When asked to write a guest post for my dear friend Jory’s blog, she asked if I’d consider writing about being single. In my almost mid-thirties, I’m still waiting on the man God has for me. I tend to shy away from writing on this topic simply because I think it’s talked about enough by everyone and their mother.
My desire has been to never focus so much on any season of life that it becomes my identity. Like any other season, I believe “singleness” is a season of life that will transition in God’s perfect timing.
But after more thought I realized I’ve been in a season of singleness for 10 years now.
Ten years of God walking with me through the ups and downs of being frustrated with His timing and giving me understanding. Ten years of watching most of my close friends get married (and start to have kids). Ten years of Him holding my heart when good relationships didn’t end the way I had hoped or friends sharing their “wisdom” on how I am too picky or not picky enough.
But also, I’ve had ten years of other opportunities. Pursuing other dreams –travels, missions, developing other areas I’m passionate about like photography and singing, and sometimes just living nomadically simply because I can.
And I realized I actual have a lot of thoughts on this season. So here you have them in no specific order. And while my perspective is an entirely Christian one, at the end of the day – if your identity and life objective is searching for a mate in life, you have measured life and your purpose here far too small. He will be a piece of the story, but he won’t fulfill every need and trump all other desires and calling.
Point 1: There will always be seasons of waiting.
Ask the mother waiting to get pregnant. Ask the parents waiting for their child to return home. Ask the high school-er waiting to graduate. You’ll always be waiting on something, so it’s simply a matter of what you choose to focus on as to how you will walk through each season.
But that said, any area of desire is an area that the enemy (Satan) loves to attack. Telling someone to simply wait, while their heart is aching – to what feels like the depths of their soul – is like telling someone to just sit there while someone throws knives atthem. It really doesn’t work very well. Telling someone not to focus on something never works.
But what if waiting wasn’t a passive thing? What if waiting was a forward movement, just in a different direction? What if waiting looked like intentionally, wholeheartedly, passionately pursuing the Lord and other things in your heart. We are all multidimensional people. We have a million ideas each day, but we choose what we want to focus on and give our time to.
Point 2: It’s a Gift
Yep, I said it. Singleness is a gift. Ask the parents with 4 kids. Ask the person in a bad relationship. Ask the couple who got married young and for the first time in their adult life have an empty nest, but no idea who they are.
Singleness is an opportunity to learn and invest now in areas that your time will be limited in later. It’s a time to solidify the foundation you will build your life on. It’s a season to invest in your own character and personal growth.
If you shift your perspective to rejoice in all things, to trust in all things, and quit looking at the one thing you don’t have – and focus on the gift of today as it is – you are much less likely to miss the season of opportunities right in front of you.
That’s where Psalms 84:11 comes in and point 3.
Point 3: He withholds no good thing from those who walk uprightly. –Psalms 84:11
This verse is either true of God or it’s not at all and then His whole Word is in question. I have chosen to believe it completely. Applying it to this season of life has reminded me more times than I can count that if God hasn’t brought my husband yet, then it would not be good, because He withholds no good thing.
It’s also reminds me to look back at past seasons, where I realized God really knew what He was doing. He really was arranging things for my success and my ultimate good. He’s not holding out on us.
As I reflected on my own journey through singleness over the last 10 years there are a few keys I feel God whispered that I wouldn’t have survived without.
Know your God-given assignment – Marriage will only be part of your assignment. What else are you called to influence, change? Who else are you called to serve and encourage? What creative venture needs your full investment today?
Develop patience – Read James 1 and read it again and again and again. Embrace the trials and testing and remind yourself that God’s aim is not your mere happiness today, but to produce character in you that can endure, so you finish your race well! Anyone can start a race, a season, a marriage, but do you have the inner character to endure the ups as well as the downs?
Look Around – Take an inventory of the people you are surrounding your life with in this season. Choose wisely who you give your time to for they will develop who you become.Choose grateful people. Joyful people. People who encourage you to live fully alive and encourage you to wait by leaning into God’s place for you today.
While I know there are a million other thoughts on this subject, I hope these encourage someone today to lean in and quit thinking and focusing so much on marriage as if it were an end-all-be-all– and focus on what God does have right in front of you today. Don’t miss a single day of this season! He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think!