In Lets All Be Brave, Annie Downs really encourages the reader to evaluate what are the things we are scared of, what causes us to shiver in our boots, and do the scary and hard thing. I scoffed at this idea. If only you knew, Annie, if only you knew… In a moment of candidacy and vulnerability, I must be real with you, reader. The thing that scares me the most, is in fact the current state I have been walking in for most of my life.
So on this hot Saturday in the middle of June, I have to spit out the thing that scares me the most.
And that is doing life alone… By myself. At least for this period of my life. But sometimes when I think about doing my life alone, I think it’s forever and ever.
*Insert deep breath and annoying sniffiling.*
I thought I had met the man I wanted to walk part of my life with, but somehow it just fell apart due to the wrong timing. But in the short time we talked, I learned to value his opinion deeply, trusted his wisdom, just a note: the man is incredibly wise for as young and stupid as he is. But sometimes the good things aren’t just supposed to happen. But boy I miss that man so much. He just got me, and that’s a rarity in this day and age.
And here I am. Single as I was that day seven months ago. All of my friends try and tell me that “It’s supposed to be a season of being alone, Katie,” or “The right guy is out there for you… I’ve been praying about it.” I try to appreciate their wisdom, but it doesn’t comfort my lonely and scared heart. It feels as if I have been doomed to a life of being single. And God knows that is something I don’t always want to be.
But the thing they don’t tell you, the little secret you aren’t included in is that singleness in the period of my life that I am currently in will be one of the hardest, if not the hardest thing you will go through. Why? Because friends find significant others, they fall in love and start dreaming of a life together with that person. Then they get engaged (I have had at least three friends get engaged in the last week) and married.
I’m not a wedding and marriage hater. I promise. I love them, just look at my Dream Wedding Board on Pinterest.
But after hearing and watching so many people find mates and that person they get to walk life with, be a help meet for, I can’t help but turn my head slightly towards God and ask. “What about me?”
It’s like I am the one person who gets left behind as everyone else runs forward. But as negative as I am becoming, I keep getting this image of me looking longingly at the people ahead of me one last time before turning down the hallway to my left and travelling down it alone. And that is a scary image to have floating in your head when people are falling in love left and right.
In spite of my current whining about being alone, I feel as if God keeps reminding me ever so gently, “Scary things… Remember?” I just sit here in my chair feeling such defeat. I don’t want to do scary things, I just want what everyone else has. But that’s selfish. That’s not following and truly living in his will.
He continues to remind me that in this time, I get to and have done crazy things that wouldn’t be as possible with a significant other. I traveled to Germany, I get the opportunity to walk life with some of the greatest women you will meet, I get to write a really cool action book that’ll be revolutionary to the literary community and the society. I get to do crazy things after graduation simply because he needs me to be really good at being alone. To really be prepared for him to catapult me into the scary but fantastic things he has called me to.
Which I think I am mastering fully after being single for twenty one years of my life.
If that didn’t help me to feel better, he continues to remind me about people like Bonhoeffer, (now I know he was engaged at the time of his death) who was single at the point of life where I am currently twiddling my thumbs and doing weird dances alone at, Amy Carmichael, Annie Downs, (that woman is a kindred spirit, her book was healing for my soul) all did and are doing FANTASTIC things for him, living the dreams he buried deep within them, simply because they said yes to living a life where so many uncertainties reside at this point in their lives.
So scary things that make me nervously braid my hair? I’m still leery of doing them, but I know that His way, His dreams, are so much greater and grander than me simply appeasing my flesh right now.
I ask, would you take a leap with me? Pray that He reveals the scary things and that He will guide us as we make those scary things not so scary and more realistic?
I’m curious to see what happens in this time of us being by ourselves. I’m convinced nothing but great things can happen.