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This morning I was inspired during my commute while strategically squashed between the side wall of a train and a group of grumpy passengers. The inspiration didn’t come from the groans as people tried to squeeze their way in or out of the packed train car, nor from the creepy couple in the corner that thought the 8:00 a.m. commute was the time to show their physical affection for one another. The inspiration came from the song playing in my earphones. And this morning DJ Rufa threw down some Rascal Flatts.

For all you country music haters, stay with me. This post isn’t about cowboy boots, chewing tobacco or rodeo clowns. It’s about something we sometimes forget, something equally important to both country music and rock-and-roll fans — home.

All too often we are defined by our marital status. On every government form, we must check the box for either married or single. In church, we’re bombarded by invitations to join groups for couples or those not lucky enough to be in a couple. In our social lives, we’re invited or not invited to various events based upon whether or not we can bring a date. For singles, it’s really hard sometimes to escape the fact that we’re, well, single.

So the dwelling begins. Followed by wondering. Followed by obsession. It’s constantly on our minds. Why am I single? When will I get married? Who will I marry? Will I be single forever? I’ve been guilty of thinking these very things, often very late at night sitting alone in my little apartment with a box of Wheat Thins and a container of cream cheese. (The former food combination is not recommended because of its highly addictive properties. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.)

But then I experience weeks like this past week, where in a span of just seven days I got to spend quality time with not one, not two, but three of the handful of my dearest, oldest friends in the world. You know the type of friends I’m talking about. They’re the ones you can be yourself around, the ones you don’t have to worry about impressing. They’re the ones you’re completely honest with, about struggles and difficulties in both your life and theirs. They’re the ones that are welcome to visit anytime, no matter what.

This week I breathed a sigh of relief.

And guess what I didn’t think about all week? The fact that I’m single. I not only haven’t had a date in a few weeks, but I’ve also not had my eye on anyone special. No new eHarmony matches, no substantial Match.com winks, no cuties in the Starbucks line. But those things didn’t even cross my mind. Because, for these seven days, I had my fill of home.

I had people around me that I trusted, that I loved, who offered the same in return. I sat with Tamara on her living room couch as she fed her baby, and we talked. I had a glass of wine with Christy at a hip Northern Virginia restaurant, and we talked. I stood with Benny as we watched a pink sunset fade over the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, and we talked. And it’s no wonder I felt at home — I’ve known and loved each of these friends for over 15 years.

No matter what society, your church or your social circle tell you, you are not defined by your marital status. You are a human being, who just happens to be single at the moment. You are worth more. Your life means more. And frankly, you’ve got more going on.

You are someone’s daughter, someone’s son. You are a brother, a sister. You are a mother, a father. You are an aunt, an uncle. You are a co-worker, a boss, an assistant. You are a writer, a singer, a lawyer, a nurse, a secretary, a construction worker, a small business owner, an engineer. You are a sports fan, a rhythm-and-blues lover, a craft queen, a foodie. You are a child of God.

This Rascal Flatts song is on repeat as I type this blog post. The lyrics mention a young college student, away from home and missing her family. They mention a soldier in a far off land, reading letters from home and missing his loved ones. And the songwriter in me seems fit to add a third verse, to the single person who sometimes just feels alone.

Fifth floor, she’s up in her dorm
Studying for her midterms
She’s had one of those weeks
Where the world it seems is against her
Right on cue a picture pops up on her laptop
She can’t pick her cell phone up fast enough

Sometimes you just need a little home
Some “Hey Mom and Dad, what’s goin’ on?
I’m just checking in, no, there ain’t nothing wrong”
Sometimes you just need a little home

Well, he’s tired, sits down in the sand
Shoe box in his hand, half a world away
And he smiles when he sees who it’s from
He lays down his gun, no, he can’t wait
Cards and letters and something sweet, he takes a bite and reads
How everybody sends their love and he tears up

Sometimes you just need a little home
A little let you know you’re not alone
To carry in your heart and keep your spirit strong
Sometimes you just need a little home

She cries, alone in her bed
Resting her head on her pillow
Reaches out for a hand to hold
For someone to tell all her sorrows
The holidays can’t come soon enough, when life is tough
Front door swings wide and those loving arms pick her up

Sometimes you just need a little home
Some “We love you just the way you are”
Where you know you can always stay, where lonely goes away
Sometimes you just need a little home

This week, make an effort to reach out to a friend or family member — someone you can truly be yourself around, someone you trust. Take a moment. Talk. Laugh. Cry. Learn. Help. Listen. Find yourself a little piece of home. Take it from me — you’ll be glad you did.

~Ruth

Click here to listen to “A Little Home” by Rascal Flatts, written by Ashley Glenn Gorley, Kelley Lovelace, Neil Thrasher. This song is on the new (and highly recommended by yours truly) album from Rascal Flatts titled “Changed.”