One afternoon I was browsing Facebook and reading all my friends’ statuses. My jaw dropped open when I came upon this one:
“Married at 6 weeks past my 22nd birthday, a mom in the same year, followed by a small fixer-upper house which still sucks a ton of cash and time in the early years of our marriage, another child, down to one car — this life is not easy, yet I have lived my life to its fullest. I have made the best out of every situation I’ve been in. I have laid down my life a thousand times and will do it a thousand more because I’m not a saint yet. I have known what it feels like to be imprisoned in my own home and my own body.
If you’re single, and you have a car, and some spare cash, let me be frank: Shut up. If you’re going to whine about “loneliness,” walk yourself to time-out to sulk until you’ve humbled yourself to servitude. There’s no way you can be lonely when you’re giving it all. The pain you feel? That’s your heart muscle trying to expand in love. Never stop growing in love. Accept every offer to grow in love that comes your way in whatever form God is giving you. In order to give it all, you have to be open to the love of God. Your feelings don’t dictate your choices. Your will does.”
This post from a good friend of mine really made me think. Yes, sometimes I have this fairytale view of what marriage is like. I think I’ll never be lonely. I will always have someone to love. I won’t be hard.
Sounds like I needed a reality check. Reading this post helped me to gain perspective.
Whatever state you are in — married, single, religious vocation or still trying to figure it out — each way of life has its own crosses, they just appear in different ways. But no matter what our vocation, we are all called to love. We are all called to give.
Recently I read a reflection by Father Lorenzo Scupoli about seeking virtue. He said, “for peace does not dwell in self-indulgent hearts.”
Isn’t that true? Don’t we know that deep down? For example, how many times do I procrastinate on the things I need to do and instead of getting it done I take a nap or watch a movie? Do I feel less stressed afterward? Of course not! Now I have the same mountain of tasks, but less time to get them done.
Then there are the times when I have an entire afternoon open with whatever I want to do, until my mom calls and asks if I can help out at the food pantry. I’m so annoyed, but do it anyway. I give of myself for that whole afternoon and afterward I have this sense of fulfillment.
This Easter season make time for yourself and make time for prayer, but also think of ways to joyfully give of your time and talents. Our hearts are wired to give. Volunteer at your parish, make a special dessert for a neighbor, offer a holy hour for your married friends.
As my friend said, if you heart is hurting from loneliness, remember that it is urging you to love. All of us have that calling. God wrote it on our hearts.
Check out Catherine Perry’s reflection “Us. Vs. Them: Singletons & Smug Marrieds“