A book recommendation for you, Dear Reader.
A few years ago, a college friend of mine introduced me to the blog The Sexy Celibate, written by a musician named Kate Hurley who talks primarily about relationships and being a single Christian in her early thirties. I’ve loved reading her posts about her struggles and all the things she’s learned – it’s hard to be vulnerable about painful areas in your life, and Kate always speaks of things so articulately. Some of my favorite posts on the site talk about beauty and being unintentionally overlooked by the church.
Because I follow her blog, I knew she had written a book and was in the process of publication. She’s been doing promotions and giving away copies, and I’ve been wanting to read it but hadn’t gotten around to ordering a copy yet. Then on Friday I was nosing around NoiseTrade Books (a site that gives away free book downloads on a pay- what-you-can model) and found that she’s offering her book as a free PDF – which I immediately downloaded and spent Friday night reading.
Her book is Getting Naked Later: Making Sense of the Unexpected Single Life and if you’re identifying with any if the stuff I write about, I highly recommend reading it. It’s part memoir, part advice, and touches on everything from the frustration of not having a family to how her favorite Biblical characters dealt with similar situations. Here’s one of my favorite passages, in “The Rant Chapter,” not long after she makes the bold proclamation that being single sucks, and why, according to her, even though it might make her sound unspiritual, she still needs to say it:
Maybe it is that while doing research for this book, I found countless articles with titles like “Marriage Does Not Solve Your Problems,” or “How to Stop Postponing Your Life,” but none called something like, “Why Singleness Sucks.”
Take this quote, for example, from one of the above articles: “Marriage is about finding a comrade, not ultimate contentment. It’s bout finding a helpmate, not a healer.” I read countless sentiments like this in my research. Here’s the thing: I don’t think that I have postponed m life. I have tried to live life fully with the hand I’ve been given. And I am not looking for the ultimate contentment or for a healer. I know that contentment is something that I have to work out between myself and God and that I shouldn’t project it onto another person. I already have a healer, and I realize that. But I am longing for a comrade, a lifelong companion, a helpmate, and it hurts that I don’t have one yet. Is there something wrong with that? Are my feelings not valid?