I knew from an early age that I was never going to be the quarterback on the football team.
I was never going to be the guy who walked down the hall followed by dozens of adoring gazes.
I recall walking into my first day of high school, a good 50 pounds overweight, wearing white pants and a Hawaiian shirt. Not the most auspicious start for a freshman.
I laugh now.
I didn’t laugh then.
Having just turned 45 years old, these days the laughter is mixed with a tinge of sorrow and regret – a reminder of knowing I didn’t feel like I belonged, like I didn’t matter and that I wasn’t important.
Being single, I think it’s easy to feel unloved, unwanted, undesirable. We all have our own personal stories, but I’m certain we share a lot in common.
Are you ashamed of being single? Are you feeling like the round peg trying to find into the square hole? Is today a rough day for you?
This blog is for you. Because I feel what you’re going through.
I know it all too well.
I’ve always been different.
As a teen, my voice was high-pitched. (I have absolutely no Adam’s Apple whatsoever.) It didn’t really lower until after college. Now I’ve been told I have a voice made for radio.
I trained in classical music.
I was reading about the history of cinema and following the Academy Awards before I became a teenager.
It took me a long time to appreciate the fact that what I thought was special and unique about myself – no, what I KNEW was special and unique about myself – was the antithesis of what made someone of that age “popular” and “cool” and all the other quotational synonyms that fit.
Why am I sharing this with you today? A big part of my reason for starting the series LIVING SINGLE IN A COUPLES’ WORLD was to be bluntly honest about my experiences because I know there are people out there who can relate to what I’ve gone through – what I GO through.
There’s comfort in knowing that your story is not a solo, but a huge ensemble.
You may feel like the only unpopped kernel in a bucket of Orville Redenbacher’s finest, but odds are you belong to a standing room only concert hall with thousands if not millions of other people who share your same fears, inadequacies and concerns for the future.
What I went through in my early years played a big part in my being single today.
My lack of acceptance inevitably led to a lack of self-confidence. I lived with a belief that no one could find me attractive. I hid it well. (At least until this blog post gets published.)
I’ve adjusted. I’ve persevered in many ways but I’ve faltered in others, especially recently.
It’s become easier to let myself go. I know I should take better care of myself, but it’s easy to push that to the wayside.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not walking around unshowered, unshaven and letting birds eat from the crumbs in my 18 inch beard. But I’m losing the battle of the bulge, a war I’ve fought for the vast majority of my life with some major victories but also crushing defeats.
What I’m dealing with at this time in my life – and maybe you can relate – is recognizing that I matter. I matter, whether I’m single or married with a Brady Bunch-sized family. I matter, whether I’m sitting at home with my dad or taking that increasingly difficult step to do something social. And so do you.
The care we have for ourselves should not be dependent on who we have by our side. If anyone.
Our bodies are temples that God has created with the utmost care and love. They are to be cherished and appreciated. We matter to God, so even in the darkest of hours, that alone should be enough.
You Are Important
Everyone reading this has their own unique stories to tell.
Some of us have never been married. Some of us have been scarred by past relationships that have left us scared to ever love again. Some of us have lost spouses and don’t feel a need or desire to find others to fill their shoes.
You know what? Our songs are different, but we’re all singing in the same key.
If our importance is based upon who we have or don’t have in our lives, we need to start looking at our lives from a different perspective. Come what may, you are important. Sometimes it’s easier to believe the opposite. But it’s not true. If you don’t feel important, MAKE yourself feel important.
The director Mike Nichols once said something along the lines that you can have a thousand people shouting how wonderful you are, but all it takes is that one nay-saying voice to make your heart curdle.
Let’s reverse that for our argument today. Does it feel like you have a thousand people yelling at the top of their lungs that you aren’t wonderful, that you aren’t important? Are you having issues with family members? Are things not going great at work?
Listen to that one voice that says:
You Are Important.
That voice is our Heavenly Father.
The One who so lovingly and carefully made you in His own image.
The One who knows you better than you know yourself.
God’s love is not dependent upon your relationship status on Facebook. Believe me, it’s NOT complicated. It’s the easiest and most important thing we can possibly have in our lives and sadly the one thing we so often take for granted.
Bask in the love of God today.
If you don’t feel like you belong, find a new place to spread your wings. If you don’t feel like you matter, find someone with whom you can make a difference. If you don’t feel important, open the Bible and bask in the joy that you’re loved beyond comprehension.
You Are Important.