I Am Whole

As the end of the year quickly approaches, I once again find myself in reflection.  In a very honest manner, I have assessed my losses, gains, and remains.  I’ve also reviewed what I have invested my energy into and what seeds I have sown with my words.  After a bit of reflection, I am faced with my truth and THE truth.  (Sometimes they aren’t the same.)

Here goes…Please be gentle with my heart.

| I Am Whole |

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I am single.  I’ve spent most of this year obsessing over this fact.  No husband, no fiancé, no boyfriend, no boo jank, no situationship…Single.  And tis the season for the Facebook posts revealing secret relationships that have been developing in the darkroom of life and love, happy couples cuddled up by the fireplace and kissing under the mistletoe, and my favorite: all of the posts declaring “I said, ‘Yes!'”  Usually in this time I find myself severely conflicted… I am overwhelmingly happy for others and simultaneously disappointed in the status and seeming trajectory of my life.  Single.  No husband, no fiancé, no boyfriend, no boo jank, no situationship…Single.  How is it that the most hopeless of romantics ends up alone?

Here’s what you must know… Long before I knew exactly what I wanted to do for a living (which I’m sometimes still figuring out), I knew that I wanted to be a wife and a mother.  Before you contort your face in a fashion that questions that, consider that one of the first gifts a little girl receives is a doll baby.  We are taught from a very young age that we are nurturers.  We name our baby dolls (all of mine were named after me), we give them bottles, we change their little clothes, and we LOVE them.  As we continue to grow, we discover that boys aren’t yucky, and it’s okay to like them…one day we will love them.  And then comes the lesson that one day we will marry one of those formerly yucky boys and live happily ever after.  From then on, the focus shifts to preparation mode.  For me, my mother began showing me how to “keep house.”  You know…doing laundry, thoroughly cleaning, cooking a meal that didn’t involve peanut butter and jelly, making (buying) groceries, and even knowing a thing or two about budgeting.  As a teenager, I really began zeroing in on just how much I was fed the idealism that one of the greatest things I could ever be was a wife.  I dare say that even in the church, my foundation, much emphasis was placed on being a respectable, prepared lady so that I could be “found.”  

Fast forward the clock over a decade.  After being married and widowed, being in a long-term relationship, giving my love to a few who couldn’t or wouldn’t cherish it, and giving my time to some who weren’t ever interested in my love, I am single.  My truth…I feel like such a disappointment.  All of that preparation to be a “good thing,” and I am still alone.  Something must be wrong with me — of that I am convinced.  I am just 7 months shy of 30, and I sometimes feel that I am no closer to being a wife than I was with the last break-up.  I find myself too often discounting the accomplishments of my life because none compare to what was magnified to be the ultimate goal: marriage.  My jokes are now laced with a crack on how I’m sitting at a table for one.  My plans are based on the fact that more likely than not, I won’t need a plus one.  I have consumed my everyday prayers, confessions, cries, and conversations with my singleness and desire to no longer be this way…as if singleness is an illness.  Then the other day, while going through my routine of either being jealous of someone who will be cupcaking in this cuddle weather or trying to calculate how much longer I have to be punished to this baeless life, I got ANGRY!  I was officially SICK of talking about, thinking about, dreaming about, and praying about me with Mr. Wonderful.  I mean, there HAS TO BE more to this season than counting how long I’ve been on the market and wondering if “He” is getting any closer to finding me. 

That moment sat me at proverbial table with the facts of my life spread across it.  I looked at the life that I dreamed of and prepared for.  I gazed at the life that I currently live.  I considered a future that remained completely unknown.  I stared at my unbalance.  Sitting in this frustrated and single space, I asked myself, “Aren’t I more than the romantic relationship I’m committed to?”  Based on the old school model of society which primarily prepared me for the husband, 2.5 kids, and house with a white picket fence and a two car garage all by the age of 27, no.  According to that model, I am a failure.  I refused to accept that answer simply because I didn’t like it.  I dug deep within myself, thought unbiasedly about the life that I am living, and asked myself that question again.  “Aren’t I more than the romantic relationships I’m committed to?  Am I not enough alone?”  Then I responded to myself, “Yes, Chris.  You are whole.”

