A while back, someone asked me this question, while reading one of my story series. I said I would probably respond via my Reader Questions series...and I feel it's high time I oblige. It's not an easy question to answer. It is very exposing, and it is also of critical importance for those who might want to learn from my experience.
First of all, I must say that my life as a single was SHORT!!! I got married early. And for the wrong reasons. Does that phase of my life matter? I believe it does, though I don't think a lot of people will be able to relate to my experience. I was and I am still a very weird person!
But, before I turned 21 years old, I was single. And I was married 3 days after. So we are really talking about five years of singleness, if we want to start from the legal age that one can have sex (being 16 in most lands).
So the year is 1998... I had just returned home from a brief stay in a boarding school in the UK, to complete my secondary education in Atlantic Hall. At the time, I wasn't born again (as I now know that I am), though I had said the sinner's prayer severally by then. My life hadn't changed. I was not broken.
I was religious, no doubt. A Church goer. I was also abstinent. For religious as well as personal reasons. I feared God, I feared pregnancy, I feared AIDS, I feared my parents... I feared everything! So, I was a virgin.
But I was very sensual. I liked BOYS! I had crushes...people I crushed on, and people that crushed on me. It was rarely mutual. I flirted a lot, and loved to kiss. In fact, I think I was collecting kisses...
It was during one of my collections, that I kissed someone, who later became of some importance to me. It appeared he wanted more, but then, I didn't see a relationship happening. I just thought he was cute, and I wanted to kiss him (Let's call him, Donell Jones - DJ).
Before him, I had had about three noteworthy 'relationships'. Yes, I was one of those people who loved to be in a relationship. I always gave 100% when I was in a relationship (not my body, of course). But for different reasons, they didn't work out.
The first noteworthy relationship ended because of family opposition. Our love wasn't that strong anyway, but I really liked the guy. The second ended because the guy was a player wanna-be, and well...I saw it coming! I was catching my fun too, and my heart was never in that relationship. He was just really CUTE! The third ended because of long-distance. Again, our love wasn't that strong, but I really liked the guy.
So, not much of a role-model so far...
But things changed after 9/11. I had become friends with DJ, after our kiss. We both traveled to the UK for University. He was in Manchester, I was in London.
When the planes hit, and I watched it on TV, he was one the first people I called to check on their status. I actually didn't even know I cared about him that much. He asked me out after that. I said, I don't do long-distance. But he persuaded me. So, we became serious.
It wasn't long before I fell in love. And it wasn't long after that I gave him EVERYTHING. And all my fears took hold. I remember dragging him to the clinic the next day because I thought I was pregnant!!! Thank God I wasn't, but it was much too early to tell anyway...but I wasn't.
I was super paranoid about doing it again, and also afraid of something more - God! I kept thinking morbid thoughts, and I JUST didn't know how to sin in peace! You can imagine, we didn't do it often. I told him I wanted to remain chaste, and he abided with me...for a time.
God was working on me then. I knew I couldn't keep it up. I had no peace, and my joy and sanity were eroded by my fear of God. It was like two different spirits were fighting to take ownership of me, and I needed to consolidate who I was.
Come February 10th, 2002, I made a decision to give my life to Christ, knowing that this was it. I was ALL IN!
I traveled to Manchester for the Valentine's Weekend to stay with DJ. And I gave in to him again. The next day, I dragged him to Church. That was the beginning of the end of us. He didn't have the fear nor the love of God that I did...and God overruled. I had to let him go.
After that, my life as a single lasted a little over a year... I poured all my passion into God, and was "on fire" for God. I met the Jesus Christians about a couple of months after we broke up, when I was still young and vulnerable in the Faith, and followed them to forsake everything...
My last year as a single was lived in their 'community'. They discouraged marriage heavily, though they didn't forbid it. But I was still desirous for romantic love...and soon set my eyes on one Mr. FG. A young, single, spanish-speaking bloke. It was mutual...for a while. He had been in the group long, and he had learnt to abide as a single.
We couldn't and didn't date. Just had feelings and looks and touches. Until he began to take an interest in another lady in the group...
That was a very low point for me. Because I wanted love, but couldn't pursue love. I was compelled to forsake the idea of ever getting married, and to choose singleness. It was a long or short fight (depending on your perspective), and there was a time, I felt suicidal, because of it. The combination of heart-break, the burden to remain unmarried and my absolute lack of prospects within the group was very depressing.
I didn't know then that within a matter a months, I would be married. It was sudden, unromantic, but convenient. It was unwise.
When I think of all the factors that led to that decision to marry someone I hardly knew and had no feelings for, I think one of the things that made be so susceptible was my restlessness for love and marriage. The other factor was my lack of understanding of God and His grace. I think I would have lived a different life if I had known God more. I would certainly have made different decisions. I would have had more peace and contentment.
I don't know what lesson you can draw from my story of how I fumbled through singleness. It was hardly a purpose-driven life. I didn't walk in much wisdom. And I can never get those days back, or change my choices and their outcomes.
I am able to advise singles based on what I have learnt from my experiences, and what God teaches me. Not because I am a great role model. However, I really can't stress enough the importance of KNOWING YOURSELF, KNOWING GOD AND KNOWING HIS GRACE.
Okay, I think that's it! Now, there's really nothing you don't know about me!
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