Another year is almost over, and again I’m wondering exactly how that happened. I’m not really all that old, but sometimes the way the years slip by makes me feel like I am. 2013 contained a decent amount of blogging from me, though not as much as perhaps I originally intended–so these things go. My piece Giving Up the White Dress appeared on Prodigal Magazine this year, which was one of my blogging highlights. And here, in no particular order, are 7 top posts from 2013.
I would have liked to listen to her, to hear her stories of Christians who had hurt her, and maybe cry with her and tell her that I am so, so sorry that anyone, but especially those who claim the label of Christian, treated her that way.
And after I listened, I would have liked to apologize, for the ways and the days that I still proclaim Jesus as my Savior but act very little like him.
1) You get to go where you want, when you want, with who you want.
No arguments because one of you wants to go out for pizza and the other wants Chinese, no phone calls checking in to see if your significant other is okay with you hanging out with a friend after work, no trying to make excuses for not wanting to hang out with your significant other’s friends that you find irritating for no explainable reason. You go where you want, my single friend. When you want, with who you want.
5) The not knowing if being single is a season, or forever.
I’ve said that if I could know for sure that I will get married at some point in the future, I could handle it a lot better. But there are no guarantees. For me, this is one of the hardest parts of being single. Statistcally speaking, most people do get married at some point in their lifetime–but not all. I’ve never been one to handle uncertainty well, and not knowing if I’ll ever get married is one of the scariest uncertainties of all.
But some really, awesome, beautiful things can happen when you hang out with his people. I’m not saying they happy every day, every month, or even every year—but they do happen. And in those moments you see and feel the way that God is moving in Church and in those broken, messy people, and you count it all grace and mercy and love and you wonder how a feeling like that can possibly stay contained in your human body, because it just feels so out of this world because itis.
And I ask of you, the world at large, please don’t tell me how to feel.
Not just me, but everyone around you.
Please don’t tell them to turn their frown upside down.
Please don’t negate their feelings of sadness or loneliness.
Please don’t remind them of things they have heard over and and over again with sayings that minimize honest feelings.
The next time something controversial is happening in the world, I would love to see an empty news feed. Not because people don’t care about what’s going on in the world, but because they’re out listening, engaging in face-to-face conversations, which will always tell us more than words on a screen. All the CAPITAL LETTERS, bold font, and italics in the world can’t convey as much as facial expressions and tone of voice.
The truth is, most people are too busy with their own lives to notice someone sitting at a table without anyone else. I may have been the only person in the restaurant that night, besides the server, who even noticed the woman and thought anything of her.
There is nothing wrong with being alone. Instead, there is a type of goodness I have yet to fully understand, the type that is attentive to the food, the drink, and perhaps the words, and nothing else.
I haven’t decided yet if I’ll write more about 2013, all the changes and goodness and messes and people and places that have colored the past year. It seems a difficult year to encapsulate in a few words, so perhaps these highlights will suffice.
Til next time…
p.s. What has been your favorite blog post (here or elsewhere) of 2013?