I was set free yesterday. Within a matter of a few hours the very patterns of my thoughts, my actions, and my concerns changed. It was as though 1,000 scales of oblivion were torn from my eyes, and I woke up after being subconsciously dead. In spite of this—this newfound freedom certainly did not come free. It cost me a number of things including a more than a slightly broken heart, a few short-lived tears, a pinch of humiliation and a couple hours of anger and depression. Oh, and it caused that little fume of frustration towards the entire male species that all single women secretly love to share to seep out from under my skin. But it set me free.
I had been bound up in the chains of wishful thinking. Much of my time throughout the day was spent wondering what could or might or should happen. My mind carelessly wandered off into marriage-land with a specific person right there in my visions. Talking about it, dreaming about it, wishing about it, thinking it really could happen. Besides, he seemed to be interested, (and God knows I definitely was!). And then it happened. The truth was revealed. He is all of the sudden …unavailable. Taken, and by someone other than ME! (That was the broken heart and teary-eyed part.) The anger approached me next, and let me say I thoroughly enjoyed coming to the momentary conclusion that I simply despised the male species. The humiliation part came when, fulfilling my duty as a female, I vented the whole story to my best friend, partly just to get the anger and shock off my chest, partly to hear the words, “Then that means there’s someone a lot better out there!”
My day continued on, and as I went about my duties at work, I tried to organize my thoughts and convince myself that I was going to simply jump over this and keep going. Although I really did want something to happen further with this person, and despite the fact that I really did hurt at this new found knowledge that he had moved on, I wanted so badly to be able to bounce back quickly. I did not have the time to mope around and throw myself a pity party. For once in my life I realized it would be useless to do that before I did it. I’m completely convinced that God read everything that was going on inside of my heart and mind yesterday and took it and made preparations for the hours to come.
I was waiting for a call from a friend I was supposed to meet at Starbucks later on that night, but the call hadn’t come yet, so I decided that instead of sitting around the house on a Friday night commenting people on MySpace, I’d much rather go on ahead to Starbucks and get some of my thoughts down on paper. For me, writing is a huge stress reliever. It takes all of the jumbled up thoughts flying around in my head and puts them into some kind of order. So, green tea in hand, I chose a table outside and took out my journal and began to write:
Lately, I’ve been wishing I were five years old, eating an ice cream cone with my grandma. Or perhaps 10 years old, scribbling in my diary about a new crush every week. Or a ripe 13-year-old in middle school with homework and boys being my only cares in the world. But life is not that simple. I must face my frustrations and jump over obstacles. I must face the bore of working 35 hours a week. I must face disappointment. Today was a DISAPPOINTMENT.
And then, as my hand furiously wrote out my tangled up thoughts, God dropped a revelation right into my lap that came out in the flow of my pen:
Actually, knowing He is unavailable kind of sets me free. Perhaps what happened today was a gift, to set my dry life in motion. Perhaps my only job now is to THRIVE in all that God has for me and to (although I hate this word) to WAIT.
Suddenly it dawned on me that I have been ignoring my gifts and have been settling for a stationary life that comes from impatience with God’s plan. One of my main concerns lately has been that I am single. I am single, and I do not want to be. I am single, and I know who I want Mr. Answer-to-my-prayers to be. I am single, and therefore life sucks. That was my thought pattern. I was sitting around waiting for life (which I figured came in the form of the word “marriage”) to come to me, instead of me going after life (which is NOT the equivalent to marriage).
The way I spent my time because of worries over my singleness actually hindered me in many ways from not only using my gifts, but from growing in my relationship with God, touching the lives of others in an effective way and caused me to waste many, many hours of my free time. My foolishness is quite embarrassing, and it got me nowhere. The way God spoke to my heart last night makes me now quite convinced that this period of singleness in my life is something so much more precious than it appears. It is an amazing time of growth, independence, maturing, overcoming and becoming.
My heart’s desire now is that I will not simply aim to get married, but that I will aim to thrive—in my relationship with God, my relationships with others, my gifts, my compassions and life.
I shall leave you with the best quote I’ve found yet on the back of a Starbucks cup:
The Way I See It #44
If the current generation of young adults is delaying marriage for five to 10 years longer than their parents, the question becomes: What good are we doing with that time? – Ethan Watters