It’s been a long time, my dear blog. I’ve had a post sitting inside my head for the past 4 months but haven’t had the time to actually write it out, so I hope it comes out and is conveyed in the way that I hope haha.
I’m single. Very single. Always single? Never had a boyfriend (a boyfriend? What is that? 0__O….haha). Here in Korea, this is referred to as 모태솔로 (mo-tae-so-lo) – ‘모태’ being your mother’s womb, ‘솔로’ being….solo, haha. Y’all know I’ve heard that term more than once, haha…
Now, this is NOT a post about me lamenting about being single (although I wish I wasn’t)…but it IS about me BEING single. Confused yet?
As I pass through my 20s, I can’t escape the barrage of engagements, boyfriends, girlfriends, marriages, babies flooding my Facebook newsfeed and daily life, being questioned “Why not?” when I say that I don’t have a boyfriend (especially in the land of Korea, where every second person is a couple), being questioned “Why are you having such a hard time finding a husband!?” by the mother. I’m not particularly old (yet), but it does make me wonder…why? Why am I still single?! Why hasn’t anything worked out up until now?
Everything happens for a reason.
Excuse my click bait….rather, this is a post about God’s plan for your life, God’s will, and that sometimes being alone, means that you see things that you couldn’t before. And looking back, had I not been subjected to loneliness, pain, desparation, hopelessness and other forms of darkness – I would have never seen, felt or heard God to the depths that I do now, nor would I have known what joy, freedom, love, hope, grace, compassion, healing and many other things look and feel like.
The only place that we can be pushed to change, pushed to try new things, pushed to make a change is in a place of discomfort, where we know that staying static is not an option.
Romans 5:1-5 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. “
James 1:2-5 “ Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
God wants us to reach our full potential in this lifetime; but more often than not, it involves putting us in hot water, enduring trials, and coming out the other end stronger, more equipped, and more READY for the things this life may throw at us. For if things were easy and comfortable…would you have a desire to do more? Would you want to improve yourself and the world around you? Probably not. Why would you need to, when everything is easy and available already?
People often tell me, “How come you can do everything?! Is there anything you can’t do!??” As flattering as that is (and that yes, there are a billion things I don’t know how to do), people don’t think about the process of how we GET there, nor the sacrifices made to get there. Yes, I can do A, B, and C…and D and E and F quite well if I make an effort – but I had the time, I MADE the time to do it because I was alone (and back then, severely introverted and scared of social interaction). No one thinks about the hundreds of sleepless nights, the tears I cried from fear and hopelessness, the desperation that pushed me to work harder, the physical injuries and callouses accumulated, the heart-wrenching loneliness exacerbated by seeing couples everywhere and the dysfunction in my own life, the loneliness from the sacrifice I made to do work and push myself rather than face my fear of talking to people and seeing friends, the voices in my head telling me I am worthless and useless, the caffeine and painkiller abuse on myself, being misunderstood and heavily opposed by those you thought were close…blah, blah, blah.
I can do all these things because I was alone.
But in the deafening silence is where I also heard, Him.
In my loneliness and solitude I started to think about God related things more, I clung to Him, I finally started to read His word more (and trust me, I am BAD at keeping up with reading my Bible…its a constant battle), my prayers became more real and less scripted, His character, His voice, His will for my life slowly, but gradually became clearer. That comforting whisper, words of encouragement and kindness – a stark contrast against the lies ripping through my head on a daily basis.
If you knew me before God changed my life, you would know I was a LOT different, 180 degrees different to the person I am now. My vision was narrow, I couldn’t see anything past my own problems and self pity, and I couldn’t care less about who Jesus was (I don’t think I cared to even try believing in him haha), let alone going to church.
So God knew my heart – he knows me better than I know myself, and all the dumb decisions I make on my own, so He allowed for my time of solitude for me to learn, for me to grow, for me to heal. Even if it involved me kicking and screaming because I was tired of being that ‘forever single’ person – I look back now and look and where this time has taken me, how much I resemble nothing of the unhappy person that I was…and how much I was definitely NOT ready to bring another person into my mess of a life, haha. I finally understood what it meant to WANT to live, I finally understood exactly what ‘grace’ meant (after falling…a lot), I finally understood what it meant to say “the joy of the Lord is my strength”, I finally saw and felt the love and care for and from people I consider non blood-related family, and my eyes were finally opened to the need, the pain, the hurt in the world around me – and WHY God allowed me to go through the things that I did.
And I could do this all, because I was alone.
Now – as we all (should) know, there is a time and season for everything; and as much as I can see the benefits for what has felt like an eternity of loneliness…of course, there has been a lot of things that are NOT beneficial to me – not knowing how to trust people and consequently coming off as cold; spending 90% of my time with me myself and my laptop doing work means I still have pretty bad social anxiety and self-deprecating thoughts that I have to cover up (by the grace of God, He helps me haha) and that the lack of talking to others means I’m awkward in both Korean AND English….and the list goes on, haha.
As we also (should) know, the Bible tells us, “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Genesis 2:18), and “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 18:22)…so anytime now, Jesus, hahahahaha~! Please (0___O)v?
The point is – God has a plan, and NOTHING is ever wasted. There is always a reason for why we go through what we do in this life – even if we don’t understand it, or don’t want to do it, HE always has a reason to grow us and push us to become who we are supposed to be, to push us towards where we are called to be…EVEN if it hurts. There are plenty of things that I (and you) can do single, that you cannot do married because you have to factor in another person’s mind, body and spirit into your decisions, haha.
In addition, we are all different. Our callings all look different. I would never want to discredit or play down any pain, or hardship that someone else has gone through which has been 10 billion times harder than mine. So my story is not yours….and whether you’re called to be single for now, for a while, forEVER, to be married early, to go somewhere where you don’t want to go, to stay where you don’t want to be…He DOES know your heart, and if you are close to Him, you will know His and the wonderful, crazy, challenging, amazing things that He has for you in this life – to love others, to help others, to be a light in this dark and messed up world.
And trust me. I need this reminder as much as you out there might.