Can I be honest with you guys for a sec?
Like, really, brutally, embarrassingly honest?
Sometimes, being 27 and still single… really sucks.
Am I allowed to say that?
I feel like I’m not supposed to.
That’s why it’s taken me so long to write this, to be honest. Because I feel like my singleness shouldn’t bother me.
Because there are dozens of voices in my head, telling me things like, “27 isn’t even that old, Lauren. You have no reason to be sad.”
And “Really? You’re sad that you're single? That’s pitiful. There are so many people have it so much worse than you do. Pull yourself together.”
And “You’re a strong, independent woman. You don’t need a man in your life. Your desire to get married makes you weak.”
And “If you’re a good Christian and you’re truly content with God, you won’t be bothered by the fact that you’re single. You’ll be in total, complete surrender to the will of God, content to wait on His timing.”
And, sometimes, I am.
But sometimes, it honestly just sucks.
Especially in our weird little Christian subculture, where everyone gets married super early… particularly in good old West Michigan. You start to feel like an anomaly once you pass 25 and you’re still single.
It feels like you’re failing. Like you’re only living half a life.
And there’s a part of you, at the back of your mind, that wonders if there’s something wrong with you. Or if you’re going to have to just “settle” for whatever interested person happens to come your way.
It’s something we don’t talk about a lot, especially within the church. But I feel like I can’t be the only one who feels this.
Don’t get me wrong, my life has been incredibly blessed. And I consider my time as a single adult to be, in so many ways, the richest part of my life so far.
Over the past couple of years, God’s taken me on more adventures than I can count, and I’m so freaking grateful for those. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around all of the places He’s taken me to. All of the breathtaking people I’ve gotten to meet. Through this season of my life, I’ve been able to invest in so many friendships with incredible women in my life. I’ve been able to pour myself into things I’m passionate about, grow in gifts that I didn’t even know I had, and allow myself to dream new, big, scary dreams with God.
I’m in such a sweet place with my Father right now: leaning on Him for every step I take.
Honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
But it still does suck sometimes… You know?
Recently, in a moment of deep sadness over my singleness, I just began to cry out to God. I threw every bit of my sorrow—all of my tears, all of my confusion, all of the sting of past rejections—at the feet of Jesus. I told Him how much it hurt. How much it ached.
And into the middle of that pain, right into the deep ache inside of me, I felt Him just say, “I know.”
“I know that pain: the pain of rejection, of loneliness, of heartbreak. I have felt it more deeply than any other being in the universe.
Every tear. Every broken heart. I have been with you in the middle of it all, and I have felt it.
I have felt it a million times over.”
What kind of God can say that?
What kind of God weeps with those who weep and mourns with those who mourn? What kind of God is able to sympathize with us in our mess?
Only one God in the universe.
He’s the kind of God who wept over Lazarus. The kind of God who traded His crown for a cross. The kind of God who has known pain and rejection more deeply than I could ever imagine. The kind of God who took upon Himself every bit of pain and shame and heartache: not just mine, but enough for every human being on the planet. The kind of God who gave up His own Son, just to be with us.
What kind of God does that?
There is no depth of suffering that He hasn’t felt. No amount of pain greater than that which He has borne. Whatever brokenness, whatever despair, He has already been through it. He knows.
And here’s the thing: His suffering doesn’t devalue my suffering. Even though He went through far worse than anything I could ever imagine. He doesn’t tell me to “get over it.” He doesn’t say, “I went through far worse than what you’e going through.” He has every right to, but He doesn’t.
He simply says, “I know.”
His suffering doesn’t make my suffering less valid: it brings even more weight and validity to it. It says, in the midst of my pain, “You matter. You matter, and your pain matters.”
To suffer and ache and groan is to be human. And we have a God who can both empathize and sympathize with us. The God of the entire universe chose to become a human, so that even our pain and suffering could be redeemed.
The risen Christ still bears His scars. Have you ever thought about that?
When Jesus rises from the dead and appears to His disciples, He still bears the scars of His crucifixion. He could have chosen to appear whole, in an unscathed new body; instead, He kept His scars.
And I get the feeling that, one day, when we’re resurrected and standing before Him, we’re still going to have ours too. I don’t think we’re going to magically forget every bad thing that’s ever happened to us. But I think they’re all going to be redeemed. Even our scars are going to glorify God.
That’s so encouraging, isn’t it?
Whatever our pain—no matter how insignificant or how huge and devastating it feels—it will all be redeemed. All of it. Even the bloodiest of scars.
And that's something worth rejoicing over.