I’ve been thinking about the lives we live and the ones we want. I’ve been thinking about the lives we have and the ones people tell us we need. I’ve been thinking about womanhood and wifehood and motherhood and careerhood and singlehood and where I am and who do I want to continue to be.
I think sometimes we believe this narrative about being women that goes like this: “When I get married and I have children, I’ll be a real woman. I’ll be complete. I’ll be living my very best life.”
I think that narrative is a deficient and a defective one. And here’s why: Life never comes in a complete, perfectly wrapped box with matching bow.
It never comes that way. EVER.
Things don’t move in a linear direction. Hiccups come. Road blocks surface.
Speed bumps slow you down. New paths open up that you didn’t even expect you’d be walking upon. Incredible opportunities arise that you couldn’t have created for yourself if you tried.
I just think we’ve got to free ourselves up from these narratives that say “this life is the better life, it’s the one you gotta have and until you do, you won’t really, truly, deeply be as happy and fulfilled as you could be.”
Instead, we need the narratives, as women, that say “THAT life is a good one, and THIS life is a good one too.”
My life and my woman-ness as a single is still LIFE. It’s still LIVING. Woman-ness as a married is still LIFE. It’s still LIVING. Woman-ness as a married and as a mother is still LIFE. It’s still LIVING. The latter two are not a better life or the very best possible life, they are just a DIFFERENT LIFE.
We need to shift the narrative from DIFFERENT = BETTER, and DIFFERENT = the PRIZE that you must pursue.
Perhaps, in this season of singleness what I’m learning is a gift, in and of itself: finding more of me, discovering what makes my heart beat, and growing more and more into the “whoness” that uniquely makes me the woman I’m continuing to become.
Women have got to learn how to free each other up in these narratives.
Lord willing, when marriage comes knocking at my door at the right time, I will answer and I will, by God’s grace, be ready for that very big adventure.
But you know what else I’m gonna do? I’m gonna speak into the hearts and souls of single women in my life and within my influence and I’m gonna tell them to keep pursuing the life that they have. Keep thriving, keep flourishing, keep growing in the beauty that you are.
This life, right now, is your very best life.
Anything that will happen to you next is an EXPANSION on the very best life that you’re already living. Expansion. Not Completion. Expansion. Live out that expansion from the wholeness you already live from. There is depth and beauty and goodness and richness already at home in your soul.
Marriage doesn’t make your life a very best life. Motherhood doesn’t make your life a very best life. If it did, what would we say to the woman who never gets married? The woman who lost her new husband six months into their marriage? The widow burying the love her life after 50 years of partnership? What would we say to the woman who wants to get pregnant but cannot carry children in her womb? The mother who lost three babies in miscarriage? The mother who has adult children but is estranged from them?
What would say to them?
What would we say?
I hope we would say your life is beautiful and its very best because YOU are in it. You are using the gift of this life from God by living it every day. Your living makes this life its very best life.
If you need these words, let them cover you and remind you of what’s true. Selah.