Every couple of months, I have a bout of woe-is-me-I’m-single days. I have moments rather frequently, but days of moping and ice-cream-eating* are much more sporadic.
Friday was one such day. It seemed as though the day would never end. All I wanted to do after work was go home, fall onto the couch in great dramatic fashion and spend the evening indulging my feminine soul and wallowing in my miserable loneliness. I had no desire to be around people but I had errands to run for a get-together I was helping host the next day.
Even though I didn’t want to be around anyone what I really wanted was someone to talk to but there was no one to call. Most of my girlfriends were be busy with other things given the day and time, so rather than leave messages and feel even more alone, I opted to not even try.
I sulked all the way to the grocery store. I was antsy and discontent walking through the aisles. I found no comfort in picking out vegetables, which usually lifts my spirits. I tried my best to be gracious through the checkout lane, in spite of the previously elusive tears that threatened to spill forth like a river breaking through a dam. I couldn’t wait to get home.
The loneliness was overwhelming as I drove home and I vented. Um… excuse me, God? This was not what I expected Easter Week to be at all. I was supposed to be basking in the wonder of the Resurrection. Instead I’m wallowing in the stark reality of being alone. I don’t like feeling like this! I feel wretched! I know I sound ungrateful. I’m not trying to be. I am thankful for my family and friends, but I am really feeling the lack of a constant companion. I don’t understand why I have to go through this. It’s uncomfortable… and miserable… I don’t like it.
I could almost see God’s compassionate smile as He replied: That’s the point, Cecilia. You do get it: I don’t want to you get too comfortable. I have to remind you now and again that you are not called to the single life forever – it’s just for a time. Your discontentment and discomfort keep you motivated and open to new opportunities. I know it’s not fun, but it’s necessary and that is why I allow you to experience it. Call it heavenly discomfort, if you will, but try to embrace the suffering; embrace the moment.
And so I did, rather defiantly but I did. By embracing the reality – this “heavenly discomfort” – I was faced with, I didn’t ignore the pain it caused. I marinated in it. I doubt that is how God intended me to embrace the moment, but that was all I could muster at that point.
As soon as I put the groceries away, I threw myself on the couch. I indulged my feminine soul by giving myself a manicure and watching a movie, but I refused to watch any chick flicks or movies with romance. So I watched Bourne Supremacy – not really indulgent of my femininity but it was a good distraction that didn’t leave me feeling even more lonely as chick flicks often do. On the contrary, the movie is about a man who is more lonely than myself. It helped put my loneliness in perspective.
Many people struggle with loneliness no matter their state in life – it’s just more apparent in the life of a single – but not a lot of people admit it. Loneliness is nothing to be ashamed of. Christ experienced loneliness throughout His bitter passion, culminating with His crying out to the Father “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”. As hopeless as the situation seemed at that moment, it was only a matter of time before Christ was raised from the dead and surrounded by the triumphant love of the Trinity.
Friday was a rough night, but I survived. It was good to be reminded that I was not made to be alone. I was created in the image and likeness of God – a triune God – and therefore created for companionship. I am not called to thesingle life forever; only for a time.
So here’s a shout out to fellow single friends: Next time you find yourself feeling rather despondent and lonely, know that you are not alone even in your loneliest of moments. Not only does Christ know your misery and overcome it, but there is at least one other person in the blogosphere who has experienced the same heavenly discomfort and I’m praying for you!!
*As I am lactose intolerant, “ice cream eating” usually means raspberry sorbet, lemon Italian ice or Soy Dreams Butter Pecan (pretend) ice cream.