Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The teddy bear in a mug

I was shopping last week for some last minute Christmas clearance deals, and right across from the leftover Christmas merchandise was the Valentine's Day shelf. It is almost enough to send a shudder up and down the spine of any confirmed single. I walked over and perused the Valentine's Day gifts and merchandise, and as I looked; my eyes fell on it: a large mug with a cute little brown teddy bear in. (Can guys say cute?) I picked it up and admired it, and felt a pang go through me and the thought "wish I had someone special to give that to." Feeling a bit morose, I put it back on the shelf and continued shopping.

  Being single isn't easy. Valentine's Day can be rough as you're surrounded by gushy couples in love and celebrating that love with teddy bears, hearts, flowers, dinner out, and the new rage this year........ pink whales and octopuses. Well, I don't know how much of a rage they are, but they are a new item out for Valentine's Day.

 It isn't just Valentine's Day. It is every day. Couples holding hands, parents with children, ads from everything from cologne to Q-tips using love and couples to sell their product. Restaurants are geared mostly for couples, and so much else in life is geared for couples so you can barely even go to church without being reminded that you are an oddity. You're only one, and are incomplete.

  There was a day it bothered me more. I have cried myself to sleep many nights wishing I could have what so many others have. I'd cringe and die a bit inside every time I had to pretend that I wasn't interested in marriage, for it was easier to put my "I hate the idea of marriage" mask on than to admit I wanted desperately to fall in love and marry...... for then I would be faced with questions I felt I could not answer.

   It doesn't bother me as much anymore. Oh, I still get a pang occasionally on Valentine's Day and Sweetest Day (Hallmark sure fooled people into spending money with that one!), and occasionally something else will spark a longing in me. Overall, I have gotten used to the idea that I am single for life. There are a few factors that I think have played into it:

1) God. I still am nowhere close to being a finished product, but as I have finally believed God loves me and gotten more of a relationship with God than serving Him out of fear; it has been easier to accept that maybe singleness is part of His plan for my life.

2) I have grown more comfortable in my own skin. I enjoy shopping and eating out with friends and family, but I have also come to enjoy shopping and eating out by myself. I'm not that bad of a person to spend time with.

3) I have come to realize that love and marriage isn't all it is cracked up to be.

   I see a lot of relationships that seem to be genuine and will most likely last "til death do us part", but I see more and more relationships breaking up the older I get. Christian men walking out o their marriages and getting another woman. Women bouncing from man to man, being in love and having the perfect guy only to have another perfect guy a few months later. I see both men and women who seem addicted to being in a relationship and can't stay unattached for any length of time, going from one heartbreak to another. I've seen couples break up a marriage that I thought would never divorce.

  Jesus is truly the only One who can satisfy. Singleness can be a gift. I look back on my life and wish I could change a lot of things. I look where I am at now and hope to change some things, but my marital status isn't one of them. As I see relationships breaking apart and marriages being destroyed, I find myself thankful I am single and won't have to go through that heartbreak. I am thankful I am not one of those people desperately searching for someone else to fill the void that the last "perfect" man or woman had been filling until they moved onto someone else.

I am thankful I have to be only answerable to God.

I am thankful for the relationship I have with my nieces and nephews that I would not have if I was married and had my own family.

I am thankful that though I am lonely at times, I can also be alone and happy.

I am thankful that who I am and how I feel isn't dependent on whoever is the love of my life at the moment, but is in Jesus.

  There will be days when I may wish for love and marriage. There will be lonely days, but God will take me through them and will always be there. He won't leave me for someone better, nor do I want to leave Him. He has helped me become more comfortable with my single status, and my prayer is that He will continue to do so and that He might use me some day in a way that a married me could never be used.

  Singleness....... it isn't a curse, and can actually be a blessing and gift.

  And that teddy bear in a mug? Maybe I'll buy three of them for the special three girls in my life.

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