figure hugging enough or it doesn’t highlight my assets well enough. Or she turns up when I’m with my friends and tells me I’m not pretty enough or slim enough and oh, you can’t compete. She makes the odd appearance – but what I’ve realised is this: this isn’t sad single Annie, this is an Annie who needs Jesus.
This is me.
Song of Solomon is a beautiful book. I think after my last blog post we call all agree on what I think and feel about Song of Solomon, HA. This verse is so true for me. I have found the one whom my soul loves. His name is Jesus, and in turn, her name is Annie.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am redeemed and forgiven and chosen. He is especially fond of me. I am Jesus’ homegirl (okay, that last really didn’t sound right, but you get the point). I am His.
I get this wrong, and have got this wrong. No doubt I will continue to get this wrong. Not the singleness bit, but the bit about myself. The bit where I forget my worth and my goodness; my laugh and my smile and my witty charm (ha). I forget the people who love me, and who I love. I forget that Jesus told me to love my neighbour as I love myself. I forget that little bit far too often, still, after all that Jesus has said to me and spoken over me over the last year.
This next series isn’t a series about cheesy single slogans; this isn’t a series of woe and of loneliness with HELP ME written at the end of every post. This definitely isn’t a dating agency. This is one honest girl being truthful, with the help of some friends along the way, about something that we all face, we all suffer from, and we all struggle with. All I know is, I know the guy who can help with that – and no, He isn’t a guy I met in a club or a guy it got a bit cheeky with at a party or at school or whatever. He met me when I was at my worst, and He sees me as His best. Praise God.
So my invitation is to join me on this journey. Join me in exploring singleness and Jesus, in being the best you can be despite who’s on your arm (or who isn’t). Join me in beginning 2015 with a fresh pair of eyes ready for adventure. Some people will be starting 2015 married, or with a new guy or gal, or with some seriously beautiful friends. I don’t know which one you are, but I wish you well regardless.
If you want to join in with this next project, ask me a question for some up and coming Q&As with some lovely people I know – ask whatever you like, here.
Last night, I may have been married. But today, I am Annie – and I am loved.
And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you are right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life. – 1 Corinthians 7:17 (MSG)
Happy New Year.
Peace and blessings x