Sanding as I reflect on Singleness

I can't believe it's only been a week since last Monday - see previous post and you will understand.  Funny how time can seen to go so fast and yet seem so slow and long or full and more than it actually was: it seems like a month ago!  Maybe I just mentally and emotionally distance myself from humiliating experiences.  My own form of denial? ;-)

Update on my Kitchen:  testing a stain color, all cabinet doors have been sanded and wiped down, last of the paint over and around the kitchen window and shelf area is being extremely difficult to remove.  My goal is to have the cabinets stained, and put all back together by the weekend.  The rest can and will need to wait a few months... but it will get finished, Lord willing, by Christmas.


So... I have been inspired through a fellow blogger's series on singleness.  Not an unfamiliar topic: I could have easily written "Times I hate singleness" - in fact I may come up with my own post of reasons soon.  Anyhow, I found him refreshingly vulnerable, biblically sound, tender and strong.

So, this has lead to me to reflect over my "singleness" introspections.  I must admit, he is braver than I.  I have held back on this topic because it is very vulnerable yet this is an area in which God has met me powerfully.  It is a hunger and desire I have wrestled with much.  God continues to refine and transform me through it.  It's also a topic many ask me about since I guess they think I have earned the "badge" of singleness, being that I am well into and moving on through my 30's.  (EEEK! I have a big birthday this year... Presents would sooth the shock of hitting the big 4-0!! Nothing like a hint huh?!)

As any trial and testing, the things that bring out our hearts are the things that are rooted in the heart.  I heard a message by Elizabeth Elliot several years ago, and she used Deuteronomy 8:2-3 -

 You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.  He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.

It seems to me that God intentionally created us with specific needs and hungers as humans.  The need for safety, for purpose, for intimacy (love), for identity.   Each of these areas are things God is himself, or is found and defined in His character and existence.  These wonderful things are significant basic needs in our hearts - a beautiful testimony that we are created in His Image.  Our hearts are prone to experience a perceived and/or often very real need/hunger/lack.  Being sinful in nature we automatically move towards sin to feed it.   When we try to feed, sooth, or meet the hunger of our soul through our own means, we are sinning.  We then find, just as Adam and Eve discovered, we lose all to gain temporary knowledge/experience apart from our Maker.   An untrusting and sinful heart is exposed.

Essentially, as the passage says above, He designed us to have these needs met through and by Him - which would mean these actually build knowledge and relationship with our Maker - The Father Longs for intimacy with us!  He provided manna (literally meaning, "What is it?") for them to eat in the wilderness.  He still does this today in meeting the hungers of our soul. 

Example: I have the desire for love and intimacy.  Normally, this desire is met in marriage.  The marriage relationship meets a lot of the hunger, but not fully as we need all sorts of relationships to "fill the cup" of our souls.  I am single, so society deems me lonely, loveless, and destitute!  To be honest, many times well meaning friends and familys perception or well-wishing towards me magnifies a perceived lack.  It actually irritates the "desire" and I have to spend a few days quieting it down.  I don't deny it is there, I just don't  feed it!   It flares up on its own at times too.  That's when I bring out my secret weapon!  Thankfulness that God has made me for love and intimacy.  I literally thank Him for making me with this "print" of Himself on me.  He has used this to help me accept where I am, as a single woman, and to glorify Him in this status.  I don't think anything glorifies Him more, as well as quiets the voice of depravity.  He often leads me in righteous ways to experience love and intimacy (literally, this word is "in-to-me" -- intimate knowledge of another) and calms and soothes my soul in His own good loving way.  My status does not define me as lacking good.  I know quite a few married people who don't feel loved or known in their martial relationship: It's a sad plight of too many.   Often the ways God leads and meets my heart and ache can be a "manna" moment or experience.  "What is it Lord!?"... and my heart is filled.  

That actually happened just a few weeks ago.  I had some plans with a family I adore.  I went to their home and we enjoyed a few hours eating and watching "Anne of Green Gables" together.  Their girls had not see this movie: I had fun snuggling down on the couch, eating ice cream and brownies, watching "Anne" grow up.  I drove home feeling loved, and happy to pour out some love on them too.  My heart was very full and satisfied.

After moments like that, I can go to sleep and wake up knowing He is taking care of my every need.  He has not forgotten, overlooked, or neglected me.  

Now, it's not been an easy road getting to a place of greater acceptance.  Honestly, it's often been very painful,  I am still a work in progress.  God has definitely used my singleness, and relational mishaps to transform me.  But, alas, I can say, God is so so so Very Good and He is powerful.  I know He loves me, He is with me and I lack no good thing.  

Tomorrow a husband may come my way, and I would be thrilled!  But for today, I will plan on being as I am today, tomorrow.   "Hope deferred makes the heart sick."  I like to try to keep my hope planted on the One who does not disappoint.

Would Love to hear your thoughts on this too!

Comments

Tammy, how beautiful this is! How blessed you are with the strength and faith to maintain your true relationship with Christ until He sends His planned proxy into your life. I'm so proud that you didn't settle...as so many of us have, let's just be honest. You're right, it's not worth it and Single while Satisfied in Christ is INFINTELY more rewarding!! <3 you bunches!!
Tammie Hull said…
Thank You sweet friend! It's been a long time since we lived in the same place; it would be so precious to see you. :-) God is faithful, my dear, even when we are faithless - i have had moments when i was so angry i wanted to throw in the towel and do life another way (my way!) but He never let me go and helped me work through my anger and misperception of Him and my expectations. We all need tweaking every single day... this flesh may be dead but it sure has a few nerves that shake a LOT. love you and thank You for commenting on my post!
Tammie Hull said…
You are amazing Tasha ....had to say it again!
John Gunter said…
Tammie, I know I am late on this one, but you wrote it during an intense time of travel.

First, thanks for you kind words at the beginning and for referencing my blog. One of those, "is she really talking about me" type moments!

Second, thanks for your own vulnerability on the subject here. As it has been helpful for me in processing my own life to write about singleness, I pray you will find the same results.

Third, you are, unfortunately, correct about many lonely married people.

Finally, just thanks for taking the time to write this out. Great reading from a woman's perspective!
Tammie H said…
No worries.

Receiving a comment is wonderful in itself - anytime! I don't get many! Not sure why.. i have been blogging for a long while now, and I have found it very encouraging, a wonderful creative outlet and often feel as David did when it says, "he encourarged himself in the LORD" through my blogging. So, THANK YOU for your comment John! I plan to add a few more installments on singleness... I have a lot of thoughts and lessons the LORD has taught me filed away. One of my former professors and now friend, often presses me to write. So, thus, another reason I have not blogged as I have been saving it for something bigger. BUT, not sure if that will ever happen, so I am challenged to write bits and pieces here. If it encourages someone to look higher and embrace God deeper, that's all that matters anyways!

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