I’m totally one of those people who Google everything. I use Google like Saul used the Medium of Endor. Yes, that’s actually in the Bible. No, that’s not also a character from Lord of the Rings.
I expect Google to give me answers to topics ranging from “which musical most resembles my life,” to “will I be single forever?”
Before I started this blog, Google took me to A LOT of Christian blogs devoted to singleness. Most of them were depressing, a few of them were written by women who got married at 17, which makes me so angry I want to dropkick strangers, and very few of them were actually helpful. And thus, Single Christian Girls was born because I figured I wasn’t the only Single Christian Girl using Google like a crystal ball.
That was in 2012.
It’s now 2015 and the bloom is off the rose.
Lately, and by lately I mean this past year, I’ve been approaching this blog with more anguish than excitement. I love writing, but do I really love writing about being a Single Christian Girl? Not really. I could lie and say that I don’t like writing Single Christian Girls because I’d rather write about something more meaningful.
I did actually.
I just wrote a whole blog about how there are so many things more important than worrying about my own singleness. I think that’s true, but that’s not why writing this blog is hard. It’s hard because I have to be vulnerable about something that is happening to me right now.
I’ve never been great at being vulnerable.
I am, however, great at being “fake vulnerable.”
I learned “fake vulnerability” in college. I was surrounded by a group of people who encouraged vulnerability because those wise people recognized that vulnerability creates community and deep connection. So, I would share “vulnerable” sounding things I wasn’t really struggling with, but guarded closely my deepest secrets and scariest questions.
I’ve improved on the vulnerability front. I can tell because I’ve been in conversations that feel simultaneously freeing and painful. I’ve also experienced what an old friend called a, “vulnerability hangover.” For those who are unaware, a “vulnerability hangover” is when you wake up the next day going, “Oh no, why did I say that?!” accompanied by a headache from too much crying.
Writing Single Christian Girls in an authentic way requires confronting my desire to be married, but acknowledging I’m not married yet and I might never be married. Acknowledging desires and giving them to God is hard.
I would rather pretend I’m fine then admit I’m not.
I would rather say I don’t care about being married then admit I do.
I would rather keep my wedding Pinterest board secret then show the world that I’m just as obsessive about weddings as everyone else.
I would rather say I hate kids then acknowledge my desire for a huge family.
I would rather hide behind my career then put forth the effort into meeting new people.
I would rather say I hate breaking up with guys because I don’t want them to be hurt then acknowledge that what I’m really feeling is my own disillusionment and disappointment that yet another relationship didn’t turn out the way that I’d hoped.
Leave it to Tim Keller to call it what it is, an idol:
…Romantic love is an object of enormous power for the human heart and imagination, and therefore can excessively dominate our lives. Even people who completely avoid romantic love out of bitterness or fear are actually being controlled by its power … if you are so afraid of love that you cannot have it, you are just as enslaved as if you must have it … If you are too afraid of love or too enamored by it, it has assumed godlike power, distorting your perceptions and your life. – Tim Keller, Counterfeit Gods
The tricky thing is, destroying the idol of romantic love in my own life requires deep vulnerability with myself, close friends and most importantly with God. It requires, as Brené Brown notes in her TED talk on Vulnerability, to stop “controlling and predicting.” It requires acknowledging that I am not in control of my life trajectory, only God is. I have to trust that God’s Will truly is, “good, pleasing and perfect.”
So believe me, I get it.
I get that whatever led you to Single Christian Girls feels very real and very painful. I can guarantee that a lot of what you’ve experienced are emotions that I’ve experienced as well.
I also get, that sometimes it’s easier to Google your problems and come to a website then to actually have a conversation with a friend. The Internet is quite possibly the most effective tool humanity has created to avoid the pain of vulnerability, but we’ve lost the art of deep and authentic connection in the process.
So my encouragement to you is this: spend time with the God who loves you and has good things for you. Find friends who will walk through life with you. Be honest with yourself about what’s hard and don’t be afraid to sit and wrestle with it.
And finally, it’s ok. You’re not alone.