Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Turbulence

Ugh.  I don't really want to talk about this last one, but I'm going to.  I need to if I'm really going to share with you what this whole thing has been like.  Just so you know, I hated the experience of the year 2008, but I loved what I learned from it.  I came very close to a panic attack on New Year's Eve of 2008, because I was afraid that there would be no change and 2009 would be the same.  Overly dramatic?  No doubt.  But it's how I felt.  Judge me if you need to.

July, October, and December were the months that were the most difficult.  July was the month that my grandma died and the month that I became the last person that was still single.  I'm not going to go into everything about my grandma dying, but just as it relates to this particular part.  I had been hoping for the last couple of years that I would meet someone in time for her to meet him, and for him to meet her.  We knew that her health was failing, but I had hoped that at least that could happen.  The last time that I got to spend time with her, in May, she asked me if there was anyone in my life.  Of all the people that always ask me things like that, I think that was the only time she ever asked. I hated having to tell her no.

Then there was the fact that I became the last single person in the larger group of friends.  I couldn't believe how lonely that was.  I had no idea it would be like that.  I figured I would have problems with wishing that I had what everyone else did, but what I didn't realize is how many levels the loneliness strikes at that point.  Suddenly, there is less time to spend hanging out because everyone has stuff to do with their significant other.  Also, when we are hanging out, everyone is talking about relationship things, and I now have nothing to contribute to the conversation.  One of the greatest blessings of July, though, was that while being single alone was worse than I thought it would be, it was also better than I thought it would be.  I was genuinely happy for everyone.

Oh, October.  How I do hate thee.  Even now, I could hardly tell you why October was so stinking hard.  At least July was obvious.  It was really hard to try to say anything to anyone about what I was struggling with because I barely knew what to say.  I do know that part of the problem is that for the first time in a long time I had a lot of evenings free.  I was so used to being busy and having things to do, I felt like even more of a single loser now that I was on my own so much.  Whatever it was, I think I cried more that month than I ever have, and I hate crying.  I particularly remember one Saturday.  It was a good day most of the day, and I was busy cleaning and doing various weekend things, but I was fighting off the gloominess all day.  Once it hit, it hit with a vengeance. I don't remember ever crying so hard or feeling so bad or feeling so close to God all at the same time.  It was crazy.  

Two things happened that night.  One is that I was thinking of this song on the radio that I really wanted to hear right then, that really spoke to the experience that I was going through.  I figured, what are the chances that it will be on right now?  But I finally turned on the radio.  And... it was some other song entirely.  Guess what, though.  The very next song was the one that I was really needing to hear right then.

The other thing that happened on this very night that I was struggling more than I ever had with being single is that one of my oldest friends called in the middle of all this to announce her engagement.  I had just calmed down enough that I could even answer the phone, and decided that I was ready to move on, so I did answer the phone, and there she was.  It was kind of funny, because I am known for not having very big reactions to things, so when she told me her news, she was pleasantly surprised by the strength of my emotion.  Little did she know that it was part hysteria! :)  Luckily, she couldn't be on the phone long, but when I got off the phone it was okay.

December was also tough.  Things eased up a little for November, but after Thanksgiving, it started getting rough again.  At the beginning of the month, I was busy getting all depressed about being single again, when I suddenly started listening to the lies that I was telling myself or listening to.  It was really interesting.  Most of the lies were easy to almost laugh at and to reject, once I recognized them.  But one was different.  That was the one about there must be something wrong with me in order for me to still be single.  (Note to married people trying to cheer single people up: when you find out that someone is single, don't use the line, "Huh.  Well there's nothing wrong with you, you'll find someone." Then I figure that if the only single people are the defective ones, I just hide my defects and they haven't figured them out yet.)  I seriously didn't believe that I was as interesting or feminine or whatever as everyone else, because they were married and I was ignored.  Even when I realized that I was thinking this lie, and could intellectually recognize that it was a lie, I still believed it in my heart of hearts.  I began to see a lot of places that it was affecting my life, but it was still there, and there wasn't a thing that I could do about it. 

That was the beginning of the month.  As the month moved on, I moved into one of the longest Decembers ever.  Like most of the world, I normally have a pretty busy time over the holidays.  Not so, this year.  From the middle of the month on, I had absolutely nothing to do for almost three weeks.  Literally.  Christmas day was great, and I was home with my family for about 24 hours at that time, but I had to work the day before and the day after, so that was my one break from hanging out by myself.  There were no text messages, voice mails.  None of that.  A couple of times, I tried calling people for the lamest reasons, but they were always in the middle of or on their way to something, so they didn't really have time to talk or return voice mails. Not only that, but I had been involved in a number of different activities.  For a variety of reasons, a lot of these things were over, too.  

I was fighting with God about it.  I reminded Him that if I was going to be single, that He should at least be using me to keep me busy doing His work so this time would be worth something.  I also reminded Him that I needed to have more time with friends and family, because I couldn't handle it otherwise.

He then reminded me that He was all I needed, and that He was enough.  It didn't really make it easier, but it suddenly made that time about me and Him.  For a brief time of less than 3 weeks, He took everything away that I depended on.  He quieted my schedule at the busiest time of the year.  He made sure that I had to depend on Him, and only Him.  Not going to lie, realizing that He was enough did NOT make it easy or fun.  It made it doable.


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