I thought turning thirteen and starting menarche was becoming a woman. Definitely, leaving home at seventeen felt like stepping into adulthood. But this past year brought new stages and levels to the challenge of growing up, such that it is only now I truly understand that adulthood is not a stage or a state, it is a process, and being an adult is trusting the process wherever in it you may be.
After being single for what feels like a lifetime, I think I qualify to write about singlehood, No?
I have dated of course, a total of 15 times in my 28 years of being alive. But the days I’ve been without a date/boyfriend have felt more real than the days I’ve been with one. The days I have spent longing to be with someone have been more real than the days that I have had what I wanted.
I’ve decided to agree that I’ve been single my entire life because my dating days have been flimsy. That being said, what do I have to say about singlehood? As a veteran in this department.
What’s in singleness to learn?
I don’t know. But I think they say, learn how to love yourself. Learn how to be single. And then you can be fit to be joined to another single person.
1. There is a right way to be single: However, it has to be deliberate and intentional for it to actually count as singleness. Yes we don’t always plan to be in this season, some of us unexpectedly find ourselves in the situation. But we don’t have to go through the phase in denial or ignorant.
Through my years, i’ve had singleness come intermittently and it would usually be between active dating.
The fact that I come back to that point of being single has to mean that I didn’t learn from my previous season of singleness. Because if I did and I truly passed the test, I would have graduated out of that season and become one with a man. But I keep coming back here because I have not learnt.
2. It requires mastery because it is an art. Being single is literally being separate and individual in the very sense of the word. Existing and thriving alone. Separating from romantic Love and still surviving.
3. It takes confidence in your own skin, to actually go through singleness the right way. No one is going to validate you in this season, you will have to be your own cheerleader or even learn how not to need cheering at all. You will have to celebrate your victories and fails by yourself in your secret space.
4. Become your dream spouse: be that person you would consider a spec . I do not stoop low in my fantasies of my dream man, the standards are quite reasonable but not by any standard low. Maybe it could be my premarital life’s work to be the female version of the man of my dreams and prayers. It would keep me busy and distract me at least.
I don’t know how to do this anymore guys, but I ask the Holy Spirit to help me, because I know there’s a testimony in all of this and i’m meant to share.
It’s about my Single Life journey. And how i’ve had to restart this journey so many times. How i’ve tried to escape it, and how I’ve learnt that it’s compulsory to go through this phase if I want to be joined to someone else.
I’m Twenty-Eight and I wish I can say I have never being in Love but I can’t because I have. I also wish I can say I’ve not met ‘The One’ yet, but I can’t because I have, and I lost him.
Some questions on my Love story:
Q: Given all I have been through with Love relationships, do I still expect that things can be fixed and a beautiful Love story can happen for me?
Q: Was hope always there?
A: No. Especially after a breakup, hope was absent.
The thought of starting all over again scared me for a long time until it no longer did. It could no longer scare me because God always gave me another opportunity to experience Love.
Q: If it was God bringing all the opportunities why didn’t they last?
A: Because I wasn’t ready.
I’ve gone through school with the Holy Spirit on Love and I would have tests, exams, Pass some, fail some. I’ve failed all the big ones. I like to think of it like that.
Q: Does it hurt to go through these tests over and over again?
A: Being tested doesn’t hurt, it’s realizing I failed at it and I can’t go back to retake the test that hurts. For me, knowing I could have done better, that’s what hurts.
Q: Do I think I know what God is trying to teach me yet?
A: I have an idea; He’s trying to let me know he’s all I need and he will always love me more than any human being could.
Admittedly I forget this. Especially when Love is new, I forget this.
Conclusion: What I think God wants is to be a part of any Love story. He wants us to Love through him.
I remember how I was as a kid, way too ambitious and bright eyed. I had an overactive mind because I was daydreaming, fantasizing; writing story books as early as 10, fantasizing an entire love story around that age too. I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up, the kind of Doctor, the certificates and qualifications I needed to get there and I almost knew how it would feel to be there.
