My parents divorced my sophomore year of high school. I will never forget coming home and seeing the tears streaming down my dad’s face. The look of defeat scattered across his face. However, what I remember most are the words that my dad spoke to my sister and I that day, “It is not that I don’t love your mom. It is that I cannot handle this illness anymore.” In not so many words, dad’s words actually echoed the type of sacrificial love that Christ gave us through his own death and resurrection.
Mom and Dad’s relationship is not the only relationship that has been an example for me. My maternal grandparents were married over 50 years. My paternal grandparents have been married over 65 years. Examples of profound love that have been a part of my life. Yet there are many around my life whose marriages have fallen apart too. It is part of the reality of life and love. Love takes work and sometimes that love is simply not enough OR the love is no longer able to be found.
I am a woman who is on the verge of her 40th birthday (September 2018). Despite my parent’s divorce and watching my friend’s suffer around me from their own divorces, I still yearn deeply to be a wife and a mom. It is a deep cry and desire of my heart that continually echoes in my heart. In fact, the desire is so deep that it is hard to shake it. My heart knows what it wants.
The truth is that I have been blessed with incredible friendships in my life. In fact, there are times I wonder why God brought certain individuals into my life. There are also times when I wonder if I am missing something. Why have these deep desires not been met for me yet? Why am I yearning so deeply to be loved in this broken world?
Eight days from today, we will gather for Ash Wednesday where the words “Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return” will be spoken over me. Valentine’s Day also happens to fall on Ash Wednesday this year. This juxtaposition is not lost on me; a day to celebrate our own mortality but also a day to celebrate love and our own humanity. God calls us to love one another. In fact, God so loved the world that God sent God’s one and only son into the world for each and every one of us.
“For God loved the world so much that God sent God’s one and only son into the world; not to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him.”-John 3:16-17
Throughout my life, there is no denying that I am surrounded by love; that I am an incredibly loved child of God. However, on days like Valentine’s Day (or rather Single Awareness Day), my heart aches; aches that flowers won’t be delivered to my place of work; aches that the deep desires of my heart are still unanswered; aches that I am still extremely single at the age of almost 40.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am happy with my life. I have wonderful friends and family. I have a great job. I have a beautiful home of my own. Yet despite this all, it is difficult not to dwell in my singleness. It is difficult to yearn for God to answer this deep desire of my heart that has been there since I was a child; a desire that clings and tightly grips my heart and won’t let go.
On Valentine’s Day and especially Ash Wednesday, I need to continually be reminded of my value as a beautiful beloved child of God. I am reminded of these words from an article I read several years ago: “I’m single. Not sick, not a problem and not past my prime. So please don’t pity me on Valentine’s Day, because today of all days, I need your help to remember that my value doesn’t rest in a relationship status, in a box of chocolates or in a red rose. It rests in the fact that no matter what lies ahead of me, I am God’s beloved and His plans for me far exceed the feelings of a day.” (Read the rest HERE!)
Because the reality is that as the engagement rings are placed on fingers, as friends start having children of their own, and relationships form around me, it can be really easy to fall into that pit of pity. I need to know that my identity is not wrapped up in my singleness, but in my identity as a beautiful blessed broken beloved child of God.
I am linking up with these lovely ladies: Kelly and the Ra Ra linkup, Jennifer and Tell His Story, Holley and Coffee for your Heart, and Kristin and Porch Stories.