About a month ago I watched in almost horror as this writer friend threw a tantrum. Now they did so in the confines of a group of people towards the back of an event. I stood in astonishment at how they were responding to someone essentially calling them knowledgeable about being single. I was horrified because I thought that this person, who talks about singleness with much confidence, would understand they would be called on to share this understanding with those who often struggle with it.
For the first few years post college I would get agitated when asked to represent “the single life” to older couples or families. They’d poke my arm and say, “I bet you have some crazy wild stories.” I would awkwardly laugh because there may have been one or two, but for the most part single life is quiet. It is finding who you are when everything else slides away and you are left with you. And God.
When I turned 28 I had a talk with God. And by that I mean I talked at Him, and told Him I wasn’t a fan of this being single life. So He challenged me…He let me experience a dating life that wasn’t His design. I took control because I was tired of being the token, go-to gal for all my married friends and family. It took until I was 30 for me to honestly realize that God had a plan for the singleness in my life. He reminded me of it this summer, when I attempted to once again correct a path I didn’t feel was where God should be leading me. You would think after 12 years in my faith I would stop believing I know more than God. As the created, what right do I have to question the Creator?
But I did, and I do. There’s this firm belief though that you have to be a place of acceptance of your moment in the journey. If you cannot accept it, then do you realize you are in the journey. Are you learning from it? Are you actively living it?
Having been single for the better part (or worse part, depending on how you see it) of 16 years, I do know some of the struggles, pains, joys, and sorrow associated with it. I cannot pretend to fathom what it’s like for a 50 year old single woman, but I do know what it’s like to be in your 20s and asking God to “just bring him already!” If I try to fight the knowledge and moments like that to share, then I am dishonoring my voice and my story. I fully believe our story can be the most powerful agent in another’s life if we but stop and acknowledge the life that was changed and lesson that was learned in it.
Instead of throwing a tantrum when you’re called on for your expertise in singleness, take it as an opportunity to grow another person. After all, we never know whose learning from us in those moments when we can exhibit poise and grace instead of looking like a 5 year old who just got scolded.