I hate those forms at the doctor's office.
You know the ones where they make you write down your entire medical history, what medications you're using and all the normal bits and pieces of your life like your address and middle name and date of birth?
They really grind my gears because:
1) They take forever to fill out.
2) My hand gets tired writing down all the vitamins I’m taking. Like, do you really need to know I take vitamin C every day?!
3) Without fail, I always get a big gulp in my throat when I get to the section where they ask, “What’s your status?”
It’s like they are taunting me through the form, "Awe, still single, huh? Lemme guess, your emergency contacts are still your mommy & daddy?"
Why yes, yes they are.
I’m a 28 year old independent woman and my emergency contacts are still my parents. Get at me.
Over the years, the pain of small reminders like this have become more muffled. It doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I know that I’ve been given a full, beautiful life, despite the fact that I’m single. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that because of the fact that I’m single, my life has been amazingly adventurous and in tune with the rhythms of Jesus’ heart.
But if I really sit with that notion - that I’m single - why, the purring of rejection gets steeped so high that eventually it bursts out from deep within my soul like a volcano, screaming:
"You have not been chosen.”
Straight for the jugular. You can hear the mic drop after that statement. It hurts. It’s painful. It’s as if the Left Behind series was written to describe the synopsis of your life.
Then deep within that rabbit hole emerge other questions and lies like:
“What’s wrong with me?”
“You’re just not worth it.”
“Is God really good?"
“You’re not wanted.”
“God is cruel and mean and dangles things in front of your face to just take them away."
“This area of your life will NEVER be redeemed.”
It’s messy. It’s frustrating. And it’s uncomfortable to sit in. For me, I’ve medicated with slapping Bible verses over those feels, mustering up the affirmations within myself. It didn’t work. I’ve talked and talked in circles to figure out the issue. Didn’t work. I’ve put myself “out there” and went on dates with lots of guys. Also, didn’t work.
I was treating the symptoms y’all, not diagnosing the disease.
Honestly, as single women I think we have to sit in those feelings. We have to ask those hard questions and really be honest about what we’re believing to be true. That’s the only way we can move through them and let Jesus heal us there. I’m not saying to stay in the sorrow for years, but it’s okay to let ourselves get to the root of why it bothers us so much that we are single.
Because ultimately, it’s not about our desire for marriage. It’s really not.
It’s about what being single says about us. Or what the status of married will say about who we are.
Which brings us full-circle back to our identities. Do we really believe that the ONLY identity that matters is who we are in Christ?
If I’m honest, lots of days, I’d rather my identity be married with three kids living in a big ol’ farmhouse than be a child of God. It sounds way better. It’s more fun to talk about at parties and parade around via Instagram - hashtag blessed. In my prideful way, I believe in my heart (even though my head can be smarter sometimes) that that’s going to fulfill me more than Jesus.
But I’m learning, that that simply is not true.
Isn’t it funny? Our heads will tell us where we want to be, but our hearts will tell us where we’re at.
There was a season in my life when no one asked me out. I mean no one. Like even the dating apps were having none of Jena Viviano. It was the driest of dry spells. And so I said to myself, “If I just have guys wanting to take me out on dates, THAT will be totally fine. That will be good enough. At least I’ll be wanted.”
And then that happened. For the past two years, I’ve been in relationships and gone on dates after dates. And you know what? It still wasn’t enough. It probably made me feel more lonely and less wanted than when no one was interested. My grand fix didn’t work.
So, it’s clear the destination isn’t the solution. I can see this pattern sifting straight through to marriage. “Well, when I get married. THEN I’ll feel wanted. Then I’ll see that I’m worth it and that God is good.” I don’t know about you, but I have a sneaky suspicion that’s a house being built on some sandy ground, friends.
At the core, the destination isn’t the redeeming story, though we think it is. The healing is really where the sweetness of Jesus comes out on full display. Because He knows that without the healing, the destination will have it’s own set of issues, mutated and stale from years past.