By Tausha Wallace
I had to do a heart check before I cuddled up in my spot with my hot tea to write this. I was at Walmart, and a sweet woman asked me about my kids—no ring on my finger and not a child in sight. This happened yesterday- sigh. I’m far from worthy to write about singleness and waiting, so with that disclaimer, here I am.
I’m Tausha, maker and owner of Southern Bliss Designs. I’m 31, nearing 32 and a happy 5-year-old puppy momma. I do not own a house; I rent. Things have not exactly gone as I had planned, but things are definitely sweet.
I think we all joked about 2016 being the worst year ever, and I can certainly say it was. My last relationship ended April 5, 2016, so I have been single for about a year. For the sake of confidentiality, we will call my ex Blake. I feel that sharing my story with you is very important because I want you to know where I’m coming from as a thirty-something. I know your longing, and I know your hurt.
Blake and I met in 2014, and we really hit it off. I was just back from overseas- teaching and building relationships for the sake of the Gospel, so meeting someone was last on my mind. Blake and I saw one another often, and we built a friendship. I was drawn to his humor and the way he carried himself around others, which impressed me. Blake was about 9 years older than I and divorced with two kids. He seemed like such a family man. Blake was also fond of my love for Jesus, which made my heart beat a LOT—a man who sees Jesus in me and loves that. That’s what I’m waiting for (after all, it had been five years since my last relationship).
Over a year later, Blake came with me to West Virginia to visit and meet my family, and this is where Blake decided to ask my dad for his blessing. I completely wept when I found out (my family can’t keep a secret), and I was ecstatic. After 30 years of waiting for my husband, he’s here. Mom and Dad were thrilled, so we immediately started planning, and with that I said “yes” to the most beautiful dress. We were all set.
Please know as you continue to read this, that there were very real emotions and dreams becoming a reality. I praised Jesus for giving me the husband I was waiting for. After several events, on April 5, 2016, when I was at work, I received a call from a woman. This woman claimed to be the wife of Blake. And she was, very, very much his wife.
I can remember going to my apartment to clear everything that came from him and feeling like I was going to be sick. I can remember staying with friends for over a month because I couldn’t handle reality. I can remember turning on the song How He Loves and holding my wedding dress and weeping and crying out to the Lord.
The process of grieving is weird and strange, but I think it’s God’s goodness to give us a process. I think of the toddler who is kicking and screaming in the store wanting a stuffed animal dog, and the parent has to carry the child outside. All the while, the child has no idea a real puppy with a bow on it is waiting at home.
During the grieving process, I learned lettering with a friend. I cherished the community I had with her in opening myself to create and focus on what I was making. About a month in, someone offered to pay for a print—I was so moved! Being in wedding debt, I couldn’t refuse. And that one print turned into many, many more. What all was ashes, God was in the midst of planting a garden of surprises, which came to full life.
So, where am I a year later? Listen, friend, I am still grieving. When couples get together, I have to fight my bitterness. When wives instantly connect with wives or moms connect with moms, I have to fight the longing. That longing, and also fear of being vulnerable again, will never go away while I’m on this earth. BUT, God is so gracious to me, to have rescued me, and I have found renewal in being who I am in Christ. THAT is why I can say I am the most content I have ever been.
Here are a few things that I have learned and am learning:
- Singleness is not about being content—life is. I giggle as I write this—just because you are single does not mean you need a message on contentment. What about the longing wife who wants to have children? Or the longing hard-working assistant who wants to move up in the company? Or the Vice President who just wants to retire? I’m sure when Paul was stuck in prison, he didn’t want to be there. But he SANG because he found CONTENTMENT WHERE HE WAS. We will all struggle with contentment until we are where we actually belong—in the arms of Jesus. Until then, He sees you where you are. He knows your longing. Sing!
- Dating that man or woman because you long for marriage is not worth it. I can feel you cringing a little at this one. Hear me out: I had a first dance, a dress, and the most beautiful venue—I have tasted the realness of getting married. Here’s the beautiful part: He was not the man God had for me. Can you imagine what it will be like if I do marry one day? Waiting is no longer a pain to me! Why? Because God rescued me, and I know my amazing Father has a plan for me- husband or not- and there is nothing, absolutely nothing that can stop His hand! So, dating that man or woman just because you want to be married is only feeding your loneliness when you could be thriving in your singleness—that is worth it!
- Be angry (or sad, down-in-the-dumps, frustrated, irritated, confused), but do not sin. When I sought Christian counseling after everything happened, I was relieved to have this permission from Scripture. My counselor explained that grief is like a wave- we have to ride it, or it will crash on us. Meaning, feel those super uncomfortable emotions that come with your longing, but do not sin. Talk to your community. Ride the wave. But the wave does end, and that is when it’s time to get back up and enjoy the life God has given you.
So, dear friend who is waiting, you aren’t the only one. Singleness is a gift (I used to barf when I heard that), and marriage is a gift. And when you’re longing so much that it hurts, remember that the joy of the Lord is your strength. You, as a single, bring something to the table because Daddy said so. Take a deep breath of fresh air, and know that no matter your status or demographic, you were made to be alive in Jesus. Thrive where you are. Despite my past, I know I am thriving in Jesus.
“Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.”
PS: Next month, I hit the road to Nashville—yes, on the month of the anniversary. There will be a booth at the Country Living Fair for Southern Bliss Designs. In fact, I’ll be hosting a workshop all sponsored by Joann Fabrics. I went from selling a wedding dress to building a business with a gift I never knew I had. In fact, I chose the name Southern Bliss Designs because bliss means “perfect happiness; great joy.” This is my story, and I know yours will be beautiful too.
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