It seemed most appropriate to allow Valentine’s Day to soak in the rest of its glory before posting a reflective piece containing a hard learned lesson I acquired during my second ‘go-round’ of singleness. I am for all things ‘lovey dovey’ – the cornier the better, most times. I offer that information to settle any prejudice you may have about a single person taking the time to think, speak, or write about love, relationships, and the like.
So let’s start with the Spark Notes’ version of my back story.
I moved back to Virginia, and was duped into dating who would become my exhusband at fifteen years old. (I’m totally kidding. I wasn’t really duped. Surface pleasantries eventually lead to mutual interest, and the exchanging of numbers and instant messenger accounts – shout out to AOL instant messenger). We wandered from being old friends to an item, and dated on and off for five years. After getting back together following the last of the off periods, we compulsively made the decision to get married. (We were so childish.)
The demise of any union cannot be summed up into one pivotal moment or factor. There are usually multiple occurrences that line up to create the perfect storm that separates husbands from wives from their vows before God. All in all, life took a series of unexpected turns, and after four years, eleven months two weeks, and one day of marriage, we were officially divorced.
They say, after you are divorced, you have to wait at least a year to check single on information forms, in lieu of divorced.
I don’t know who they is, exactly; but, I do know I spent one full year making a valiant attempt to recover – all while checking divorced on forms since that’s what I was told. I figured at one year, I would be well enough to at least try dating, again. So, I did. I met an amazing guy, and for the first time in a while, I felt I could get married, again. That was a scary feeling. Before that point, anytime I thought about my future, I could only see my ex and the children we named as teenagers, but would never know.
Disclaimer: dating is not for the faint of heart. I don’t remember all of the madness the first time I was single. Maybe because I was a child? I don’t know; but, someone could have warned me. The point is, I tried to date. Some comment or situation exposed a sore spot; and, I decided it best that I ceased dating that particular guy. As fate would have it, another great guy came along – same story different face. I found myself feeling like I needed to prove I was worthy of love, commitment, and attention. I found myself feeling like I needed to prove that I was more good than damaged. This took a major toll on me. I rolled through multiple situationships trying to figure out why all guys were the same. I felt God acknowledge the question I posed to the air by replying directly to me.
“It’s not them, it’s you.”
I beg your pardon? It’s me? How? I’m a good girl. Any man would be blessed to have me! Then I thought about what that man would really have, if he had me. He would have obtained an insecure woman, more interested in not being alone than loving, again. I feared becoming a woman who grew old with no children, or grandchildren, or husband. Looking back I could tell the enemy was playing on my fear to manipulate me into mutating a good man into my husband. The enemy wanted to trap me in a relationship that didn’t glorify God. He distracted me by making sure the man was good. (How many know it can be good and STILL miss GOD?)
After taking a second to consider my role in the demise of each relationship, I realized with clarity, that it really was me. As an admirer of love and relationships – especially how marriage parallels to what God wants to show the world about how He loves us, I knew I could not passively date, anymore. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to participate in a relationship, that may have led to marriage, which is no doubt a reflection of God’s love.
I don’t want to give away a knock off version of love. I can’t allow myself to half way love anyone. I won’t do it. The man God has for me deserves better than that. I am his favor. My love will remind him that God cares for him. As a single woman who has transitioned from a marriage that ended in divorce, my aim has been to allow God to complete the work in me. Beyond being healed, I am to be whole – lacking nothing.
Singleness serves self-awareness, self-improvement, and self-esteem. The gift of singleness will, no doubt, produce the best version of me God will have to offer. We can’t afford to skip through this intentional time without a thought or care for its purpose. Wholeness happens in singleness. My future deserves me whole. It’s important to recognize the role you play in the cycles you seem to keep going through, and make the necessary adjustments as soon as possible – even if it pains you.
Dear Lover, I can’t love you, right now.
When it’s time, I will allow God’s love to flow through me as unfiltered as possible. You will know God’s love through mine. Promise.
With love until next time,