Sometimes I feel I have to be mindful about showing “too much” joy about marriage life to be sensitive to those who are still single. Because it can be a very deep, painful and tearing matter in one’s heart when one cannot find the answers to why they have yet to find their partners in life, especially when the negativity hits. I remember my own battles with the negativity of fear, discouragement and loneliness and it was really, quite a difficult time.
It was literally the feeling of being the person no one wanted to choose to play on their team, then got beaten up on a vast field of dust and dirt and having my face pressed on the ground.
Yet I remember and thank God at that point when I felt so desolated by the overwhelming negativity, the Lord stood silently and invisibly, though tangibly, and waited with me to consider what I would do. His presence caused me to keep thinking rather than succumb to a futility. In that moment when I felt dominated by the degrading imagery of my face pressed to the dirt by an unseen feet, which evoked shame associated to the (false) self-accusations of being a “leftover woman” who had nothing to be loved for by a man, I paused and thought, “Ok.”
Ok. I’m not loved. Ok. I don’t have a strapping, wonderful man to validate my own worth by affirming me through his worth of love. Ok. I may deserve not being chosen to play on someone’s team, and be beaten up and be mocked and degraded. And… so what happens after that?
And the mocking dominance of negativity, represented through the imagery of an unknown feet pressing me down the dirt, wavered at the unexpected challenge my assent led to. I challenged the negativity again, “So what happens now? How much lower can you make me go?”
As I felt the spirit of negativity back away from the growing strength of the voice that I did not feel was my own, I realised with certainty that it (the negativity) could not always keep me down. Its strength had to relent at some point, if not through resolution of the matter of singlehood, it would be through distractions that blessedly came from life’s routine. And I will get up from the dusty ground to stand and walk. I may get knocked down again but then I will stand and walk again as well.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that there is something more important than fear.” Not sure who said it first since the Internet affixes many different names to the quote. But I remember that moment when God’s silent presence gave me the judgement that there was more beyond my fear of never having my desires to be married realised.
There is a worth in my being that cannot be defined by the love of any man.
There is a joy in my being that cannot be recognised, given or stolen by any man.
There was a place in the future I was headed for that was defined primarily by the love the Creator had for His created, not the love a man may have for a woman.
I am glad that as I learnt to battle the oppression of fear and negativity on a daily basis, I was also able to find absolute resolution against it through having my spirit recognise I had to love, not just a man, but to love any and every who was on or crossed my path. I was engulfed with the bitterness of my lack and everything I looked at was shrouded in a mist of poison that only attacked back at myself. When the Lord encouraged me to stop looking for love but to look to love in His way, that shroud of darkness would slowly lift from my spirit no amount of counselling, prayer, fast or meditation could do!
True contentment settled in my spirit from that moment on and I never once more yearned for a husband until I met my husband less than a year later.
I am beyond glad that I had learnt to embrace who I was and the lot I was given before meeting The Mister. Single or married, I am glad I can say with the deepest of conviction both are good. Both deserve the fullest praise to God. When we’ve received the gift of salvation and the security of our position in heaven, the troubles and fears that come in whatever circumstance we are in is a passing matter that will relent and fade.
If I was ever honestly asked by a single person about what to do with their desires for marriage, I would honestly say they have to find their answers through an honest, desperate grappling in their spirit with their Maker. I hated that no one I talked to in the thick of my battles could give me relief by speaking convincing truths to my heart. They spoke truthfully, but no one can know the truest state of your heart other than your Maker. Thus no one but Him has the truest answer. The only challenge is that He can sometimes annoyingly answer purposefully with silence.
In my case, He broke His silence the day before my wedding, when people I didn’t know well and even strangers had worked from morning to night to bring together the preparations for my wedding day because God “told” them to. My own family and friends were too far away to help me with my wedding, but out of nowhere people appeared to meet every need. And with that scene, God answered my question two years back at why He seemed to have forgotten me, “This is what I’ve been up to.” He had been preparing The Mister and I for each other, by making us cross into each other’s culture and language; him moving from China to Singapore and me moving from Singapore to China for two years before we could be adequately mature in experience and communication to stand side by side. He had been breaking down our prideful and wrong mindsets so that we would not hinder each other’s purpose in life or hurt each other in ways we didn’t want to.
Only the Author of your life can tell you how your story is working out. It’s tough when you’re in the thick of confusion and hurt, so exhilarating when you’re in the good parts of the story.
While I want to be mindful not to make it harder for those who are still in the thick of confusion and hurt, I also hope that they in turn don’t make everything about their sensitivities, pain and opinions to the point they become irritating self-righteously bitter peanuts. 🙅🏻
Learn to be happy for those who have found joy in a relationship, especially when the adrenaline of the honeymoon period is still there. If you can’t learn to celebrate with different people who are at different seasons of their lives, you will find that only other fellow bitter peanuts can understand you and enjoy your company. But their own irritating, self-righteous bitter countenance won’t actually be that much fun because the merry-go-round will consist only of the same dourness. And then you’ll wonder why you don’t seem to meet more interesting, fun people. *Eyes rolling*
Ok, the last part is a personal gripe. I don’t get to rant about this to The Mister because he doesn’t feel a need to belabor this topic.