Handling Singleness

Being single is hard sometimes.  And it is okay to admit that.

I love being alone.  I love finding time away from the world because I am a processor and overthinker.  I feel all the emotions deeply and the silence is where I can be my real self.  I love being able to talk to out loud to the Lord and the freedom that being by myself brings.  But if I am alone too long, my heart and head will start to twist my reality and tell me I am alone because I am rejected, unworthy, unwanted.   On more than one occasion, the painful realization that I am single can quickly erase any joy I felt by being alone.

Marriage is not the end goal for any believer, becoming like Christ is.  I preach that on a semi-daily basis.  Even though I believe that with all my heart, there is still the sting that the Lord has not given me the desire of my heart and I watch those around me move forward. I always assumed I would be experiencing the same things my friends were experiencing at the same time.  In reality, they are stages ahead of me. While it is embarrassing to admit, being single in your late-twenties feels like you are the last one picked for the kickball team on the elementary playground.  I am left waiting and wondering when/if I will be picked.  But Jesus knows the pain.  He has felt every emotion.  He has felt loneliness, been rejected, and felt forgotten. To me, that is the most comforting thing about Him. He is no stranger to emotion or pain.

I have pursued the Lord with my whole heart, I have kept myself pure (seriously, how many almost 29-year-olds do you know that have never been kissed?), I have never been in a relationship, and I can count on one hand how many (failed) dates I have been on.  I don’t have any broken heart stories, I only have stories that showcase years of insecurity of not being chosen.  I used to be so ashamed of my story, my insecurity.  I don’t try to conceal it anymore.  I am honest about where I am.  I let it drive me to Jesus because His word is the only balm for the hurting.  The only affirmation I want to know my worth and value comes from the Lord.

I hesitate saying this because there are far bigger problems in the world but extended singleness can be a form of suffering.  I have had to give myself permission to feel alone.  I have mourned and grieved and sat in the disappointment.  There are days I need to be loved a little louder. I have spent the past few New Year’s Eve alone and this year being no different. Each birthday is a reminder that I am not a wife and the window of fertility is closing in and the hope of becoming a mother slowly slips away.  Each wedding or baby shower is a reminder that my life is vastly different from those around me.

There are years of dashed hopes but that hope deferred cannot be allowed to take my thankfulness for the gift of eternal life.  It about trusting that God is enough.  It is trusting His provision.  So often I look around at my circumstances and I think I know exactly what the Lord is doing or not doing.  In reality, I have no idea.  His provision is everywhere and to look for it leads me to praise Him and cultivate gratitude in my heart.  I cycle through seasons of contentment. Daily practicing gratitude keeps me content longer.  It keeps me focused on the bigger picture and what God is doing in my heart, the heart of a sinner He saved.

I will rejoice with a friend every single time a desire of their heart is granted.  I will praise the Lord for the engagements, marriages, and babies.  I will give thanks for the answered prayers. I will walk alongside each friend and encourage them in truth as they navigate new seasons.  Even though I may feel some pain and a longing at times, this life is not about me. The longing I feel is only satisfied with intimacy with the Lord.  I find myself hungry for Jesus daily, needing Him to fill in the gaps and holes of my heart.  Nothing will ever satisfy me like He does.  Up to this point, He has not granted me the greatest desire of my heart but chooses to speak His truth into it and remind me that He is and always be enough. I will not be forgotten or abandoned.  He chooses me, He pursues me, He loves me unconditionally.

This is really all I can say; I love my life, I really do. A huge part of me doesn’t want anything to change.  I have moments.  I have moments I need to step away so I don’t lose it.  Daily I have to reestablish my heart in the Lord and remain steadfast (James 5).  In the moments I need to be loved a little louder, I find Scripture and repeat the words out loud until it saturates my heart and mind.  I ask Jesus to meet me where I am and reveal how He is redeeming my heart.  It is okay to long for something, but to place that desire above your desire for the Lord not.  You become what you behold and I want to behold the truth that Jesus is enough. At all times, in all seasons.

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