There must be love coming on with this summer heat. Because in the space of about 25 seconds online, I found out that four people I know now have significant others. Bam, bam, bam, bam. Just like that. Summer lovin’.
And I felt it. Surprisingly not the pain of being twenty-six and still single. But rather…the embarrassment that I’m twenty-six and still single. Because with four new people in relationships, that’s four more people who might look at me and subconsciously pity me for still being single in the face of their new happiness. And I don’t want to be pitied. But I know how it works – when someone finds their happily ever after, they start seeing their single friends through sad eyes, because out of the goodness of their hearts, they want us singles to find that same happiness. And there's sometimes mixed in with that that subconscious feeling of pity. Because the true story is (even if it’s wrong), singles often get viewed as incomplete. Incomplete and lacking that important ingredient that was needed to gain a spouse.
I don't want to feel like a less-than. But as a rapidly-getting-older-single, I sometimes just do.
So it would be a lie for me to say that, when I learned of the four new budding romances, that I didn’t feel a little last-one-there's-a-rotten-egg-ish. It’s a convoluted mess, to be happy for someone and at the same time feel slighted by it. To love being single (really, I do!) and terrified of someone actually showing interest…and also wanting that very thing to happen. I must be mental. Point me towards St. Mungo's.
But that’s not my point. My point is that it’s easy to be embarrassed and feel shame over the fact that your still single. To feel like God’s putting you up on a stage in front of a jeering crowd when you have nothing prepared. As hard as it is for me to set aside any self-preserving "tough girl" image I might cultivate in order to preserve my singleness dignity, I'll go ahead and admit it: it can be just plain old embarrassing being single when just about everyone else has someone’s love and adoration validating the space they take up.
Well, the good news and the bad news is that there's really only one remedy for this.
And so, I put my head in my hands, elbows resting on my desk, rubbing at the spot between my eyes where my daily headaches have been coming, hoping nobody would walk by my office while I dealt with the silly, yet still-real emotions in my head. And heart. And prayed that open prayer I often pray:
“Lord, I know you have plans for me. I know what you’re doing in my life is good. I know that you’re not trying to embarrass me here. You’re plan is NOT to shame me in front of my friends and family. So, help me be okay with being one of the lasts. You’re bigger than what I can see and you’re not making a fool out of me. So, thanks being my God and my Champion.”