Being Single: A Story About Damage & Change.
Editor’s Note: My favorite part of Good Women Project is how different every woman’s voice and story is. And how honest, how raw, and how real they are. Today’s post is by Kristin, and she shares her life with us. It is my hope that you will hear her heart in this, and learn something of yourself and of God through it. Kristin tweets at @almondflavor and you can also find her on Facebook. – Lauren
I don’t date. I can count the total number of relationships I’ve had on one hand and still have fingers left over. I have a mean loner streak and for almost three years, I’ve been single.
My relationship with God never happened. When I had my confirmation at age thirteen, I stood up and left my peers at the front of the church while the entire congregation watched. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God. I did. I just didn’t want to commit when I felt I had never met God in the church I had attended for my whole life.
As I began dating, the normal insecurities ensued. I got damaged. And without God to heal me, my bruised heart got broken in the next round. And it happened again, and again. My relationships never improved.
“Single” me in-between the relationships was awful. I was whiny, hung up on the past, and slowly lost my passion for things outside my love life. I never learned, and I never brought any wisdom to the table for the next relationship. My relationships weren’t so much commitment as an emotional addiction to give my insecurities a quick fix. Hearing a boyfriend tell me he loved me and that I was beautiful? How could I not become attached to it?
My last break-up hit me the hardest above the rest. I was finally giving God some attention at the same time I had made a real commitment to that boyfriend. When our relationship fell apart and this God I was getting to know didn’t save it when I prayed for Him to, I was not a happy camper. My very young opinion of God made Him fall short in my eyes and so I went to back to ignoring Him…and hit a very cold and lonely rock bottom.
Not only did I lose a boy I was in love with, but I lost friendships that for the first time, I really valued. I saw the emptiness of my job, and I got close and personal with a nice dose of depression. I was as single as single gets, which in my mind was synonymous with failure. But as much as I had committed to my boyfriend at the time, I had also committed to God. No matter how little of a space in your heart you’ve lent Him, He’s taking that as a cue to do some serious work in you.
And He did, through various signs in my life. But trust me, it was enough that I was listening now. This God, who sent a son to die for me knowing that I didn’t want Him anyway, still wasn’t having my bull. He wasn’t leaving, and He wasn’t calling it quits. Not only that, but He was trying to win me over by showering me with gifts that I didn’t deserve.
This crazy desperation God had for me to love Him was disconcerting and even a little weird. I had never, ever had any boy want me like that. But at that point, I was completely empty and very, very single. My non-memory foam bed had a very distinct outline of me because I never left it. I had no passion for my old hobbies, and with time to kill, I slowly began to give it to God.
And the more I focused on Him, the less I found myself thinking about my ex. The more I missed connections to life. The more I saw God show love to me (for me, this was as simple as a free surprise shot of espresso at Starbucks* on a bad morning or an unexpected loving text from a friend), the more I began to find reasons why He would love me, and those reasons I found were reasons I used to start loving myself. The more I let God in (albeit slowly), the more whole I felt.
It was work, to be sure. For someone who doesn’t commit, it was intense. I sought Him in others who had known Him for years, and I asked people about Him who knew nothing of Him. I read about Him. I talked to Him, instead of demanding things I wanted. I formed new passions. I suddenly felt a whole lot of guilt that someone I didn’t know died for me only for me to have wasted so much time trapped in a single state of mind. And just as suddenly, a whole lot of love for Him followed and I found myself happily committed.
And we flash forward to now. My life is in transition – it’s moving forward, fast. My first paragraph still stands. I don’t date, and rarely find myself feeling lonely. And my lack of five-minute crushes, my lack of quick feelings and the disappearance of my need for them worried me until I finally received a very clear insight as to why I no longer wanted to date around. For the first time, I’m not waiting on a relationship to feed my insecurities. I’m preparing for a relationship to fuel a hunger for God – a relationship with a man and God as the central line in it.
One of the biggest things I’ve done in my commitment to God is to give him my trust that He has a purpose for my life.
If there’s work to be done in and through me, I trust Him to give me a partner in crime for it or use my freedom and independence to make it happen.
For now, it’s through my independence. And now, I see “single” as an honor. It’s a nod from God that you are enough to do His work just as you are. It’s an opportunity to do work on your heart and to be better. To prepare yourself so you have so much to bring to the table when you meet your man that he barely has room to put his elbows down.
There is absolutely no shame in being single.
*By the way, Happy Pumpkin Spice Latte Month! (Commonly referred to as “September”)
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