Being single

My relationship with my own singleness is a stressed and uneasy one. Sometimes Bridget Jones is my most faithful friend and hero as I trudge through the manic-depressive ebb and flow of accepting and then violently rejecting my single gal status. Other times, I accept this as merely one state of being among many that make up human existence. Then, I punch that New Age-y girl in the face and rage outright at the difficulty and strain of living each day without a companion or partner as life flings itself at me with one nearly overwhelming circumstance after another.

Then, in a flood of esoteric liberation, I come to understand that celibacy in singleness and faithfulness in marriage are merely two sides to the same coin of sexual-spiritual discipline. In a very real way, the Church is meant to be my companion and partner. This means that my time and energy and even affection can be poured into the body of Christ, caring for people, nurturing them, offering hospitality and support and love to the people who make up the people of God.

It also means that there’s a level to which I can turn to that body for the things I need, be it comfort or strength, or coffee by the triple-shot. In the past I’ve thought that only if I left my life in Peoria and sought out an intentional community somewhere would I find the Church really living with this kind of mutuality and interdependence. However, over the last few years I have found myself in the midst of a very unique group of believers (right down to the overly-Latin name of our little family).  These people seem to care about caring, for each other and the larger community. They struggle with the balance of authenticity and biblical standards of right living. They really want to follow Jesus, not just the letter but the spirit of the things He did and taught.

They gave me a place to stay when I needed it. They’ve given me meals, and cold drinks of various kinds. They’ve comforted me when I’ve cried, and challenged me when I remained stoic and refused to cry but needed to. They check on me at random times, not just when my life is falling apart. They make me laugh, and they share their kids with me. They accept me when I’m acting ugly, or insecure, or self-indulgent (or self-deprecating). They partner with me in all the ways that matter. And they trust me, with intimate secrets and potentially shaming truths about themselves. They let me try to take care of them back, clumsy and limited though my efforts might be.

They don’t judge. And they aren’t perfect. And they don’t try to hide that truth. They are fully aware that they are walking paradoxes full of contradiction, people who have high values and live by those values less than half the time. Basically, they are like me. Yet they have the audacity to believe that God still loves and accepts them, that He still wants to partner with them and offer them hope, that He still intends to make their lives useful and that they are worth something to Him. Their brazenness in this belief mimics my own.

So while I am still holding out for my Darcy, who will like me just as I am (wobbly bits and all), I am comforted to my core by the people God has given me who love me in ways only He could make possible. While today I am somewhere between discontent and pouting, I also know I am loved. And that is always a good day.

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1 Comment

  1. kyle said,

    September 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    hee hee, wobbly bits :p


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