I sat in the dim Italian restaurant, ensconced in a corner booth eating my pasta milano, a delicious myriad of sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms and roasted chicken. Music swelled in the background amongst the chatty patrons enjoying their meals. Glancing up, I took note of one of my favorite flowers, gladiolus that stood at attention on the nearby counter where waitstaff grabbed oversized glass pitchers of ice water and tea to serve refills. My friend across from me, reached for a hunk of bread to dip in the shallow bowl of olive oil graced with cracked pepper between us. It was the pinging of her iPhone that interrupted our chat and led her to excuse herself while she checked to see if it was important. It was her husband.
It was of no surprise to me.
I watched her carefully as she scrolled to view the message and seemed inconvenienced, almost irritated he was checking in with her… asking where she was.
I remembered those days.
I didn't miss them one bit.
She took the time to message him back with the details of where she was, who she was with, etc.
Meanwhile, I sat across from her chewing on my bread with no where to be and no one to answer to.
It was wonderful.
She finished replying to him and then tossed her iPhone back into her oversized bag that was the perfect summer coral hue and sighed.
"Sorry. You know the drill." She flashed me an apologetic almost overly bright smile, "Gotta do the check in… " She sighed and trailed off.
"Yeah?" I asked, concerned if something was seriously wrong.
She looked at me, her brown hair bobbing in a ponytail "He just…" she hesitated then forged forward,"He's not checked in. Oh, sure… he wants to know where I'm at. He wants to know where the remote control is. He wants to know what were having for dinner. But he's not CHECKED IN. He's not THERE. We just go through the motions, Jennifer."
Ugh, I thought to myself.
Yeah, I remember that. That's I think called death. Then I got divorced. I went through hell and came out the other side feeling alive for the first time in forever.
It's these moments that continue to crop up and make me question if there are any truly good marriages. Because as I hear more and more I see that most couples are not satisfied. Most couples are bored out of their minds. Or at least one person is. Most couples have at least one or both individuals that are looking at the exits even if they aren't acting on walking through them. Most couples have one or more people in them that are secretly looking at someone else thinking: "Wish I'd married her" or "Wish I was with him"… or "What would it be like being married to them?"
And I've been there. And it's no way to live. It's torturous hell. We may preach a good talk and say "Well, ya know… God is about chiseling you to Holy not Happy. Marriage is about bringing glory to God and serving, loving another, blah blah blah". I get it.Yes, that is all true. I've written post after post about it. YET… at the same time, if were looking at the next yard ruefully thinking it looks greener isn't that a big blinking sign something is amiss in our relationship? You can tell yourself: "I agreed to this marriage, I made vows, I will uphold them and follow through. I will work hard on my relationship and do everything I can to persevere."
Despite the hard work, the grit and the grind, sometimes that's still not enough. And yet sometimes it is. Yet sometimes no matter how "adult" and "mature" as we believe we are responding to a not so great marriage it still fails as shows the divorce statistics today. And that is without a doubt disappointing as all get out.
Watching my friend and all my other married friends engage in the whole "I have to check in with him" thing drives me to question if I could ever go back to that.
I used to value love above all else. Love and marriage. But what happens when we begin to find ourselves valuing freedom over love? In the bible love is drilled into our minds and hearts over and over again… that love is the most important of all for mankind.
Can we love without ever getting married?
Yes, of course. As Christians we (hopefully) do that everyday.
Recently a friend of mine sighed
and told me:
"I just don't want you to go through life missing out on experiencing a great marriage."
That left me stumped. I knew she meant well, she's like the most caring person ever. But I didn't know what to say. I thought… Really? Where are they? Because I can't put my finger on anyone I personally know that has a great marriage. And I'm really trying here. But I don't know anyone who does. Fact. That is frightening. Right now there are twenty people reading this huffing THEY have GREAT marriages! And maybe you do. I hope somebody truly does.
I read in the bible that there isn't marriage in Heaven.
Now, I could have let my
sarcasm slip out
and quipped to God:
"Oh that must be why you call
it Heaven, DUH!"
But I refrained…
Although He's kinda a mind reader, ya know?… mind you this is coming from me, the same person who fully expects a dessert buffet to be in Heaven with zero calories, no heartburn and an endless supply of hot fudge and sprinkles.
The Bible tells us,
“At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage;
they will be like the angels in heaven”
But once were comfortably settled in our single life … we can take comfort in several facts… just because we are feeling something negative or positive about being single, just because right ***now*** we are feeling x,y,z but in six months or a year (or maybe next week) we feel something radically different that is okay too. We don't have to subscribe to what society deems is acceptable to feel when it comes to being single… like being single is something to abhor and we need to be on a speedy quick plan (or maybe more like mission impossible) to finding someone again. We can take all the time we want or not look at all. There is nothing wrong with relishing our freedom, our single life... we're perfectly capable of loving others along the journey of life…
No matter what you're feeling while single please know that your feelings are not "bad".... they don't have to be dismissed or treated as wrong. They may be fleeting, they may be here to stay. Regardless, no matter where we are in life, single, married or dating, God wants us to come to Him as we are... we don't have to worry, we can just trust Him… He always has it figured out even if we don't.
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2015
15 SINGLE LIFE & DATING FACTS:
IT'S PERFECTLY OKAY TO:
1. Be scared or hesitant to commit again.
2. Have doubts about being in love again.
3. Take the time to trust your instincts.
4. Not trust anyone until they have proved they are trustworthy.
5. Look to others actions not words.
6. Not want to date… or to think "what if?"
7. Expect your questions to be answered with transparency and ease.
8. Not want to be vulnerable… or wanting to want to be vulnerable.
9. Be completely off marriage and decide to remain celibate.
10. Overanalyze everything he does to make sure he's not a psycho.
11. Take him to meet with your therapist to ensure he's not a psycho.
12. Read plenty of books on what a healthy relationship looks like.
13. See your therapist weekly, monthly, etc to discuss what a healthy relationship looks like.
14. Expect him to prove he's not like the other jerks you've been with.
15. Put up walls and need someone to be understanding.