My husband of 26 years passed away a little over five years ago, and since that time, I have been navigating the treacherous waters of single life, feeling, at times, like I’m in a canoe, paddling upstream, getting nowhere.
I’m an active, healthy woman in her 50’s , and learning how to do life single again has been one of the greatest challenges of my life! My husband and I were in ministry together for our entire married life. I raised and home schooled five beautiful children who are now all wonderfully responsible adults. I’m a fairly intelligent woman, and yet there were days when I really thought I was losing my mind. Why? Because I didn’t know how to do single!
Married I could do! I did it well, and I have all kinds of experience to bring to the table when I do it again. But being single was not something I liked, so trying to do it again was like going for a root canal. I just wanted it to be over. Yesterday.
I’m not exaggerating when I say there were days when I hated every single minute of being single.
I hated being alone, going to church alone, eating alone, watching movies alone, going to bed alone, and getting up alone. When my husband departed for heaven on that cold November day in 2010, my whole life was turned upside down.
I felt like I was in a strange country, and I didn’t know how to speak the language. I knew what to do in the “country” of marriage. I was really good at it. I was a good wife, and I knew how to love and nurture my husband. I wasn’t perfect mind you, but I liked being a wife. I liked it a lot! Being ‘no man’s wife’ was not my favorite role, yet I knew that if I would lean on Jesus, He would show me how to thrive in this temporary season of my life.
Debra writes, “When your heart is focused on the eternal, the temporal world takes on new shape and meaning. It loses power in your life, freeing you to live fully. Your relationship status and your desire to be married may never disappear, but they stop controlling your life. And you can trust in God’s promise that “you’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” Fileta, Debra K. (2013). True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of your Life. Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
Here are three things God says about who I am in Christ that have helped me deal with some of the negative emotions that tried to overtake me and helped me keep my heart focused on the eternal. I didn’t learn them all at once, and I’m still receiving revelation of these truths, but here’s the thing: I have my heart set on living these “In Christ” realities every SINGLE day of my life!
1) I am complete in Christ.
Colossians 2:9-10 says, “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”
Whenever I feel incomplete, I remind myself that I am complete in Christ, lacking nothing.
I am not a half looking for another half to make me whole. Jesus has already made me whole. He has brought me into the family of God where I am being loved on and nurtured by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In Jesus, I find the joy of knowing who I really am, and my identity is not tied to any man. My identity is found in my union with Him. He has given me His life and everything that goes with it.
2) I am deeply loved by God.
In John 15:9, Jesus said, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.”
God loves me unconditionally. He loves me with the deepest love there is. His love has no limits. I cannot exhaust His love for me. If you do not have a vibrant, living relationship with Jesus it’s really easy to struggle with feeling unloved. The cure for this is learning how to let Him love you. You can do this by spending time in God’s Word daily, meditating on His promises, knowing they are yours in Christ. I have actually pictured myself with Jesus, in heavenly places, and in my mind’s eye, I see Him seated at the right hand of the Father, and I am seated with Him in a cozy love seat where I am sandwiched between Father and Son. It’s here I have had many conversations with them about my past, my present, and my future. I have cried with them and laughed with them. I have repeated the same stories over and over, and they never seem to tire of hearing them. They both remind me how valuable and precious I am and how much they love me.
3) I am never alone.
Hebrews 13:5 says, “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
When I feel alone, I acknowledge God’s presence in me. I talk to Him openly about everything going on in my life and share with Him my hurts, my pains, and my deepest dreams and desires for the kind of life I want to have. I let Him know when I’m tired of waiting and how my heart longs to be married again. He knows my heart’s desire is not to remain in this place forever, but He assures me that this is NOT where I will always be and that He is committed to stay with me while I make this journey. No matter how I feel, I am never truly alone.
Single AGAIN was not my choice, but it is not my identity either. It’s just a temporary place I am today, and I know that keeping in mind that I’m complete in Christ, deeply loved by God, and never alone will help me navigate these waters, and that I will get to the other side.
Christy Mitropoulos is a minister who is a passionate woman of God, bold about proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom. She is the mother of five grown children and currently resides in Arkansas, where she runs Mitropoulos Ministries, records her online book study, is currently working on her upcoming book, and enjoys time with her four daughters and her granddaughter.
Christy is excited about the practical application of the word. She loves to travel across the country, helping people relate to God on a heart level. Her transparency, humor, and relational way of speaking helps others realize they are not alone in their struggles, feel safe while opening their hearts to the truth, and recognize their need to develop a stronger relationship with God and others.
Welcome to TrueLoveDates.com! I’m Debra Fileta, Professional Counselor & Author of the book True Love Dates, and I created this blog as a space to pair psychology and Christian spirituality to address all things love, dating, and relationships.
This month, I’ve invited some of my faithful TrueLoveDates readers to share their heart with the rest of our blog community for my #GuestPostSeries!! There are some AMAZING singles out there, people!!! I’m choosing 10 guest posts to share with you over the summer. I’m so excited to hear their stories and share their messages with you as well! Enjoy!! And be sure to leave them some love in the comment section below. — Love, Debra