The subject line of an email I received in my inbox last winter read:
Screaming, Crying, and Pulling My Hair Out – Literally!
It was January 1st, and before I even opened it my heart already started throbbing for the young, single girl on the other side of the screen. I knew exactly what she was feeling, and I wasn’t at all surprised by what I read.
She described New Years Eve — that dreadful day for a single woman — which outweighs all the hopeful possibilities a new year could bring. The scene she painted was nothing new.
Everyone was coupled up at the party…except her.
Midnight came, kisses of celebration were shared, and, as she wrote, “I stood alone.”
I held it together at the party, but the moment I got home, my empty apartment, I broke down, and cried uncontrollably. I laid on the rug of my living room, in the dress that I wore.I wrestled with God. I yelled at Him. I was angry at Him.I told Him that I felt like He was withholding something good from me, and I didn’t understand why. Why me?
I think one of the major things that I struggle with the most is that I have never had a date in my whole life.After 24 years of being dateless, you start to, and you can’t stop, wonder if something is wrong with you. Satan uses these thoughts to question my standards. Well, maybe if I put myself out there more, or if I ask them out. I want to scream at the top of my lungs how alone I feel, and get some attention. Any attention.
What is wrong with me?
This was the question, lodged deep inside, that was tearing her apart.
What about grace?
Having a lot of dates, getting attention from guys, dating someone steadily, or even being kissed seems very glamorous…romantic comedy-like. In our culture, it is almost a rite of passage, and until you cross over these, thresholds you’re not a real teenager or a real adult.
But what if, in God’s grace, He is protecting you?
Any time I talk or write about singleness I am always hesitant with the words to use. The last thing I want to do is give a canned church answer. When I was a single woman myself, those answers used to irritate me, even if they were sometimes truthful.
However, this is not a canned church answer from the girl who eventually got married and lived happily ever after.
This is an answer from the girl who did finally get married but envies those women who aren’t yet.
Before I met my husband I dated a few people who I shouldn’t have dated. Most of the time I even knew I shouldn’t be dating them. However, like most young girls, the attention was nice. I liked fulfilling my rites of passage. It felt good in the moment.
Except that now there are scars.
I envy the girls who didn’t have boyfriends before they got married.
I envy the ones who were completely whole-hearted on their wedding day without the memory of disappointments and break-ups and tears. I often ask myself, “Why not me, God? Why didn’t you protect me?”
And God did protect me from a lot, there is no doubt about it, but I wish He had protected me from all of it. Of course, He uses all things for good, and I am sharing my life with you now because of those experiences.
I still envy one less tear, though.
A Hedge of Protection
Single friend, every experience you have before marriage, even the pure ones, you will take into your relationship with your husband. This does not mean that you do not step forward when God leads, that you move about in fear, or botch down any opportunity. There is some risk in every relationship, and you have to take the risk to feel the joy.
But in this time of waiting –– this time of no dates, no texts, no boyfriends, no kisses — don’t forget about the grace.
His grace that is a hedge of protection over you. Trust, hope, and praise God, thanking Him for His grace.
That right there proves that you are already chosen.
What kinds of struggles have you gone through as a single woman? What wisdom do you have to share with those currently dealing with such struggles?