In my life, there have been days where I have not been able to get out of bed (and I am grateful those are many years behind me because that was a special type of hell).
There are days I have found solace there from the chronic body pain I have and a good Tempurpedic mattress pad that offers me some relief.
I have written from my bed and even at times (gasp!) eaten from my bed. I read from my bed every night. Lately, I have snuggled in as my diffuser goes off, trying to speed up my recovery, covered in blankets and faux fur blankets.
My bed is a solace for me, an oasis. With my chronic condition, it has to be. Still, I am going to talk about the bed as a metaphor. In recent weeks I have gotten incredible news from some close friends, the best kinds of news from across the country about all types of life events, and as planning revs up and life moves forward, I know it is time to step back into life.
Because as much as my bed as a thing of solace is necessary, there is a thin line between that and a big white duvet tucked over my head as a crutch. I’m still tiring a bit more easily from the ‘flu but I really am taking steps to come back to life. I mean, really…I’m an extrovert who needs time alone but due to something that took place a couple of years ago I retreated into a bit of a shell (Maybe someday I’ll tell you about it; I’m getting closer to being able to tell that story). Every now and again, I’ve poked my head out but I’ve scurried back to my safe place.
Around the internet and also in real life, there always seems to be this chatter–a grass is greener mentality. As humans, this grass is greener mentality isn’t new but it keeps coming back to singleness vs. marriage. I hate that I even have to write the word versus between the two of those things.
Basically, I have heard and read some version of this again and again:
“Isn’t life so much better with a husband?”
In my opinion, it’s a way of thinking that needs to be addressed.
But before I do that, I need to tell you my heart behind this. It is not to call anyone out. It is to bring this sisterhood of blogging (so amazing!) even closer together. I read blogs written by women who are married without children and married with children (and those things should be celebrated). I also read blogs, like mine, where the blogger is single (and those bloggers should be celebrated and supported too). My heart behind this post is to encourage all of us…because “we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, ESV).
I don’t blame people who speak or write the way which inspired this post. Instead, I want to point out something I mentioned awhile ago (The Truth About Adventures). One of my tips is: never belittle a coadventurer.
I was able to go to San Francisco and learn so much about myself and the world and the Lord. Meanwhile, my friend mothered three children and I guarantee she learned so much about herself, the world, and the Lord as well.
Is her adventure less than mine? No. Is it more? No.
We are all on unique and crazy adventures. Would my current adventure be better with a husband? No.
The only ring I currently wear is from my grandparents.
Because God has a plan. He is sovereign. And I’m not married right now. Do I want to be married? Yes. I really do. But let me just tell you, if I believed the lie: life is better with a husband, I would be making an idol of marriage. Not only that but how would I be able to enjoy where God has me now? How could I enjoy this adventure?
I choose to believe that God’s best for me is in this moment. I choose to believe that on this very day, today, I am not missing out and God is not holding out on me. I choose to believe that God wants the best for me, always.
Of course I long to meet the man God has for me. But for now, it does no good and it would be wrong to think life will be better when I have a husband. Having a husband doesn’t protect against tragedy or hardship. And can I just tell you, from what I’ve been told, even when you are married to your best friend, marriage is hard. It is worthy work but it is hard work.
Right now, I am single. And my life is not worse or less because of it.
In my experience, any statement that includes words like life is better with/when blank leads to trouble. Life is better with Jesus. Period. That has to be our standard. Or we are doomed to disappointment and heartache and eventual emptiness.
And I’ll still read the love/wedding stories on the blogs I love because I love those bloggers and I love their stories. My singleness is not something to be defensive over. I like reading stories about all kinds of women in all kinds of stages of life because it all comes back to this: we are all on our own adventures and we should never belittle a coadventurer or her adventure itself. I love reading how God is at work in everyone’s life–married or single. And when God is at work, no one gets the worse or the better end of the stick.
Thoughts? I’m seriously interested.
P.S. Don’t forget the raffle!! It’s called The Fullness of Joy Giveaway. How apt for this post. Let’s live in the fullness of joy where we are now.
To be honest, my twenty fifth year flew by. Maybe that’s what happens when you take everything day by day when it comes to moving across the country. I remember exactly where I was a year ago today and it’s strange to realize where I am right now. So, for today, here are 25 things I know for sure, as of today, right now (as in, I am sure there will be lots of things I change my mind about).
1. God’s plan is the best plan.
2. There are just some people that you are supposed to meet in this world, especially when you are away from your family. There are unexpected hugs and kindness everywhere.
3. Distance ain’t nothing but a word. But it’s still a word.
4. Adventures are hard. It isn’t always a fairy tale. But it’s still an adventure.
5. San Francisco is a fantastic city and I love her.
6. The internet is actually not a horrible place! Sure, there is meanness but social media…it can be used for good.
7. Becoming an adult is painfully difficult and awkward and I would like to know when I can drop the becoming from the front of this sentence.
8. There is nothing like laughing with someone who knows you deep down in your soul.
9. There is nothing like laughing period.
10. God is good.
11. I might be able to do something well, perfectly even; but that doesn’t mean that’s what I should be doing.
12. I am terrified of settling. I am terrified of fear holding me back. I am scared of regrets.
13. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in You.” Psalm 56:3
14. There is something to be said about reading a child a book.
15. “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9)
16. Facetime/Skype make my life happier.
17. A good book written by a good writer is priceless.
18. Rainy days are like sighs. Sometimes they feel awfully good.
19. Blogging is hard work but very much worth it.
20. I was meant to be a writer.
21. Coloring helps me relax.
22. I want to marry a man like Coach Taylor on Friday Night Lights, a molder of men. 😉 #ClearEyesFullHeartsCan’tLose
23. There is nothing like singing at the top of your lungs with your friends with the windows rolled down.
24. Curly hair is a blessing and a curse.
25. So many things will change in the next year. Maybe even some of the things I’ve listed here.
Anything I missed? Help a girl on the verge of 26 out here.
