Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Problem with being single : The things people say (and what I did with it)

They said marriage and children are really hard.  No, like really hard… Seriously.  And this is good – honesty is good.  But, if you’re hoping to get married, make sure it is to The Right Person.  And, actually, while you’re at it, make sure you are The Right Person.

They posted endless Facebook articles : 8 ways to find a godly marriage partner, 10 things Christian men should look for in a bride, 15 things godly women need in a husband, 20 characteristics of a God-honouring marriage…

They said to find someone who would lead me spiritually, someone who would encourage me in all my gifts, someone who would push me to be the very I best I could be.

They said that if it were right, I would ‘just know’; that if it were real, it wouldn’t be so hard.

They said to seek out a man of character and to stay away from anyone with ‘issues’.

They said to make sure I was ready; my issues  prayed away, my patience perfected.

Later, they added things like ‘financial security’, ‘more than sexual attraction’, ‘shared values’.  Think about who’ll die first, who might get sick, where you might live, how you’ll spend your money, raise your kids, paint the bathroom, cook your pasta, scratch your… Well. You get the idea.

So, I packed up all these thoughts and questions and traits and hoisted them onto my back.

 I didn’t notice the weight at first, because I wanted marriage, I wanted to choose well, I had to choose well.  And now that I carried this stuff with me, when it came to being in a relationship, I knew what it would look like, how it would feel, what I would do, what he would do, what we would be together : a lean, mean, godly marriage machine. And it would last, I’d be sure it would last.

I, particularly I, would need to be sure it would last.

Then I fell in love.

No-one said I would come face to face with my fears as I accidentally fell for someone so completely unexpected. Someone so completely… Human.

 No-one said (or I didn’t hear it well) that life tends to be a little less tidy than my backpack of relationship expectation.  They didn’t post Facebook articles offering 8 ways to stop being Shit-Scared of marriage when your parents are divorced, 10 ways to loosen your vice-like grip on what you perceive to be control, 20 characteristics of two screwed up human beings trying to build a life together while trusting grace.

So I find myself in a relationship with someone whose complete human-ness is irritatingly out of my control (this is tongue-in-cheek, but – seriously?!? No-one said I would need to surrender control!). But in all his uncontrollable human glory, he is funny and gentle and GOOD. And I love him.

Those things they said I should look for, should do, should be… They haunt me sometimes. Sometimes they haunt me often. There tends to be plinky-plinky Disney-like music and chirupping birds echoing somewhere in the background. There is always fear.

I am not afraid of his imperfection – though sometimes The Lists would have me think so. (Then I can blame it on someone else.) I am not afraid of infidelity and drama. I’m afraid of me.

This is my fearful shame :

After all these years of praying for someone who wouldn’t give up on me, my biggest fear is that it will be me who gives up because marriage and kids is really hard.  No, like really hard… Seriously.  Like, maybe too hard for anyone other than The Right Person.

And if there’s anything I’ve learnt over the past few years, it is that I am not The Right Person.

I am only me.  He is only him.  And that load on my back is only Heavy.

Stuff the lists.

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Filed under dating, fear, heart, love, relationships, risk, singleness

(Untitled)

Belfast how you’ve grown.

I was barely gone, on the scheme of things

But I barely know you and

Cannot put my finger on

What it is that makes me love you and yet

Feel still so far away.

Crowds are lonely even when there are

Familiar faces.

Faces drawn on bravely,

Drawn on a wall, peace walls.

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Thursday, 30 January, 2014 · 4:48 pm

Church makes me feel lonely

I don’t know what it is and I’m not sure I’ve always felt it… But church often makes me feel lonely.

On expressing this rather clumsily to someone one morning, he asked if I meant that our church wasn’t friendly enough.  But I don’t think so… It almost seems to be the opposite.  Or something.

Its got to be true that for those who don’t go home to a bustling family dinner, Sunday can be a killer.  I’ve definitely sometimes associated this Sunday-loneliness with that.  But I’m aware that at times, its not something that would be cured with an invite to join others’ bustle.

I wonder if it would be cured had I my own bustling brood to provide for.  I’d definitely have less time to think about it, that’s for sure.

But I don’t know.

Church for me often stirs up longing that I can’t quite put my finger on, can’t quite find a name for.  A longing for moreMore what?

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Self-concious.

See, now I know someone out there might read this.

I have a post waiting that I wrote a few weeks ago, but then Jaybercrow got all stirred up and blogging has kicked off again.  Which means blog reading has kicked off again.  Which means someone out there might read that post.  And, worse, comment on it.  Or worse still, NOT comment and silently judge.

 

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