To all of the haters on Valentine’s Day,
I have needed to write this note for some time now, though you probably will not believe me. There was a time when I would not have believed me. I was once one of you. Anyone who knew me before a couple years ago can vouch for that. Love just seemed so- what’s the word? – fake, gross, cheesy, elusive, impossible. I was the first one to gag at all forms of affection – every. single. time. Speaking of single, I was happy. I’m not kidding about that. Though there were definitely times that I thought it would be really nice to have a significant other (like when invited to weddings, needing a back rub, needing someone to open a jar, etc), I was completely ok with living life without a husband. Funny how we start to wonder about singles in their upper 20s… as if they are reaching their expiration date. I was incredibly blessed to feel complete in God. He is the one who completes me and makes me who I am supposed to be. A man would just be icing on an already-beautiful and fulfilling cake. I found it offensive when the little old man at church would ask me if I’ve found a man yet, or the other one who, instead of simply saying “hello”, grabbed my ring finger and asked “why is this empty?” – as if I could control that? I’m not exaggerating. Those scenarios actually happened. I wanted to scream to the world – What are we telling those who are single??!! They are incomplete and destined to be unhappy? And most sadly, that God is not enough. I wanted to, and probably should have, confronted the elder in the church who would ask why I don’t have a man. I wanted to ask him why he feels the need to infer that I am somehow incomplete. What kind of message is that sending? What kind of message is all of this sending? Well, I’ll tell you. Here are just a few of the lies that I was told, either by myself or by others who thought they were helping.
1. “There is someone out there waiting for you”. – Umm, how do you know? What if God’s plan for me was to live out my days with Him only. Like I said, I felt complete, but the people telling me this lie only sowed seeds of doubt. Maybe I wasn’t complete after all. Now I want to tell people in general to stop saying this. It does not help, and it may not even be true. Only God knows. So please stop saying this.
2. “You will not be fully you without a man” (a.k.a. “I am incomplete without a mate”). – This is one of the most, if not THE most dangerous lie. I believe 100% that until a person is able to just be single without feeling like life is over, they will never feel complete with a mate either. They will be more likely to worship their mate instead of God. This is beyond dangerous. Of course I had my doubts and have not always been as close to God as I should, but I knew that a man could never fill a place in my life that was meant for God. It’s just not possible.
3. “You need to lower your standards or you will never find love.” – Yes, I was actually told this several times. I did not consider my standards unreasonable – male, never been married, no kids, loves Jesus, college degree, life experience, never had an intimate relationship, sense of humor, etc, etc. If I had lowered my standards, it would mean I did not respect myself enough to uphold my God-given desires. But then I actually started to believe the lie that this man does not exist, which leads me to Lie #4.
4. “There are NO good men in the world. At all. None. Period.” – I fully believed that all of the men who met the above description were taken. There was not a single one left for me. Though men like this are very difficult to come-by, I’m willing to at least entertain the possibility that there is a man out there thinking the same thing you are thinking. There was a man like this for me, despite all odds! If you told me this a few years ago I would have laughed… and gagged… and laughed some more. Funny how things change.
5. “There must be something wrong with me… since I haven’t had a boyfriend in 10 years.” -Though I was happy and complete, there were still some days that I would wonder what must be wrong with me. I mean, no one had even really shown interest in years. Was I that unapproachable, strange, scary, ugly? No, it just wasn’t time yet. I needed to fall in love with God first. During this time I wrote a song called My First Love. Some of the words are “Lord, I know you long to be my first love. Your arms around me show me that you are enough. Fill me with you before you give me to him. Ready my heart to let someone in. Prepare me for the one you’re preparing for me.” Little did I know he was preparing me, and he was also preparing Jason for what was to come.
6. And the final lie: “It is not possible to wait for intimacy.” – We live in an over-sexed world. Nothing is left to the imagination or to the bedroom with your husband. It’s all out in the open, thrown in your face with a loud, “you’re-crazy-if-you-think-waiting-is-best”! A lie I often told myself was that there is no man who has never had sex before. He doesn’t exist. It’s just not possible and, the older I get, the less likely it is that I will find one. This ties into the “lowering your standards” lie. I am here to tell you, this is a bold-faced lie. You do NOT have to lower your standards. Don’t you dare let people tell you that your heart’s desire is wrong. God gave you the true desires of your heart. It will never be worth-it to compromise them.
As it turned out, there was someone out there waiting for me, much to my surprise. I was blessed to be completed by God and blessed to get my icing on the cake too! I did not have to lower a single standard because, in fact, Jason far exceeded my standards. He is a good man, and he gave me hope that there actually are good men in the world. There was nothing wrong with me. I just had to wait until God allowed Jason to walk into my life. There is a perfect time for everything.
So to all the haters – go ahead and gag, I deserve it! But also try to take some of this to heart, as it comes from the de-throned Queen of all haters! And to all the liars – just stop. Please realize that you are hurting instead of helping. And to everyone who chooses to read this – Happy Valentine’s Day, gags and all! Enjoy today, as it is just a day. Love is all year ’round.