At what point exactly did the journey start, that may be the only way to know when it ended.
Did it start when I first knew the difference between a Pediatrician and a Pediatrist or did it start when I took my entrance exam to medical school.
Did it start when I took my first breath or was it when my brain was fully active.
Did it start when Yahweh first thought of me or was it when he formed me in my mother’s womb.
When did my journey start? If I can’t answer that, then I have no right to accept that it has ended.
I like to see my lifetime as a story, I like to tie the pieces of the seasons, phases, events together in a meaningful way that in turn gives me comfort that life makes sense
What about you, how do you tell your story?
I quit!! I quit!!!
For so long i’ve been hanging on because I believed hanging in there, sticking with the going even when it got tough, was the Courageous thing to do.
But now I know that quitting is even more courageous than hanging on.
When you hang on to the status quo you know what to expect you just have to endure and stay strong. But when you give up that life you are used to and you chase the unknown, I call that bravery. The elder brother of courage.
The deception about being strong is you start to think you are sufficient on your own
But you really are not.
Be my strength, Lord
What if all you were was the object of Christ’s affection
Not a star. Not somebody. Not seen.
What if all you were was the apple of God’s eyes.
No spotlight on you, No accolades for you, No serenades from anywhere.
What if all you were worth was His blood
No awards on the shelf, No certificates in the file, No glory from men.
Would it be enough.
No sparkle, no fire, no color, no light.
Just the one he chose to lay down his life for. His object of inestimable value.
Would it be enough.
I’ve had this post in my draft since 2018. I think it’s something I should post, given how 2020 looks.
The series of events that unfolded this year have all proved that I can’t always have control over my life. As a control freak, this is difficult to come to terms with, but through this year God gradually proved to me that He doesn’t need my help in making my life successful.
In January I set out to a New City, I had all my belongings in one pink plastic suitcase and I didnt have an accommodation prepared at my destination. I was going to the biggest city in my country, by myself, and I didnt have a house.
I got a call at some point during my journey, telling me the house we were going to pay for was a scam and I didnt have a house waiting for me.
In February I was to start my business in this new location. I didnt have start up money. I just had beautiful ideas and no money.
Without so much effort or struggle, I got all the equipment I required to set up a home Fashion studio and extra money from a total stranger. All the places I expected money would come from failed, but From no where God brought a stranger to meet my need.
In march I had a business idea, to launch a clothing line (cos i’m a fashion entrepreneur). Concurrently, my school exams were approaching. I got committed and invested all the money I had in the business only to realise I didnt have what it took to pull through. I was a solo Designer and to sew every piece of clothing from start to finish by myself to perfection would take time. Not to mention my exams were approaching.
Mid-year I had a psycological wave hit me; I was a mess. And, this was one problem I couldn’t fix because the hardest thing to fix is you.
In July, all of a sudden all hell broke lose. I was asked to evacuate my accomodation in 30days. I had that much time to find a new place. Yes, I panicked. I tried everything I could but it just didnt feel right; all my plans were below ideal.
Around October It was time to turn in my postgraduate research project. I and my research group had not even started the experiments. It was a race against time. To make things worse, we made an irreconcilable mistake, the entire project was jeopardized and we had to start all over again or risk getting no results. This was the same month we had to submit the project work.
In November, I was robbed. Someone stole my mobile phone in a bus. I was in a big city by myself, I didnt have family nearby, all my friends were practically in my phone. It would be the most lonely days for me, not being able to communicate with the people in my life.
I had no control over any of these events I was faced with. There was nothing I could’ve done to ransome myself or to fix the situation. But Jesus came through for me.
In all these events there was a supernatural turn-around in such a way that I was amazed.
In January, when I didn’t have a place to live. I got a hotel-like apartment literally beyond my budget and my expectation. I had one of the best accommodations waiting for me.
