Single, Saved, But Surely Not Satisfied
If one more married person had explained to me how blessed I was to be single, I was going to scream. What was so blessed about it? No one to play “footsie” with over an evening dinner. No warm hands to playfully pull a remote control from while watching my favorite show. Not even a soul to pull the covers off of me at night. “Where was the blessing?”, I wondered. In those moments, I usually flashed a superficial smile as I thought to myself how easy it must have been for them to tell me how content I should be when they were going home to a warm body and a handsome man.
I constantly replayed those thoughts. Personally, I was becoming frustrated. In my heart, I thought that I was doing everything for the sake of my love for Christ, yet it seemed like my works were going unmerited. Hey, I deserved happiness didn’t I? I felt cheated.
Since God knows all things, I know God knew this. My problem was in the fact that He didn’t seem to be bothered by my murmuring. I would act like a little child who tries to convince their parent to buy a toy. I would do some work or ministry program and then go to my secret closet and pray, all wide eyed with anticipation looking to heaven saying, “Okay, God. I did this. Now can I have my man? You see how I ministered Your Word. Lord, You know I love ya.” (I had to throw my loving wink at him, too). Oh yes, I did that many times. Shoot, I did that many years! Still nothing changed.
As each day passed, my marital status remained the same. Single, saved and Lord knows not satisfied. I would cringe in my seat on Sundays listening to my fellow sisters testify about how happy they were in Jesus alone. “Really?”, I wondered. What did my sister know that I didn’t? Was there some spiritual formula to being single and happy? Where does she eat? Who does she talk to at night? Was she sane? Somebody tell me!
I was tired of smiling across tables at couples at retreats and conferences and then going to my quiet room. I was tired of marking the boxes marked “Ms.” or “Miss” on documents. I wanted to be “Mrs.-Whoever-Was-Out-There-For-Me”. I wanted a change of life and I was determined that I would devise a way to show God that I was prepared.
I kept hearing folks say that verse that’s seared in all of our minds: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you, as well.” (Matt. 6:33 NIV) I jumped up, ecstatic that I had “figured it out”. I would plunge myself fully into ministry work and just do it all. I would plan programs, counsel the lonely, pray for the sick. Hey, if I did all of that â I was sure that God would see that I was totally sold out for Him. So that is what I did. Like that persistent child, I went to Him again. Nothing. Same result.
Unfortunately, waiting led to foolish rebellions and unequally-yoked relationships. I felt myself slipping with men who were surely not sent from God. My goodness, it was as though The Enemy went shopping and handpicked ones just for me; shined them up real good with intelligent conversation; taught them a few scriptures; gave them some charisma and then said, “Go get her boy!” They almost did get me. Thank God that in the midst of my foolishness, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the truth â opened eyes that wanted to stay shut. “A half a loaf of bread is better than none”, I heard one Pastor say. What a sad untruth because what happens is that the loaf gets stale real fast. It gets old and is as unhealthy as a dead-end relationship. Both my spiritual and physical lives were being affected. I felt as though I was dying inside. My desire for companionship would doom me to eternal loneliness unless a change came.
It came in a way I least expected. I was driving past our church, on a rare moment that I had away from the kids and others, and stopped inside to pray. I walked around the building, visualizing the services that had taken place there, with heaviness on my heart. The more I looked around â the sadder I became. My loneliness began to manifest itself in my tears. I fell onto the altar where I had prayed for tear-soaked members many times. Today was my time. I sat there and I cried unto God from the pit of my heart. I told Him how lonely and angry I was. I didn’t understand why He was blessing others with families while my children and I were stuck in a rut. I grabbed my stomach and began to wail louder and louder. I didn’t care who heard me, this time. I was broken inside and needed answers.
I pulled myself off of the floor and slumped into a chair. I was certain that this was another moment in my life that God would silently listen as I cried. I sat there expecting nothing; to be honest with you, then to my surprise God was no longer silent. I heard the Spirit of The Lord speaking within my heart, saying:
“Let Me love you and show you what you deserve. Give Me the opportunity to mold you into the woman you are to become. Allow Me to show you what qualities you must possess to be that woman of integrity in Proverbs 31. Learn to love Me with your full heart. Learn to accept pure love without hesitation. Then, my daughter, I will release you to love a man beyond your imagination.”
I stopped crying and sat there absorbing what I had heard. For once, I’d stopped listening to my sadness and listened to the voice of God. Finally, after all these years, I got it. God did not want to withhold a loving relationship from me. He wanted me to allow Him to mold me into a vessel fitting for the king whom he had set aside for me to be my husband. I just had to allow Him to take me through the process.
It was then that it dawned on me. It was not about how much scripture I knew; it was about knowing myself fully inside and out physically, emotionally and spiritually. All of these aspects would represent the woman who I was to become. My life was not solely ministry. I was a full-fledged, warm-blooded, thinking and loving woman with dreams, desires, emotions, likes and dislikes. I had areas in my past that needed to be dealt with and things in my present that needed revamping. Yes, I was getting the picture. Instead of jumping into a relationship and then cleaning house, I had to clean things up first.
I was accepting of what I’d heard and felt a weight lifting because of the hope that was restored in my spirit. I knew, now, that the process that God was taking me through to prepare me for my mate was for my own good. He was cleansing the rooms of my heart of the things that tried to taint me– things that I hadn’t recognized and perfuming me up to be found by that special one. God was loving me by showing me my inner beauty.
I stopped complaining and allowed the process of acceptance and renewal to begin. I started handling life with a different mindset. My motives and attitudes had changed and self-appreciation began to take hold. I began to see the benefits that singleness would reap for me a fulfilling one-on-one relationship with God that would eventually lead to my soul mate.
Finally! The light came on and truth began to be revealed! It’s so good that I can’t keep it to myself. So here I am now, girlfriend, sharing my findings. I am one who can relate to others going through the same plight. I still have my moments when I want to sigh and grumble; but, I keep moving forward. I smile, now, as I sit and listen to my single sisters fretting over the comments like “Be happy you’re single, girlfriend.” They look at me and raise their eyebrows as if to say, “If God is my Lover, why is my bed so cold?” I throw my hands up and say, “Sister, I thought you would never ask! Let me tell ya! This is what you have to do!”
*excerpt from “If God Is My Lover … Why Is My Bed So Cold?”
*GOTTA ADD this book is NON-FICTION, I think some think its a novel.*
Copyright © 2006 Olivia Stith. All Rights Reserved.