Thursday, May 30, 2013

Caring About Boys

I had a good chat with a friend other other day (I feel like 'chatting' insinuates an online conversation, but if you didn't read it that way... it was an online conversation). 

She was typing up some word vomit about how she wishes (in a joking manner) she could make out with boys, no strings attached... as well as some other nonsense about how she takes relationship things too seriously...and then there was the complaints about men who are only looking for wives and don't pick up on the lack of interest, and then the statements about the men who are out of her reach and the frustration that ensues. It's the type of word vomit that makes me smile, because it's an unfiltered stream of consciousness that almost all girls partake in at some point in their singleness journey (sometimes on a daily basis). And in the end, we find ourselves often feeling the same way as she did: 

 Friend: debbie. why do i even care about this? this is all dumb.
 me:  because you are a girl. and you like men. 
 Friend:  touche. there are just so many other, more important things. 
like world hunger
and war
and natural disasters
and illiteracy
and a heck ton of people that need Jesus
 me:  sure
but, you can't ignore that you were created for THIS, too
and that it does affect you
and so let it affect you
just don't let it define you
don't let it dictate you
but don't ignore it, either

The conversation reminded me that sometimes we may be struggling with all the woes of singleness and too often we feel like it's not a valid struggle. So we undermine it. We ignore it. We make jokes about it. And then we cry into our pillows in the dark of the night, wrestling with the pain that seems so trivial to all the other junk that's going on in the world. We have no right to hurt, no right to struggle, no right to be conflicted over being single. At least, that's how it feels sometimes. And even beyond the 'right', we simply just feel like it's r.i.d.i.c.u.l.o.u.s. My mom fights through breast cancer and my brother grieves the loss of his child... and I'm sad about being single? How dare I... How could I...? 

But, I do. 

Like I told my friend, I think it's easy for us to forget that part of how we were created was for connection and intimacy with other humans. Remember how Eve was created because God determined it was not good for man to be alone? It would make sense, then, that when we are lacking in this area of our lives and it truly is a desire of our hearts... that it's going to affect us. 

So, let it affect you. 
Don't hide from it.
Don't pretend it's not there. 
Don't pretend that just because you're not up against starvation or death right now... that you don't have hurts and wounds. That you don't have more 'trivial' things that affect you and matter to you. You do. You probably always will... sometimes even when there's more 'major' stuff that you're dealing with.

Because relationships matter to us. They should matter to us. Which means that lack of relationships will also matter. 

But don't dwell in it. 
Don't let your singleness be the thing you find your identity in, the thing that ruins you, the thing that consumes your every thought and therefore your every action. 

Acknowledge that sometimes it sucks, cry about it, tell people you're struggling with it... but keep living life. Because no matter how much you want it, how much you may be created for it... there's something greater that you've ultimately been created for and you need to let that dictate your life, you need to let that define your existence, you need to let that be what drives you, motivates you, inspires you, and pushes you toward better. 

Caring about boys? Sure, it feels dumb and it can't be the number one priority in your life... but you still care, and you should care. It's okay

Just don't get carried away with it (and you know when you do). 
No guilt trips, no despair, no hopelessness. 

Because, even in light of all the pain in this world, there is still much to hope in. 
So let's keep hoping. And living. One day at a time. 

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