I want to cry because life is so lovely and lonely all at once.
And I’m actually not sure if my heart can handle it.
I forgot my 21st birthday. Or at least I tried to. But the people who loved me didn’t. They sprinkled me with kind words like confetti and wrapped me in their warm presence (even better than actual presents).
I realized on my birthday that I want to live every day like that—like I’m 21 and loved.
Because when you live loved, there isn’t a room for fear to check into. The fear that keeps me in the dark—questioning, wondering, worrying, doubting, crying.
Love is light. And when you live in light, you can see everything and everyone—including yourself—more clearly.
I shiver in the shadows some days, though. Those days I am 21 and lonely.
It can be haunting living in a house where three out of five girls have boyfriends. Even after over two years of being single, it hurts to be alone. I miss that fairytale feeling and long for someone to love.
But I bought a cardigan the other day.
It’s long, dark gray, and knit out of a heavy wool that completely covers me in warmth. When I put on that cardigan, I honest-to-goodness looked in the mirror and thought, Who needs a boyfriend when you have a cardigan like this one?
Most days I’m confident with God’s reasoning for keeping me single. I think a part of it is because there are other things I need to love. But perhaps, more importantly, he knows there is even more love I need to learn to accept.
To accept love from myself. And I’m slowly learning there is no shame in that. Loving yourself is not selfish, it’s actually more of a favor to the people around you.
To accept love from others. Love is a gift, wouldn’t it be kinda rude not to open it?
Last but not least, to accept love from my heavenly Father. To remember he loves me regardless if I love myself. He loves me like a pen on paper with ever-flowing ink. He never gets tired or bored of writing my story.
God is my cardigan. He is the love that covers me and warms my heart no matter the weather. During the snowfall of singleness or the warm breezes of being with someone, He is the love I will never take off.
So starting at 21, I’m not really single; I think I’m in love.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” 1 John 4:16