Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The Lucky Ones

This one goes out, in particular, to all of my fellow single ladies.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Once one reaches a certain age, no white knights on the horizon can start to become a little irksome.  Wouldn't you agree?  Now, some of the time, those of us who are "single" couldn't be happier with our lot.  In all sincerity, we are perfectly content to enjoy our "years of freedom."  

But . . . other times . . .

However determined we are to not be that person, we can occasionally slip into a bit of pining.  After all . . . why are all of our friends getting asked out by decent guys and we've never even had one come close to broaching anything related to the subject?  (Because, of course, all of our friends are getting asked out.  We are literally the only ones.)  

All night long on my bed I looked for the One my heart loves; I looked for Him but did not find Him.  I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares; I will search for the One my heart loves.


"What's so wrong with [us]?"  Why aren't we "good relationship material"?  Are we that awkward?  That ugly?  That disconnected from society?  Why are we undesirable?  

Clearly, that last one is pretty melodramatic.  But honestly, deep down, I would venture to say that more people than just me have felt that subconsciously.  So what do we do with those feelings?  It's not as though we like them -- it's not as though we don't see how silly and school-girlish and desperate they make us sound.  Yet they're there . . . and sometimes they're not so easy to shake.  

We're not complaining about our lives (at least, not purposefully).  We're grateful for what we have.  But we do have this nagging question sometimes:  Why not me, too?

So I looked for Him but did not find Him.  The watchmen found me as they made their rounds in the city.  "Have you seen the One my heart loves?"


True confessions:  I have struggled with this more often than I would like to own.  Our self-images play a large role in this, of course -- whatever physical imperfection we see in ourselves, we transfer onto the opinion that other people (especially guys) must have of us.  (Personally, for example, my opinion of my facial birthmark contributes to feeling that no guy would ever truly want to marry me.  Like, ever.)  But recently I realized something:  We -- we who have yet to have a significant other -- we are the lucky ones.  (Cue the title plug.)  We get the opportunity to really, truly, deeply realize that our first love is Jesus -- before we have a romantic relationship.  To honestly see how the Messiah adores us and how we can adore Him.  To learn -- because it does take some learning -- that no human male will ever satisfy and fulfill the deepest needs and longings in our souls.  That's setting outrageously and impossibly high standards for our brothers in Christ, as many authors remind us.  And we all know that on an intellectual level -- we've heard it over and over and over, from people like the Botkins sisters, Sarah Mally, you name it.  Thank God for them; we need that teaching.  But have we realized it on a feeling level?  In Healing for Damaged Emotions, David A. Seamands explains that a lot of times, we might know something mentally, but it hasn't penetrated to our emotions.  Neither he nor I are suggesting that feelings should override the mind, but I think that sometimes, in our zeal to avoid the "just follow your heart" clich√©, we forget that emotions are not evil; that, when used properly, they can instigate great good. Sometimes, we have to work harder at feeling a truth than at knowing a truth -- and both are important.

Scarcely had I passed them when I found the One my heart loves.  I held Him and would not let Him go.  


Sisters, it's important for us to realize that we are fulfilled in the love of our Lord, trite and unconvincing as it may sound.  But it won't happen overnight.  We have to work at letting our souls soak up this strange new idea -- that Jesus Christ, Master of the mountains and Tamer of the oceans, is our first, last, and always LOVE.  We have to listen for His wooing whisper:  "Come with Me from Lebanon, my bride, come with Me from Lebanon."  We have to search out passages in His Word that speak of the overwhelming love He has for us.  We have to write to Him, write out the struggles and the doubts and the fears and the concerns.  We have to ask bold questions.  We have to be brave and honest with ourselves and with Him.  We have to start unlearning the old patterns of the old self and allow Him to renew our minds (see Romans 12:1-2 and Ephesians 4:20-24).  

Listen!  My Lover!  Look!  Here He comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.


Please understand me:  I am not bashing adolescent/young adult relationships.  Nor am I saying that  those girls who are in those relationships have any less of a need to grasp this, this truth that they are transcendently adored by Jesus Christ.  I'm not saying that this special first love changes when a young woman enters into a relationship.  That's preposterous.  I'm not in any way suggesting that those who are in relationships have any less special, "set apart," precious, devoted, and deep of a relationship with their Savior.  No. What I am saying is that there are special things God teaches through relationships and special things that God teaches through singlehood.  And since I don't have experience in the former, I'm trying to share some of the things I'm slowly learning about the latter.  

