Hmm. I realise that the below post may come into the category of ‘wallowing’. I’m not sure. You decide. I didn’t intend to wallow. I fully fully fully agree with posts like this. The conclusions there are brilliant and on the good days I deeply embrace not moaning on and on about singleness and am meh, you know pretty content without the conventional family, kids etc, I love my housemates, I love the way we family each other, I love my church and I love my married friends and their uber cute children. I wish I had more married friends and I love being part of their lives in whatever way is possible. I love hanging out with my mates who are together, with Anna and Johnny, Mark and Roz, Phil and Katie, Laura and Alasdair, Ben and Debs, Kathy and James. I love them. I love being part of their lives. (point made I feel).
I think my point below was to show my workings of how I struggle to get to the place of contentment. Too often there are two approaches to singleness, the arggh moaning approach, woe is me, it’s hard and pants etc, or there is the get on with it approach, the being content, the embracing of life, the enjoyment of the single life, cos believe me there is SO much to enjoy about it. The thing is, most of us who are single live inbetween those two positions. I want to express that, to show that being content with singleness isn’t putting the plastic smile on or pretending that all is ok, it’s something to fight for, and the fight will involve all the emotions below. My conclusion is pretty much the same, I’m here in this amazing house trying to love 3 people and do the good works God has in store for me, I am content. I might not get married, I might not have kids, I am content because there is so much more to come on the new earth and I can be part of the radical transformation of the idea of family as I live in the body of Christ here on earth. I need not be lonely and sad and woe is me because I share in this body. I need not wallow because God is better and looking after me.
That’s a conclusion that can only come through the struggles of the previous post. That’s why it’s there. To encourage those of you who are tired of the answers you feel you have to paint on your lives. You don’t have to paint them on, but there is a greater wonderful truth to live by, a fighter who is your lover and friend who calls you to go through the mire and to win contentment and joy because of Him. It’s not an easy fight but it’s the fight from the question to the answer. There is a myriad of emotions to battle with, self pity to kill and circles to go in as we seek to live out the reality of the answer.
And in another afterthought. This is the problem with some of modern Christianity, we jump to the answer way too quickly, in our discussion of life, in the solution to the struggles, in the good advice we want to give out. People come with problems and we give answers. It’s probably the mr fix it generation we live in. But that can leave us thinking, hang on does that answer really work? As the person giving the answers we can feel content and happy knowing we have done something. But it’s really not about us. It’s about the other person, about sitting with them in their pain, walking with them on the path, suggesting greater Truth to them, waiting for the Spirit to convince them of that Truth, exploring the massive space between the question and the answer and being ok if it takes years to get to the answer. We are too impatient in our care of each other. We need to slow down and take in the huge silences, trusting the One who is King of those silences.