Meeting singleness with sorrow and grace

As I reflect on romance, marriage and the future, I find myself camping out somewhere between grace and sorrow. Sometimes grace is more prevalent than sorrow; other times, sorrow is more prevalent than grace. I'm not without normal human emotions, thoughts and feelings just because I have a physical disability that people see when they look at me.

Please don't ask if I'm content in my singleness. I'm not there yet, and I don't know when I will be. I see myself as single by circumstance, not necessarily by choice. Like many other people my age, I have a strong desire to be married and share my life with a God-provided “significant other." For now, I choose to believe God has not yet provided my spouse rather than choosing to believe he doesn't exist.

If we can ask such things for people without obvious disabilities, why can't we ask similar things for people with obvious disabilities? I know several mothers who have prayed for years that their children would be provided Christian friends and godly spouses. In asking, there is hope, which in my mind, stands at a reasonable distance from hopelessness.

Some days, I rest in grace.
In grace, I choose to celebrate the family I do have.
In grace, I choose to celebrate the many good gifts and privileges God has showered upon me over time.
In grace, I am thankful for the presence of many good friends whom God has used to bless my life.
In grace, I celebrate my relationship with Jesus, which is more important than any other relationship I may have.
In grace, I remember this life is temporary and eternity awaits those who believe in Christ.

Some days, I feel sorrow.
In sorrow, I wish circumstances were different.
In sorrow, I lament I am alone and frequently feel lonely.
In sorrow, I wonder if a spouse or serious dating relationship will ever come along for me.
In sorrow, I wonder if anyone will ever come home to stay.
In sorrow, I wonder if anyone will ever kiss me goodnight as we get ready for bed.

I desire someone to learn with, laugh with and love as much as the next guy or gal. God created me with capacity for both platonic and romantic relationships.

Yes, I know romantic relationship is more than intimacy, flowers and candlelight. There is a lot about relationship which demands sacrifice, and sacrifice can be costly. It takes many people a great deal of effort to be creatively others-minded.

I wait in hope; yet sometimes I find myself despairing. I have a disability, but I also possess dreams which I pray God will fulfill and use for His glory.

I continue to hope for marriage and family. I may have a physical disability, but I also have a lot of life and love to share. I wait for eternity, but must also find creative outlets for expressing my present humanity. The Bible teaches in Genesis and Ecclesiastes that two are better than one; someday, I hope to testify in greater detail to the experiential reality of that truth.

That which I have known platonically, I would like to know romantically. Until then, I realize that I may be camping out a while longer ... with strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.

Although the author speaks openly about this subject to people close to her, she chose not to attach her name to this piece, which originally ran on the Network. / Illustration courtesy of iStockphoto.

Comments (4)

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I didn’t want your post to go without comment.

Loneliness is powerful, and what you write describes what so many people (in all walks of life) feel.

Your sorrow makes sense, and your recognition of grace offers hope.

While silence in response to such an authentic post can seem like indifference. I think, in this case it represents respect and a desire not to condescend, placate, or offer platitudes.

I hope with you. Your words will make me more conscious of the feelings of my single friends.

Thank you for speaking out. I’m sure more people have been touched by your post than the comments reflect.

I’m in my late 40s and never been married. I know the loneliness and the unfilled longings. I’ve had my own disability, which isn’t visible.

There are moments at my most confidant that being thrust into a group where everyone else is attached pierces me and emotions erupt. I feel that quiet despair at being the one “without”, who doesn’t fit in with the conversations. I wonder why do I even have sexual desires if they have no purpose in God’s plan for me? Wouldn’t they be better with someone who wants kids (I never wanted them). No, marriage isn’t just about sex,  but that’s a big part. And kids are certainly not a requirement of marriage. 

I’m just beginning to feel like the desires for a spouse, sex,  someone to share life….are wasted on me.

So, I feel for you.

Your thinking is right on as you evaluate yourself. No matter our condition, we wonder what if…. Just as you wonder about being single, there are many married people that wonder if they should have married at all! Just keep working on being the person God wants you to be, as you have been. Answers and peace will come.

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