Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Singlehood Debunked

Yes, I know, it sounds crazy, but singleness, or what I like to call utter aloneness, can lead to feelings of being... alone. One might call this "alone-liness," or just, you know, loneliness. You've probably never heard of it, or suffered from it (because if we thought others did we wouldn't feel so alone). This blog post is about this rare condition. Prepare yourselves. It sucks.

My brother got married! I am so incredibly happy for him. I got to be a bridesmaid and of course, was mistakenly given the task of being the first bridesmaid to walk down the aisle. There was no dress rehearsal. But as most of life does not come with a dress rehearsal I should have been okay with simple directions. Unfortunately I am not good with simple directions. All I remembered was which groomsman was my partner and towards him I walked aaaannnnd lined up on the groom's side of the bridal party. I stood in front of him, realized what I had done and whispered to him, "I'm on the wrong side aren't I?" then did an awkward side shuffle to the other side of the stage. This actually happened. Most said it was the highlight of the entire ceremony which is quite something considering two people just gave their lives to each other in holy matrimony. In a way I'm a little offended for my brother and his wife. In another way I'm incredibly gratified. Shame does not come into play here like it would for most people. Anyway, I always thought I would be married first. Not because I was more likely to meet the man of my dreams than my brother was to meet the man... of his.... wait that didn't work out. What I mean is I just assumed I would get married first because I was more likely to fall head over heels with the first man I clapped eyes on and marry him, natural-born serial killer or not. This wasn't my plan or anything people, I'm just a realist. Thankfully God has saved me from myself, (something He is all-too familiar with) and from the potential serial killer I might have married. So here I am. All alone. A spinster. An old maid. An ol' fuddy-duddy. (Somehow this turned into name-calling for single women.)

I can only hope to find someone as perfect for me as my brother's new wife is for him. But will I? That is the question. Last year I got so hopeless I joined e-Harmony, and then Christian Mingle. Sorry did I say hopeless? Haha, I meant, um, er, adventurous. So far it's been... hopeless. Sorry did I say hopeless? I meant despairing, THE END. A lot of the eligible bachelors online aren't even close to being right for me so it's not so much that I am missing out as being saved from a life of misery. I have said it a million times but I will say it again: I would rather be single my entire life than be with someone God didn't want for me. Does that mean it won't be freaking hard if I never find someone? NOPE. It sure doesn't. NEWSFLASH: my number one, number two, even three,
four and five reasons for being placed on this earth do not include finding the man of my dreams. This is very hard for me to take in. I'm... having... a panic attack... right now... thinking about it... My heart, mind and body are trying very hard to tell me that in fact finding the man of my dreams is the only reason I was placed on this earth. That is just not true. My actual reasons for being placed on this earth are:
  1. To love God
  2. To serve Him
  3. To love His beloved children (AKA everyone)
  4. To serve His children
  5. To try not to screw up on 1 through 4. (If you must know 1 through 4 are actually all the same thing: serving God. Number five is called "being human.")

This feeling of desperation, of "needing" a companion, some would call anti-feminist. And I would say, "Yes, thank you. I will tell myself that as I cry into a bucket of ice cream that I am allergic to." Some would also say if you're not happy when you're single, you'll never be happy. And I would say, "Screw you," depending of course on whether it's that time of the month. But there is nothing wrong with wanting a companion. And there is nothing wrong with feeling lonely. It's what you do about that feeling that matters. Are you taking it to God or are you giving yourself away? Are you trying to fill your heart with good things or are you the wolf licking the frozen, blood-coated blade not realizing you are only harming yourself? (And most likely others too.) Don't you know that those immediate, quick fixes lead to death? I for one want what Jesus is offering: life and life to the fullest. So I will wait on God. But if I wait with my eyes to the ground I might miss what God is showing me. I recently read the book, "Boundaries in Dating" by Dr. Townsend and Dr. Cloud which my mom gave me in a subtle attempt to say something, what I don't know, but this book is amazing. It taught me dating can be a really good thing when done the right way. And online dating is just a convenient way of dating, or a great place for socially awkward people to try to get dates. So now I'm all pumped up to start dating in the right way - with no dates. I haven't had much success with online dating. Part of my problem with e-Harmony is that I don't let the online relationship go past "Makes or Breaks." This is literally the third step... There are only four. The first one is asking a couple ice breakers that you can answer with multiple choice, and since childhood, it has been instilled in me that multiple choice means lowered chances of failure so I always do this one. The second step is asking more in-depth questions that require you to write a real response. This takes effort. The third step is sending your "Makes or Breaks" - your deal breakers and makers in relationships, and finally after all this hoopla you can message the person. Let me give you the low-down on what usually happens with me: I get to the "Makes or Breaks" stage and either his answers suck or my motivation has died five steps ago in the four step process. Why you ask? Well for one I just cannot be bothered with anyone I am not really interested in and it is very hard to be interested in a computer. The other reason I don't go past makes or beaks is because quite often the guy's deal breakers include not sleeping excessively and being emotionally stable... Awkward. This is me in a nut-shell: "Hi, I'm Faith. I'm tired. All the time. I sleep as often as possible. In fact I wish I was sleeping right now. I also have depression. I am emotionally unstable. Hi. Marry me."

