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This Clumsy Heart

My journey as a single woman in church has always been complicated. As a teenager, I was taught to wait for true love -- but the focus was on the waiting, not the true love.

As a college student, I was taught the rules of waiting -- specifically, both feet on the ground when a boy was in your dorm room, and an overhead light on (none of this dim lamp nonsense). Only, there were no boys coming to my dorm room.

In my 20s, the single women around me prayed for their husbands with passion and fervor. Those prayers caught in my throat, and I berated myself for my lack of faith. I eventually stopped praying those prayers for myself, but found deep hope that dear friends prayed them for me.

By the time I got to my 30s, the church stopped knowing what to do with me. I felt vaguely broken. Most of my friends were married, but when I asked if I could join a "young marrieds" group because those people were my peers, I was told no, because I might "make the wives uncomfortable."

I am intensely aware of the fact that I was a whole person before I got married. And while my path through singleness has made me the wife I am today, being a wife was never the focus. I traveled, I bought a house, I went to grad school, I wrote a memoir, all while I was single. Not so I would be a good wife one day, but so I would be a good PERSON some day. Who also happens to be a good wife.

I thought of all of this as I was trying to think of a name for this blog. I started by googling for quotes about love and finding love, and I felt my stomach knot up when I saw all of the quotes about "you don't find love, it finds you," or "once yous top looking for what you want, you find what you need."

Those were the messages I had been fed my whole life. And they all made me feel broken. Like I was doing something wrong. Even now as I type them out I can literally feel my chest tighten with that old, crippling fear.

So when I stumbled upon this poem, by the poet Atticus, I felt that pressure lift off my my chest.

Let us embrace these clumsy hearts of ours. Embrace the mystery, the beauty and the journey.

Embrace the dance. Even when you don't know where your feet should go.

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