I had a sweet young friend contact me recently about the pain of being told she was single for insurance purposes.  It was a blunt slap to her face to find after marriage and a child borne from that union that the world now considers her single.  Her words, "My throat got a lump," resonated clear and true.  I well remember the first time I had to answer "Divorced" when asked the question of my martial status.  You could have taken a dagger and plunged it into my heart and it would have been less painful.  It is one thing to know it in your head--it is a totally different thing to speak it out loud.

We ALL seem to depend upon our status in this world filled with status seekers. When we loose part of our status--through whatever means--we have to go back to square one and try to figure out just whom we are again.  After years of being a couple, you are forced to live with the amputation of what once made you whole-another person.  The division of the body of two-leaves one with holes in your identity and the altered status of how the world looks at you.  

 There is a caste systems among status---and single seems to be the lower in the world filled with joints.  Look around you and see how even the business world puts added burdens on single.  The tax code and social security laws are written to reward those that are joint.  Take a trip---the rooms are booked double occupancy.  Go and eat alone and see where they seat you.  Insurance rates are higher if you are single.  The list goes on and on. 

Tax rateSingle filersMarried filing jointly or qualifying widow/widowerMarried filing separatelyHead of household
10%Up to $8,700Up to $17,400Up to $8,700Up to $12,400
15%$8,701 - $35,350$17,401 - $70,700$8,701- $35,350$12,401 - $47,350
25%$35,351 - $85,650$70,701 - $142,700$35,351 - $71,350$47,351 - $122,300
28%$85,651 - $178,650$142,701 - $217,450$71,351 - $108,725$122,301 - $198,050
33%$178,651 - $388,350$217,451 - $388,350$108,726 - $194,175$198,051 - $388,350
35%$388,351 or more$388,351 or more$194,176 or more$388,351 or more

I am re-reading a WONDERFUL book--an allegory--Hinds Feet On High Places--that I read years ago.  I am so thankful that a friend reminded me of it and caused me to search it out---after reading the forward I KNEW that God was using her to point the book out to me.  It is a beautiful lyrical tale of "Much Afraid" who is from the Valley of Humiliation and a member of the Family of Fearings.  Told in similar fashion as the genius of C.S. Lewis and John Bunyon-Hannah Hurnard weaves a beautiful tale that reminded me of my true status:

I am not single-
I am HIS Beloved.

As I finished One Thousand Gifts recently, I marveled at Ann Voskamp's description of the sweetness of the intimacy of spiritual flesh to spiritual flesh.  There could be nothing more sensual.

Today I count it as joy to be called "His Beloved"

"How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride!"
Song of Songs 4:10

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