I know what you must be thinking (I used to think it, too). “Oh, how sad to be single while sick!”
Lyme coupled with singleness certainly sounds like a recipe for lonely nights. I used to assume that to be in love while sick would somehow soften the blow of the illness. I reasoned that it would be better to be comforted in the arms of love than to cry alone. I thought the life of Lyme would be better endured in love.
I don’t believe that anymore because I have come to understand that singleness in illness is not a curse. It can actually be a blessing and here’s why…
1. Enduring illness alone creates resilience, perseverance and character. This is Romans 5:3-4 in action. “Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Gathering the spiritual fruits offered on the road marked by suffering is a decision made individually. This is good news for the single! To gain perseverance, character and hope does not require a boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife. It requires walking the road of suffering with Christ!
2. Illness is stressful. Wait, maybe I put that too simply. Illness is gut-wrenching. It is heart-breaking. It will take you to the end of yourself and than take you even further. It will lead you to the edge of self-destruction. Sickness will cause you to think thoughts of death you never imagined your mind could produce. Now, try coupling that with a marriage or a relationship. Is it possible to have a lasting marriage or relationship in spite of chronic illness? Yes. Is it easy? Not a chance. For those of us who enter into illness as singles and find that we are lonely, remember that it would not necessarily be easier to be married. Being married and ill would be its own unique challenge.
3. Finally, being sick and ill is an opportunity to grow closer to God. There is more time to devote to studying His Word and more quiet time for prayer. By diving into God’s truth and His promises instead of pining for human contact and companionship the spirit is actually strengthened by the purest and only eternal love.
For those who find themselves chronically sick and chronically single I encourage you to rethink the state of your relationship status so that you can see the blessings to be had in your single Lyme life.