Wednesday, October 31, 2007

lost in a sea of pretty faces


tonight as i was out having a great time with all of my wonderful friends i had the overwhelming realization that i feel cursed. let me explain. i have many wonderful and incredible friends who i love very much, yet for the last ten years i have not been able to meet someone in the romantic sense. i have gone out with several people and while they were, for the most part, really great guys...nothing. i have not been in love for over five years and the last person i fell in love with is now married(like almost every other man in my life).

as i sat in a great bar tonight i was just struck by the fact that as i get older there is less chance of meeting anyone let alone someone who really intrigues me. part of this i know is me...i am picky and want to be with someone who challenges me, who shares my faith and passion for art. yet i am to stubborn to settle and to damned relational to be alone so i am left in the intersection of perpetual singleness and desire and dare i say it the tick ticking of nature. so what do i do? where do i go with all of this? God? yes i know that is the answer and yet i often wonder if God can do anything and sees how much pain not being chosen causes me how can God also care deeply for that pain or the apathy which it is becoming?

even now i feel my abundance of hope that something will change slowly drifting toward a kind of cynical apathy...i believe in love i believe in relationships for everyone but my self. i assume that i will not be allowed this seemingly forbidden fruit called relationship and so i try with all my might to close down the need for it. to become comfortable always being the best friend, auntie, single one what have you instead of holding hope that my life will not always look this way and my desire for relationship and family will not be unmet.

and so on this halloween i sit and sit in the stillness of not having not being chosen and try to hold hope that in spite of the evidence i have something wonderful and unique and blessed to offer another. that there is a deep seated beauty that lives in me and it will be made visible and seen....someday.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jessie,

there is no shame in eHarmony. There are several couples in my church that were in your same position, and are now married.

jessi knippel said...

Have done that and proceeded to have the WORST DATES EVER from eharmony...seriously people the stranger classifieds connects you with better candidates than eharmony.

as a side note everyone i know who has met via eharmony has divorced with in three years.

Anonymous said...

Singleness is a painful time for many people. It was for me. I longed to be in a relationship, where I would be loved and fulfilled, and where I would love in return. Finally, I was married, and then every tenet I believed about how a Christian marriage should be lived out was brought crashing down around my ears over the next fifteen years.

If anything, my unfulfilled desire to experience completion and relationship through my wife was more painful than the singleness I endured.

I am still married to my beautiful wife, and I love her deeply and more than ever. But it was a hard lesson to learn from the Father that my fulfillment really lies in Him; that marriage is a relationship meant first to glorify God; that the landscape of my soul can be traversed and known truly by Christ and Him alone.

So, do I have it down pat? No way. I struggle each day: I have good days, and I have bad days. But the reason I dare pontificate just a bit here is because the words you write are the very words I spoke years ago. When such pain persists, as it has in your life and mine, it tends to turn inward where it festers and feeds and twists into something that becomes destructive. I nearly wreaked my marriage--tragically so--because of this howling, unfulfilled longing.

God has not forgotten you--how dare you think otherwise. You will marry one day, and God willing your husband will be a good and gentle and strong man in faith and love. I just pray you will not be as destructive in your marriage as I have been in mine.

- Chris

jessi knippel said...

chris,

thank you for your word. i want to clarify a point though i know that my fulfillment come from God but i also realize that the most predominate metaphor in scripture is that of a lover's (marriage) relationship. because of that my heart knows that currently because i am single i am not able to experience aspects of God that my heart longs for. i also believe that gender and sexuality are intrinisically connected to our bearing the image of God and to have been shamed and harmed in those areas and to sit in a place where i have yet to experience redemptive relationships that begin the relational healing of that harm that it is a struggle.

but yet i also on most days am very thankful for my singleness and the promise of waiting for something that is of great value.

Anonymous said...

Jessi, your reply to me is very kind. You're absolutely right about the marriage metaphor in Scripture. I am sorry that you have had such heartache in relationships that ought to have been more redemptive.

I have enjoyed reading your posts, especially since you have put real words where I have had only voiceless feelings. So in light of what I've read, this is strictly in the FWIW category to you:

You're still young at 28.

You're very pretty, contrary to what your banner title states. You no longer display your picture, but you used to; so I know. (Hope this doesn't creep you out.)

You're better off being single while you are studying. An MDiv is a very challenging program, and it deserves a great deal of attention. I was married when I went through college, and the poverty and exhaustion took its toll on our marriage--it was in large part for this reason that we decided not to attend seminary.

It's obvious to me that God is shaping you and molding you for a very special ministry. It is plain that you have a personality and abilities that are rare in people who use their talents and education to glorify God. Redeemed image-bearers like you have the capacity to illuminate the truth of God in ways that are both unconventional and uncomfortable. And the church needs that.

If there's any encouragement whatsoever that I might offer, it is that through experience I can testify God is outfitting you for something weird. And you're gonna love it. Years ago, in my early thirties, I was banging on the gates of heaven, asking God just what the heck He was doing with me. Why was it taking so long? Did He forget me? To make a long story a bit shorter, I was asked (I didn't seek) to participate in a local ministry that was, well...weird.

And it's so cool! My personality, my strengths and weaknesses, all of the extra time He took to prepare me (and not necessarily through college)--it has all been for good reason. It all fits now. To this day I shake my head in wonder. He is so wise....

It's late; I'm rambling; I apologize. It's just, most times when I read your words, my heart hurts for you. But I know that the Lord loves you, and that your earnest heart will find its reward.

- Chris