FYI: The following post has been a long time coming and may not be for everyone, so if it’s not your cup of tea I’ll see you on the next post! 🙂 I also feel like this post is a throw back to the old blogging days where I’m writing as a stream of consciousness and jumping all over the place with hopes of tying it up in a nice bow at the end; you’ve been warned.
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The more I walk through the progression of my life and all the seasons, stories, heart breaks, confusion and joy the more I see God’s hand in it all.
I recently posted this photo and then quickly typed out the caption only to be flooded with so many emotions and memories. I really do have a binder full of letters written “to my future husband” sitting in the office with an introductory note to Eddie given to him as an engagement gift. I have some of these letters scribbled throughout one of journals that I keep next to my bed for night time thoughts that dates back to 2010 and the other night I poured through a few of them and laughed, cried, and was awed by where I currently stand in the wake of all of that struggle.
My husband and my love,
One day you will get all of these letters. I’m very humbled right now in the area of love and romance. I’m humbled because I have been stupid in the past (and present) with how I treat my heart. I’ve given it away so many times that now it is truly cracked. I believe that is one of the many reasons God has not brought us together, I’m not ready.
Singleness really was a hard season for me.
I won’t get into the mess of it all, but trust me when I say it was full of lots of pain, tears, and frustration. I went through two serious relationships and definitely gave my heart away more than I ever should have. The loves I had before I met Eddie were fresh, deep, unmoveable, and unshakeable, or so I thought. The truth is they had their beautiful moments but for the most part were confusing, damaging, toxic, or just painful. I once explained it to one of my girlfriends many years ago that we understand love by the season we are in and the challenges we have grown though. When I dated J & S I was in two different seasons of life and as my relationships with each of them twisted and turned for years and we wove in and out of each others lives my understanding of love had changed and grew and sometimes was twisted with bitterness and anger. I truly loved them, as deeply as I could, for at those times it was the only measure of love I could compare it to, now I know much differently.
I had this idea engrained deep within my spirit that my worth was tied up in who I was with.
So I chased after the two “loves of my life” with all that was within me.
I chased out J for security, I had known him since 2003 and we had walked through so much of life together, he truly was my best friend on and off for years; I thought he would be my husband.
I chased S for affirmation. He made me feel wanted, needed, sexy, and valuable, mostly in all the wrong ways. I thought he would be my husband.
I chased, and chased, and chased, and was left alone, bruised, and angry at God for not letting me get married.
I read countless singleness books (most sucked, but my favorite was sacred singleness), cried myself to sleep, felt the heaviness in my heart when cooking dinner for one in an empty house, and wondered if I would ever even have someone to love and to love me the way I dreamed of.
It is in the small moments I think of our future together. When I’m home alone, the house is quiet, and the windows are open in the fall. I pause my show and take the water off the stove to make some sleepy time tea – a cool breeze surrounds me and I think of you. Who you are, where you are, what you’re up to – if you would want a mug of sleepy time tea too. In these moments I miss you. It’s weird because I don’t know you. But it’s like I miss the promise of what is to come. I miss you – especially on the quiet nights.
I would start “talking” to a guy and then something would inevitably happen to drown it all out and I would be left either ghosted by him not responded or just realizing it wasn’t a good fit. I remember clearly sitting on my couch one evening getting a text that yet another one of my best friends was engaged and I just sat there thinking “seriously, her and not me”…talk about a bitter heart…and then just crying. I doubted God would ever answer this particular desire I had rooted deep within my soul, that I had been forgotten.
As the years went on I would have people comment on how I was “such a great catch” and that they were “so surprised I hadn’t been snatched up yet” or that they “had a friend they wanted me to meet” but would never actually set me up. I found that I had slipped into this comfortable place where I was taking care of myself without the expectation of another person. I was my own woman and had my independence with having a job, paying bills, living on my own, and just doing life. I took care of my own house, paid health insurance and house insurance, mowed my own grass in the humid Charleston heat, and took myself to the movies. I had a great group of friends and girlfriends who brought such laughter and fun to my life and the time seemed to just creep on by and the memories could be written about for years. Yet throughout it all I was battling this lie that I wasn’t worthy enough to be loved. That I would never find my person, and I was angry, frustrated, sad, and just confused. Yet through those many dark nights I found myself holding on to this small sliver of hope that I would meet the right person, and we would fall deeply in love, and everything would turn out perfectly.
You sneaky fox, I love you.
Well as you know, it did end up happening, I met Eddie and we are now married; but the story wasn’t this smooth sailing fairy tale, in fact Eddie would tell you it was the hardest season of his life to pursue me. I’m such a catch. 😉 Even our engagement season was full of hard thoughts.
So…after writing all of that I should probably get to the point of the title of this post; God’s faithfulness through singleness, my singleness.
I learned a lot about who I was as a woman in my singleness.
I found out what I stood for, had to make hard decisions by myself, be put in uncomfortable situations alone, how to entertain myself, how to cook meals I enjoyed, picked up hobbies, etc. I forced myself to do things I didn’t want to do in order to still live a beautiful and whole life without a mate.
Now that I’m married I still have to do all of those things.
If you would have told me 5 years ago I would have married a man in the military, left my home town of 28 years where ALL of my family & friends lived and I would live in 4 different place in the first year of marriage settling in on the absolute opposite side of the country I would have laughed straight in your face. Yet here I am.
My husband is gone all. the. time. and I’ve had to make new friends and figure out how to fill my time in a city where I knew no one and knew nothing. I have to deal with tough situations without having my spouse to talk to about it and make decisions that I believe we would both agree on. I still have to be independent a lot because the only other option would be to hide in our place until he comes back home and that’s not realistic.
I needed to grow into the woman I needed to be and the woman Eddie needed as a wife.
I had to learn how to stop spitting venom and word vomiting my anger in situations and begin to pause, listen, process and work through my problems. I believe those lessons were learned a lot from living with Maria for 7 years. We were the absolute OPPOSITE personalities and it was a struggle to learn to soften my verbal blows and shave off my razor sharp edges. I learned about balance, communication, and patience dealing with so many different people over the years that it prepared me to have a better understanding of healthy communication. This isn’t to say Eddie and I don’t argue, we have some disagreements, but we have literally never raised our voices to one another and I think that comes from growth and expectations.
I had to face my baggage.
My huge storage room of hurt, pain, abuse, and loss was overflowing and bleeding into my life. Most days I was just barely making it, let alone being able to pour joy and love into another person. I worked with a counselor for many years unwinding that coiled up pain and facing the problems to cleanse my heart and heal those wounds. Without facing that baggage I would have brought it unresolved and mostly untouched into a marriage and it would have wrecked havoc.
In the season of singleness I knew there was an end, or at least I hoped for one, but I couldn’t see God’s faithfulness in it. I only saw my heart being hurt, abandoned, or played with, I didn’t see God’s protection. Looking back with fresh and understanding eyes I see that when I felt that rise of hope it was God giving me a taste of something beautiful, when those doors shut it was God telling me to wait, and when I felt marriage would never come it was God leaning into me and pulling me closer to Himself.
I recently read “We can wear our hope or wear our hurt” and I just want to give you that challenge today.
If you’re hurting know that you have infinite value and that your pain needs to be felt, but that you can choose to wear your hope instead.
I wish someone would have told me that sooner.
I think it would have influenced me to be more joyful and hopeful through my singleness and now it will help me to choose my hope over my hurt as I carry on through life.