Whole – hōl/
adjective
  1. all of; entire 
  2. in an unbroken or undamaged state; in one piece.
noun
  1. a thing that is complete in itself.
  2. all of something.

THE MORAL OF THE STORY

My father is a preacher and pastored for the majority of my life.  I can remember a particular illustration that he would use when speaking to women and men, both single and unmarried.  He would pull a dollar bill out of his wallet and ask the congregation, “What am I holding in my hand?”  Everyone would emphatically say, “One dollar.”  Then I would watch my father rip that dollar in half, ball the pieces of it up, and even step on the dollar.  After picking up the pieces, he would again ask the congregation, “What am I holding in my hand?”  Though the overall tone may have changed, the people would still respond, “One dollar.” He would go on to say that nothing the dollar endured could change it’s value or worth (that point I will expound on in another blog).  As if we weren’t blown away by one lesson, he would present us with another question.  He would hold up one half of the dollar and ask, “Is this a dollar?”  The congregation would respond, “No!”  He would then place the two halves side by side as if they were now one again and ask, “Is this a dollar?”  The people, with curiosity in their eyes, would respond, “Yes.”  With a smirk on his face, he would then address the notion of being someone’s “better half.”  If half of a dollar isn’t a dollar and it doesn’t have worth, but a whole dollar, regardless of what it endured continues to have its full worth, the WHY do we strive to only be a “better half?”  Why not desire to be whole?
Random side note: a dollar is also referred to as a “single.”
For just a moment, I stopped pouting over my season of singleness, and I reflected on this year.  In 2017 alone, I have enrolled in cosmetology school and am doing very well, I bounced back from major losses and am living in my own space again without needing a roommate (for the first time in about two years), I have relaunched my blog and built a steady following, I’m dreaming again, I’ve become a better friend, and I have grown spiritually.  I’ve started making moves to completely change my life WITHOUT Mr. Wonderful.  I did all of this without Bae!  I AM more than the romantic relationships that I am committed to.  I dare say that now, more than ever, I am the most prepared to be found.  I have dismissed the notion that I am in my best form as a wife.  Though I believe I can be an amazing wife, I believe my highest achievement is being the woman that God called me to be…being able to stand on my own.
“The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.”
Proverbs 19:22 [New Living Translation]
Ladies and gentlemen, the scripture that has been quoted all of my natural born life.  Though the emphasis is usually placed on him finding me and me not looking for him *insert eye roll*, I place my attention on the scripture in its entirety.  Number one, he finds a wife…someone who on her own can “keep house,” lives her own life accomplishing goals, being a good steward of her finances, has her own relationship with God that won’t waiver because of Bae, and brings something to the table.  Heck, she might have her own table!!!  A woman who is living in her purpose more than likely won’t just be trapped under a rock and need to be found, in the sense that she is out of place.  According to Chris, a woman living in her purpose will walk in the will of God so much so that He will lead her to the path where Mr. Right is traveling.  Then the “find” will be more of a “That’s her!”  Number two, because she is connected to God’s will and walking in her purpose, He has access to a new portal of God’s favor.  He gets that Proverbs 31 woman!  Aaaaye!!  
My point to any woman, like me, who is watching the clock tick by and measuring your worth by the relationship you are or aren’t it, don’t.  Spend this time getting close to God and finding out what HE has designed for you to have and do.  And if someone (even you) tries to make you think that you aren’t complete because you don’t have your “better half,”  take a moment and say to yourself, “I am whole.”
Current situation: Winning, grinding, loving, discovering, working, building, sharing, giving…all while single.
Sorry this was a bit broken.

I hope this helps.

-Chris

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