Linking up with the mighty Five Minute Friday today! The theme?
Ok. Here’s the deal.
There have been times, in my life, when I have been shattered from Want. I have wanted a companion, a drink, a peaceful heart, a straight up, no-chaser boyfriend who would STAY. I have wanted so hard that I have cried, in the late hours, from it. I have wanted the dying friends to be healed, and the dead brothers to come back and yes, I know. That’s just a lot of want.
Want is a big hole and it hurts and when it hurts we start to throw things at it, to make Want tuck its tail and go away. To make it stop hurting.
For want of the nail, the kingdom was lost, right? The whole kingdom.
When I was nineteen, I had to go to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. It sounds kind of dramatic – but what other kind of appendectomy is there? I don’t think those things are ever planned… I dunno. This is medical stuff and I am out of my element here, so if you are a doctor and you are reading this post, let me know. Also, if you are doctor and you are reading this post, do you think I have issues?
I am so wondering now if I have doctors and lawyers and such reading my posts! Maybe some past presidents from small, third world countries?
Oh my word, somehow I have taken a hard veer. It happens here occasionally. But, as I have the innate talent to write myself out of a paper bag, I will get to the point.
ANYHOW. THE POINT:
I was in the hospital and it was late at night. My parents and visitors had left, and I remember lying in bed, looking out the window to a very scenic view of a parking lot, and feeling an ache of loneliness that seemed to ratchet through my body. True, I was also on a lot of pain meds at the time (Demeral pump – greatest thing ever! Yes, totally an alcoholic thing to say!) but this kind of ache was different. Demeral couldn’t touch it.
I was so lonely.
You see, my boyfriend had just visited and given me a huge bouquet of roses. It was just awful.
I really liked the rose-giver. He was, essentially, total boyfriend material. Nice. Cute Gentlemanly. Sweet natured. Law school. All of it.
And I knew. I just knew – I was not going to be able to love the guy.
I had a heart that was so lonely it felt like it was trying to leave my body. Find someone to love. Find a home.
My home was not with law school guy, although I am sure that my dad is reading this now and thinking, “What was wrong with the lawyer guy!!?”
The heart wants what it wants, and in those days? I wanted so badly to be able to love, but I couldn’t. My heart was, it seems, on hold. I felt iced over, frozen, stuck with this terrible longing but no ability to do anything about it.
I am writing this for all the single ladies. The ones who are looking out windows, late at night, longing for arms to hold them, longing for a companion. A lover. A friend.
And before you click out of this post, NO – I am not going to mess with you by saying, “Honey, Jesus is your true husband. That is all you need! Just, you know, cuddle up with Him!”
Good gracious people. I know there is total truth in that. I know it. But you tell that to a woman who is in her late thirties and alone and facing another Christmas with the family, alone, another friend’s wedding, alone, another Saturday morning with pancakes for one, and you might hear them say something like this:
“Jesus will not sit and eat the pancakes with me! Sometimes we just want someone with SKIN ON to sit, eat the darn pancakes, ask for more syrup, and read the paper!”
Amen, single friends?
I know what it is like to ache and yearn and want. I sit on the other side now, with the husband, the two kids, the whole happy married package, and I remember how I used to shudder when people referred to me as “a single.” I hated that. We don’t introduce each other at parties as “a married” do we?
Ugh. This has so gone over the “Five Minute” rule. But it seems I have a lot to say. This morning, as I first woke up, I remembered that young girl, looking out the window, waiting and wanting something so much it felt like she would break into pieces. I remembered how it felt to want something with such intensity that I did nearly anything to make it work, to keep the relationship going even if it was all wrong, to try, like the step-sister, to make the shoe fit.
I could continue on that line and say that now, I am Cinderella and I found my Prince Charming and I have the cute shoes to prove it. But you know? I am not sure that’s the point.
I don’t have one. Wanting something is hard. Wanting and waiting is just painful. I have no words of wisdom or any sort of solution.
But all I can offer is this, in hindsight:
Wanting is a hole. What you chose to fill the hole with is the key. You can fill it with food. Or sex. Or wine. Or anger. Or endless television.
Or, you can fill it up with the totally invisible, totally not “with skin on” God. And yes, that’s hard and that’s full of tension and discomfort and yes, straight up pain. But it’s better.
It is not easy. But it is better.
And all the single ladies (and those who remember it very well) said, “Amen.”
Now, of course, cue the Beyonce video.
Or not, because the ring part? So nice, but so not the point here today. But it is a totally catchy song, amirite?