PART OF THE SINGLE WOMAN’S BLOGGING CHALLENGE
Joy Beth Smith. Remember that name, folks. If not now, you will.
I’ve been reading—no, pouring over her first ever published book, Party of One: Truth, Longing and the Subtle Art of Singleness—and ya’ll, I’m shook.
I’ll get into a more detailed review of the book in a later post, but for now I thought I’d share a bit about my journey through singleness and how this question of: What are you waiting for? comes into play.
I’ve mentioned it before, but in singleness, there are moments that just plain suck. And those moments make you want to just crawl back into bed—if you even bothered to emerge from your covers in the first place—and spend the day wallowing in self-pity and Netflix binges. I wallow, in retrospect, because sometimes I think I can’t and shouldn’t do certain things alone.
We put too much aside as we wait for marriage. There are the predictable things, like swanky pots and pans that we’re unwilling (or unable) to spend a fortune on, but also experiences and trips and relationships we keep looking at and saying ‘not yet.’
JB is right, when she then interjects and asks herself, “well, why the heck not?”
What the heck am I waiting for? More specifically, who the heck am I waiting on? When I dig deeper and ask myself this question, the answer is a resounding—“me”.
Can I be real for second?
I second-guessed my decision to go to grad school on more than one occasion.
And no, it wasn’t because it was over 2,000 miles away from the life I knew and loved for over 20+ years. It was because I worried that my pursuit of higher education would get in the way of me finding someone—or rather, him finding me.
I know. Even typing that out sounds super lame and a little desperate. But I would be lying to you if that’s not how I felt at times during that season of my life. A little lame and a little desperate.
I was so caught up in this idea that if I’m too busy pursuing my ACTUAL DREAMS, that I’d miss out on someone who was looking for me.
Was I so caught up in this idea of even a tiny possibility of romance that I was really about to forgo all that I’d worked so hard for?
Well, yeah. I was THAT caught up. I’d read the statistics. Black women are the least likely to marry among all races. And the more educated that woman is, the more her “marriageability” at least in the eyes of society, plummets. Well, doesn’t that make you just want to go and apply for a PhD program?
My numbers were low as it was, in terms of relationships with men and dates I’d gone on. Adding a degree to the equation just didn’t seem to bode well when looking at those stats.
But, then it hit me. I was missing a key component in this pythagorean theorem-esque love equation the world was selling, and I was buying into. God is bigger than any statistic or factoid out there. His plan reigns supreme and unstoppable. Nothing I can do/not do/stop doing could ever get in the way of His ultimate purpose and plan for my life.
Even especially my romantic life.
It was time to have a real conversation with Him. Because listening to the white noise the world constantly replayed over and over in my head became deafening. And I needed to turn to the only One who’s voice speaks ultimate truth.
Should I still go, Lord? Will you still work with me on this area of my life, even if the stats are working against me? Even if I’m worried it will never happen for me?
His answer—a resounding, “yes”.
Looking back, even the idea of what I was asking myself back then—only a mere 12 months ago—makes me cringe. I think about all the opportunities I would have missed had I chosen to listen to that fear in the back of my mind. In the deepest part of my longing heart.
What I have in mind for my life is good. But what God has in mind is extraordinary.
You see, we singles can sit and wait all we want. For God to bring him or her into our lives and “make things better”. But we’ll be waiting a long time, friends. No one can make your life, except for you. No one can give your life meaning, aside from God.
So what is it exactly that you’ve been waiting to do because of your singleness, prolonged or otherwise?
Get a dog?
Buy a real couch and finally decorate your apartment?
Travel to South America?
Move across the country?
This next question is a simple one, but one that nevertheless needs both my own answer and yours:
What are you waiting for?