What I am saying, to those who are in the same boat with me, is that we have a unique opportunity.  If we choose to, we can let this time be a time when we work at falling hopelessly and fully in love with Jesus, without distraction.  (Again, I'm not saying girls in relationships can't/don't work at the same thing!)  We can let this be a time when we really dig into of this "eternal verity" that the Rider called Faithful and True is our ultimate Lover.  But we do have a choice.  The Lord will never force Himself on anyone.  

Look!  There He stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattice.


Have I gotten my point across?  I don't feel like I'm expressing it adequately -- while it's normal to hope for a man at some point in one's life, and to be tempted to despair of finding one, the Man Who already sacrificed everything for a relationship with us is waiting to show us the fullest extent of His love that we can bear while in these earthly bodies.  He has stores of affection that He lavishes on us, and if we will cooperate, we can feel how much that love validates us.  We are fulfilled, dear single sisters of mine!  (And you are fulfilled, dear not single sisters of mine!)  Do we truly get that?  We are fulfilled.  F.U.L.F.I.L.L.E.D.  And we can be completely satisfied, too.  S.A.T.I.S.F.I.E.D.  We are already loved.  L.O.V.E.D.  We are honestly wanted.  W.A.N.T.E.D.  By GOD -- by the most resplendent, thoroughly perfect, unbearably kind, scandalously merciful, radiant Being in existence.  For goodness' sake, what more do we want?  What vain little creatures we are! ;)  We may know all this "as a matter of course" . . . but do we know it as a matter of everyday-life-living feeling?  Because we can.  

My Lover spoke and said to me, "Arise, My darling, My beautiful one, and come with Me.  See!  The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.  Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.  The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.  Arise, come, My darling; My beautiful one, come with Me."


I am my Lover's and my Lover is mine.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Italicized Scripture quotations taken from Song of Songs.  Respectively:  3:1-2a, 3:2b-3, 3:4; 4:8a; 2:8, 2:9b, 2:10-13; 6:3.  





33 comments:

  1. I've never really mourned/panicked about the 'maybe I won't find the one' thing, but OH MY WORD OLIVIA. This post is so, so beautiful and I love you and JUST YES. AMEN.

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    1. Daaawww, THANK YOU NAOMI AND I LOVE YOU TOO.

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  2. Amen and thank you Olivia! I feel that way more then I would like to admit! While a lot of girls have a career they would like to follow, the only thing I have ever wanted is to be a wife and mother.

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    1. Thanks, Bailey! This world really needs men and women who want to be parents.

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  3. I've recently found myself daydreaming about when "the one" will come along (perhaps more than is healthy/necessary). Instead of fixing my eyes on what love I don't have, I should be setting my gaze on the perfect Love that I do have. :) It's so awesome to know that we are vastly loved by The Creator.

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  4. AMEN! This was BEAUTIFUL, Olivia!! You have a wonderful way with words! Thank you. :)

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  5. *wipes tear*

    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST.

    Because I've been struggling with this a LOT lately. I want to be content with being single--I don't want to just "wait around" for a guy and act like my life is worthless without one. And yet . . . and yet . . . it's hard!!!!! I'm almost 23 years old, and I've never been asked out on a real date, and I just can't help wondering, what is wrong with me??? Is "everybody else" so much more attractive and interesting and desirable than I am? What the heck is going on??

    But inside, I KNOW--and I really appreciate your reminding me--that it's silly to feel like I'm not "good enough" and that's why I'm not in a relationship yet. Instead, I'm in this position right now because it's where God WANTS me to be; and I'm learning . . . I'm learning a lot. How to be a better friend, a better sister, a better daughter, a better Christian. And no matter what happens in the future, I can rest content in knowing that I'm precious and valuable in God's eyes, and am always loved by Him. <3

    (By the way--you are a lovely young woman and you should never doubt yourself. Trust me. I speak the truth. <3 )

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    1. Oh, Jessica . . . you are an incredibly amazing person. Any guy would be blessed out the whazoo to have your heart. "Just you mind that." You're right -- God has a plan for you and He will use each and every season of your life for your good. Hang in there, beautiful!

      (Awwww, THANK YOU, DEAR! You're so sweet <3 DITTO.)

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    2. And you're beautiful, that too.

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  6. Your subtitle is fantastic, by the way ;-)

    "All da single ladies--ALL DA SINGLE LADIES--" *giggles*

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    1. Hahaha, thanks! I'm glad you liked it :D

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  7. Oh Olivia. Once again a fantastic word. Thank you so much!

