February 14, 2013 by Erin
And I have penned the words
I made a vow, my heart is yours
But we have yet to meet
You and I
–Blake Stratton, “Leave on a Light”
I didn’t want to write this post. Even now, I’m not sure this isn’t a dumb idea. Doesn’t it seem hopelessly predictable to write about being single on Valentine’s Day? Predictable and slightly pitiful. My plan was to play it cool, let this day pass like any other day, write about Harry Potter or something. But would you like to know what I’m really going to do this evening? I’m going to cook a nice dinner for myself, maybe read through some old Facebook messages from men who shall remain nameless (don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about), then lay on my back and listen to “Love Song for No One.” And I’ll wonder again just how John Mayer got to the bottom of my soul … but that’s beside the point.
I did want to write about something else today, for so many reasons: I like to avoid cliché, I’m not usually comfortable sharing anything this personal with most people (let alone the hundreds, nay, thousands I’m sure are reading this), I don’t like looking pitiful, etc. But mostly it was because I really am ok—I don’t like being single, obviously, but I’m ok, and lamenting my singleness on Valentine’s Day seems to betray that contentedness somehow.
But, as they say, good art is usually honest, so here we are. I do feel as if I’m missing someone today. It’s different than a hope for the unknown: it’s almost as if something has been taken from me, and the grief is real. I feel it as a loss of someone I’ve never known, the absence of what never was.
This never quite made sense to me, how I could miss someone I’ve never met or who may not exist, but last summer my friend Anna told me something simple and amazing: this is not how it’s supposed to be. We were designed to come in twos, and no person is complete on his or her own. You can’t even get the whole picture of a human unless you have man and woman. It was God Himself who said it wasn’t good for Man to be alone.
No, it is not good. I know that and feel it every day. It’s not right to cook for one or to climb in bed alone. And yet, I’m ok. More than ok—I love my life, how I get to spend my days and who I get to spend them with. I don’t feel a grasping need for a husband. And at the base of it all is a peace and contentment I know is a gift of grace. Well, most of the time, anyway. I won’t say there aren’t days I’m just plain angry I’m single. But those are the exception.
It’s paradoxical, I know, to be grieving and content. But that’s just the nature of life in Act IV, the in-between, the already/not yet. Things are not as they should be, yet Life has come. It’s not always easy to live in that tension or understand it, and sometimes, in moments when the grief is close, I find myself thinking that if I just loved Jesus more I wouldn’t want a boyfriend. Or worse, that He’s holding out on me and can’t be trusted. But Jesus can be trusted. He beckons me every day to know that, to love Him better and want Him more than anyone else. But He also knows the ache in my heart for another, because He put it there. What’s more, He invites me to feel it fully.
So today I’m ok with being a little sad. Not bitter, not despairing, but wistful. I’ll even hold out hope that next Valentine’s Day I’ll be able to write a very different kind of blog post.
And to my Someone, if you’re reading this, I miss you. I’m free tonight, and it’s not too late to call.