This one’s for all the single ladies. …
I promise this won’t be another “It will happen when you aren’t looking” advice article (although I hate to say it, but that could be what happens).
We’ve all been there. You have this deep desire in your heart to meet your future spouse and get married, and some days you just aren’t quite sure why it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe your closest friends and siblings are dating, engaged or already married, and most of the time you feel like you’re the only one who’s on her own. You have good days where you don’t even think about a relationship, and you have other days where you feel like you are living a perpetual rerun of “27 Dresses.” Even though you feel so much joy for your friends and family beginning their vocations, it can still be hard to come to terms with the fact that it isn’t happening for you at the same time as everyone else.
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Don’t just take it from someone who’s been there, but take it from a girl who is walking right along with you. In the last year, I got into the habit of referring to myself in my social circles as “the single friend” until my good friend called me out on it. There were times I felt down on myself because it really did feel like everyone else was in a relationship, but she was not going to allow me to let that label my life: “Stop saying that! Nobody thinks of you as the single friend but you. To us you are just our friend.” She was so right, and it was a message I really needed to hear. Your singleness doesn’t need to be an all-consuming identity. You are not incomplete, you are just … you.
Life to the fullest
The world tells us that being single means we should throw ourselves into frivolously dating with no purpose, participating in hookup culture, and crowding our lives with social media worthy moments. There is this idea that our lives begin once we meet the right guy, and that you are incomplete until you meet the love of your life. This mindset makes it harder than it should be to live in the moment and enjoy your life, as it is, right now. Ask any married gal, and she’ll likely tell you how important those single years were to get to know herself and be the woman God made her to be. And you better believe she once felt like you do! One of my favorite lyrics is in Thomas Rhett’s song “Up”: “I remember what my Mama told me, ain’t nobody in love who ain’t ever been lonely.”
So how can we best live this period of our lives in the lens of faith? In the parable of the Good Shepherd, Jesus tells the crowds, “I came so that you might have life, and have it to the full.” It is Jesus who gives us life to the fullest. In him only is fullness of joy. You will find wonderful, deep joy in your marriage with your husband, but the source of that joy always comes back to Christ. Jesus gives abundantly and doesn’t withhold anything from us. Even if you aren’t in the fullness of your vocation yet, there is already a very deep meaning in your life. The time before you meet your spouse is a great opportunity to truly live your life to the full. So live it right!
These reminders have helped me embrace this time of my life to enjoy where God has me, even on the hard days.
1. Deepen your faith
Strengthening your relationship with God at this time is guaranteed to change your life. If you’re in a time of waiting, the last thing you might feel like doing is getting on your knees to pray. You might be sick of waiting for the one thing God won’t give you yet. But if you keep showing up, and keep praying, and remain still long enough, you will notice and feel the overwhelming love and presence of God right where you are. Instead of waiting for your other half to come along and fulfill you, think of how strong your relationship will be when you feel absolutely complete and secure in yourself and your relationship with God. Once you do meet the right guy, you’ll realize “a three-ply cord is not easily broken” (Eccl 4:12).
2. Love the people in your life
Appreciate who you have in your life right now. It’s sad to think that as we wait and hope for someone new to come into our lives, we can neglect the people who already love us. Parents, grandparents, siblings, extended family, close friends — these are the people who have shaped who you are and love you no matter what. God willing they will be with you throughout your life, but they may not be. If you cherish those who love you and prioritize time with them, you’ll look back on memories together with no regrets. One day you might have the future marriage and family that you’ve been praying for, but other people might not be there. Make sure you show them you love them in this season.
3. Try new things
Right now you have more time, freedom and emotional capacity then you likely will have when you are dating, engaged or married. Time to focus on you, girl! God is giving you this gift of time to take care of and invest in yourself. Do those things that you keep pushing down your to-do list, whether it’s finally replacing your old furniture, going back to school or booking that flight. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and make new friends from different circles who will support you in your faith. Try some new hobbies too, even if you are terrible at first (you should see me on rollerblades). Whatever it is, now’s the time to do it.
4. Love yourself back
Lastly, consider the fact that maybe God has given you an extra dose of waiting for your vocation so you can learn to love the girl in the mirror. Hold her accountable, but forgive her like you do your best friend. Don’t let her give too much from an empty cup, and remind her when it’s time to go back to God to fill it up. Spend some quality alone time with her and get to know her. Realize how beautiful she is and that, right now, she doesn’t need to hear that from anyone else but you. This will help you see yourself how God sees you, and how you are already whole.
My prayer is that all the women in the waiting who are reading this may come to realize what a wonderfully full life God is calling you to, right now. I pray he gives you a quiet, joyful confidence to know that you are exactly who you are supposed to be, exactly where you are supposed to be. And that you come to know deep down, as long as you have the love of the Lord in your heart, you are living life to the full.