A conversation with a friend today has highlighted a problem we both face, quite simply we make people uncomfortable. Interesting, because neither of us are prone to wild living, we are not outrageous or particularly strange, which given that we are both Ordained Ministers might raise an eyebrow or two! Flippancy aside however we make people uncomfortable because we are single, and we are divorcees.
Since my divorce ( 2 years ago) many people have voiced concerns about me, they want me to find “the right man”, they voice their desire for me to “find the right person”, in short it seems that I am not complete in the eyes of others unless I am in a relationship , a relationship that they deem acceptable with a significant other, for surely the other will make me complete.
My answer is simple, this is not so! I am complete in myself, a whole mature human being who right now needs to rediscover what it means to be a whole mature human being. In short I need to be in a relationship with myself, I need to learn to love accept and affirm myself. I need to know the me that God loves, accepts and affirms, I need to hear the still small voice within calling me worthy, beautiful , beloved. I need to be able to respond to that voice as me, not as me in relationship with anyone else but God.
I do have relationships of course, I have relationships with friends, relationships with my children and other family members, but until I find myself rooted and grounded firmly in the amazing and overwhelming love of God in Christ again I am not ready for more. The break-up of my marriage was not my choice and it was traumatic, and while my children have noted with truth that I am happier now, I am still processing the depths of what it now means to be me, and to be whole. I am growing in a new relationship with the person I have become , not only over the years of break-up but with the married, seperated and divorced me.
In many ways all of these, and I mean all of these have been gifts, gifts because the incidences of each cannot be denied, and the consequences of each have made me who I am today. Today I am gentler with myself than I was, today I am more likely to listen to the inner workings of my heart and soul and find God there working insistently and quietly within me.
The gentler me is likely to be gentler with others, is more likely to listen and much less likely to be rebuffed. The gentler me is able to offer an invitaton and be turned down without feeling cut or hurt because I understand that my offer might not be what the other person needs. The gentler me is making new friends, and befriending myself. I am learning to enjoy my own company. I am learning that I am truly fearfully and wonderfully made, a unique reflection of the character and glory of God who does not need another to give me meaning.
We live in culture that demands that we have a significant other to validate us. I want to say that while I am open to the possibility of another intimate relationship in time it will neither define nor validate me. I am content with who I am, and I find who I am in Christ not in another human being. My relationship with God, which is as complex as trying to define the nature of the mysterious Trinity, is enough. With God I am learning to know my own depths, and they surprise me, through God I am redefining my relationship with the world and others, and within God, my creator, holy companion and sustainer, I am set free to become myself, to fulfill my potential.
Do I have regrets, yes of course, but I have more life affirming memories, and both of those lead me into a future where grace abounds because I am able to say quite simply, I am who I am, no more no less. I am loved, accepted, healed and forgiven by the Living God, and that is enough for me.