I sat across from Caroline* at our favorite coffee shop in Nashville. We are the same age, but she’s married and loves to hear about my single life shenanigans. Having said “I do” right after college, this jungle that is dating in your 30s is super foreign to her. So when I tell her, “yeah, the hardest part is that he flirty texts me a lot but doesn’t ask me on dates,” she’s all, “wwwoooowww…. we didn’t even have cell phones when Brian and I got married.”
I know, Caroline. I remember. I was in college then too.
We laugh so much. She always makes me feel like my simple Nashville single life is absolutely THE MOST INTERESTING THING EVER.
[It’s really not, y’all. Not for a lack of trying on my part, but it is not.]
On this day, in the dead of winter, we held our warm mugs tightly and I shared my doubts and struggles in this season of singleness.
She said, “Well, I just KNOW that God has someone for you.”
And I paused. And stared blankly. After a few seconds, I responded, “No, no you don’t. You don’t KNOW that.”
And she blankly stared back, then looked down at her latte. “You’re right,” she said, “I don’t.”
. . . . .
Words that hurt accidentally are the worst. Being that a lot of my friends are married, and they have hope for me, they want to say the encouraging things:
“I just don’t get why you are still single.”
“Are you meeting new people? I think you may not be meeting enough guys.”
And the quotes could go on and on. You probably have a laundry list of things people have said to you meaning to be helpful that have just ended up hurting.
And you know the reality? The problem usually isn’t found in the person sharing the encouragement- the problem is in the ears receiving the words.
I am sensitive about other people talking about my singleness. So when someone bops in and says, “I just know God has someone for you!” it makes me want to scream and say, “YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ANYTHING!”
[Because I am very mature. Obviously.]
One thing my pastor Pete Wilson has taught us to do is trust other people’s intentions, not just their actions. And if I choose to listen to my friends and hear what they are saying through the lens of their good intentions, the words land a softer blow.
I bet women who are trying to get pregnant deal with this too, don’t they? Or women who have lost some weight and suddenly EVERYONE says how much better they look now. It’s not just us singlets that have to work through this.
We all hurt each other with words, whether we mean to or not – welcome to living in a fallen world.
The only truth that is Truth is the Word of God. So when those hurtful / attempted helpful comments get poured into my mind, I wash them in the Word.
“God has someone for you!” …. well, maybe. But more than that, God has PLANS for me. (Jeremiah 29:11)
“Why are you still single?” …. well, I’m not sure. But I know that God’s purpose for my life will always prevail. (Proverbs 19:21)
Listen with your heart, not just your ears. And trust that God’s Word is the balm that heals and the sword that slays.
. . . . .
How have you dealt with words that accidentally [or purposefully] hurt you?
*name changed because seriously, she meant well. And I love her.
By Annie Downs // AnnieBlogsLeave a Comment