P.S. Want to enter to win a mug of your choice? Go check out Erin’s awesome blog, Living in Yellow. One day left.
While I did pack a suitcase for a job interview across the country in a city where I knew exactly zero people and while I got that job, found a sublease, and started, living out of a suitcase within a week, I want to be honest.
Whenever people hear about the last year and a half of my life, they act like I did something either insane or miraculous. Mine is not a family that leaves one another. For most of my life, everyone I loved was within easy driving distance. So to leave was a big decision and risk. “You’re so brave! I could never do that,” people say to me.
Here’s the truth: I am not that brave;I just didn’t have time to think it through.
Sometimes you leap. A lot of adventures start that way. I leapt.
I had time to pack and get on a flight. That’s it. Once I got there, I had time to do the interview. Once I got the job, I had time to find a sublease. Once, I found a sublease, it was time to start work. And on it went. Basic needs met. In a way, my life became completely simplified. After signing my own lease, I needed a bed because…well, that’s what I needed. So that was my priority I couldn’t think about sheets because I didn’t have a mattress! I don’t really consider it bravery so much as the Big Guy not giving me any time to hyperventilate.
That being said, I want to tell you the truth about some adventures. There will be moments that stop your heart in your chest because of their stunning beauty. There will be moments you know you will hold in your head for the rest of your life, so sacred you rarely speak of them. But adventures are not easy things. Inherently, adventures include difficulties, right?
Here is the truth about life’s adventures. At least in my own experience thus far.
1. There will be moments when you want to cry. There will be moments when you want to curl up in a tiny ball and wait for someone with loving arms to take care of everything that needs to be taken care of. But you are on adventure. If someone does take care of you, he or she certainly won’t take care of everything. That person will not be someone you expect or are used to. It takes humility to accept help from this stranger. They didn’t give birth to you. Or maybe no one shows up. You have to pick yourself up and figure it out. And sometimes, just to be frank, that really sucks.
2. You can’t leave everything or everyone behind. The fact is, you lived a life before this adventure, this season of your life, and even if you wanted to erase everything and everyone from before, you couldn’t. They have impacted you for better or for worse. Now, you get to decide what to do with that. I am not advising you to carry emotional (or physical, to be honest) baggage wherever you go. But in my experience, if you think location will help you escape a problem, it’s actually an even bigger problem than you realize. Secondly, memories, both good and bad, are a part of me. Even in this new city, they come back to me. Some things I wish I could forget. But if Cher could not turn back time, I can’t either. I can move forward though. And it’s good and healthy and right.
3. There are Pros to life pre-adventure. It’s just a fact. I promised myself that I would not be the girl who came home to Chicago that first time and said, “Well, in San Francisco we do this and San Francisco is so much better than here because…” (I mostly succeeded but the first time I came home was winter and I know I made some cracks about the weather). But on the flip side, there are things about mundane suburbia, I sure do miss. I won’t lie to you about it. Some days, I really long for a bag of chips and some Whole Foods guacamole and mango salsa, but then I remember I have to take a cab over to Whole Foods. Or I realize I have no clean clothes. None. And I remember I don’t live in a house with a washer and dryer just ready (and free!) for my own use. (To think of all the times I complained about doing laundry; I didn’t know how good I had it.) (Also, yes, I have bought new undies just so I could get through one more week without doing the wash.) This doesn’t mean don’t go on adventures but it isn’t sunshine and rainbows all the time. Life is not like that. There are pros and cons to any life situation. For me, it’s actually, upon reflection, helped me appreciate a life, I didn’t value while I was living it. As I go forward, I want to value the season of life I am in, even if it is hard, because there is always pros and cons to any situation.
4. There are all types of adventures. Never belittle a fellow adventurer. Or yourself. I’m not married and I don’t have kids. Do i want those things? Yes. But in God’s perfect timing, if I had them at 24, I would never have fallen in love with the city of San Francisco. Still, I have friends that are married with kids. I don’t think they are “tied down” and I am “free.” I truly believe, after this last year and a half, that there are all types of adventures. Some work out and some don’t. Sometimes life’s circumstances actually make it easier or harder for a particular adventure to take place. But you know what mom said: until you’ve walked a mile in someone’s shoes, no judgement. Honestly, I think motherhood will someday be a great adventure. Some of my friends already are on that adventure. And I am sure some of them (well, I am sure since they told me) love their kids but wish they had one last, stellar, solo adventure for the record books, to get to know themselves better. But we are co-adventurers. Get it? Got it? Good.
5. Homesickness is real thing. I’ve always been extremely independent. I don’t think it surprised people who knew me that I could leave. It’s strange though. I miss family and friends in waves. Sometimes it is particularly poignant. And other times, I don’t really think about it. But I have to leave you with this. Right now, my little sister, with over twenty years and a country between us, is obsessed with the Wizard of Oz. Obsessed.
Dorothy got to go on this amazing adventure with some great shoes (and her little dog, too!). She encountered people and things she never expected. She was pushed beyond what she thought herself capable. But at the end of the adventure, she still says, “There is no place like home.”
For some people, home is not a place. It is a voice on the telephone. It is loopy cursive on snail mail. It’s a funny text message. But upon adventuring, know that there are people and places that forged you, that understand you in ways that are impossible to explain. Some connections go so far back they are nearly magical.
So yes, by all means, be adventurers! I just want to be honest about mine.