Sometimes I have to try really hard to love other people, especially people I don’t know very well.
Because people can be very difficult to love at times.
One day last week, I was at the grocery store on a day after work when it seemed like everyone in that area had decided to go to the store at the same time. I use self-checkout whenever I can, and even that had a line backed up. Whenever I have to wait in line, I like to talk to the people in line with me because, well, why not?
I was talking with a nice woman in front of me about her purse (I LOVED the color of it), and I made a comment about how I rarely take my purse with me inside the grocery store anymore because I always end up using the handheld baskets and prefer less weight on my shoulders. I said something about how I couldn’t even remember the last time I used an actual cart. It was more of me thinking out loud than anything, and I certainly wasn’t expecting the response that ensued.
“That’s because you’re still single.”
Wait, what? I had quite a few responses running through my head as she continued to talk about how shocking it can be to realize how much food a family goes through each week. The nicest thing I could think to say was “or I just really like strength training,” which totally contradicts what I said about my purse, but whatever. This woman seemed really nice, and I’m sure she didn’t mean her comment to be hurtful, but I couldn’t help but feel a slight sting when she said it. After all, I hadn’t even told her that I’m single. Maybe it’s just that obvious, but still.
The truth is that I am still single, but there could be worse things in life. I mean, I don’t know that I would have moved out to California if I weren’t still sending in RSVPs for one to everything—and I know I’m exactly where I need to be right now. We all have our own paths we need to take, and it’s a really good thing that they’re not all the same.
Before I moved, I went through a really rough heartache for far longer than I thought it was going to last. In all honesty, I can’t say the hurt is completely gone, but I guess time does actually help sometimes. I didn’t move to run from the pain, because that type of stuff will go with you wherever you are. I moved because God called me out here—and I’m so thankful that He did. Not only have I met some truly incredible people, but I’ve also been reminded of His sufficiency, largely because I am still single.
Sure, you can certainly know He’s sufficient when you’re married or dating, but it was my singleness that helped me to see it even more clearly. I moved out here all by myself and knew no one, and it was really lonely at first. Over and over, I asked God why He called me out here, and one day as I was driving in my car and crying out to Him, everything became so clear when I felt His voice whisper because I am sufficient.
That’s all I needed to hear.
I know that I want to fall in love. I know that I want someone to love me back. I know that I want to have a permanent dance partner. I know that I want someone to appreciate my quirks and probably tease me about them in a loving way. I know that I want someone to kiss me in the parking lot in the pouring rain, and I know he’ll be worth me getting my hair wet. I know that I want someone to be my cheerleader just as much as I am his. I know that I want to find my person who will be my person forever.
But, even though I hope for it all to happen someday, I know that it’s simply not in the cards for me right now.
Whether you’re single or not, I hope that you know how much you matter just as you are. Not every person you meet in the grocery store is going to make you feel that way, but please call me if you need the reminder. I’ve been there. I’m glad I didn’t say anything snarky back to the woman in the store, though I was pretty close to doing so. I’m trying to be better about loving others well, even when I really don’t want to.
And the good news is that I can still live a life full of love even though I’m still single.