If I’m being completely honest, I never want to write on the topic of relationships (mostly because I haven’t been the best at them) or, especially, write about being single. But, in this season, God has pushed me to write about the things that sometimes hurt, because they matter. So, here it goes…
Sometimes, being single can feel messy. I’m a pretty chill, fun-loving girl and I’m so thankful for the life I get to live. When I’m not working, I love to have all kinds of fun. And I don’t mind being alone. But sometimes the ache of singleness creeps in and usually finds me at the most inopportune times. Like when leaving Wal-Mart and trying to hoof it to the car in the pouring rain with 37 bags of groceries and there are no strong arms there to help. Or when I’m the only adult sibling not married and I fit in best at the little kids’ table during holiday meals. But, I think it hurts the most when I sit by myself in church week after week. That is when the tears form and the lies begin to whisper: “Nobody sees you. You are alone, and it will never change.”
It is hard to navigate through the world of singlehood. Our social media feeds are full of engagements, weddings and pregnancy announcements. A lot of our friends are now wives and husbands, even moms and dads, and we no longer know where we fit in their lives. We are overjoyed for those who get to celebrate these precious moments in life, but a small part of us may wonder why our own prayers haven’t been answered. It hurts. And often times we don’t understand. I’ve even wondered aloud, “Does this mean that God loves me less?” I think, in these moments when we feel forgotten and picked over, we have to encourage ourselves. Even King David said, “Bless the Lord, soul. Bless the Lord.”[i] And he was going through messy stuff ALL THE TIME. It is so nice to receive affection and words of affirmation, but in seasons of waiting, the lack of can feel like you are less than. But I encourage you – look to the One who created you in His image, who breathed life into your lungs, who is at this moment singing over you, “You are altogether beautiful, my darling. There is no flaw in you.”[ii] No, you won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but you are more than enough for the heart that’s meant to love you.
So, what do we do in the meantime? How can we walk out this waiting with purpose? Well-known author and pastor, Andy Stanley, poses this question: “Are you the person the person you’re looking for is looking for?”[iii] Say that ten times fast. Whew. Okay. Let’s break it down. Are you intentional about trying to become the person that the person you’re looking for is looking for? Or are you holding onto the myth that someday when you meet the right person, the right things will happen and you will finally be content? Can I say something you might not want to hear? Sometimes it’s not about you or what you want. Sometimes it’s about what you need to learn in the waiting and how it can change you. Because I promise – it will change you. And someone needs to hear your story of how you walked it out. There are those out there who need to be encouraged to not give up and not give in and not settle for less than. Do not rush this time. There is wisdom in waiting. Let every lonely night, every tear and every broken heart shape you into the person that you are called to be.
The person that I am looking for and praying for – I don’t want him to find me when I’m sad and complaining about being single, completely dependent on someone else to provide my happiness. No. I want him to find me when I am working, living and loving this life that was given to me. Because then will I not only be able to give him a whole, healthy me but I will also be able to give him a gift – the grace to be wholly himself, free to be imperfect and not required to complete me.
Being single can feel like a hot mess…but when we walk it out (and wait it out) with purpose, God will take our mess, redeem it and remind us that this life really is good.
[i] Psalm 103:1
[ii] Song of Solomon 4:7
[iii] The New Rules for Love, Sex and Dating – Andy Stanley