My friend Kimb and I were talking the other day and I was whining about my singleness. I was whining because another wedding was on tap—two more people were going to move from single to married. And I knew it was a celebration and I believed that this union was a good thing, but jealousy and comparison were creeping in.
I told Kimb that it just feels like God is closing doors, shutting windows and locking gates, while not opening anything new, just sealing off entries and exits, so I cannot go anywhere. She let me get it all out and lament, and then she spoke straight to me. She looked and me and said, “Good, that means God is active, He is not being silent.” She might as well have punched me, because that response took my breath away. And she was right!
My lack of a love life is not God’s silence. He is active in guiding me away from the wrong man for this season. He may not be “closing a door and opening a window,” but He is opening me. He is using this time to show me the strength in vulnerability, the power of not settling and the need for a solid community of both marrieds and singles.
Even all this internet dating is pushing me toward openness. Last week I met someone on Bumble. We have a handful of mutual friends and hit it off via text. He loves Jesus, music, justice and hates sexism. We never met up while I was in his part of the country, we just couldn’t find the time. But I let myself feel a spark, I let myself get excited when I got a message from him, I did not automatically assume it wouldn’t work. I was 100% me, honest, open and appropriately vulnerable. The Lord shut that door for this man in this season, and I am OK with that. Because God is active.
I have found that I liked God’s silence over a no. It was easier. Silence meant that I might still be able to get what I want. Silence meant that there was hope for the way I wanted things to work out. In my heart, I wanted silence because I felt more in control. But a no is just infuriating. A no means I do not get what I want, a no means that my will is not as strong as His. A no is definite and deafening. But a no is also participation, a no is a response, a no shows that one day there may be a yes. God is answering.
And this all just seems to be another lesson in openness and vulnerability. Because honestly, I spent a week setting my intentions to openness and it was exhausting even for me—the extreme extrovert. “Being on” and being vulnerable is significantly more draining. But with most things, it will get easier the more I practice. Maybe there is an emotional muscle memory that I can build up and one day it will feel more natural. God is teaching.
By being open and vulnerable this last week I was able to forge deeper relationships with my current friends. I empathized more, listened more and talked slightly less (let’s be real, I am a talker). I was also able to forge a rather deep friendship quickly with a prayer warrior and super talented artist who I know God is going to use in big ways for the Kingdom (I just have a gut feeling about this one, he is a good man). God is active.
Kimb said it and I am trying to live into it. I am trying to be aware of God’s activity in my life. I am looking for God at work, and I am listening and waiting for His “YES.”