“I saw a woman who was desperate to marry me back in college” he said. “Boy was I glad I didn’t choose her! She is so faaaat! I saw her at a conference. She is in a wheel chair because she’s so big!”
“She never married.”
People say some things and you forget, even when you want to remember. Other things just stay with you, even though you’d rather forget.
I heard somebody say that years ago, but I still think about the woman. I wonder what she was like when she was young. Was she beautiful yet overlooked, or was she plain with a beautiful character that nobody took the time to view? What I wonder most about her, is whether she became obese because she tried to eat her disappointment.
It seems that single life can come in stages according to how it’s managed and if singles are not equipped with the necessary information.
At first, you don’t know you’re single, because you’re too young to care. You then realize that there is something (everybody) aspires to – marriage and love? Next, you feel societal pressure, from every angle it seems, to achieve that ultra important normal-human goal. You want it too. You were created that way.
You get to twenty-nine. You’re still single. You become desperate – desperate enough to marry almost anyone, as long as they profess Christianity, or if their grandmother used to attend a Christian church every Easter. You say, ‘Yeah! That’s Christian enough. Isn’t it?’ Nail-biting-desperation. You feel that if you go to one more family life seminar, you’ll have to leave or stand up and scream at the pastor. This little secret is just between you and Jesus, as you wouldn’t dare really tell anyone else. Prayer time goes like this: God! Please! When? Amen.
Mercy, it seems, rescues those who simply won’t survive being single any longer and gets them married – for better or for worse. Only time can tell.
The remnant, however, might go on in this state of quiet insanity, while appearing to be quite balanced, successful – just great! Some seem to find, eventually, that they are granted the Apostle Paul’s gift of celibacy, and make peace with their status. Yet others take the path apparently more often traveled and plunge into the next stage: UTTER. ABYSS-LIKE. DISAPPOINTMENT.
Every occasion that calls for a display of the slightest romantic inclination, is overcome with the help of a friend that shows up everywhere. This friend’s presence makes everything sweeter, or more palatable somehow. If a singleton experiencing this stage of his/her journey wants to watch a soppy movie and host a pity party, one friend will be there. FOOD.
At this stage, a concerned person might suggest Christian counseling, but our single friend tells no one what is going on. Instead, he/she continues eating disappointment, unconsciously hoping it will go away and only the sweet taste of lemon meringue pie would remain. The western world calls it ‘comfort eating‘. Does it really comfort?
Disappointment doesn’t always manifest as gluttony. This is just one way. How do you cope and ultimately escape from disappointment? Here are some suggestion:
- Pray and fast – “This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” This quote, from the Gospel of Matthew 17:21. This is not to say you’ve got a food demon – who knows?! LOL. It’s just that you don’t win certain battles until you agonize with God; wrestling like Jacob did.
- Talk to someone. A Parent. A trusted friend. Pastor.
- Get busy – idleness is the perfect opportunity to feel sorry for yourself and to comfort eat.
- Exercise – Endorphins will rush through your body, helping you to feel great. You’ll look great too.
- Socialize with other singles, or with your church family in general
- Find a hobby – use your downtime to do something you truly enjoy.
- Help someone else – You’ll focus less on what you don’t have. For example, if you long for children, offer to babysit someone’s children
- Read your bible. It’s God’s love letter to you. It will remind you of how much He loves you and how important you are. You’ll also be reminded that he never gives you more than you can bear – His grace is sufficient. He’ll do what’s best for you. You see today. He sees all the way into many tomorrows and into eternity.
There is another stage. Resignation.With faith, this too can be overcome and replaced with the joy of the Lord, which is your strength.