As I drove home from work today, I glanced down at my left ring finger and wondered where my ring was. Again.
I’ve never been married – never even been on a second date – but I live with this feeling that I’m missing someone. I’ll reach over to the other side of the bed, only to find my laptop or yesterday’s laundry; my left thumb will reach to adjust the phantom ring on my finger; I’ll walk out of the grocery store and look around to start counting my kids’ heads before we get to the car.
It’s the weirdest feeling. It’s like taking an extra step at the top of a staircase, simultaneously feeling confused at the unexpected, and stupid for expecting it. In my nerdy moments, I’m pretty sure I’m living in an alternate timeline.
So I try to fill that gap – with friends, chocolate, exercise, books (so many books!), TV shows (hellllooooo seven seasons of Dr. Who in one summer), shopping, travel, etc. I have friends and acquaintances who have tried drugs, alcohol, sex, and serial dating, and it’s totally easy to feel superior to them. I mean, at least I don’t leave a trail of broken hearts in my wake, am I right?
But – bigger picture here – we all are just trying to fill the gap in our singleness, to make up for (or numb) the fact that we’re the weirdos, the ones who – despite our best efforts – can’t land our men; who haven’t found the women to propose to; who must smile at/stand up with/buy presents for our friends as we watch them march up to the altar two by two, leaving us behind to babysit on Valentine’s Day.
I am so. tired. of trying to fill that gap with people or quick fixes or temporary pleasures. I’m tired of throwing money, time, energy, and a whole lot of tissues into the gap that can never be filled. This is the part where I’m supposed to say, “Therefore, I’m going to start taking care of myself and let the chips fall where they may.” But, once again, that would be another effort to fill the gap – this time, with myself. Which sounds pretty stupid when I think about it.
In all my years, and in all my travels, I’ve only found one thing – one Person – Who can actually, truly fill that gap. And that’s Jesus. All the clothes, shows, parties, and alternate realities that have ever distracted me from Jesus – they’re all just lies. Jesus says in John 14 that He is “the truth.”
The truth of Jesus’ story fills my life story with comfort instead of heartache; hope instead of despair; empathy instead of impatience; love instead of envy…you get the idea. I guess you could say He’s my drug of choice.
So welcome to my blog, and to my stories.