Is singleness a tragedy?

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I finally got the courage to approve the comment.  It was written in response to a post I published some time ago about feeling left behind in the marriage department. The reader incorrectly interpreted that I was making light of my struggle, and wrote, “Please don’t refer to heartfelt sadness as a ‘pity party.’ To leave this earth without marriage and family is a tragedy for too many people.”

While she missed the overall intention of the post, which was to celebrate how God helped me focus on the blessings in my life, what continued to gnaw at me was her statement that being single is a tragedy.

If what she wrote is true, then nearly half of the adult population in the United States [1] are living  tragic lives.

To put it more bluntly, it means my life is a tragedy! Continue reading “Is singleness a tragedy?”

God is Good . . . some of the time?

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I stood wearily outside the mortuary, listening to the elderly woman share about her husband’s recent passing.

“We were on our way to visit family. He just got into the car, closed his eyes and he was gone!” She went on to describe how it was such a blessing that he went so fast and painlessly, exclaiming, “God is so good!”

My father had passed away just two days before her husband, and his death was long and drawn-out. All I could say in return was, “it didn’t work out that way for my dad.”

Since that encounter, I’ve been more aware of when people use the phrase, “God is good.” And I’ve noticed that they typically say it when something positive has happened.

God answered a prayer the way they wanted it.

God healed someone.

God provided something they needed.

God made something easier.

Which begs the question: Is God only good when life is good? In other words, is God only good – some of the time? Continue reading “God is Good . . . some of the time?”

Dying Peacefully

Apparently David Bowie did it.  The New York Times reported on January 11, 2016 that the rock icon “died peacefully.”

In fact, I’ve noticed that the phrase “died peacefully” crop ups up frequently in eulogies and obituaries.  “John Doe died peacefully, surrounded by his family.”  So perhaps it shouldn’t have taken me so off-guard when someone leaned in and probed, “Did your dad die peacefully?” 

I stood there dumbstruck, unsure how to answer.   I had just come through a grueling nine days of bedside vigils.  I wasn’t sure what the intent of the question was – did he want to know whether my dad looked serene at the actual moment of death?  Was he grasping to find out if my father’s dying process was comfortable and “easy?”  Was he somehow trying to ease the sting of his own grief by receiving an affirmative answer?

Continue reading “Dying Peacefully”

The Power of Perseverance

“I didn’t think you were coming back,” the fitness instructor said when she saw me coming through the door. I can understand her comment, since after my first attempt in class I had whined about battling head-to-toe muscle aches for days afterwards. But despite feeling like I had been run over with a Mack truck after exercising, something in me said, “don’t quit after one try.”

thGVL9S49HThe morning the class rolled around again, I awoke to my radio playing the song “Stronger,” by Mandisa. The first words to reach my ears were, “The pain ain’t gonna last forever, and things can only get better; Believe me, this is gonna make you stronger.” Obviously she wasn’t singing specifically about my attempt at strengthening my muscles, but I smiled at God and considered it a wink of encouragement to pull on my stretch pants again that night.

My exercise teacher’s response made me think back a few years to my first day at a new job. I was introduced to a tiny but tough-looking woman who was retiring from the position I was filling.   Having been in the job for at least a millennium, she quickly conveyed the not-so-subtle message that no one could possibly fill her shoes – and that she fully expected me to fail miserably. Continue reading “The Power of Perseverance”

Ten Reasons Why You’re Not Reading My Blog

th2YTBS36BIn July 2014 I embarked on a new adventure when I launched this blog, singledevotion. I vowed to give it a year and then reevaluate.  Well, that time is here.

When I began, I had a backlog of ideas and writing passion ready to burst forth onto the computer screen. As I wrote my first posts, it was like opening a floodgate on a dam . . . I was swept up in the euphoria of writing again, and ended up publishing practically every week for the first couple of months. I compared my feelings to that of Eric Liddle, the Olympian who said, “When I run, I feel His pleasure.”   I told one of my friends, “When I write, I feel God’s pleasure.” Friends who read my blog gave me lovely comments of encouragement, which spurred me on to keep writing.

Then reality set in. Readership began tapering off a bit. I also realized that working full-time, caring for an elderly father, and managing my own health challenges meant that I couldn’t sustain a break-neck pace of writing.  I re-grouped and set a more sane approach to my blog schedule in October (see The Tortoise Approach). Continue reading “Ten Reasons Why You’re Not Reading My Blog”