It’s worth everything.

I tend to be a fairly open person about MOST things. But there are some areas of my life that I don’t talk to just anyone about… and that I do not post blogs about. One of these subjects is SINGLENESS. There are many reasons I don’t write about it. Here are a few: 1. It isn’t what defines me. 2. I don’t want to be THAT girl who seems like she hates her status in life and is clearly on the prowl for a man to help her fix that. 3. It makes me feel… uncomfortable/awkward to talk honestly about the struggles and the questions that come along with this fact of my life.

But the fact is, it IS a part of my life. It’s not what defines me, just like being married would not define me… but that doesn’t mean I can’t talk about it. SO many of you who are reading this are married, with kids. I love reading your blogs and seeing the ways your lives are different than mine. I love watching you grow into wives and moms/husbands and dads. I honestly thought that by now, I’d be doing the same. But I’m not. On the 28th, I’m turning 28 (Hey… I just realized, isn’t that called a Golden Birthday or something?) and I’m living a half a world away from my family and my friends-who-are-like-family and I came alone. So, just like you give me glimpses into life that help me to understand what it’s like to be a mom/wife/dad/husband/whateverelseI’mnotandyouare… I’d like to give you a glimpse into what it’s like to be 28, “alone,” and living on the other side of the world.

Actually, I don’t really want to talk about it. But I’m going to anyway. Because I think honesty and sharing of our struggles and hopes and dreams is an important thing to do.

The last year and a half have been a bit of a whirlwind. I decided a lot of things. I decided that I’d give up anything I needed to give up in order to live and serve in an overseas context. I knew I really meant it when I one day wrote in my journal, “God. I want to GO so badly and I believe it’s what I NEED to do, what I was made for. I know that if I don’t go, I won’t be happy. I’ve been hoping someone would show up who would want to partner with me (marry me) and that we’d do this together, but I can’t NOT LIVE my life. So, while it feels like going has great potential for sealing my fate as single forever… I know that you’re big and you can provide AND that if I really did have to choose between the two… living overseas OR getting married, I think I’d have to choose living overseas… because I CAN live without a husband, but they can NOT KNOW LIFE without you and someone needs to tell them!” I can’t remember any part of my life from age 3 on that I didn’t dream of being married, having children, etc. When I realized that I was willing to give that up for the sake of the gospel, if that’s where God took me… I was kind of stunned at the work God had done in my heart to get me there. I’m not saying I ever stopped wanting it, I just started wanting Jesus and His glory more. Because I realized He IS THAT beautiful/wonderful/holy/mighty/gloriousCAPTIVATING.

Then I jumped in and I packed my things and I moved to HERE. The first month was busy and new. The second month was LONELY, but the Father met me and sustained me and provided some great friends for me in that time. These friends came mostly in the form of families/married couples who have been doing this kind of thing for anywhere from 2-15 years. As they shared their stories of their triumphs and their struggles they ALL said, “It can be really hard sometimes but God is faithful, and we have each other.” Then one day it hit me, IT REALLY CAN BE REALLY HARD, AND I DO NOT HAVE AN EACH OTHER! Month 3 and 4 have been amazing and sometimes hard, and sometimes very lonely. I feel the NEED for an EACH OTHER, like I’ve never felt it before. I really am okay with facing some loneliness today, but dreaming long term about anything often feels… well… like I better just live in today, because I don’t know if I can do it this each-other-less way, forever.

I still believe it’s worth it. It’s worth everything. I KNOW that is true. I also still believe God is able to provide the good things that I need, when I need them. So, while I’m not going to sit and pine away waiting for a man to sweep me off my feet and save me from my loneliness… I am going to wait…

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.  He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.  On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.  Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalm 62:5-8 ESV)

I’m thankful and grateful and blessed beyond measure… with or without an each other. If you want to pray for me today, pray I remember that.


One thought on “It’s worth everything.

  1. Love you Shanda! The loneliness giant is no fun at all, and Mr. Satan knows just how to “stick it to us” at the most opportune times. I will be praying that as those moments come that you are reminded of how amazing Father’s touch and love is and that he fills you with His long whether it’s through laughter, tears, sunsets or car horns, ;).. well hopefully not car horns.. but you get my drift. My heart smiled with an overabundant joy hearing your voice yesterday. What a friend you are to me, love you lots!

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