There’s this country song that says “sometimes God’s greatest gift is unanswered prayer.” It’s a kind of lovely notion. You pray for something, it doesn’t happen but in the end something better does.
But that’s not what this is about. Oh how I would be grateful for unanswered prayers after nights like last night.
Instead, last night was a friendly reminder that sometimes God’s most painful gift is a big fat “No.”
So here’s the thing. It may be hard to tell, and that’s probably a problem, but I do believe in God. I struggle with the God presented to me in church. Somehow a loving father figure who along the lines of history has conveniently hated and condemned large groups of people based on what the highly conservative Christian church has decided is unworthy (think black people, gay people, women and anyone else middle age white men have taken issue with). I believe in a God of love and compassion…for all. He’s working on me.
So, as a result of my beliefs I do pray. I pray for all sorts of things, help, strength, knowledge, discernment, a man. Y’all. God is probably so sick of me praying for a man that I’m pretty sure every time it happens he just looks like this 🤦🏽♂️. Like dear lord make it stop…oh wait…that’s me.
But here I am. 30 years old. Single and seriously beyond tired of attempting to mingle that I’m so ready to just wrap it up and give up for ever.
Because here’s what happens. Every time. Without fail.
I’m minding my own business. Trying to live my best life. I’ve got my amazing daughter, my beautiful and loving family, and the best friends a girl could ask for. I am not bothering anyone. I’m not looking. Being single is not the biggest concern of my life. But I get bored. I get the itch. “Man. It sure would be nice to have a relationship.” So, I throw it out there. People tell me all the time “you won’t meet anyone sitting in the House knitting Ashley.” So I go out. Or I get on Tinder. Usually Tinder because I don’t go out much. Sometimes I get on. Swipe for a few days. Get annoyed and get off. If I’m lucky this is what happens. Or I go out and don’t meet anyone and life goes back to normal. But sometimes, the stars align and I go out, and so does someone else, we meet, and seem to hit it off. Or I swipe right and they do too and conversation begins. Numbers are exchanged and things seem to go well.
Fun fact: I have a deep rooted fear of being wanted only for sex and also getting into “situationships.” You know, I like you, you like me, we do all the things couples do but never commit. Yea I have spent most of my adult life in situationships so I’m not trying to do that any longer.
Fun fact: I feel it in my soul that I am meant to be someone’s rib. Someone’s support. Someone’s calm and safe place at the end of a bad day. Someone’s cheerleader and support at the end of a good day. There is no way God put all this yearning for love inside of me for it to just sit there almost to the point of explosion.
So, long story short. Without fail here is what happens. My insecurities start to kick him. Probably triggered by some sort of yellow or red flag that I’m working on getting better at reading. Something isn’t sitting right with my soul.
I then pray, what I have come to realize, is the only prayer that without fail I get almost an immediate answer too. Like I pray for stuff and sometimes I wonder if it just gets lost in the clouds somewhere. But this prayer is my direct line to Jesus. It’s like before it leaves my lips I have sent it straight via email to his throne in heaven and it bypasses any other prayers he may be working on. What is it you may ask?
“Lord. If this man is not meant for me. Please let him slip through my fingers before I start to hold on too tight.”
That’s it. Short. Simple. To the point. And without fail. Within 24-48 hours. I receive confirmation that they are not meant for me. Usually just the conversation is had. A lot of times it’s not initiated by me. Or sometimes they do or say something that I have to acknowledge as a large red flag. But it happens. Every time.
Sometimes I fight it. I beg and plead with God to not let it be true. I cry. A lot. And sometimes I stick around only to be miserable and have to walk away later.
It always sucks. It always hurts. And like last night, if there really wasn’t anything wrong and it just really could have been the right person but not the right time, I can literally feel the piece of my heart break off as it chooses to kind of stick around with the other person as I have to walk away.
There’s probably way to many men walking around this world who don’t know they are carrying small pieces of my beautiful, loving, caring, supportive heart. While I sit back night after night fearful, and hurting, and struggling, and wondering “why me” “what’s wrong with me.” And praying I don’t give it all away and one day have nothing left.
So. I’ll end here. Part of me says, never pray that prayer again because the answer is too painful. But part of me knows, especially over the last year, each time it’s answered I learn something, and I grow. I think it’s coming. I hope it’ll happen for me. I doubt it. And sometimes like now I have restless nights where I cry and beg and plead and wonder if those prayers are just getting stuck in the land of lost prayers. I consider giving up. I do for a while. But then I’ll get the itch again and it’ll all start over.
But for now… sweet dreams.