At age 26 almost 27, I just realized something about myself. Something that has been true all my life, I’m sure, but I’m just now coming to grips with a certain reality.
I’m 26 and single. Most of my friends are married. Many are have children or are expecting.
I’m sitting here eating sandwiches for dinner, camping out in my bedroom most nights having Downton Abbey marathons, spoiling my dog like she is my child and having the highlight of my week be getting a new PR at the gym.
After five failed relationships and other various dates behind me, I have spent some time reflecting on myself and relationship habits recently.
One thing that I can no longer deny is where I am seeking fulfillment.
I wish I could tell you that at almost age 27, that I have figured this thing called life out. I never get sad. I never get bitter. I never beat myself up or blame myself for failed relationships. I have no insecurities. I am so very confident. I find my value in God alone and find it easy to do so.
If I told you all of that, I would be lying.
The truth is that I may be a “grown woman” but I am not even close to figuring out life. I have moments of joy but I still have breakdowns and moments of sadness. I still get bitter when another engagement or pregnancy announcement pops up on my newsfeed. I still blame myself when a relationship ends and have more insecurities than you could count. I give off a confident air, but on the inside I am a broken little girl. I want to find my value in God alone, but most days I don’t.
Most days, I put my value in the hands of others, especially men.
If a guy is giving me attention, life is going great. If a guy isn’t, it’s not.
[Side note: If you are reading this and you find yourself doing the same thing, I want you to know that you are not alone. No matter your age, 13, 23, 33, 43 or so on… We are all in this together.]
This confession is not an easy one for me to make. I’m not proud of where I tend to find my fulfillment and value but I feel like the only chance I have at changing it is to admit and talk about it.
I recently got out of a relationship and like I have so many times before, I struggled with my self-worth afterward. The relationship needed to end. I see that so clearly now, but anytime a relationship fails, it is common for one to question why and what part they played in it.
I’m now in a very self-reflective stage of life.
I’m open to whatever God has in store but I know one thing…I do not plan on rushing in to a relationship anytime soon.
I know now that if I did, it would not be for the right reasons.
I have another confession.
I hate being single. I absolutely hate it. Singleness has represented nothing but depression, doubt, fear, loneliness, bitterness and heartache in my life. Who wants to live like that? I know I don’t.
But unfortunately, I need to. I need to live out this stage of life no matter how long it lasts. If I would just be open to it, it could be such a growing experience for me. It has been before, but it usually takes me holding on tight, screaming and crying for a while before I finally let go of trying to control my life and allow it to be a time of growth.
I need to find contentment in Him and Him alone.
I can admit that I have yet to find that contentment. It may sound horrible to say, but it is the truth. I’m sure so many women can relate.
The last thing I need is to start dating anyone right now. If I did, I know without a doubt that it would be for the wrong reasons. I would be doing it for the attention, for how it makes me feel, for the wrong kind of fulfillment.
I was talking to a good friend recently and was telling her of this realization. She told me how great it was that I could admit that and how just knowing that I struggle with this, was a huge step.
I told her that I agree, but now what? I wasn’t sure how to move forward. I know what I need to work on but how to I work on this?
She replied that maybe just being able to admit that I put my fulfillment in the wrong place, was what I needed to do at this moment.
She was right.
After all, there is nothing I can truly “do” anyway. Ultimately, this is in God’s hands. His guidance and strength, is the only way that I will truly find my contentment and fulfillment in Him.
Now, please don’t hear what I’m not saying.
I do not believe that God dangles our future husband on a string in front of us until we complete tasks on a checklist or reach a certain spiritual high before he allows us to find true love. I do believe that He uses every experience in our lives to turn us to Him.
Our lives are a continual journey with ups and downs throughout. God allows all moments—the mountains and the valleys— to teach us about His love, mercy, grace, sovereignty, power and strength. We just have to be looking for Him. We have to be aware of his presence in every circumstance.
I may have found myself in a single stage yet again and I know that He is here in the midst of it. I have a feeling that He is up to something big.