Let me tell you some fun anecdotes from my online dating adventures. Everyone knows that girls are suckers for animals. So you see all these pictures of guys holding cute animals and it's true, I am instantly sucked in. Granted, I am looking at the animal and no longer at the guy in the picture but he gets wrapped up in my warm, fuzzy feelings for animals. It's genius. I thought I had a keeper when I saw this one Albertan's profile picture of him holding a cute little bunny. Unfortunately, the caption ruined it. It said: "I have a rabbit farm for eating rabbits." He might as well have said, "Hey look at this cute rabbit I am holding! I love rabbits! Oh wait, I already ate this one. My bad!" Another guy asked me if I was enjoying the atmospheric conditions. I moved on. Many do not include a single picture where they are smiling. This makes me think they hate smiling, which of course I agree. Smiling is awful and way too much work. We will have a wonderful life together not smiling. Ever. And if he smiles just once, I will file for divorce. Unfortunately there seem to be very few Christian men from Vancouver Island online. That's because, and Statistics Canada has confirmed these findings which you can verify here, 90% of Vancouver Island is made of women - they use the term "swarming with them" - and 90% of Christians are female. And yet I'm having such a hard time finding a female roommate! What gives. At this point most people would question if maybe they were the problem. I refuse to do so. Fact number three: 80% of men live in Alberta. 100% of them are rednecks. Fact number four: long distance relationships are hard and often not worth it unless you 100% do not care if you have to leave your family and friends and everything you hold dear.

If you are single and finding it difficult, that's because it is. And you shouldn't feel guilty either when you hear about how much you should be cherishing your singlehood and, well... aren't. We were made to want companionship. It is as much a part of life as the desire for protection, happiness, family and food. Yes food. Of course with food, if you don't eat you will literally die, whereas they tell me you cannot die of singlehood. But you can die from loneliness. I would say that most suicides are caused by sheer loneliness - whether it's loneliness that brings on depression or depression that brings on loneliness it is all the same in the end: death. (This got morbid fast.) I just mean we don't take loneliness seriously enough. I struggle with depression and despite being surrounded by loved ones, loneliness is a big problem for me. God made us to love and want love, but what we forget is that He made us first and foremost to love Him and to want His love. The idea that someone would feel so lonely they would want to end their life, when in fact, their Creator loves them with a passionate love and died to eradicate the very loneliness they are suffering from is a fantastically woven lie from the very enemy of our souls. Now, I know from experience that the more you seek God, the more you abide in His love, the more your desire for earthly things, including companionship, will fade into the background. What is earthly love when heavenly love is in view! Instead earthly love is seen for what it is: an extension of heavenly love. God is love. So what do we single people do? We fix our eyes on Jesus. Does this mean your earthly desire for love will go away? Hell no! (Wrong phrasing?) All I know for sure is, He has not taken away my desire for earthly love yet. You?

But how do we fix our eyes on Jesus in real life? I mean, who has time to pray or read their Bible anymore? Who has time to put effort into a relationship? Good news! You are well on your way to a life of bad relationships. Communication is just as important in your relationship with God as it is in your human relationships. A wise philosopher once said, "If you don't communicate your relationship will die" (I learned this in the class "Dating for Dummies 101.") The hard part is taking the time to listen, but just talking to someone without listening is not a relationship. It is freaking annoying is what it is. Sometimes you have to force yourself to pray, which I know, can feel like dry chalk in your mouth; but did you know that chalk is made of calcium? So it's good for you. Yay! Eat that chalk. Because when I force myself to pray, guess what usually happens? I usually end up seeking Him. This includes striving to get rid of anything that gets in between me and Jesus: being careful what I watch, what I think about, who I hang out with and what I am putting in my life. This is how I fix my eyes on Jesus.

You see friends, my desire for earthly companionship means I am in a continuous, daily, trust exercise between me and my Father. Granted I suck at it, but I need to trust Him, not just because He is trustworthy, but because I whole-heartedly am not. I do not trust myself. Neither should you. (No seriously, don't trust me with anything, I will probably lose it.) And this trust exercise is really, really hard, especially when it comes to loneliness and especially if you struggle with depression, which more of us do than you think. For some reason I am constantly forgetting that in fact God is in control and I am not. I fall on my face and get back up again. Like I said, a continuous trust exercise. And we all hate exercise so we eat burgers instead. And apparently (and now this is really crazy) this trust exercise does not end in marriage! I know! Can you believe it? If you want children, then you have to trust God with having children. If you want your business to succeed, you have to trust God with your business. DOES IT EVER END? Yes. It's called death. It all comes back to death. (Which, of course, is only the beginning.)

The End

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