Last night I had a good conversation with a dear friend. We talked about one of our most frequented topics: singleness. We reminisced about the times spent walking out this path we never thought we’d face and how much we’ve grown since those early days. Where had the time gone? We wondered. I remembered an old video on black women finding love after 40 and some who never “found love” at all. My friend had also watched that video way back when and shared her sentiments on it. “It’s depressing” she said. I can see why she would feel that way though I don’t remember having that perspective as a 20- something watching it. I only remember thinking, “That won’t be me!” Even if I didn’t verbally say those words, I feel that message was ingrained deeply in my heart. You see at that time in my spiritual walk I didn’t understand that God could (and would) use time to work out some stuff that would hinder purpose and identity from being manifested through me. I certainly didn’t see the stuff I needed working out at that point so of course I didn’t think He would need to do too much work on me. Ah, to be young and naïve again😆. My timeline was that of the culture’s timeline and even now I struggle against that mindset. But what I have learned in the time that has occurred between then and now is this: Father knows best. I now understand that when God says, “no” it is in my best interest whereas back then I only saw one side of the coin (when God said “no” He was just being mean). So watching that video back then I interpreted it through that lens. The one-sided coin lens.
Since I’m a little older now and am actually closer to the age of the women who were interviewed, I decided to re-watch it through these new-more mature lenses. When I did, I felt grieved for the women who wanted love and for one reason or another did not find it. I did relate to how they cultivated a full joyful life outside of a relationship. And I did understand their desire to please God in a life of celibacy that they never envisioned in their future. But there was one subtle question my heart was asking as the statistics of single, black-educated women rolled on the screen. How healthy are these women? I wondered. You see in the last few years I’ve had a lot of revelations as to why I needed singleness and everyone of them had to do with the fact that I myself was very unhealthy. I wouldn’t have known a healthy relationship if it hit me in the face. And I’m sure there were good men around me who avoided me like the plague because of my red flags. Thankfully I had the Holy Spirit who guided me and pruned me and created something a little better than what existed before. So I watched half of the video and felt their pain and empathized with their cup that I myself am also drinking from, but I also know that we can be limited in our understanding of God’s ways…
Statistics are statistics and I can’t say that I am exempt from them. Maybe some of the reason I am single is because black men are incarcerated and gay and not educated. Maybe I am affected by these facts. But my experience trumps statistics. And my experience is that I am chosen and God has been very intentional with me to deliver me and heal me and restore me (He is such a good Dad). He has been very intentional with me to set me apart, teach me and grow me.
I don’t know my future, but I do know my past. He is my past. He is Father and Maker and Friend. And most importantly He is trustworthy.
Job 13:15 (KJV)
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him…
I hate that we are called to very difficult things. That sometimes we don’t have the answers this side of heaven.
But sometimes we do have the answers.
I have found many answers hidden within the crevices of my heart (Ephesians 3:11). And often, almost too many times, He has confirmed those answers through dreams and prophecy. I have lived my life this way for the last 15 years, and I am encouraged by the Spirit of the Lord within my heart that no matter what the statistics say, no matter what another person’s story is or perspective is, I need to stay true to what I know inside.
He has intentionally set me apart for such a time as this and for my own good. And He will give me the desires of my heart as I have first delighted in Him.