There is power in Your presence
Hope and healing in Your presence
There is freedom in Your presence
Have you ever walked into a room, or gone out with some friends, and realised just how single you actually are? All it takes is for you to look round at the wrong moment, and oh there we are, ANOTHER COUPLE. Sometimes, it can feel pretty crummy. And honestly? Writing this series, whilst struggling with the issues that have been covered and discussed already, I’ve realised that this one is something that, Christian or not, single people find really, really hard.
I’m not having a go at couples, you carry on doing what you’re doing. I just want to talk a little bit about what I reckon a Godly Heart can learn about being single in a world where we are told, over and over again, to get on the relationship bandwagon and get ourselves a partner. Why?
I think a big issue with church culture, in my experience over the years, is that there is a super big expectation that marriage is the ultimate goal and that anything less is a serious underachievement, and if I’m honest with you, I’ve had enough of that attitude. I’ve had enough of my friends, my beautiful and inspiring friends over the years and across the country feeling worthless and unwanted because so and so hasn’t called them back, or because a guy or a girl didn’t think to tell them that they weren’t interested and have been leading them a merry dance, or even because someone didn’t reciprocate the feelings. It’s tough, I know. It can be really kinda crushing when someone doesn’t feel the same way about you back.
I’m also tired of seeing things like this sprawled all over the internet:
I think you’ll find, Mr. Internet, I’ve already fond the man of my dreams. He tells me He loves me, every single day, and He thinks that I’m beautiful and I’m worth the text back. He thinks that I’m better than being heartbroken or rejected, and He thinks that I am worth the effort, even when I don’t. His name is Jesus. He went one step further than an engagement ring – I think it’s very unlikely that any man will ever get on a cross and die for me, or undergo flagellation and torture, mockery and scorn and still look upon me as His beloved when it was me who put Him there.
I know, this cliche Christian ‘oh but we have Jesus’ malarky doesn’t really make that Friday night in alone easier does it? What I’m trying to say is, that quite simply, you are better than the way you’re feeling right now. I know, because I’ve felt it and I know other people who have openly expressed how much they’re feeling it. In a few months time, it will be 3 years of being single for me. For some people, this is completely irrelevant and other people are sitting here now like WHAT, why haven’t you joined Christian mingle already?!
Truth be told, guys, I’m absolutely rubbish at saying how I feel. Even if I did find a Mark Darcy to my Bridget Jones, I don’t even know if I’d be able to tell him in a sentence with real words and not just awkward vowel sounds because he’s so beautiful and OH MY GOSH how can I control myself?! My last relationship, I think it’s fair to say, was really not what God wanted for me. I let go of Him, to be honest – Jesus, I mean, the boy in question, it was quite the opposite. I decided that what I had with this guy was worth more than what Jesus had given me on the cross and had sacrificed in order for Him to be able to tell me that He loves me everyday, and that He is so, so glad I’m living and breathing. For one reason or another, the relationship ended, and after praying I can’t end this, Jesus, you’re going to have to break up with him for me, and lo and behold, the breakup was unexpected, but it was definitely an answered prayer.
I don’t want to be with someone who is going to take me away from Jesus again. If I get married, I hope and pray that Mr. Annie loves Jesus a hell of a lot more than he loves me, because, well, I can’t be doing with someone feeling second best to the guy who – as I keep saying – died on a cross for me and rose again 3 days later. That love is the standard of love for me – and it’s also the standard of love for the man I marry. I can’t offer him that, and he can’t offer me that, either. So let’s just get one thing straight – Jesus is the center, otherwise, well, what’s the point?
Another thing I’ve realised over the years is that, especially as girls, we think that all of our issues will be resolved and completely forgotten if we find the ‘perfect guy’. If we find that guy who tells us we’re beautiful even in trackies and our faces covered in ice cream, well hey – we’ve hit the jackpot right?! But what happens if that relationship falls apart, or actually, they aren’t all they cracked up to be? What then?
I sound like I’m giving relationships a bad name. I’m not, at all. I know many lovely and happy couples and I wish them all the best. All I am saying is, if your self-esteem and self-worth are based upon whether you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend or not, then you need to do some serious re-thinking. I seriously believe that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made. I know, I can hear it now – why is she going over this again?!
Well, I’m going over it again because I believe it to be true. I believe that God created me, in His image, and that every curly hair on my head and gappy smile with my cute teeth was fully intended to be there by my Heavenly Father. I once said to a group of girls that I have to choose to love every stretch mark I may have, every spot that may arrive, every bad hair day, every foul mood, every time I don’t feel quite ‘good enough’. Why? Because regardless of these things, I am still fearfully and wonderfully made. If someone can’t see that in me, and they can’t like me enough or value me enough to love those things about me, then they aren’t worth my heart – they aren’t worth me.
Just in the same way, if I can’t appreciate a guy for his gorgousness and how flipping fabulous he is, then I’m not really worth his heart either. Does that make sense? I hope so.
I put those cheeky lyrics up the top because I absolutely flipping love that song and what it stands for. It’s called “Spirit Fall” funnily enough (ha) and I love that bridge bit because it is so true. All of that healing, self-worth, self-assurance and the powerful love we long for and seek in all the wrong places, we can get all of that from God. I know it, because He welcomed me back with open arms after my break-up and said, Annie, I love you. You can come home, now.
And I am so glad I did.
So what if no-one fancies me? Yeah, sure, sometimes it’s quite lonely and makes me feel a bit crappy about myself. Sure, it makes me question whether something is wrong with me and makes me feel a bit awkward about how I look or how I talk (lets face it, the Essex accent really isn’t that sexy) or whatever – but that’s totally normal and I’m not going to shy away from it. The important thing is what I do with that feeling, and I am by no means perfect when I write this to you guys. I get this wrong so, so much. But writing this to you all has made me realise that the most important thing in all of this is to remember where I get my worth from. So what, some boy doesn’t tell me I’m beautiful when it’s pretty flipping obvious that I am (compliments are welcome, lads, I won’t complain… HA), and so what if V-Day is coming up and I don’t have a date. At the end of the day, when I clamber into bed and get all cosy under my covers, I am still fearfully and wonderfully made. My dream man still tells me I’m beautiful, that He loves me, and He has what’s best for me. In this sense, the picture just up there is right: God is writing my love story. But at the same time, He already has written it, and it’s perfect pinnacle is found at the foot of that glorious cross.
How affirming is that?
Peace and blessings x
Pictures from pinterest.com 🙂