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Single Seeking Sanctuary

By Laura J. Bagby Sr. Producer For single chicks, another weekend joyous celebration of family togetherness can be an emotionally exhausting event—one that can lead you down an introspective path of “should have”, “could have” internal monologues of self-berating comments to a mid-life crisis search for the meaning of life and the answer to the “why” of your single status.

Somewhere in the midst of the festivities, a single, confident, financially independent woman can crumble in emotional fragility—if she takes herself too seriously or thinks about her life situation too intensely.

Admittedly, this began to happen to me not too long ago. I was invited to an open house party for a couple who had newly adopted their first child. Initially on arrival I was quite calm. My new-mommy friend was gracious and welcoming, as were the rest of her family. I liked the chance to tour the home a little bit and felt confident in myself and in my position in life.

But as the people kept coming in and out with children in tow —many that I knew as my single, graduate school peers, people who looked happy and successful now—and the conversation subtlety shifted from career and free-time activities to home improvement and childcare, I found myself plastered to the safety of the refreshment table, gobbling up the goodie trays to avoid conversing, instead of connecting with the parents congregating in the other rooms or crying over the tender adoption video. And you have got to understand: I like children; and they usually like me.

It’s just that when unexpectedly overwhelmed, I find myself faking it. Ever been there? You fake that you know lots about kids or that you understand about homes or other “grown-up” topics by smiling and nodding in agreement. You might swap stories about your sister’s or brother’s kids, or even pathetic vignettes about your dog, in hopes of relating on the same level so as not to be left behind in the conversational volley.

But after a while, you are not in the mood to openly contemplate what you haven’t experienced firsthand. You find yourself in the precarious position of wanting to care, but tiring of trying to fit in. It just reminds you of what you don’t have. It’s that recognition that you and your peers are in two different places in life. You talk about meeting men; they talk about meeting their kindergarten teachers. You talk about the remote possibility of buying a home; they talk about buying a home like it’s another point on their to-do list, complete with how their perfect husband plans on making renovations. You talk about children as if the notion is incredibly far away; they talk about children like they are planning to have their second tomorrow.

It’s during times like this when I would much rather run than stay, when I feel somehow less than as a Christian and as a woman, that I am thankful for someone who can vocalize acceptance of my singleness without my fishing for it and without feeling sorry for me. And wouldn’t you know it? Soon joining me at the refreshment table was a married woman I knew from graduate school, a delightfully vibrant, blonde mother of several children.

We caught up on each other’s news, and then she asked me if I wanted to take a tour of the baby’s new room with her. I had felt awkward when the call for the tour came several times earlier in the evening by the hosting couple. But now I felt honored, so I gladly accepted the offer. It felt safe to join my blonde-headed friend on a venture to the baby sanctuary.

We snuck upstairs and entered the sweet little nursery. Standing inside the room that smelled like baby powder and love, I didn’t feel a bit on edge. I let my mind dream of the possibilities a little. I pictured the new baby growing up and becoming a little girl, then a teen. This is the kind of room she could grow into, I thought. As I stared out the window overlooking the street, I found myself saying to my friend, “I think I would like to adopt someday.” I let the words roll off my tongue and wondered if I really knew what I was saying or if I really did want that. I wasn’t sure. All I knew was that it felt natural to say that. That’s so cool! I heard her say. I so appreciated her vote of confidence in me.

Before long it was time to rejoin the party. The moment was soon over as my friend joined in a conversation with another parent, and I squeezed past to head back downstairs and to return to thoughts of my career and my evening plans. But I thanked God for that moment when someone was perceptive enough to ease my fears and with nonjudgmental words and open acceptance grant me a big hug from the Father heart of God.

How often do we as singles forget that God loves us right where we are? Yet He says that He cares for us, that He knows every hair on our heads, and that He has our names written in His Book of Life. And nothing can separate us from the love of God – not even our singleness.

Thank You, Lord, that You love me where I am. Lord, I ask that in Your own special way You will place me as a single person into the family of God as You see fit. Grant me a kind word and a tender hug during those moments when my singleness threatens to undo me. Keep me ever in Your care, and help me to remember that You have good things in store for me in Your perfect timing.

In Jesus’ name,

Comments? E-mail me.

More articles by Laura

Laura J. BagbyLaura J. Bagby produces the Health and Finance channels. She writes inspirational, humor, singles, and health articles.


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