Living alone. Dying alone. Being alone for the rest of your life. Never getting married. Marrying the wrong person. Marrying someone and being unhappy. Never having kids. Never having enough money. Never taking a risk. Being left out. Hating your job. Losing everything. Losing your parents. Walking alone to your car in a parking garage after dinner out with friends. Traveling alone.
There’s a loneliness that comes with singleness and having to deal with your fears by yourself. Married folks can roll over in the darkness and talk things out with their spouse. They can encourage each other, hold each other tight, and be assured with rational words that everything is going to be okay. Singles, on the other hand, have to call a friend—and who wants to wake up their best friend at 3 in the morning to tell him/her that you’re having a Dark Night of the Soul? Not very many of us.
So what’s the best way to handle fear when you’re single? Like, when you’re nervously driving home late and no one is calling and checking on you to make sure you made it in the house okay? Or when you know you need to get over yourself and your apprehension and just do something?
SingleRoots Writers Say…
For wise counsel, we asked some of our SingleRoots alumni writers to weigh in on the matter. Here’s what they had to say:
“You are stronger than you know. There were three dead mice in my basement last month, and I am still living in this house. I mean… THREE. DEAD. MICE. (Jury is out on whether they were blind.) Would it have been nice to have a husband around to fetch the dead rodents and reset the traps? Yes. But, after a good scream, I called the pest control company and made them do it. And I’m still living here and sleeping just fine at night. Who knew I had it in me? Learning I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. And so are you.”
:: Ruth Rutherford, author of Hopelessly Devoted?
“The temptation to sit and stew and never vocalize our fears is great, but it’s not healthy. I have a couple of good friends who I share my deep, dark fears with. They know I’m prone to worry in certain areas, and they are calming voices in my life. I check in with them often and discuss anything I need to get out of my head. It is so important to speak our fears out loud. Not because speaking them is magical or anything, but when I say them, it helps me to get perspective; when I keep them rolling around in my brain, the enemy tends to make them bigger than they really are. And since I don’t have a husband who knows me deeply, I tell them to my closest friends and they, in turn, speak Truth over me. It’s usually Truth I already know, but it is so powerful to hear it from others.”
:: Liesl Bennett, author of Never Been Kissed…or in Love
“So this might not be the kind of fear you’re talking about—the fears I struggle with aren’t the ones where I’m scared of something in my house. (Unless it’s a snake and then this grown man has been known to scream like a baby.) The fear I most deal with is the fear that I’m going to get it wrong. And by ‘it’ I mean everything related to life choices, especially marriage. It’s irrational and it cause me to overthink things way too much. Those fears make me forget about grace and how God can redeem the well-meaning but bad decisions I make. I keep a stack of verses on notecards beside my bed. For me, it’s most often at night when I’m trying to sleep that these fearful thoughts fill my head, so I roll over, turn on the light, and replace those thoughts with the Truth.”
:: John, author of Single Men in the Church [Part 4]: Absent without Leave
Explore the Topic Further…
For further discussion on fear and how to handle it, check out these posts:
Are You Listening to Your Fear or to God? “You know, I just always assumed that I would have a husband by now to protect me and keep me safe, or at least to hold me while the police searched the house with guns. Why did I have to be going through this alone? Sometimes the fear would paralyze me.”
Leave the Airplane or Live in Fear – “Scripture holds so many promises of God’s presence, but as I think about standing on the edge of a plane door, I’m reminded of how Joshua rallied the Israelites as they left to conquer the Promise Land: ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ (Joshua 1:9)”
The Fear of the Next Step – “But the thing is: God has now removed every possible obstacle from my path that was preventing me from actually going. I could not be more relieved. And I could not be more terrified. Because now, I can actually go. It’s no longer a dream for me, it can be a reality. So all of those times I talked about what I would do one day? One day is here.”
But What If I End Up Dying Alone? – “I realize that even if the Lord blesses me with a husband and children someday, I will never be assured that I will not die alone. I don’t know which of the little old ladies I will become eventually, but I can’t let my fear overtake me. I can be assured, though, that that my God will always be there to comfort and provide for me.”