In February, when I needed to start up my business in the new location a total stranger showed up in my life and funded my business. Bought all the equipment I needed and gave me extra money to invest. I did not know this man or know anyone that knows him, he just showed up. It reminds me of this scripture in Isaiah 60:10,
“And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee…”
In March, 2 years after I learnt Tailoring in a friend’s room, I launched my first Ready to wear clothing line. I amazed myself. Jesus did it. I not only launched the collection on schedule, it sold out in 1 week. I will never recover from this one.
It took that psychological wave in June, to break me. And then when I surrendered, Jesus the greatest potter came and shaped me. I came through refined. I could never have figured it out by myself.
In october, I didnt know what I was doing in my research but at that point I knew It didnt matter if I had things figured out or not, Jesus could make a way in the wilderness. I knew he would turn my mistakes around for good. I went on with the research as it was and we started to get results. The study started to take shape. When my supervisor read the discussion in my report, he was impressed. I still submitted the project in time. Despite my own mistakes.
When my phone was stolen in November, the Spirit of God told me not to worry that it was for my good. That I should take a break from technology and social media for a while and reflect. He told me he orchestrated for the phone to go, just so He could have my attention, and that he would get me a better phone. Through out the period I didnt have a mobile phone, for 3 weeks, I wasn’t fretting. I was calm.
A couple of days to Christmas a family friend sends me a mail that she heard I lost my phone. She was sorry, and she would send me money to get a new phone. Just like Jesus promised, he got me a better phone.
This year has been extraordinary, i’m not surprised because the Word Of the spirit for the year was ‘supernatural’.
God showed me that I don’t need to have things in control. That it’s okay to not know what’s going to happen next, and still be chilled. Because He takes care of us.
Two years later, it’s only April and I’ve broken up with my fiance, been kicked out of my apartment, and surviving a Pandemic.
Good thing is God never changes; he remains faithful, yesterday today and forever.
If he’s come through for us before, he surely will this time.
So I’ve just concluded with my first real dating experience in over 5 years!
I know I badly need to rephrase that opening, forgive me guys: my excuse is, I haven’t written anything in the last three months. Because I have been actively dating! I actually had a real life dating experience and I’m excited to share it on here because I spent 5 whole years single and waiting to date.
Lot’s of my posts post April 2019 were related to my singleness. And one of my favorite tags to look up on WordPress is #christiandating. Somehow I think I have a lot to share about my first hand experience on Christian Dating. Even though I’m not exactly sure it was a Christian experience. All the more reason I should ponder on it here to uncover what Christian dating is, or better still what it’s supposed to be.
So I met someone in church and we clicked off and started something small, that quickly became something fiery that quickly became something… different.
What’s to take out from the experience:
1. Love happens: it’s not reserved for the gods. Any two random people can fall into love, so don’t let your guards down. Likewise, don’t think too highly of a love experience, it happens all the time. No big deal.
Because it’s been seemingly difficult to be in love in the past 5 years, when love happened I esteemed it too highly, I let it overwhelm me and intoxicate me. Whereas, it was just something that normally happens under the right circumstances.
2. Have a picture: of your future partner. This simply means have expectations. Yes, I said that. Have that cliche list of features you want in a spouse. Because if you don’t, anything goes.
The danger of having anyone in your love story is the clutter and baggage they dump in your life when they’re gone. The right people could leave as well, but when they do; they most likely would leave you a better person. But when the wrong people leave they leave a mess behind, one you’d spend precious time/years cleaning up. So just don’t let anyone in.
3. Include Jesus: Nothing works if you leave Him out anyways. Not even your romance would. How about being a little less self-centred or might I say ‘couple- centric’. Couple centrism would be thinking the world revolves around your love relationship and forgetting to be broad-minded, forgetting it takes a village. In this case, a village of three; The lady, her Lover and The Lord.
4. Keep track: of milestones, progress, victories; be deliberate about the whole experience because it goes by very quickly and if it’s meant to end when it does, you shouldn’t be confused as to what just happened. If you lived in the moment as well as maintained perspective by keeping track of the events and experiences; setting goals in the relationship, you definitely would walk out of a romance season somewhat refreshed. As opposed to being spent and confused after ‘going with the flow’.
Photo Credit: Emerico Imre Toth