Well we've reached the end of the book! Chapter 7 is called Happily Ever After - isn't that what's supposed to happen in fairytales? But can it happen in real life?
In this chapter I think about what our 'ever after' life with God might look like if we're single. Is God 'enough'? Is he 'all that we need'? There are lots of worship songs which seem to contain that sort of sentiment - that God is all that we need. I don't want to sing or say something that I haven't thought about, or am not sure if I really mean, so I've spent some time pondering this. I know that at one level, of course God is all I need - he is everything to me. And yet at the same time, there are those moments of loneliness, those times when you just want someone else to be there, to share in an experience with you, to offer a word of comfort, to give you a hug. In those moments, is God still all that I need? And what will that actually, really, practically look like?
In this chapter I list some of the things which are fantastic about being single, and some of the things which are difficult. The lists are based on conversations with a number of single friends.
I've ended the chapter, and the book, by sharing some of my story. I didn't intend to do this! When I began writing the book, I didn't think that I would end up being as open as I have been. As I went along, though, it just felt right. There has been so much happening in my life in this area over the past few years, and it felt right to share that. I really hope it's helpful. There's a balance between being open and honest, and over sharing! I know that sometimes I've read books where I've wanted to know a bit more of the author's own story, and struggles, and journey. Equally though there have been times where what they've shared hasn't been helpful, because it's left me feeling inadequate, or disappointed in some way.
I believe that God has spoken to me quite specifically about singleness over the past few years, and my journey is one that's unique. Your journey is unique too. I haven't shared my story because I think that others should do the same, but rather because I want to encourage everyone to know that God is interested in their story, that he does speak, and will speak, and that wherever the journey takes you, he will be there beside you.
One word that already a lot of people have used after reading the book is 'honesty'. In fact they've used it so much that I've begun to wonder whether I'm in danger of giving you all TMI!! But I hope not, and I believe not. I don't think there would have been much point in writing this book and not being honest. In fact I think that there should be a heck of a lot more honesty in our churches - about how we're really feeling, and what we're really thinking and what's really going on for us.
That's all I'm going to tell you about Chapter 7 for now. You'll have to read the book to find out more. And there's to be no cheating and reading the last page first ;-)