I’m an expert single. Loving myself, investing in myself, treating myself, talking to myself, consoling myself, stressing out…myself – all that single and sometimes semi-dysfunctional stuff I’ve got down to the tee. So much so that if you need a little guidance, sis, I’ve got you! But to talk about this business of being “whole”, well, that’s a whole other thing.
You see, some of us assume that we are whole because we’re holding our own. Sure, we may be handling our business, so to speak, but does that make us whole? Truly? Does independence, stability, even high self-esteem make one whole? I used to think so. That is, until Yahweh showed me otherwise.
Before my journey began, I thought being whole meant that I was content with my life – my accomplishments, my attributes, my travels, my job….you know, all that ‘adulting’ stuff. Couple all that with a good relationship with Yahweh and a decent set of morals, and hey, I was good….like, really good.
But truth be told, I may have been “good”, but I wasn’t whole.
Like many of you out there living your “best life”, there were parts of me that weren’t whole. In my own way, I was broken. Not broken in the sense that I had a traumatic experience as a child, or experienced deep betrayal or hurt that scarred me emotionally, physically or spiritually. I was broken in the sense that the intricate parts of me, those parts buried deep down inside of me that defined who I was and who I wanted to be were fragmented.
Last year began with Yahweh stretching me in ways that I had never been stretched before. It wasn’t until resistance was being added to multiple areas of my life simultaneously that I realized I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was. I was in a new season, and for some strange reason, I felt completely unprepared. Bear in mind, up until this point, I thought I was good. Whole. But as the days and weeks and months rolled along, I quickly noticed that I was not whole at all.
You see, I’m pretty guarded. Don’t mind my wit and one-hour long WhatsApp voice-notes; when it comes to my heart and all its sappy emotions- those parts that can potentially leave me vulnerable if exposed, well, I pretty much keep them under lock and key. Well, I did anyway. True, I am one of the best shoulders to lean on around town for a friend in need, but still, I had always managed to keep my turquoise and bedazzled emotional wall fully in tact.
It was hard to maintain this wall amidst the stretch, believe you me. I swear I tried, but right out of the gate, Yahweh started throwing curve balls my way. He began raising up existing friends and sending new people into my life who saw facets of me that I was incapable of seeing. He used them to break down my defenses and force me to come face to face with my issues. I realized I had some insecurities that prevented me from finding the middle ground between opening up and giving too much of myself away. That led to the appearance of my seeming unstable to those who knew me more intimately.
I also had dreams and ideals and goals, and was successful in so many areas of my life yet, this season of stretch began to teach me that I lacked discipline in other areas. I also had deep-rooted, unrealized fears; fear of heartbreak, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of lack – all these fears that over time created such relationship, success and money complexes in my life that it took a few heaven-sent individuals at just the right time and a few unexpected situations to stretch my faith in those very areas in order to free me of those mental ties.
My season of stretch is nowhere near complete; in fact, I have a feeling that Yahweh’s just getting warmed up. You see, being a whole person doesn’t mean that you are going to know it all or have it all together; it’s your being mature and wise enough to realize your areas of weakness or insecurity or frustration or dissatisfaction in your life, and stand on your faith to face your issues.
To endure my stretch, He has equipped me with love, faith, strength, forgiveness, peace and patience, and over this past year, Yahweh has truly began to heal the parts of me that unbeknownst to me, were broken. He toughened me up from the inside. I’m no longer driven by opinions or others’ ideals because I know who I am and whom I serve. Stretching caused me a few relationships; some temporarily and some perhaps permanently, but nonetheless, if there’s one thing that I have learnt and am convicted of, is that there is no path to true happiness and fulfillment that is separate and apart from the will of Yahweh. There were times when I fought what He requested of me, and it brought me nothing but sleepless nights and an unstable state of mind. That moment when I decided to yield, and allow Him to stretch my faith by tossing me into unfamiliar waters, was the moment that changed my life.
He completely shuffled the broken pieces of me that I had been concealing ever so perfectly for most of my life, and He then fastened them together with His perfect peace and gave me new-found purpose. I am now whole because I have delved into those deep, dark parts of me that concealed my issues. I am whole because I have taken full control of my life, and am no longer making excuses for my areas of weakness, but rather, I’m drawing on strength from the circle of strong men and women of faith that He has placed within my life, to help push me along this journey.
I must warn you that this journey to becoming whole can be extremely lonely at times. There’s nothing glorious about being emotionally stripped; forced to face parts of yourself that do not fit the image you’ve worked so hard to build and maintain. There will be many who will not understand your process, even those closest to you. Yahweh may require that you step into unfamiliar places, or step away from comfortable situations in order to align you with His will for your life. You may not like it; you may downright hate it. I hated it many days. I walked away from people and places that I remained attached to out of fear and dysfunctional complexes, but allowing Yahweh to strip me and stretch me was the best decision that I have ever made. For me, being whole means that so long as Yahweh is before me, it doesn’t matter what issues lie behind me.
So, let’s tie this all in with living single, shall we. This dive below your surface to find yourself in Yahweh is a life-changing one; chances are, you won’t emerge the same person you were before. I am forever grateful that Yahweh loved me enough to force me to work on myself in my single season. When you know who you are, what your passions are, what your convictions are and fully realize exactly how precious and valuable you are as a human being and a child of the Most High….when you’re WHOLE, that’s when you’re truly ready to enter into covenant with another person.
Yahweh meant for us to use our single season to strengthen our relationship with Him, and fully discover our identity, worth and purpose through Him. I don’t know about you, but I intend to deal with all my issues before I say “I do.” And in turn, I’m praying that my future husband is out there somewhere also allowing Yahweh to mend all his broken parts, and mold him into a WHOLE man of Yah, anointed to lead his wife and his family. True, marriage is not the end game for all singles. For some, marriage comes later than others, perhaps not at all, but that is even more reason to embark upon this journey to becoming whole.
Being whole is certainly not a prerequisite for living, for unfortunately, so many singles as well as married folk wonder aimlessly through life unaware of the breakthrough and transformation that await them should they choose to be stretched; however, I assure you that after having taken the steps to become a WHOLE woman, I have never felt more free and alive. I know who I am, and I’m choosing to put in the work, now, while I’m “young and free” as they say. I admonish you to do the same. You will not regret it.
A travel enthusiast, lover of all things art, design and HGTV, an aspiring financial coach and above all, a daughter of the King, AnaYah, age 28, is faith-filled and in love with life. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and an MBA from Lynn University in sunny Boca Raton, Florida. She has also earned a Diploma in International Trust Management from CLT International and is a Trust & Estates professional at one of the world’s leading asset management and private banking firms. Although she may be a banker by profession, she is a creative at heart, and is thoroughly enjoying the process of learning to embrace all aspects of her unique design.