This singleness thing stinks and it stinks bad.
For many years now, I’ve withstood people’s nagging inquiry about my civil status and their sometimes, straightforward questions about my gender preferences. Oftentimes, I get sympathy mixed with womb, pregnancy, biological clock concerns.
For the life of them, they couldn’t comprehend why I am 42 and still single. Well, for the life of me I couldn’t explain it to them either.
Before moving forward with my train of thought, let’s cover some basic grounds.
First, no, I am not a lesbian. I desire for a man and get attracted to a good-smellin’, tough or rugged-lookin’, wearing freshly laundered, freshly pressed jeans and shirt, sweep-me-off kind of knight in shining armor. You know, a very kind gentleman who still smells good even after a battle. (Kinda like this man).
Second, I have a complete aspiration to be married and have children of my own (although I worry about whether I should go normal or C-section, ha!). But not to the point of me becoming so desperately man-crazy, falling prey to the first single man I meet.
Third, I have had some kind of romantic relationships that didn’t work out in the past. I could have gotten down to it but I can’t get myself to do it and endure the possible loss of self-respect.
For many years now, I live my single life, hoping and clinging to God in times of desperation. By turns, I have been terribly lonely and other times, pouring forth joy, hope and grace. There have been mountaintop highs and valley digging lows along the way.
It’s been a long, almost endless, walk. Only God knows the journey that stretches ahead of me.
In what seems like uncertain times, we need something that is certain. There is only one thing that is certain and never changes: the commitment of God to love us and hold us and see us through any circumstance we encounter, no matter our civil status.
Whether he shows up with an answer in 10 minutes or 10 decades, God never fails to walk with us through any storm we might find ourselves in. We just need to cling to him while the storm rages, whether that storm is internal or external.
It’s was Hannah’s clinging that found her giving birth to Samuel.
It was Ruth’s clinging that found her married to Boaz, producing offspring that would birth some of the greatest kings in Israel.
It was Peter’s clinging that helped him walk on water.
And it was Jesus clinging to the promises of his father that helped him take the path to the cross.
Each faced difficult circumstances.
All of them grew weary.
The “what really happened,” real life version isn’t nearly as glamorous as the condensed Sunday Service edition.
I’m sure there were many nights that Hannah clung to her prayers with tears and empty, aching arms.
Ruth must have had little hope of happiness or another husband as she overheard local gossip about her and worked hard for her daily bread.
I can’t imagine what it must have been like to be in Peter’s shoes and be rebuked by Jesus, over and over.
As for Jesus, although I’m sure that his faith in God never wavered, he redefined clinging through exhaustion, having no home, dealing with the disciples and everything else he endured.
He gave his all and looked as though he lost his grip, only to find it stronger than before as he rose from the dead to defeat sin and death once and for all.
Today, the church still finds itself clinging, but often it’s only for a little while. We get easily discouraged when God doesn’t reply with microwave, drive thru or fast delivery style answers.
If the answer to my prayer isn’t here “by 8am Monday morning,” we feel like God must not love us, isn’t listening or doesn’t plan on answering.
“I’ll have to do it myself” might be how you handle business today, but that’s not what we learn about God from the examples of old.
Life is hard. Ugly stuff happens. It’s praying for your very life and reminding yourself of the trials of saints before you that keeps hope alive.
It’s crying out to the Lord for mercy that makes answers so sweet. And it’s keeping in perspective that if God says not yet or down right no, there is a great good and a bigger reason that we’ll know eventually.
Sometimes waiting to understand why is what keeps us clinging the hardest. But folks, there are also some things that we will never understand this side of the world.
After years of clinging on to God, well, it was more like God holding me more than I cling to Him because I uncling myself from Him too many times I can’t keep track anymore, I’m happy to say that I am still single, sexy and sent.
Single to be both a homebody and join occasional girlfriends’ night out chit chatting in Starbucks even beyond closing time at 12AM.
Sexy to sleep naked (oops, put your visual blinders on) in my own bed on nights I refuse to turn on the aircon and use just the fan.
Sent as a ‘corporate missionary’ for mentoring moments with colleagues so I can add positive value to them.
All through the years, these ups and downs of living this single season has grown faith in me and makes me grounded to what matters most in life. Yes, it is horribly hard, especially when I am hormonal, and the future can look so bleak at times, but through it all, God’s grace shines through and never fails to carry me.
While God hasn’t answered my prayers – and that of my friends – for a born again, spirit-filled, good-lookin’, good-smellin’ gentleman, it certainly is not the end of the world for me.
One fine gentleman will come along, but not in my own volition. The Lord who created me knows what is best for me. That being said, I’d rather trust my Creator.
For now, I guess that you could say I am living happily ever after.
Well, happily ever after until the next season arrives.
Until then, let’s cling on to God.