I meant to start this "series" yesterday (I say series cautiously as its just a personal blog, not a magazine, etc)...but I was sick, as in didn't sit up until 5 pm. My adorable yet germy nephew gave me the stomach bug...which is exactly what I needed amidst all my crazyness at the moment. Plus, I hate doing nothing...looking back at the end of the day and thinking, I accomplished nothing -- I saw nothing, did nothing, etc. Heck I didn't even turn the TV on until 3 pm! But, I suppose I needed rest and that was good because I got a lot of it! Anyways, I am a little weak and tired but practically back to normal and working today!
(Also, small side note: I truly think one of the happiest moments in life is when you've recovered "enough" from the stomach bug to get to drink sprite....seriously, the finest champagne you could ever drink can't possibly taste as delicious as that sprite does at that moment!!)
So on with my series on my final thoughts on singlness....
I stumbled across this article from 3 years ago, and I couldn't agree more.
Life is fabulous for me at the moment (albeit full of stress!!) I am marrying the most amazing man, heading to the west coast for a week long vacation and starting our new life together in a city I love. That being said, things haven't always gone perfectly, nor will they always go perfectly. I would have selected that things go a bit differently, possibly without the pain and embaressment of a broken engagement, but this is the way things went....and I truly had to grieve lost dreams before I embraced new ones. I love the life I am living now, although it wasn't the one I selected.
Some excerpts from the article...
"And I had a choice. Choice No. 1: I could dwell on the deep sense of loss I felt at the death of those dreams, question God's goodness and become bitter. Choice No. 2: I could grieve the things I would not be and ask my loving Father to show me new dreams — the things “no eye has seen” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
But first I had to let go of my expectations for my life. I had to give up control of my circumstances (control I didn't truly have in the first place). I had to accept with joy the things I would never be.
Life doesn't always go well for those who follow God. In fact, sometimes it's the opposite. For reasons only heaven knows, our lives can seem void of goodness.
At some point during my single years, I decided it was futile, and even sinful, to cling to the things I would not be. I could only seek to know better the things I would be: a loving daughter, a loyal friend, an encouraging sister, a devoted follower of Jesus.
Many dreams I couldn't even imagine — they resided in my heart as very basic hope — things unknown to me that I trusted God could do. Instead of wasting my energy on grieving what I would never be, I sought to transfer that energy into being someone for Him.
The truth is, I cannot dream God-sized dreams. I also cannot bear God-sized tragedies. Whether I am realizing dreams or dealing with the loss of them, I need the One who created me and loves me."
I love how she didn't say "don't dwell and just be content". She acknowledges that she had to grieve. I think if you don't stop to grieve and accept reality, you will grow bitter....you may be all smiles and claims of contentment at first, but the reality of life's unfairness will eventually hit you. But she also focused on gaining new dreams, ones she had not even planned on.
A lot of times, waiting is tough because what you are waiting on isn't "bad" or sinful. It's one thing for God to say no to something sinful or selfishly wanted, but the desire to be a wife and mother isn't bad at all! In fact, its good, so why all the waiting, feeling as if you wanted something you shouldn't have? I don't have the answers, but what I do know is that our small stories play into a much bigger story and the parts we play may be good -- wife, mother, hardworking attorney, sunday school teacher, etc- and the parts also may be filled with dissapointment, but each part is about bringing Glory to our Savior, so even the failed dreams and heartaches and waiting can be used to do that!
I am no fool. I know that marriage does not mean the end of grieving lost dreams. I have no idea what the future holds for Dave and me, but I know that our small little plans won't likely happen as we had hoped or planned. There will be other dissapointments, and if singleness has taugt me anything, its taught me that old dreams can be redeemed and new dreams can be created. I hate that I learned that lesson at 22, but then again, I am glad that I learned that lesson at 22.
So, single women, grieve, don't be afraid to do it. Don't let friends, family or the church scare you out of it. Grieve so that you can move on and accept new dreams, new challenges, new goals. Grieve so that you can run to your Father and be comforted. Grieve because its unattractive to become that tough hard female that has no feelings or emotions. Grieve because its a broken world and you are currently experiancing some of that brokeness. But know the difference between grieving and dwelling. Grieve, but don't spend every moment doing so. Grieve while aiming at moving on. Grieve and yearn for your Savior and new dreams.
So, grieve and cry and struggle...and hope. Hope that blessings will come your way and hope in a Savior that will sustain you. (but that's another topic!)