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.  

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