Figured this week was the best time to open up about singleness. Again, I had something else planned but here we are! If this topic doesn’t apply to you I encourage you to replace the desire to get married with anything you have been waiting on. The thing is, we will all go through our whole lives waiting for something and we get to decide how we wait.
I’ll start by saying, anything I write is not because I know everything or I’ve really mastered it. It’s actually more like the opposite, I’ve probably made all the mistakes possible when it comes to dating and being single. But I have learned from a lot of poor decisions and I’ve decided to share more openly about them so maybe you can learn from them too.
For context sake…I’m 35 and single (always so fun to say or type that). I know some people are not interested in getting married, which I think is awesome. I for sure don’t think that everyone has to get married. But for me, being a wife and mom is all I’ve ever wanted to be.
Exhibit A, when most people wrote about the exciting career choices they wanted to pursue, I wrote the following:
for the record eating is still one of my interests but still trying to figure out why i wrote that
I don’t say this so you will feel bad for me, I live in the south so I get more than enough pity already, but I say it to let you know, I get it. I know from personal experience what it is like to wait. I know that married people don’t mean anything bad by it but it’s hard to hear them say over and over to enjoy your singleness or to make the most of your singleness. Because the truth is for a girl who desires to be married and have a family the waiting is hard. And you will never hear me say otherwise.
As little girls we dream of our fairytale ending and I have no idea why but there is always a guy there. So many of our hopes and dreams are wrapped up in our future marriages and families. But what do we do when it feels like God has forgotten about us? The devil loves to convince us that we have done something wrong. Maybe if we would have made better choices, or talked to more boys (my dad’s favorite suggestion), or stopped thinking about it and just focused on God, or been more patient then maybe we would be married.
I wish I could give you all the answers and tell you why you are still single. Wouldn’t that be nice if there was just something you could easily fix or do to make it happen? But it just doesn’t work like that.
So what do we do when we have prayed, fasted, taken it into our own hands and tried relationships that have failed (because I’m such an overachiever I have done this multiple times), cried more tears than we care to admit, pretended that we don’t care at all, sworn off dating for good, and been so angry and disappointed that we spiraled into a depression. Oh wait, just me?
We go to the Word and we spend time with the Father and we let Him remind us of who we are. And I’m guessing each and every time we will find that our relationship status has nothing to do with our identities and how our Heavenly Father sees us. And in fact we might even find that He wants to use all the waiting for good.
15-17 This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid,
grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant,
greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”
God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are.
We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.
And we know we are going to get what’s coming
to us-an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly
what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times
with him, then we’re certainly going to go
through the good times with him!
22-25 All around us we observe a pregnant creation.
The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs.
But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God
is arousing us within. We’re also feeling birth pangs.
These sterile and barren bodies of ours are
yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us,
any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother.
We are enlarged in the waiting.
We. of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait,
the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.
from Romans 8 in the Message Bible
This is a passage that I have been going to over and over again in this season of waiting. We are ENLARGED in the waiting. What a gift and what a promise. God is not unaware of the fact that it is hard to wait. But right there in His Word He promises that we can count on so much good to come from the waiting. I mean, He’s God so I feel like He could have just said “wait because I told you too” but instead He says “I know it’s hard but I will make sure that you are forever changed and strengthened because of your waiting”. I’d venture to say that no one would be opposed to becoming the best versions of themselves and walking out the incredible plans God has for them. I know I’m down for that.
And with that I’ll just say, this blog would be pointless if I didn’t tell (and myself too) that we can’t keep grumbling about the current season we are in. It really kind of makes sense, we can’t be changed and strengthened when all that is coming out of our mouths (and in our minds) is how much we hate the season we are in. Again I’m saying it myself, because I was there for a really long time, and am still tempted to go back to that place now. And sometimes honestly I do.
But guys, we have to replace that anger, frustration, bitterness, or whatever it looks like for you with the truth from the Word. We literally have to say verses out loud when those thoughts come. Our thoughts and attitudes are never going to change if we don’t take steps to changing them. But I can promise you once you start speaking God’s Word over your situation, your whole outlook on that situation can and will change. The situation might not change immediately but how you view your current situation will.
Now what I am not saying is you should ignore the frustration or hurt and just pretend it’s not happening or doesn’t exist. I’m actually saying the opposite, you have to acknowledge and deal with the unmet expectations before you can begin to move on and appreciate your current season. I know sometimes it seems easier to just pretend we are “fine” but the truth is whether we admit it or not that frustration is still there. And if we don’t deal with it, it just grows and grows until it starts to come out in more unhealthy ways.
I’ve learned that I have to give myself time to deal with my emotions. I usually give myself a set amount of time to really feel them. I journal and pray and just try to let it all out. And it’s not polite or quiet either. I just let all the realness come spilling out. And by the end of this time the Lord (because He’s such a good good Father) usually has already reminded me that He uses all things for good and that this situation is no different.
So here’s the deal, we can either dwell on what we don’t have, and miss those awesome things going on around us, or we can replace the lies with truth and start to build something really great now. It’s sometimes that simple and it’s a choice you get to make dailey. That might sound harsh but I feel like I have to say it because I wasted way too much time only focusing on what I didn’t have. And that was a terrible place to be. I don’t wish that on anyone. I love that we are never too far gone or too deep in our mess to turn things around. We can start heading towards the truth and a new season at any moment.
Praying that on this Valentine’s Day (and every day after) we can start to believe in the deepest parts of us, that God hasn’t forgotten about us and He is enlarging us in the waiting.