As we continue our discussion on our Identity, we've invited our precious friend, Lisa Harrell, to add her voice from a single woman's perspective... be blessed dear readers!
Another single friend and I were talking recently and she recounted again her frustration about having to do everything herself. “If I were married, someone else would at least be mowing the lawn or balancing the checkbook or getting the oil changed. Sure, I can do each of those things but it’s trying to keep up with it all while working a stressful full-time job, cooking, getting groceries, cleaning, doing laundry, working out, keeping up with friends, caring for my parents, and attempting to tend to my spiritual life and relationship with God that overwhelms me. Heaven forbid I should get sick or some other unwelcome emotional upset, relational conflict, or life event disrupts my life. There is no one to share the load. I need a partner! I want a companion.” While it may sound strange to call this full, busy, often frazzled and overwhelmed way of living lonely, it can be excruciatingly so for a single woman – be she single by choice, a lack of choice, death, or divorce.
Of course, the quick “Sunday school” answer often offered us single women (right after the placating ‘you’ll find someone’ or ‘there’s a good man out there somewhere for you’) is, “You already have a partner, it’s Jesus!” Okay, yes…but how do I experience this in regular life? I haven’t seen Jesus using spot remover in my laundry room lately nor has he surprised me by filling my tank with gas.
Who is Jesus to me, a sometimes lonely one who needs him so much? Who am I to him? At core, I am beloved, I am seen, I am understood, and I am sustained by him. He shares his breath with me. He hears me. He weeps with me. He laughs with me (though I so rarely notice it). He prays for me. He comforts and encourages me. All these things are what I need most and long for in a partner. But for lack of skin and bone presence, there are times I still feel lonely. After years of fighting, hating, being embarrassed by it, and bemoaning it, I’ve come to believe and accept that loneliness is actually my unique flavor of invitation from God, an invitation to come home to Him, to myself, to reality as it is (yep, along the way he invites me to let go of my demand for something better). And in coming home, I find that it is good, very good.
I see you dressed in white
Every wrong made right
I see a rose in bloom
At the sight of you
Oh, so priceless
Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable
Darling, it's beautiful
I see it all in you
Oh, so priceless
—King and Country
I opened the package that had just been delivered with enthusiasm. I order so much online I often forget what it is I have ordered, or I wonder which item it may be.
This time an adorable accent pillow peaked out at me from the packaging I tore away. With it’s muslin fabric, boldy-stitched saying, soft fringing, and earthy colors, it was definitely my taste and something I would have ordered. Only…I hadn’t.
I sat confused. I was getting older to be sure but didn't think I'd traveled that far down memory-loss lane. I looked at the address on the package. Yes, it was addressed to me. I called my daughter and asked if she had ordered it. It didn’t look like her style, but maybe she had ordered it for a gift. Nope. Dead end.
Then the light bulb went on.
I went to check my credit card bill. It took awhile for me to find it in the overflowing fountain of junk mail and bill payment notices. And sure enough… This was not the only package “I” had ordered. My identity had been stolen. Lucky for me, the novice thief had forgotten to change the delivery address on this particular item. So I made a call to my credit card company and started the process of getting my identity back.
I’m not alone. Last year 15.4 million Americans had their identity stolen. Financial fraud with stolen account information was at a record high to the tune of $16 billion (2017 Identity Fraud Study from Javelin Strategy & Research). And regardless if your identity was stolen, we all pay for it in the form of higher prices and interest rates.
But actually, I believe we have all had our identity stolen. And the effects and reasons are much more insideous.