Oh Papa my heart cries out. Papa, it can be so hard.
My tears mixed with the water as it streamed down my face. The shower has always been a safe place to cry, never knowing if it’s tears or tap water flowing down my skin.
Another boyfriend. Another engagement. Another wedding. Another baby.
Papa, let me rejoice with those who rejoice even when my heart desperately longs for the same. Let this not be about me, but help me celebrate the moments of joy with my dear friends and cry with those who are in sorrow. Hold my hand Papa. Just hold my hand.
I never thought I’d be here. Where I am. This stage of life. This place of more and this place of lack. It’s not how I would have written my story. I think I always know this is a better one, but sometimes the chapters feel like “The End” ‘s and not sections. I continue to grasp tightly to the hand of my Papa and trust His best is better than mine, regardless of what it looks or feels like.
I read Tim Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage, a book I highly recommend, as I’ve stated in the past. It’s taken me awhile to read through it because it’s full of wisdom and truth and I’ve been soaking it up. Anyways, a couple weeks ago I read the section on singleness and marriage. Keller specifically addresses Paul’s thoughts in 1 Corinthians about marriage. At first the chapter has the usual explanations of the “gift” of singleness and all of the ways we can serve Christ better on our own. I felt the familiar feelings of failure and shame in my desire to be married from Paul’s (perceived) admonishment of marriage.
The “gift-ness” of being single for Paul lay in the freedom it gave him
to concentrate on the ministry in ways that a married man could not. Paul
may have very well, then, have experienced what we today
would call an “emotional struggle” with singleness.
He might have wanted to be married.
Consider, then, that the “single calling” Paul speaks of
is neither a condition without any struggle nor on the other hand
an experience of misery. It is fruitfulness in life and ministry
through the single state. When you have this gift, there may indeed be struggles,
but the main thing is that God is helping you to grow spiritually
and be fruitful in the lives of others despite them.
That means a single gift is not just for a select few,
and it is not necessarily life long, though it may be.
It may be grace given for a finite period of time.
(The Meaning of Marriage, Tim and Kathy Keller, pg. 208. emphasis mine)
I let out a long exhale. A breath I think I had been holding most of my life, wondering if I had been cursed with the “gift” of singleness. Attempting to rejoice in all things and bear my burden. Until I read those words about Paul possibly struggling too. My heart ached for him and re-read those words in a softer light.
There’s comfort in longing for something in the company of others. Solidarity rarely brings relief when my unmet desires overwhelm me. In fact, it usually ends up being a slippery slope of forgetting who Papa is. And sometimes the very people who would walk through unmet desires with me are those whose desires are being met. My reaction is to shut down my longings and not talk about them because I don’t want to make their beautiful amazing circumstances about me. Because I want to walk through the goodness in their life. I don’t want the enemy to rob this season of beauty because it’s occasionally painful to be reminded of something I want. I refuse to be that type of person. The amazing thing about community is that they love you even when they’re strong and you’re weak.
So I look ahead to the days in front of me, renewed with strength to rejoice with those who rejoice and cry with those who cry. And all I can do is slip my hand into Papa’s, lay my head on His shoulder, and just walk with Him. I don’t have to say a word, because He knows. What more could I ever need?
yeah, I, tell you something
I think you’ll understand
when I say that something
I want to hold your hand
I want to hold your hand.