I can tell already that this is going to be one of those slightly messy stream-of-consciousness posts (been brewing for a while), so feel free to skip this one, I wouldn’t be offended in the least. I’m feeling quite human this evening, and just need to throw some words at the wall for a bit, get them out of my head.
This kills me, but I’ll just say it: I’m lonely. Ish. And feeling more than a little restless.
The thing is, life is great. When I think back to last year, and how much has happened since then, I am absolutely amazed at God’s goodness to me. This time last year, the internship was beginning to unravel, I had just applied for a job with a church in Bellevue (thus beginning a job search that would last six frustrating months), and my best friend Julie and brother Kevin had both moved away. This time last year, I was still nursing a broken heart and we were trying that whole horribly confusing “friends” thing. I’m still glad we did, but in retrospect it pretty much doubled the recup time.
Fast forward twelve months. Things with church are going well, and the ginormous chip on my shoulder has for the most part melted away. I’m in a small group I love dearly and am a part of launching a new church plant with one of my dearest friends. I have a challenging job I enjoy – a great mix of passions and skill – that has potential to be long-term (I’ve stopped looking for a “real job”). Julie and I are closer than ever, and Kevo and I still get together whenever we can. God has brought new friends into my life through work and church and it’s nice to know that I’m surrounded by people who care about me & who won’t let me off the hook when I try to disappear every now and then. The heart is healed up; a little scarred perhaps, but there’s no longer pain there.
In a word: life has become pretty settled. I’m not having to entertain many of the big questions that were hallmarks of my last several years. Although life and God have a tendency to mess with any established plans (and they have that permission), it’s nice not to be constantly asking myself questions like where am I going to live next month? or where should I turn in an application this week? should I go back to school? should I stay here and attempt to find a job that will pay me enough to eat, etc.?
Yeah, things are good. So what’s the problem?
Whatever. You guys already know the rant that is coming.
It’s just reaching that slightly weird point in my life where nearly all my friends are married. Definitely all my friends my age are. Most of them are having babies, which is wonderful and just a little strange all at the same time. And while I have no notions of their lives being perfect now that they’ve sealed the deal where love is concerned, there’s a piece of me that is envious. I love my laid-back nights after work, my fun on the weekends, but I’m reaching the place where I’ve proved I can do all that on my own and be okay… I’d like someone to share all that with now. Work is great, and although I love what I do, I never was one of those who set out for my career to be the most fulfilling thing in life. Don’t sign me up just yet for the local chapter of the Scrapbooking Club, but wife someday and mom someday are pretty high up on the list.
It’s wicked hard to admit this to yourself if you’re me. I’ve prided myself on being just fine with life on my own, thankyouverymuch. Probably been a little feisty about it. (Especially at weddings, where I inwardly give obnoxious people awards for being the first or most original in their comments about my singlehood 🙂 ). I’ve always distanced myself from the behavior of “those girls” who had subscriptions to forty bridal magazines and stalked the living crap out of any man unlucky enough to attract her affections. I absolutely refuse to give chase, and I’m not afraid to delete a cellphone number or two. (Jules is totally snickering right now). But now, even “those girls” are married, and I’m thinking to myself that it is a strange and complicated universe that I live in.
Part of it is complicated because I am. I already know it’s going to take a pretty unique person to make me happy and to happily choose to put up with me. Although ministry is big on my heart, I know the schmoozy superstar ministry-type won’t work for me (you know — Behold!-I-am-Chris-Tomlin-cross-bred-with-Dave-Matthews-with-perfectly-tousled-hair)… just as I know the totally church-averse person is out. If a guy uses basketball as a metaphor for life, we probably won’t hit it off, but the last thing I need is someone even more sensitive than I am. Good communicator? In. Intellectual snob? Out. Camping, hiking… IN… I’m not sure if it’s a non-negotiable, but it’s close.
See? Complicated. I say these things half-jokingly, but when certain things are missing, you know it. And to quote a hero, nothing but the deepest sort of love can tempt me into marriage. (It’s hard enough even with).
God, can you just send someone who loves you authentically and cares about people but who I can also just enjoy a beer and a good laugh with?
Knowing me, if and when it happens, I’ll probably end up surprised.
I know all the cliches that people normally interject at points like this. Know them by heart. Worse, I know that they’re true. God has a plan, when you’re not looking it will happen (my personal favorite), don’t worry at least you’re not thirty yet, yada yada yada. It’s just that so many of them are spoken to me by people who are no longer living in that strange not-yet. Schmucks. (Just kidding. Seriously. I know they vaguely remember what it was like).
I do live in the strange not-yet, and to own the truth, I choose to remind myself of these things all the time, (especially on nights I head to church or to my small group, where I am the token single person). God has a plan. Focus on what God’s asking you to do right now, in the present. Don’t be so impatient to get to what’s next that you miss what’s good now. All of that. Some days I do a better job than others. I hold my friends’ babies and make them giggle and start laughing out loud myself… that seems to be enough. Other days, it’s a little harder and I whisper a few quiet prayers to God, reminding myself that he knows where I am and what I need.
He knows what I need. When I need it. So even on nights like tonight, when all is just a little too quiet, I’ll do my best to continue learning how to trust him.
…end rant. I feel better now.