Archive | February, 2013

Acting Joyful When You Feel Joyless…

19 Feb

This month I am supposed to focus on adding joy to my life.

This is normally easy for me.  I don’t like feeling down or wallowing in self-pity.  I grew up with a trustworthy dad- if he didn’t give me what I wanted, it could be frustrating, but I knew he had my best interest in mind.  This made it easier for me to view God as a loving father- again, sometimes things don’t go my way and I get frustrated, but I can find rest and JOY in His sovereignty.  

But some days are harder than others.

Today, I arrived at work and opened my computer, and my facebook account was still open from last night.  I went to click out of it (no facebooking during work hours!) but something caught my eye: a picture of my best friend since 6th grade, with her hands over her stomach in a heart-shape, and her wedding ring sparkling from her left hand.  

Maybe I’m a little hurt that I found out she was pregnant at the same time as everyone else via facebook, but I have to give her some grace.  I’m in a foreign country.  Her internet connection isn’t all that great.  I was the first non-related person that she told when she got engaged, and I was a bridesmaid in her small wedding party.  She gave me complete grace when I couldn’t make her bridal shower because I was on a short-term missions trip.  I highly doubt she waited very long after learning she was pregnant to make the big announcement; she told multiple people at her wedding that her plan was to have her first child when she was 27, and her 27th birthday was less than a month ago.  

I should be thrilled.  I have watched so many friends go through months and months of negative pregnancy tests and painful, expensive fertility treatments.  Some finally had their moment of victory, others are still trying.  I have watched other friends face unplanned pregnancies and wonder frantically how they are going to handle the financial, emotional, or physical strain that comes with it.  My best friend and her wonderful, loving husband of five years are having their first baby right when they want to.  More importantly, God has created a human soul- humans can put the DNA in the right places to create a “zygote” but only God can breathe life into a being and create a soul.  Not even the most powerful of angels can create a soul.  That is a reason to rejoice, and the fact that He has entrusted this soul to my best friend and her husband makes it all the more so.

But I’m devastated.

My own 27th birthday is in two months and two days.  I’ve been on four dates in my life, all with guys who fit into different categories of “jerks”.  (No, I don’t mean they had a dorky stamp collection or said something nervous-stupid on the first date; I mean one pressured me to sleep with him, another who called me “disgusting,” and then told me he didn’t mean to be hurtful and was just trying to “help” me…yeah, was I too picky when I decided not to continue those relationships?)

I posted a comment below my friend’s picture telling her she owed me a skype date.  When she responds and we get online together, I will rejoice with her, I will celebrate with her this little life that God is beginning inside her.  I’ll ask her how she found out and how she told her husband, and I will share in her joy.

I won’t tell her that it hurts.  She knows I’m not married, and she’s told me she’s envious of my world travels and my freedom to do what I want with my life.  I won’t tell her that what I really want is to be where she is- maybe without the stamps on my passport, but with a man who delighted in me enough to want to spend the rest of his life with me, and with the anticipation of my first child looming ahead of me.  She doesn’t need to hear that right now, she needs others to rejoice with her.  

What’s frustrating is that there’s no one else I can tell, either.  Others will tell me I need to sign up for an online dating service or let them set me up with someone (every past attempt to do that has ended disastrously).  They will tell me that singleness is a problem that they want to fix for me, since I’m apparently incapable of fixing it on my own.  Or they will promise me that my day is coming and to just “wait,” as if that’s a promise that they can make.  Has God revealed me future to them, or did He promise marriage somewhere in the Bible?  No, when people tell a single to “wait” for marriage, they are telling us to put our hope in something that was never promised.  

I am going to rejoice with my best friend as soon as I get to talk to her…even though the last thing I feel right now if joy.