Wednesday 26 October 2022

#NetGalley #bookreview: Single Just Because: A Pilgrimage into Holy Aloneness | Bridget Gee

Single, Just Because: A Pilgrimage Into Holy AlonenessSingle, Just Because: A Pilgrimage Into Holy Aloneness by Bridget Gee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Most Christian books on being single end up talking about how to be married. Or you find out at the end of it that the author, while writing about being single, is actually married...or about to be. Which, I mean, isn't their fault, but it kind of leaves you feeling a little let down because...reasons.

Bridget Gee is still blessedly single at the end of this book. And in her thirties. Which makes this book very relatable, like we're all in this together! It's the story of Gee's life, the ups and downs of being single, and how the church fails the singles in their community. Which is great to read, but at the same time...not very useful. Maybe because it seems to meander a little halfway through. Yes, each chapter ends with a Pilgrimage Moment, a call to action to pause, reflect, pray. But getting to the end also leaves you with a big fat "So?"

Maybe I'm just expecting too much. But I'm also reading this after a camp for Christians in their 30s to 40s, where the session on "relationships" was still very much about how to find a spouse, rather than...what should you do/expect if you find yourself still single at this stage of life? (Bearing in mind that probably 90% of the campers were singles.) Should you start building your life on the expectation of remaining single? Or do you keep waiting and hoping to get married? It does emphasise Gee's point that the church is failing to see the bigger picture - and thus failing the singles in their community - by buying into the world's "sense of entitlement to marriage [that] turns singleness into a problem, a curse, or a burden." I think I just need something more concrete than what Gee is offering in this book.

She does point out the truth that:
...the journey of singleness leads deeper into God's presence, or what I like to call "holy aloneness" - the place where you are wholly known, wholly seen, and wholly loved by your Creator. That's the place we all belong.

affirms that:
It's okay to want something you don't know you will ever have.

and also acknowledges that:
At the core of our discomfort in being physically or relationally alone, we long for this affirmation. That we are whole, no matter what we're offering, no matter our limitations. We need to experience the freedom of simply existing, to not produce or strive or hustle for a bit. To be gentle with ourselves and treat ourselves with kindness.

In a world that centres romantic/sexual relationships above all else, Gee invites Christian singles to press into learning how to be alone with God. It may not offer practical life skills but is thought-provoking in how it offers suggestions on how to deal with your expectations and spiritual life.

Note: I received a digital ARC of this book from InterVarsity Press via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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