Before I dated my husband I had never had a boyfriend all through high school or college. It was mostly not by choice. I had thoughts like maybe something was wrong with me, maybe I am not attractive since no one asks me out, maybe I am just a weird awkward girl that people just don’t want to date.
My late husband did not make the first move or admit he liked me. I had to be the one to admit I liked him first. Although we ended up getting together after I told him I liked him I don’t think I ever really dealt with ALL the feelings of being single and loneliness I felt first.
Fast forward to the present and the same feelings that I felt before Ben and I dated are hitting me as I deal with being single and feeling lonely again. Except new thoughts have emerged. Thoughts of thinking, “It took me so long to find someone when it was JUST me, now I have a son. Does that mean that it is going to take twice as long? ”
Because I am in the same place of being single again I feel it has given me a second opportunity to replace what I didn’t get and work out with God about myself way back then AND now. These are a few things I have begun to learn and process about being single again:
- All of these negative views and feelings about myself not being attractive or that something is wrong with me need to be addressed ONE by ONE with God. And ONE by ONE they need to be replaced with what He THINKS of me and what is the ACTUAL truth. Because if I do not do that than I will never be able to understand the full extent about him and about myself. The feelings and wounds that I have not dealt with in the past or present will never be healed or mended by Him if I just ignore or suppress it. I will only carry it into the next relationship.
- One of the number one things I have been observing about the dating world in general is that people want to jump straight into the romance and the dates but rarely do they treasure and work on building a friendship with people FIRST. Yes, I would love to be asked out on a date but I think more than anything, I hope the next person I date would be someone I already have a great relationship with. I think sometimes dating puts this pressure on us to perform, to not really show the real us, to not be fully honest. A friend loves you for YOU with no strings attached. And a strong friendship and foundation with another person in a marriage is ultimately the lasting glue to a great marriage and is what sustained my late husband and I on our darkest and most difficult days.
- I do not need to prove or go out of my way to show anyone or any guy that I am a great catch. If they do not see that then that is their problem and not mine.
- No one can love me MORE than God loves me. And it is because of this that my identity and the first person I want to strive to turn to when my needs are not getting met is God. Feelings of loss always boils down to a need for God. Another person may seem like they can solve feelings of loss but really they will ALWAYS fall short compared to what God can give me and what He has to offer. The love of a boyfriend or husband should not be the ULTIMATE love that sustains me or gives me value but a love that is ONLY an addition and comes second to God’s love.
- I do not want to say I don’t “need a man” or that I do need one in order to feel fulfilled. It may be hard to explain but I think it’s both. I know that I can raise my son on my own and that I have to come to grips that I have to rely on community and my family more than I would want because I am a single mom and a widow. But at the same time I have realized that this NEED for a companion and to get married again is not necessarily a bad thing either. There is a reason God put that longing in all of us because he knew “it was not good for man to be alone.” For me, it is a balance of abiding in God for my current needs but to also not stop asking and talking to him about the need and desire to share my life with someone again.
I am sure there is more God wants to teach and show me as I process and deal with being single again but I hope this helps give you a sense of the importance of how it is never too late to go back and let God replace and redeem what has happened in the past. He longs for our EVERY PART of our hearts and ALL of what we have experienced to be joined with Him and healed. My desires MATTER. And I ask not because I feel getting what I ask for will bring me lasting happiness but because my desires are part of letting God into how I am feeling and into the depths of what is going on in my heart. And the more my heart can be fully honest and fully engaged with God the more He can help me become more like Him. And the only way we can become more like Him is letting Him see ALL of us FIRST. For how can we grow if we don’t let the parts that we hide and the parts that are hurt be healed and joined with Him?