Whenever I experience a break-up I go through the normal stages of grief which inevitably have me turning to the scriptures and prayer for comfort and solace. I'm ashamed to admit that my most notable times of gospel feasting are almost always on the heels of having my heart broken.
In true Stella fashion I have been delving into the scriptures, our Prophets words, and any other gospel resource I can get my hands on as I struggle to find the answers to my why, why, whys? I should add that my feasting is usually accompanied by a lot of foot stomping, wailing and gnashing of angry teeth...which of course makes divine revelation a little difficult to come by. This time however - I must have matured since my last soiree.
I came across something today while reading in Alma that made me wonder - could being a single member of the LDS church at this time, during these last days be a calling? Is it possible that some of us experience singleness because we were asked to experience it during our mortal journey? That just like some are foreordained to be Prophets or pioneers are some of us called to be single for a period of time?
I'm not talking about 20 something singleness - I'm talking about being single WAY past the LDS norm of 20...or whatever it is these days. I'm talking about singleness that has you laying on your bathroom floor, sobbing into a pile of kleenex doubting every decision you've ever made and semi-convincing yourself that somehow you've brought this great scourge on your head through a Sodom and Gomorrah level atrocity.
I took this thought a bit further and realized the STRENGTH that it takes to be an active, faithful, single member of the church. I've heard it said that 50% of singles become inactive when they leave their YSA wards, and I recently heard at a stake meeting that my stake alone has over 3,000 mid-singles in it (men more then double the women. My jaw is still on the floor.)
So between the 50% and the 3000 in my little corner of the world how many of our brothers and sisters does this add up to? Even one is too many - but I think my point is easily proven by how many times we're admired by others. For example how many times has someone said something like..."I admire you so much," "You are so strong", or my personal favorite - "I don't know how you do it, I know I never could."
As I've let this idea roll around in my mind today I realize how much my ward blesses my life and how much they love and support me BUT I also realize how I may have a very special, singular influence that may make some of my sisters more grateful for their husbands and children, may inspire some to magnify their particular life calling, and may even be an example to the youth of staying faithful when you don't feel you fit in. Yes - being a single member of the LDS faith where we celebrate and promote families and eternal marriages in every breath is well.. NO PLACE FOR SISSIES!
That said - does it make you feel a little special, a little strong, a little chosen and set apart to be single? For so many of us who have not chosen to be single, who would marry tomorrow if the opportunity presented itself - I have to wonder if we would walk a little taller and hurt a little less if we looked at this life 'predicament' (regardless of how we got here) as a calling?
If we stopped to think of the faith, strength, and ENDURANCE that we go through our life with. How we continue to move forward without the help of a companion, striving to be faithful despite heartache that sometimes feels like it will end us? That this season of life (and I pray it ends tomorrow for all of us who desire righteous companions to create forever families with) is our calling because we are strong, faithful, and the ones the Lord knew He could count on to keep going. He knows what we can carry and He knows what we can't. I just have to wonder...
Could it be?