Today I’m inviting you up onto my blog porch, pouring you a cup of hot coffee, and sitting down beside you to hear from one of my favorite people. When I say “favorite” I mean it in the sense that I have always admired her coolness from afar, not in the sense that we hang out all the time in real life- although I’m fairly certain we would if we still lived in the same city. I have known Bruk for well over 10 years, and watched her grow from a confident, self-assured teenager into an effortlessly cool, relentlessly authentic, stunning-from-the-inside-out, grown up lady. It seems that Bruk has always known exactly who she is, and as a fellow woman, I find that to be both refreshing and inspiring.
She does interesting things like make jewelry, write songs, and take pretty photographs, and she does brave things like live in Africa for a year. The words she wrote here are just one small part of her big story.
“When she reaches for him, you reach for Me.”
Those words changed my perspective the teeniest bit.
You know… when you know that God has the best plan for you, but you don’t entirely believe it until He gives you a fresh look? Maybe you don’t know. In my mind I’m the only person that doesn’t always trust God, but go with me here. I’m about to get real open about some stuff that I just don’t like getting real open about.
I’m 28 and single. When I say 28, I actually mean 27 and turning 28 next week, which is weirdly freaking me out. And when I say single, I mean it in every sense of the word.
Always. Forever. Single.
It’s recently been pointed out to me that being single isn’t really the thing I struggle with, so much as the fact that I’ve never had a relationship. While I almost think that’s true, it’s also sort of not.
I’m good at being single. That’s the thing that scares me a little bit. I live mostly on my own. I’m great with power tools. I support myself, move as I wish, travel as I wish, shop as I wish. When I have a date I’m not thinking “Oh man, I hope he likes me!”, I’m thinking, “Oh crap, what if he likes me?” and the self-sabotage sort of starts there.
It’s not that I want to stay single forever, I just sort of see it as my lot in life. So there it is. Different and unique as you may see me, I’m just your average, aging, Christian girl who wants to eventually get married but isn’t getting asked out and didn’t go to Bible college. (Whoops. Should’ve thought that through.)
I suppose this is all really just a roundabout way of getting around to my slightly more unattractive and disturbing quality of being jealous of basically any and all people who are in healthy relationships. If you’re in an unhealthy relationship, I’m sort of the girl to talk you right out of it, so feel free to come on over. Or just call. Give me ten minutes. I’ll break you up. For this reason I’m certain I’ll never settle, but also… see eternal singleness.
When I see a happy couple something inside me just wants to steal a little bit of it. Or go on Bumble and date every guy anywhere near me until I find him. Or just binge watch the Bachelor and cry. Alone. In my apartment.
The only exception to this rule is my best friend and her fiancé. My eyes fill with tears when I think of them and how stupidly perfect they are together. Like… I don’t believe in soul mates or ‘the one’, but with them, I kinda wonder a little bit. I guess God grabbed the one great couple I can be so genuinely happy for and decided to just go ahead and destroy me with them.
Last month, said best friend/ fiance duo came to town and we got to spend a whole week together. It was rainbows and sunshine. We haven’t spent that much time together in literal ages and it was actual medicine for my soul. We ate great food, had great talks, went to church, went on walks. It was a blessed occurrence. One wonderful night we did all of those things, starting with church, then we walked to Portland City Grill where an INCREDIBLE BLIND PIANIST changed all of our lives. Then we walked home. At dusk. In downtown Portland.
I live here, so that’s not unusual. It’s actually my daily routine. I walk home each night after work and take in the city. As I walk I pray for people who seem lost, look for beauty, breath it all in, and from time to time, get a little bit scared. Usually, at least once on my walk home, someone makes me feel uneasy. I walk by, head down, and pray that God would make me invisible to them if they intend to harm me. It sounds a little bit ridiculous, but I believe beyond a shadow of doubt that He’s done it, so I’ll continue to ask.
This particular night, as we walked, one of these men came across our path. He sort of swayed back and forth, yelling-slash-mumbling, waving his arms. He came straight toward us and in that tiny moment, God spoke.
As I prayed my silly little prayer, out of the corner of my eye I saw my friend scoot in close to her guy. She said something to the effect of “hold me closer”, and I heard God speak clearly into my heart, “when she reaches for him, you reach for Me.”
In an instant I saw how not alone I am.
I saw how lucky I actually am that He’s the one I reach for, even though it’s sometimes a little less tangible. Or like, not tangible at all. Don’t get me wrong, I still think she’s a lucky lady. I still think if I ever find my guy that I’ll be a lucky lady.
But for now I can know that I’m single, but I’m not alone. I’m single, but I’m not unloved. I’m single, but it’s in my best interest. Even if I don’t feel it that particular day, (and it’s definitely a day to day thing). I guess what I’m saying is that tonight, as I write this, I’m super pumped that Jesus is the one I get to reach for.
And I pray tomorrow, when I wake up and go to my job in a bridal salon (are you kidding me?), that I remember how special it feels tonight.
Photo Credit: Kala Noel