Counting Blessings

by Carley Cooper

When we don't see any sign of light at the end of the tunnel, it is then when we should could our blessings.  So on that note, despite my desperate need to count the tear drops right now, I'm going to count a few blessing instead.
  1. I have an awesome apartment.
  2. I live in the best city anywhere.
  3. I lost 75 lbs and I did it myself... through blood, sweat and tears by changing my lifestyle... no diet plans or cheating shortcuts like surgeries... just me and God, and my relentless determination.
  4. God loves me.
  5. God has been transforming me into something wonderful.
  6. I go to a super church - we're in the minority these days... we're taught biblically sound messages, how to tell the difference between worldly thinking and God's thinking.  We are a true family together.  It's super rare.  Even when one of my family hurts me, I can and will forgive him. 
  7. God has awesome plans for my future.
  8. I am a good writer.
  9. I have great creative and administrative gifts that I use to volunteer in my church office weekly.  I just love to worship Jesus like that. 
  10. I am a survivor.  I've come through a lot of abuse (every form you can think of, I've lived through), divorce, extreme loneliness, a lot of physical illness, mental health issues, being rejected and tossed out by loved ones, horrible childhood traumas... and all that is just the tip of the iceberg.  (There is a book in progress.  Stay tuned for details!)
  11. I live in the wonderful country of Canada where I get many freedoms and social benefits that allow me to have a life that would otherwise have killed me by now. 
  12. I have the cuttest little lovebird named Chicklet.  Tiny bird with big attitude!
  13. I have good friends... finally!
  14. I had good food to eat today.
  15. I got to spend some time with someone important to me... even though I'm no longer important to him, I enjoyed myself anyway.
  16. I have access to wonderful medical care and an awesome medical team to help me through my issues.  
  17. I am a forgiving person.  I forgive that person who hurt me so badly last month that my world blew apart.  I love him anyway.
  18. I have a wonderful support group called Survivors... for abuse survivors... and that we are!  Way-to-go ladies! 
  19. I love reading.
  20. I have been saved.  I am a child of God and Jesus died on the cross and rose again from the dead... for me!  Are you a child of God?  He loves you, and He would love to have you as His child too.  You can be if you accept Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Saviour.  
OK... the tears have finally stopped.  Hopefully they will stay that way for a little while.  Having a broken heart is not a nice thing.  I'm sure God will use this as a blessing somehow in my life at some point.  Right now I don't see it; but I know He will. 

The Bottom Line

by Carley Cooper

One of the things that I am hardest on myself about is the fact that I am single.  Part of me wants to wallow in it.  It’s easier than fighting it.  I want to have a marriage like the rest of the world; and I’d like to have it happen before I’m too old for it to matter anymore.  It bothers me when I get a string of married people tell me that I should be happy to live alone with just me and Jesus.  Not that I don’t love Jesus, and He’s not worth it; because He is.  However, I challenge any married person to give up their spouse and all traces of that person including all contact in any form for a period of six months and see if you feel like you come out the other end with your sanity intact.  Keeping in mind even if you did do this test, you still would know at the end that your spouse is coming home.  Singles don’t have that hope.  

It also bothers me when single people say that they’ve learned to accept it and be happy; yet they also tell me that they don’t believe the perfect person for a partner exists.  This tells me that they are not happy being single.  In fact, what I see is someone who has quit dreaming.  They are not happy being alone because they’re so in love with Jesus.  They have accepted it as the only viable option because they no longer have a dream.  If I am to learn to be truly at peace being single, I don’t want it to be because I quit my dream. 

The enemy wants me to think that I’m going to spend my evenings for the rest of my life curled up on the couch alone in one of those blanket cozy thingies, crying and eating cheese puffs.  Of course, this line of thinking has a series of problems that are not realistic.  I have to consciously and consistently force myself to remember that.  First, I don’t own one of those cozy thingies.  I’m not sure I’d want one.  The whole  point in curling up and being cozy is to do it with your partner.  No partner... no reason to need to curl up or be cozy!  Secondly, I can’t eat the cheesy snacks.  Well, that is I won’t eat them.  That is because they’re just little wads of chemicals and preservatives; not real food.  As such, they’re not good for my mental health so I have to stay away from them.  

Why do people feel that they are qualified to tell me that I should be happy being single... when they're not?  It seems to me that if one is married, than you've lost your qualifications and ability to judge singleness.  Why do people who have been with someone for their whole lives feel they can tell me that I have little faith because I get lonely.  The bible says that we were made for relationship.  So if others can't live without their spouses why do they insist that I should be able to do so?  I hear it all the time "Keep busy", "Invite friends over", "You finally live alone.  I can remember when you wanted to live alone"... not remembering that I had an ABUSIVE roommate not a LOVING husband or boyfriend.  Keeping busy, inviting friends over every day, going out regularly, having a great social life... all is fun and awesome... but if at the end of the day I come home and get into bed alone and cry myself to sleep, than what has been accomplished?  I lay alone and my body longs for someone to make love to me so much that I end up in physical pain from the loneliness and the need. I wake up in cold sweats and even sometimes screaming from nightmares with no one to hold me or comfort me.  Why is this an OK thing for me to live with and yet others don't feel that it's acceptable for themselves to live with?  There's no one to come home and tell anything to.  It's funny how something wonderful and special isn't officially wonderful or special no matter how many people you tell; until you share it with your spouse.  Until that moment, it doesn't mean a roll of beans no matter what it is.  
God made us for relationship with Him.  Even God needs relationship.  We were made in His image.  We need it.  I need it.  It's OK for me to need it.  This journey is too hard to do alone.  I know I'm not supposed to feel sadness (according to everyone else) because it means I don't have enough faith in Jesus, but I'm trying so hard to keep faith.  I'm just so tired, and the loneliness never leaves me.  Even when I'm among a group, it never changes.  

The bottom line is that I come home and at the end of the night I crawl into bed alone and I cry myself to sleep.  I refuse to see that as broken, when the rest of the world doesn't follow suit and live the single life with me.  

For My Love

by Carley Cooper

My heart belongs to you
I love you with all that I am
You remain faceless
Where are you?, Who are you?
What are you doing at this moment?
Are you thinking of me the way I am thinking of you?
My whole being aches for you
My body longs to feel you
My tears fall looking for your finger tips to wipe them away, yet find none
I keep wandering around in the wilderness looking for you
Are you looking for me too?
I miss you, but how can that be when I don’t know your name?