I think in most hearts and minds there is an innate desire to be married- to be known intimately and loved. So, singleness seems like a disease that someone would never choose unless they'd been hurt and wanted to hide away. To be honest, most ounces of my being hate singleness, for myself and for others. It's lonely. It's unstable. It's awkward. It's fearful. And the list can go on! But countless millions of people find themselves in those shoes. Did we get forgotten when God gave out His gifts of love and goodness to people? Have I been left behind or robbed of something? My mind would've told you 'no' to both of those questions, but the reality I've spent my life living is that my heart believes 'yes' to both of them. Oh, I can conjure up the benefits of singleness like anyone can, but on the lonely, tearful days that come often, those words bring no consolation to my railings against the Lord. Why am I single?
You know, I don't fully know the answer to that question, but what I do know is that my heart is shifting as I try to respond to answering it. What do I know about the Lord? He is good- ALWAYS, He loves me, He promises to never abandon, forsake, or forget me, He has a beautiful plan and purpose for my life, and I am His beloved daughter. What do I know about me? I am His image bearer, I've been bought with a great price, Jesus lives inside me, I've been redeemed to be in the business of reconciliation, and there are unique ways that God has wired me to enter into the fray. For the past 32 years and the foreseeable future singleness corresponds to each and every one of those things! It does NOT negate them. I'm not leftover goods, I'm not to spend my life waiting for someone to come help me achieve my purpose, I'm not forgotten or discarded!
Singleness isn't a disease that needs to be cured. It's is a beautiful thing that is to be rejoiced in! It saddens me that the Church doesn't teach this. That God, in His infinite wisdom and sovereignty, looked down on my life and developed a PERFECT plan: "She will be single, and it is good."
My life is flooded with opportunities that married people cannot easily act upon: I can stay overnight to watch kids when someone is hospitalized, I can pack up and travel the world at a moment's notice, I can use the desires I have to help others with their realities: planting gardens, cleaning their house, watching their babies, painting rooms, cooking meals, etc. I'm free to enter into the chaos of others because I don't have the obligations many have. And in doing so, I get to model Jesus as He entered in, loved, and gave of Himself.
There's always been a thought at the back of my mind since I was in high school babysitting and cleaning house for people around me: "When I reach this place in life, I sure hope God brings a 'me' to minister to my needs in the craziness of life!" For the last 15 years that thought has circled in my brain as I've done various acts of service, until today when I put a stop to it. I get to be that person over and over and over, not just waiting for it to be my turn to reap the harvest of what I invested, but because He allows me to be a tangible representation of His love over and over and over. There's never a place where we 'arrive' and get to stop blessing others and wait for them to bless you.
If you're single and reading this: stop waiting, stop believing you've been gypped, stop thinking the grass is greener! You have a beautiful life that God perfectly ordained for you down the most minute details. He planned your singleness for His glory and your good- are you living out and believing that truth?
If you're married reading this: don't assume something is wrong with your friends because they are single, rejoice with them in the wonderful things they have and can be (just like how they came to your wedding/baby shower and rejoiced with you), and give them a big hug! God created His Body to be multi-facitated. When we work together in community, loving and serving one another where we're at, God is honored and represented in a powerful way to this world!
So, here's to being single and
all the joys that come with it!