Crushed but not broken

Day 2:

 Describe a moment or a day when being single really sucked.

Whew…. ok, going deep and personal. There are any number of days that I can reflect on where being single sucked. They usually involved me falling into a heap, crying until my eyes hurt, begging God for mercy and to feel His love in some tangible way because I certainly wasn’t feeling loved or valued in that moment, upset cats who didn’t know what to do (running around like crazy!), and falling asleep.

But there is one of the crying jags that has real significance in my life… and over the process of time, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I recently figured out that my Love Language is “quality time.” This explains a lot of my reactions when people say they can’t come to dinner or movie or whatever – that I am more disappointed than the average person – because on a certain level, I take that more personally. It says “I don’t like you” even when all they really are saying is “I have the flu” and mean NOTHING personal by declining the invitation.

How skewed our perceptions can be…

But the one day where being single sucked the worst was the day my best friend got engaged. Maybe she remembers it differently but how I remember it was she started dating this guy and completely blew me off for 6 weeks, spending all of her time with him. The straw being – she cancelled on my birthday dinner so they could go out. She called a few days later to tell me they were engaged. I tried to be happy – wanting to be a good friend. But when I got off the phone, I was crushed beyond belief.

That she and I were friends for so many years and here was this guy that she knew for 6 weeks just swooping in… I was angry. I felt cast aside. My mom took me to O’Charley’s that night for dinner to try to make me feel better. Steak Tips Monterey and caramel pie did nothing to help. I think I cried through dinner. You would have thought I was going through a massive breakup.

That summer, I was working at my Dad’s store while he was on vacation. The day after, I sat at the computer and poured all of my frustration out in an open letter to God. I was so angry at the world. So hurt. So very hurt. The last guy I had set up a blind date with had come into the store to pre-scout and then cancelled our date – saying he had to study for an exam (he was in town for his firefighter’s exam). He told me a couple of weeks later… I called him the scum on the bottom of a septic tank. There were other incidents that particular summer… it was not a good time for me, my heart, or my love life.

I typed out how much I hurt. How much I wanted to be loved. How alone I felt. Somewhere in that low of emotional lows, I felt the presence of the Lord, prayed and became a Christian (not the ‘I’m doing this because all the other kids at VBS are doing it’ which I had done in 6th grade). It was real heart change.

So my worst experience being single led to a life-changing moment. I felt grace so I was able to give grace. When my best friend and the boy broke up shortly after, I was able to be there for her in that grief. We were able to forgive each other. We are 20 years into our friendship and we have friends with marriages that haven’t come anywhere close (not to gloat.. ok, maybe a little).

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