Last month, a few of us wrote about our plans for 2012, especially as it pertains to being single. I read every single comment and this one…. well. You’ll see.
Hi, while I appreciate your desire for single women to be encouraged to live differently and sharing principles we all should live by….why doesn’t anyone ever validate that being single in your 30s can seriously break your heart everyday. … I don’ t know if there are others out there like me who dreamed of and planned for nothing more than serving beside a husband serving in ministry, raising a godly family and serving those around us, who are just left heartbroken and disappointed and stuck in a life they never wanted, but if there are I wish that someone would write about how to trust God and hope again in the midst of your heart being shattered by unfulfilled dreams and lifeplans that doesn’t start with being grateful for things we don’t have.
I will write about it.
You want to know why I haven’t written about being single for the last ten years that I’ve been writing? Because it can be awful and confusing and the kind of pain that is hard to describe with words.
It’s a deep hurt. And it raises a lot of questions.
- Why won’t anyone pick me?
- What’s wrong with me?
- Am I doing something wrong?
- Am I too ugly? Fat? Skinny? Tall? Smart? Dumb? Short?
- Why does God give her a husband and not me?
- Why does God answer my other prayers but not this one?
- Will I die alone?
And to tell the truth, there are probably fifty more questions. Those are just the ones that I can spout off the top of my head.
So JJ the commenter, your emotions are valid. Way valid. They are real and I get it.
I bet a lot of women do.
The day before I turned 28, I couldn’t get out of bed. I have never been that sad before. But on that day, July 6, 2008, I was absolutely unequivocally heartbroken. I rolled over, grabbed my computer from the floor and wept as I emailed my two best friends.
I don’t remember the whole email and to be honest, I’m not going to search through my archives. I don’t want to read it again. But I remember one very dramatic line- “I can’t do this another day.”
You want me to get ugly honest about what it can be like to be a single Christian woman?
Sometimes, you don’t think you can do another day.
[But I did do it another day. I've done it for approximately 1300 more days.]
I know. There are worse things in the world. I get it- being single is nothing compared to other heartbreaks in life, but it is a heartbreak nonetheless.
Because it goes deeper than being alone at the dinner table or in the bed. If you’re a Christian and being a wife is something you have longed and prayed for, having that desire unmet can get super personal between you and God.
It changes from an unmet desire to an unanswered prayer. And no matter what Garth Brooks says, sometimes it does not feel possible to thank God for unanswered prayers.
So how do we trust God, and I mean REALLY trust God, even when these emotions are real and true and living just right below the surface?
I don’t totally know.
I know that single women deal with this. But I bet married women do too. We all have things we’ve dreamed for and longed for and not received when we wanted them.
So as unconventional as this is, and as much as we all wish I’d finish this with a list of behaviors that lead to trusting and contentment, I’m not going to do that.
We are a community here at (in)courage. We care for each other. So I’m going to let y’all care for JJ and for me and for each other.
So let’s answer that question…
How can I trust God and hope again in the midst of my heart being shattered by unfulfilled dreams and life plans?
Help, y’all. Help.
ABOUT ANNIE DOWNS
Annie Downs is a freelance writer in Nashville, Tennessee. Flawed but funny, she uses her writing to highlight the everyday goodness of our great God. Annie has been telling stories her whole...