There was nothing like waking up on a Saturday morning hearing my mother playing her collection of LPs, and one of my favorites was Pattie Labelle. Miss Pattie has a voice like no other, and to hear her belt out the lyrics to, On My Own, with Michael McDonald accompanying her was absolutely amazing. However, it was the words that struck me the most, “Losing you it cut like a knife, hey. You walked out and there went my life. I don’t want to live without you, on my own.” Even as a child, hearing those words made me fear a breakup. I did not want to face life on my own.
Due to many circumstance in my life, including times of just feeling unloved, I felt I had to always have companionship of the opposite sex. It led to many wrong behaviors, as well as some horrible relationships that I am still recovering from, even at the age of forty-four. I did not know how to be on my own. Every relationship left me with a fear of being alone and the hurt that would follow my loneliness.
I would do just about anything to stay in relationship and even my marriages. From enduring infidelity to physical and mental abuse, the fear of facing the unknown of being alone paralyzed me and corrupted my judgement.
I learned the hard way that the spirit of loneliness will make you do some crazy things, endure some horrible things, and if you are not careful, it can take some things away. That’s where I found myself by the middle of my 10 year marriage to my second husband. I was enduring for the fear of being alone and starting over.
Even after I was ordained a minister, I still stayed and hid behind the premise of, God hates divorce. While true, God was also revealing to me the real person I married, and at the same time He was building me to stand on my own.
I pray that you do not misinterpret this to believe I am an advocate of divorce because I believe that when it is ordained by God, divorce will never be spoken. I got myself stuck because I did not want to, nor know how to be on my own.
Going through the process with my ex-husband was a rough one, and I can remember praying and being completely and totally honest with God and asking him to remove that desire to always have to be in a relationship. I told God, I do not want to be needy. I want to learn how to live on my own. In asking, I asked the Father to not kill my desires but to redirect them until the appropriate time he deems for me to marry again if that be His Will.
In those moments with God, the Holy Spirit reminded me of 1 Corinthians 7:32-35, “32 I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. 33 But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— 34 and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. 35 I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.” (NIV) This is when I realized that God was not punishing me in my loneliness but instead this scripture confirmed that He wanted to redirect my attention to Him and His affairs.
In this season, while on my own, I have been focused on the affairs of the Father and I have found myself doing some amazing things. What went from something as simple as providing a few lunches to a homeless couple outside of my job has now turned into my mission to feed thousands and to help put an end to homelessness in my city. The Sanctuary Ministries has allowed me to utilize my gift of writing and I’m pouring out my inner most thoughts in weekly blogs that are a blessing to others as well as me. I am opening up and sharing my story of sexual, physical, mental, and domestic abuse and advocating for those affected by the same issues. I am loving God and He is using this time to mold me, restore me, and heal me so that I can raise my son and daughters with an understanding that they do not ever have to fear being on their own.
We have a loving God that never leaves us by ourselves. He knows and understands that loneliness is a real thing but we have to open up and share with Him exactly how it makes us feel. He can then turn around and teach us how to recognize that our season of being on our own is a gift and it provides us with undivided devotion with Him.
I am so grateful to be on my own. I no longer face this season with fear but with the expectation of favor. This time with God has been life changing and I have broken the cycle of needing to be in a relationship. I am On My Own! I can’t sing it like Patti LaBelle can, but now my new favorite of hers is, New Attitude!
Meet the Contributor
Deborah Woolard is a single mother of three from Raleigh, NC and she currently resides in Charlotte, NC. She is an ordained & licensed minister and she serves as the Youth Director at R5 Church. Her love for writing, especially poetry is one of the many ways God allows her to use her gifts for His glory. Her poetry can be viewed at https://m.facebook.com/gracefullydsignedbydeborah/.