    I'm still young, and so I realize that me, a 15 year old being in a relationship is rather silly, but I totally understand the feeling of not being 'good enough', or 'pretty enough'. I've often felt that because I have Diabetes, and am constantly hooked up to a little Insulin Pump, that no guy would ever want to commit to a girl like that. I've also often felt that I'm not pretty enough, and so on and so forth. Of course I know that those thoughts aren't true, but they are pesky little things aren't they? For me, the thought of never falling in love and getting married is terrifying and horrible. I'm such a hopeless romantic, and want desperately to fall in love.

    But this reminded me that someone has already fallen in love with me, and that I should pursue Him even more, trusting that someday he will bring someone into my life. But only after I'm in love with Him first.

    So thank you. So. Much. This was so good.

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    1. Thank YOU, Abigail!

      Ahem, well, let me just blow one of those concerns out of the water right here: you are BEAUTIFUL. Have we cleared that up? Good.

      I do know how you feel, though :-/

      I'm confident that the man God has for you -- if that's His plan -- won't give your insulin pump a second thought, and even if he does, it'll just be gratitude for the opportunity of coming alongside and supporting you through the diabetes. (My brother has diabetes, too.)

      You are so welcome; I'm thankful to have Godly friends who can relate and encourage me in all these things <3

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  8. OLIVIAAAAAA. Seriously girl, you are one of my favorite bloggers. THIS POST, THOUGH.

    I know we've talked a wee bit about this before, and yours words on the subject are marvelous. I know I'll be re-reading this post to fully grasp everything you said. So much of what you said was so beautiful and true....

    These words especially stood out to me: "What I am saying is that there are special things God teaches through relationships and special things that God teaches through singlehood". I try to remind myself of that often. God has some girls in a relationship FOR A REASON and some (like us) not in a relationship FOR A REASON. I'm sure there must be some lesson to be learned, some good to be got from the experience of singlehood, otherwise He wouldn't "leave" us like that. But then, I hate to use those words, because after all He hasn't LEFT us at all. Rather, as your post so beautifully reveals, He is willing to draw nearer to us than ever before, if only we reach out and fully rejoice in HIS love.

    I also try to remind myself that even if and when I get married, there WILL be days where I don't feel loved by my husband (just as there are days I don't feel especially loved by my family. Doesn't mean that's true, of course. Our feelings can be silly, sometimes. :P) and that's when I'll especially need the knowledge of Jesus' love.

    I was actually ruminating on this ever-present dilemma recently, and wondering why I felt so in need of "a guy" when I had the love of our beautiful, perfect, precious Savior? Why do we as humans so crave the love and approval of other sinful humans, sometimes (God forgive us) even over the love and approval of Jesus? I thought of an analogy for Jesus' love, to help me better understand and appreciate it. It's almost as if we humans were all horrible, dirty, ugly creatures (which we are, because of our sin) and He is our radiant prince, a Man who saw us and loved us despite ourselves and because of His love we now bask in His love and reflect His beauty. I suppose that's a really cliche comparison, but it makes it no less beautiful and special. I suppose thinking of Jesus' love for us in human terms (a man falling in love with someone seemingly "unlovable" rather than He loving us because He's God) helps me to wrap my mind around His love a little better, though I know I will never fully comprehend it, try as I may.

    Anyways, I'm not sure if I expressed my thoughts accurately or cleary, but thank you for this post, dear friend.

    PS. I know my saying so doesn't really change your thoughts on it , but I think your birthmark is adorable. It's unique and it's YOU. I think when you someday meet your earthly prince, he will only love you more for it, not despite it. :)

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    1. Oh wow....I'm sorry for this novel of a comment! :/

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    2. Natalie, THIS COMMENT. You make my day so often <3

      YES! Yes, yes, that is so true -- even if and when we do get married, it WON'T suddenly "fix" everything in us and it won't always be a waltz through fairyland. Great reminder!

      That analogy is perfect. It's so awesome how God shows us how to wrap even a particle of our minds around even a particle of his love. HE IS JUST AMAZING REALLY. I mean, He not only loves us with a more than abundant love, but He guides us to other believers who can run the race with us.

      Oh, I think you did. Thank YOU. I so appreciated this comment <3 <3

      P.S. This little addendum really means a lot to me. I thank you <3

      Hahah, nonsense! Comments are life :D

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    3. Awwww, really? That makes me so happy. :'D

      "Even a particle of our minds around even a particle of his love." YES.
      And AMEN. He is so awesome and amazing...just wow.

