by Lorie Marcum
Single…never married, divorced, widowed – we all live in that same zip code…SINGLE.
Synonyms for Single – Solitary, Lone, Sole, Solo, Only. As I read each one of those words it is like five individual punches to
and the heart.
Each word harder, deeper and more debilitating. It took me years to come to terms with living single. Paul says, “The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” 1 Cor 7:34
When you are in the throes of singleness, the pain of it, the questions, the loneliness are our ears willing to hear with a cheerful heart that we should prefer to be “concerned about the things of the Lord, that we may be holy both in body and spirit;”? That sounds like a super tall order to me?! And upon hearing these words I have to admit the first thought going through my mind is “Father, are you so very far away from me that you do not recognize my pain”? Because as a woman God created, I just want to remind my brother Paul that the Lord made me to be concerned about the things of the world and how I may please my husband. Had he not ever overheard two women in conversation?
Paul goes on to say about widows in 1 Cor 7:40, “But in my opinion she is happier if she remains as she is; and I think that I also have the Spirit of God.”. While he may have the Spirit of God to pass on to the people, in darkest times of singleness we would ask how in the world could a man know the heart of a woman who has lost someone so very important to her, the woman who is suddenly alone in body and spirit, the woman who finds herself solitary, lone, sole, solo, only?
My family fell apart when I was 15 years old and I was on my own at 19. Not enrolled in college and living in a dorm on my own, not sharing an apartment with a roommate while I “found myself” on my own, not traveling overseas following my high school graduation on my own…but just plain on my own. Working a full time clerical job, supporting myself, living by myself, figuring out life on my own. Single. Solitary. Lone. Sole. Solo. Only. Just me…well that’s what it felt like!
I remember literally crying out to God “Why?” The conversations with God expressing that “I can’t do this, how did I get to this place, how can YOU do this to me, this world is too big for me…are you going to be the God for me who people say you are?”
And because I was a survivor I don’t think I even waited for an answer. I just did what I had heard from man, from people. I pulled up my boot straps, put on a happy face and made it up for myself one day at a time. Looking back it wasn’t being a survivor that spurred me on but fear. Fear that God would leave me in this place.
Fast forward 40 years. There is hope. Single is a blessing (I bet those words make you want to hurl). Take heart, be encouraged…God’s love does prevail. I won’t lie or sugar-coat it. There are pretty steep hills and deep valleys but if you are willing to learn to trust the Lord, I promise you that you will be able to repeat those words and mean it! 1st step…get still…be quiet…listen. Don’t expect to hear right away. Some ladies might, but for me…it took a little time…and a little more time…and a little more time.
Until next time, rest in the stillness and quiet!
“Be still and know that I am God” Ps 46:10
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