For those of us who have experience love and loss, heartbreak and loneliness, Valentine’s Day can be the hardest day. In fact, before I married my soulmate last year I can remember the years I dreaded the months of November – February. Maybe 10% of the reason had to do with winter, but I knew it was mostly from feeling ‘out of place’ and alone.
The world is focused on being a ‘couple’ or a ‘family’ and for people who do not have that special mate in their life or a good sense of family, those months are quite depressing especially with social media and seeing our friends have what we wish for. Ten years ago, we could just turn off television and avoid the hype over the holidays that made us feel so alone.
I am thankful for my family and even though it seemed to make it easier by having a wonderful family to include me in celebrations – it was also hard because I would be the only one who didn’t have a spouse. I was the independent one … or the misfit.
It doesn’t feel very good to think you are ‘less than’ and society has a way of making single people feel that way.
It was a journey for me to learn how to feel complete without a significant other in my life. I would always have my eye out and deep down I wished I would have someone to love.
Even when I finally ‘got it together’ after my divorce and I created an identity for myself, learning to like and respect myself and doing the things I was passionate about; I would ‘say’ that I was complete and didn’t need a relationship, but deep down I still had that yearning.
Crying in my pillow some nights, avoiding church when I was feeling lonely (you have no idea unless you are single how much a sermon revolves around marriage and the family unit – as well as seeing men put their arms around their wives). Most days, you feel strong and you make it from day to day, but for those times we are reminded that there is something ‘missing’ – we tend to let the lies creep in as we are taunted by thoughts of, “You are unworthy of love” “You are too much” and “you are not enough”.
As a single person, we are on a journey. There are some people who desire to be single and that is fine – but society still makes them feel like something is missing. Most people however, do want a special someone, but if they have had a hurtful past – they tell themselves a relationship is the last thing they want and they may even push people away.
I feel for singles who dread the winter months full of holidays and celebrations which focus on the family unit and couples.
Yes, it is wonderful to be in love, but it is horrible to desire love so much that you accept the first person who tells you what you want to hear and then you become deceived and burdened in a relationship that is not good for you.
BEING SINGLE IS NOT THE WORST THING.
The first year of my divorce, I was in pain and learning how to be single – to be “un-one”. The confusing part is – I never was truly “one” with anyone. My first marriage I was so young, neither of us really knew what a marriage was all about. When I married again, I knew how to be a wife and I was good at it – but even though I knew how to love, I wasn’t loved in return.
I wanted to believe I was loved, but after years of belittlement and toxicity surrounding that marriage and with family and friends intervening, I read the scripture I had heard a thousand times …as if for the first time – “Love is patient, Love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” [1 Corinthians 13: 4-8]
I realized that I was not truly loved by the man I was married to. I was unequally yoked. He did not share my beliefs as a Christian no matter how much he claimed to. I knew after my divorce, that I would never again choose a husband – and I haven’t.
God chose Jason for me.
And that is why he is my soulmate, my one true love until death we part. I have peace and assurance that God put this marriage together.
Before Jason and I came together, I had been on my ‘single journey’ occasionally dating but nothing very serious. I did a lot of inner work. I worked on having respect for myself and creating proper boundaries. I became assertive and I also made a life for myself where I was content.
My faith was restored back to me, I lived by my faith, I allowed God to break me, to scourge me, to discipline me and I grew – in His love. I then was ready for the Lord to ‘woo’ me. He became my hero, he was the one who brought me gifts and romanced me. He was my identity – yet He showed me how to be “Jennifer” too. The woman He created me to be. After a while I tried a couple of relationships, but I always kept my boundaries – holding out for what I KNEW God had for me.
For years, people tell us things about ourselves that we are ‘too much’ or that we ‘aren’t enough’ and we believe them because we have traits that may cause conflicts because we haven’t learned why we were created the way we were and what good we can do with those traits. Instead of learning how to use our traits – and be all of who we are created to be – we deny them. We feel ashamed because we are told we are ‘too emotional’ or we aren’t ‘sensitive enough’… whatever lie we believed – we bought into and shoved our special traits that make us who we are inside until they emerged again and we felt we failed in containing who it is that we really are.
I had to learn ‘why’ God created me with certain traits that He did. I had to learn how to use those traits in a measured, positive way. Once I did that, I was comfortable with ME. I liked ME. Then it was easier to respect myself and demand respect from others. If someone disrespected me – they were not good for my life and I learned that it was okay if they chose to leave my life. God will weed out those people who do not belong in our lives. And we have to allow that. If we try to hang onto something that we think we want our prayer might be “God please let me have this person, I’ll do anything…” instead of “God, I want to please you in every decision I make.”
We can say what sounds good and repeat what we have heard – but we must truly look deep inside at our inner most desire, our thoughts about ourselves and we must be honest. Because that is exactly what God looks at and He will know when we are at a place to receive what He has for us. But … doyou want it right NOW? Yeah, I did too.
Patience and trusting that our Father has His best for us can be hard if we don’t practice this trust every day. And, we take it back when He isn’t working things fast enough. But the more we trust Him (especially in our darkest moments) and we let go of ‘control’ – we find trusting Him becomes easy and absolute in our lives.
I gained peace, and contentment when I fully learned to trust God with my life more than just lip service – I had to believe it with my heart and live it.
I had NO DOUBTS when God gave me Jason. I KNEW he was God’s answered prayer. What is so beautiful is… the more I learn about my husband, the more I realize that God didn’t just look at ‘the list’ I wrote down of what I wanted in a man… (we all have one) but He went way back into my childhood – when I was an innocent girl full of hopes and dreams… and He orchestrated my whole love-life with my husband He has chosen for me – and He has placed all of our desires before us.
My husband feels the same way – that God answered his every prayer and even more than he knew what to ask for. Together we see how blessed we are and even during a moment when the ‘outside world’ causes conflict, my husband and I know we are a team and handle things together. We are truly ONE.
I asked God to never let me forget the pain I felt when I was single and was trying to control my life and protect myself, so that I could share the things He taught me.
I want each person whether they are single, are in a loveless relationship and are unequally yoked with someone – to come to the point in their lives where they become so broken that their ONLY answer is coming to God and laying every burden down before Him – and whispering your very most heart’s desire to Him. And then TRUST Him and His promises.
I pray that you allow the Lord to romance you. Become aware of the little gifts… a butterfly kissing your cheek, or a hummingbird closely making eye-contact with you… these were a few little trinkets God would give me and I began opening my eyes to more. I would see the little things around me that God placed wrapped up in a bow just for me – sunrises and sunsets… a majestic waterfall on a hike… things that spoke to me and my heart.
Being single doesn’t have to be ‘lonely’. God is with us. But for those of us who do desire that mate in our lives, God knows that and He wants you to have your heart’s desire. But your heart must first desire HIM. Learn who your enemy really is and learn to see God as your hero. He doesn’t let you down – people let you down … we let ourselves down. He doesn’t want to ‘take something away to hurt you” – the enemy steals, kills and destroys, though God allows certain things to happen if it will bring us closer to Him – but it is out of LOVE. Because He LOVES us so!
I want to wish all of my friends HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY.
You ARE enough. You matter. And you ARE LOVED.