I have an announcement to make. Listen carefully because I may not admit to it again. Ok, are you listening? Are you sure you are listening? Ok, here it goes….I am afraid. There, I said it. I finally got it off my chest. I feel so much lighter. So much freer. Whew….thank you for allowing me to unload that secret on you.
Now you may be saying, “What is this crazy woman talking about?” Well, I will tell you. With all of the blogging about not looking back and healing and waiting for my husband, I also needed to share that in the midst of all of that, I have to admit that there is a small piece of me that is afraid that I will be single for the remainder of my life. Yeah, I know God has not given me a spirit of fear; but of love, power, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). I know Jesus tells me to fear not for he is with me even until the end of time (Isaiah 41:10). I get all of that and I know it in my heart to be true. But this is my raw honest moment and yeah, a piece of me is afraid. In the midst of my hope, belief, and faith, I am afraid that I’ll wake up one day and I’ll be 60 years old, still single…living alone….coming home to whatever pet I may have at the time. I was pretty sure I was the only person that feels this way. You only have to spend a small amount of time on social media before you will start thinking that everyone’s life is great and your life just sucks. But as it turns out there are studies done on persons who are single, whether they have never been married, divorced, or widowed, who also fear growing old alone. Surprisingly enough, or not so much depending on your perspective, the concern is greater for women than it is for men. Experts say it’s because women are living longer than men and men tend to be drawn towards younger women. Whatever the reasoning, it’s real and a small piece of me is relieved to know that I am not alone in my thinking.
So, now that I know I am not crazy what am I to do with this fear that I have? How do I keep this fear from taking control of my mind and eventually my life? Well, the first thing for me to do is to pray. I believe that I can tell God anything. I believe there is nothing that I can say to God that will shock him. I believe that because the bible says, ‘O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord’ (NIV Psalm 139:1-4). God already knows that I am afraid and when I go to him with my fear I know that he will give me peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). He will replace my fear with peace.
Secondly, I must avoid the trap of allowing panic to set in. Do you know that there are people who are actually afraid of being alone? There are women who will return to a bad relationship simply because they cannot bear being alone. I would dare say that panic governed their decision and they more than likely made a bad decision. I learned an acronym from a sister friend that I always try to apply to my life – H.A.L.T. The letters stand for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired; and I was told to never ever make a decision when I was feeling one of these emotions. So before I allow panic to set in…before I allow the fear of being alone to grip me and cause me to make a bad decision, I will remember Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Before I was even born, God knew what his plan for my life would be. He has already walked out the path called My Life and he’s leading me along that path reminding me that he has me every step of the way. So since God promised that his plans for me are for good and not for disaster; since God promised me a future and a hope, I can rest assured that should I not get married and find myself alone for the rest of my life, God has already made provision for it. And I can say boldly that I trust Him!
Finally, to overcome the evil monster called fear, I will live my life like its golden!! My life is golden. Your life is golden. Every single day that God opens our eyes to see is a miracle and a gift from God. Why would I squander it by living my life in fear of something that I have no control over anyway? See, only the devil would have me to do that. The bible says, “The thief (devil) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (NKJV John 10:10). The devil wants to steal my joy. The devil wants to steal my peace. The devil wants to steal my happiness. The devil wants to destroy my mind. The devil ultimately wants to kill me. But JESUS…..Jesus came and died that I may live the abundant life. What is the abundant life? Well, first let me tell you what it is not. It is not a big house. It is not a new car. It is not designer clothes. It is not diamonds and gold. It’s not even a husband. No, the abundant life is not STUFF! It is an abundance of PEACE! It is an abundance of JOY! It is an abundance of LOVE! It is all of the Fruits of the Spirit (Kindness, Patience, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control) These are the things that make up the abundant life. These are things that define me living the golden life.
We are relational by design. God did not create us to live a life of solitude. But even in that, I will not allow a fear of growing old alone to cause me to make a decision that I may end up regretting. I believe that I will be married to a wonderful man. Until that happens though, I will fill my days that God gives me by participating in my favorite hobbies, volunteering, spending time with those that I love and who love me, traveling, and just doing the things that make me happy! I will continue to learn to be content in whatever state I find myself. I don’t know what lies around the corner for me. The one thing that I can be sure of though is that I will age and yes I will die. But as I steadily approach half time in my life, I will stomp self-pity (the devil) on its head by celebrating the amazing years I have already lived and looking forward to the years that I have left as a wonderful, miraculous gift from God.