I am so glad that I am such a consistent blogger, heh. Ya’ll this has been one crazy season, so exciting, fast-paced, and well just insane. However, God has (sometimes painfully) taught me some awesome things about Him and how to trust Him when life doesn’t seem to go the way I expect it to.
Also, quarter-life crisis’s, they’re real. I know in 10 years I’m going to laugh at the things that freak me out now and how I can see that in the span of my life they were experiences that molded me and shaped me. In these moments of living them out though, they are absolutely insane. It’s kind of like whiplash. So, to be vulnerable, one of the biggest areas of growth in me, even from a couple of hours ago today, is the struggle with singleness.
I have always heard that marriage is the fast track to sanctification, and while yes, you are daily laying down your desires for someone else, I don’t believe that marriage is anymore sanctifying than singleness.
I grew up from an early age wanting to be a mom and a wife, probably because my mom was good at it, and so were her friends. It seemed like that was what I was made for. As I got older I struggled with what I wanted to be “when I grew up” because I just knew I wanted to be a mama. I grew up with a desire for my husband, and was really picky about not dating someone I couldn’t see myself marrying- so I never dated (I’m not saying I didn’t want to date, but pickiness and the Lord’s gracious hand intervening in my life helped). When it came time to pick a major for school I knew what I wanted out of life, I wanted to be a counselor, work with teens, and marry a youth pastor – It was going to be awesome.
Things change, and I realized that I actually do not want to be a counselor, so I studied graphic design. I made a lot of great guy friends, but I didn’t see myself marrying any of them, so I didn’t date. Still I had this desire to do ministry, I wanted to work in a Church, and the Lord, who is always faithful, opened those doors.
So here I am at 25, single, working in a Church, volunteering with students and about to embark on a super adult adventure of buying a house. Did I mention I’m single? Like not “secretly I am in love with someone and in 6 months I’ll be posting a ring picture”, no, like single. Like give me that meal for one because I don’t need leftovers kind of single… or please stop making cat jokes because that is too real kind of single.
You know what, sometimes it sucks. Sometimes there is this tearing of emotions between being overjoyed at all of my friends in serious relationships, engaged, or married, and deep sadness that I can’t relate to their joy or don’t have a plus one to bring to their weddings. These feelings are not because of them, but because of this deep desire the Lord has given me. There are times where it’s lonely, and where in the awesome things I get to be a part I desire to share that with someone else. That is hard. Being single is hard. People that say it isn’t are lying, it’s beautiful and fun, and extremely hard.
That’s why I’m not convinced marriage is a faster process to sanctification; however, it may be more evident at times. You see, those feelings I feel won’t stop when I get married if I don’t place those expectations and hopes in the right place. If I put those thoughts and feelings on my spouse, as godly as he may be, he will fail me. He’s going to fail me either way because he’s gasp human. Like me.
Instead, these feelings reveal to me where I am placing my hope and my trust. Is it in the opinions of others? “Why is she still single?”… “Why has she never dated anyone?” or is it in Christ? Is it in the idea that a husband will satisfy these longings? Or is it that Christ has already given me all that I need for life and godliness?
Paul writes about the single woman, it’s one of my favorite verses “the unmarried woman is concerned about things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and Spirit”.
That’s why there is so much joy in singleness. If I remain focused on the present, how all of my friends (literally, all) are getting married and I … well, I have a dog, then I am missing out on some great things God has for me. However, if I take the time to view my singleness as a time that I have the greatest resources available for ministry, and view it in light of eternity, singleness is a huge gift. It’s not a placeholder season while I wait for bigger and better things to come along. I want my perspective to be that singleness is the big and better thing God has for me right now.
Singleness is truly a gift from the Lord, there’s no “winning” season, because if you’re single God is not withholding a good thing from you. If you’re married you didn’t do anything to earn it. They are both good gifts from God, and for me, singleness has proved to be the most heartbreaking, and beautifully rewarding season. I’ve been able to experience the goodness of God in times when I feel like I’m not enough, because I have to fully rely on what He says- and that is that I am enough. Those moments when I get to go to soccer games, go straight from work to youth group, or grab lunch with leaders spontaneously; those are moments I don’t want to take for granted.
Do I want to be married? yes. Do I think that my life will be complete if I get married? Sometimes, but no. In those moments where I doubt God’s goodness I pray that I don’t settle for less than what God has for me.
I do believe that if God had answered my prayers for a spouse right after college I personally would have missed out on some amazing things God has taught me. I have learned so much about myself, about ministry, and been able to do a lot with the time I’ve been given. I have done it really poorly, and well.
I know that in 10 years I’ll look back at my time of singleness, either still walking in it, or married, and giggle to myself at how much I have grown since even this post. Why? Because every season is a sanctifying season when you’re in pursuit of Christ.
Singleness is from God. Marriage is from God. Our purpose in every season is to glorify God and live our lives in a way that point others to Jesus. How can you best do that in the season God has given you?
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