      Well, I so appreciated this post. :D Thanks!!

      PS. *hugs* Not at all. :)


      Heehee, that is true!

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  9. I am totally not crying.. my sweet friend this was beautiful! I really needed that today!

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    1. I'm so glad it was an encouragement to you, Evangeline!

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  10. This was gorgeous. So lovely, sooo lovely. And those scriptures! It was all soo touching.

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  11. Olivia, this is so so beautiful ... basically YES. And I don't know what to say that hasn't been said already! Like I'm just sitting here scrolling through the comments and nodding at every word.

    But I will say this, that when I first saw a picture of you, I thought you were very pretty ... and then when I met you in person, you were even more beautiful. So don't be so hard on yourself!! I'm sure that in time you will meet the right person. Just keep praying!

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    1. Thanks muchly!

      Awwww, RIGHT BACK AT YOU, ROSIE MCCANN!

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  12. This was beautiful, Olivia. *wipes tears*

    Personally, I love being single. I'm happy to be free. But it would be nice to have both, wouldn't it?? To be single AND know that guys found you attractive... I mean, I've never even been asked out. And so, like you said, you begin to wonder what's different about you than every other girl you know...

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    1. Kayla, thank you so much!

      Haha, EXACTLY.

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  13. This is so true and relateable, especially the parts about knowing how immature those thoughts can sound, but thinking them anyway. I think this is a post I will read over again; it is so beautiful and just almost too much good advice to soak in at once (and I mean that as a compliment!)

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    1. It's really tough, you're right :-/ *blushes* Thank you so much, Abby! You're so kind <3

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  14. OLIVIA! This post is amazing. I so admire your honesty, and how you continuously point yourself back to the truth. Seriously, sister, your heart for the Lord is beautiful and inspiring.

    Oh, don't listen to those thoughts that say you're not attractive, or pretty or what not! Because that is SO not true! I've never met you in person but you're absolutely adorable in that video I saw of you. And some guy is totally going to see that sometime. And anyway, if you think about it, everyone has something about themselves that they can nitpick and worry about. Even guys. If it's not one thing it's another. "My nose is too large; I'm awkward; I'm not thin enough; I'm boring..." But the cool thing is when you meet that person who you really connect with like no one else, all that other stuff doesn't matter a bit. And God totally knows how to match people up. (For example, I love my brother-in-law, but he's not the kind of guy I would want to marry. However, he and my sister are perfect for each other, and she absolutely adores him.)

    Never being noticed or asked out by anyone can be a bit discouraging, I'll admit. But here's the irony of it. My oldest sister had multiple guys who were interested in her...and it made her miserable. Because she didn't feel the same way about them, and she hated having to reject them. So sometimes it can actually prove a blessing not to have guys knocking your door down asking for a date. It doesn't mean you're not attractive, it just means your life is a whole lot simpler. ;)

    Thank you so much for this post, Olivia! Love you, friend! *bear hugs*

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    1. Miss March, I can't tell you how much your support and encouragement mean to me. Like all the time.

      Awwwwww, thank you! So are you ;)

      "But the cool thing is when you meet that person who you really connect with like no one else, all that other stuff doesn't matter a bit. And God totally knows how to match people up." SO TRUE! Thanks for that reminder; it's encouraging and relaxing :D

      You know, to be honest, that's something I always struggle with. Because I'll hear the same thing from my friends, and something in me usually says, "…But at least you know that guys find you attractive." But that is WRONG and I SHOULD remind myself of how much of a blessing it actually is to be protected from that. You are correct :) (Also, sometimes I realize all of a sudden that I am nowhere NEAR secure/mature enough for a relationship. Like, I can see all kinds of issues arising from a premature relationship for me :P)

      Thank YOU so much for this comment, Miss March! Love you lots! *bear hugs back*

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  15. This was a beautiful post, Olivia. The words, the message, the way it was written = <3.

    I don't struggle with that specifically just yet, but I can understand that. And just to be reminded that we are fulfilled and loved completely by God is enough to heal any hurt, no matter what kind. So thanks for the reminder. Xx

    ~Miss Meg

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    1. Awww, thank you, Miss Meg! I'm so glad this is applicable even in "non-romantic" areas -- and you're right! The truth of God's devotion to us IS "enough to heal any hurt." Thanks for YOUR reminder, too :) xo

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