I’m very excited to introduce you to Brett Wilson! I met Brett online during my book launch. She writes a wonderful blog, The Prodigal Sister. Brett writes truth while bringing hope and encouragement to young adults. She is honest about the ups and downs of singleness.
One of my goals is to bring other writers into this space to talk about singleness. So, I’m thrilled to share Brett’s guest post with you today!
Trust & Singleness by Brett Wilson
“I’m so sorry!” one of my girlfriends said, swooping into one of my favorite downtown coffee shops. Even before she ordered coffee she was frazzled to the state of over-caffeination. I watched as she swept her blonde hair across her shoulder, plunked her overstuffed bag on the floor beside her and sat down with a little huff. She was almost 20 minutes late.
“I wasn’t sure that this was actually happening.”
I took a short sip of dark roast coffee and clinked my white porcelain cup back into its saucer feeling a little perplexed. She wasn’t sure this was actually happening? Hadn’t we just confirmed the time where we were meeting just a few hours before?
Not that I could ever condemn a girlfriend for running behind. (I would have to get the major plank out of my eye in order to ever say anything about the splinter in hers. Catch my drift?)
But still, the thought that she was second-guessing our plans left me a little miffed: had I communicated poorly? Did I neglect to send a “just checking in” text after all?
She shrugged her shoulders and gave a wistful tilt to her head. “I guess I’m just not used to trusting that people really mean what they say,” she said.
Ah. Now we were getting to the heart of the matter: trust. It seemed my friend had been so long-conditioned by plans with people as flaky as pie crusts that her default mode became doubt.
The older we get, the more guarded we become. Our “hope sos” evolve into “probably nots.” And the cycle spurs on, and we all kick dust and grime up along the way. We carry it with us wherever we go, like Pig Pen in those Charlie Brown cartoon specials.
But what happens when, in the midst of navigating these doubts, our dating relationships come into play?
Like my friend, I had been conditioned to doubt others, too. There was a season of my life where for nine wild, unruly months, I dated a man who’s words never once matched his actions. He was a “good Christian boy” who had a scriptural answer for all of his emotionally and physically abusive actions against me.
“You aren’t being pure when you dress that way,” he’d say. “How can I expect you to be a good woman if you’re making friends with other men?”
When that relationship ended, I adopted an extreme version “guard your heart” mentality. To be honest, I had blockaded my heart all together; and what’s more I was determined never to let anyone else in, romantic relationship or not.
Here’s the thing, though: if we constantly expect everyone in our lives to betray us or let us down at one point or another, we’ll be right. We live in a flawed world. We miss our marks. We run late to coffee dates, we hurt feelings, we speak out of turn.
This is what it is to be a human on the carousel of refinement, after all.
But if we constantly try to enter these relationships within the folds of cynicism, already expecting them to fail or disappoint us before they even begin, we’re missing out on sharing the love of Christ with one another.
If we’re too busy shutting away and boarding up our lives from fear of getting hurt, we won’t have any time to love our neighbors. But if we begin to walk the narrow terrain that allows us to forgive those who have hurt us, maybe we’ll begin to find those friendships and relationships that are messy, but worth it.
And maybe we’ll discover people who are willing to wait for us in coffee shops along the way.
Thank you, Brett, for sharing your words with us!