Leaving church on Sunday, I found myself missing walking out as a family. It doesn’t happen too often, but this weekend I felt the ache of being alone. I miss Cameron being young and walking in front of me in a hurry to get to the car. I miss John walking beside me. I miss the comfort of being connected. I miss the wholeness of belonging to family.
I was a single person, following another single person and I wanted to shout, “Wait for me. I need to talk. I need someone today.” Of course, I didn’t say it. I don’t have that type of connection with that person. Have you ever felt that if you ever opened your mouth and let words pour out that the words would tangle up? Is it pride that keeps me from letting people know that I need that connection? Am I the only single person that feels this? We’re not always honest or vulnerable with people who should understand.
I found myself gazing at family groups and envying their easy camaraderie. Wondering if they know how precious their time is together. That old saying, “You don’t know what you have until it is gone.” is playing like a record in my brain. It’s been almost seven years and I’m not feeling the numbing pain of grief, but I am missing the beauty of family. We were unified…belonging to each other. I knew that Cameron would grow up and leave home….that’s normal….that’s expected. I never thought I’d be alone as an adult at a relatively young age.
Today, I went to a cookout for Labor Day with complete strangers. It’s a group made up of single people from around East Texas. It was my second ‘event’ that I attended. There were some nice people there and I found teachers to talk with. I’m used to being around people where God is an important part of their life. I couldn’t say if some of these people had our Savior as their navigator or not, but His light did not shine out of them. I wondered about myself. Did they see His light in me?
Being single feels like a bumper boat drifting on the water. Occasionally, I’m floating alone, then I bounce into another boat and connect and then the ‘bump’ sends me bouncing away until I connect again. I want to chain the boats together and be a unit on the water. I’m tired of bouncing off in unknown directions.
Whenever, I sit on the couch, Zoey, my dog, is right beside me. Her small body is always connected to me in some small way . . . touching my leg or curled up behind my knees. My cat, Pippin, will jump up on my bed, sit on my pillow, and touch me on my face with his paws as if he is petting me. Connections are even important to pets. I wonder if they feel that loneliness when I leave them alone?
Our pastor has been preaching about Joseph’s life for a while now. Joseph felt that unconnected feeling when he was torn from his family. However, no matter how lonely, he always felt that tether to God. I know I’m loved by God and I never doubt that. He doesn’t step away, but sometimes I fail to stay connected as close as I should.
Whenever, I hear someone say that they don’t need a partner and are doing okay as a single person. I wonder if that’s the truth. I can’t imagine someone not wanting to be married. To me, it is the most beautiful gift a person could get and give. A husband is a partner, friend, lover, and the person that loves unconditionally and you love back the same above all earthly things. I miss that.
I laugh easily, but crying takes longer for me to let it out. I’m not dramatic, and I take what I’m given without questioning why I’m given the situations that God has put in my life. It’s these struggles and situations that draws me closer to Him. I don’t know where this life will take me, but I do know where I’ll be after it ends. I rest in that assurance.
Yes, it’s been one of those weekends where I felt isolated. I know these feelings will pass and I’ll find my joy again in the simple beauty of the world. Friendships will fill my hollow feeling. God will remind me that I’m His and loved. Work and activities will fill my time. I’ll continue to wait until that special someone recognizes that I’m here for him and he’s there for me. God’s timing…. I’ll wait.