I realized recently that because I’ve written so much about the challenges and struggles of being single that some people might have a certain perception of me. A perception that might not be entirely accurate.
A perception that I am sad and miserable all the time – if not on the outside, then on the inside.
They therefore feel compelled to help fix this problem in my life by trying to find a man to set me up with. While it is incredibly sweet of them to care about me that much, I feel that I need to clarify a few things about this perception.
Yes, there are days – sometimes weeks – when I am sad, lonely, and discouraged. Those are the times when I text those I’m closest to and say, “Please pray for me. I need courage and hope in the Lord today.”
But. Those are not all the days. That is not my whole life. I am not one giant problem to be fixed, object to be pitied, or leftover sock who needs to quickly be matched up so she’s a pair. I am if that’s how I view myself and portray myself to others. And I’m sorry if that’s the message I’ve sent to you.
Because the truth is, there is more to my life than that one area. There are books I’m devouring, friends that I’m cultivating relationships with, lesson plans that I’m excited to teach, CYT Expos that I can’t wait to plan, books that I’m writing, places I’m traveling to. There are a million dreams dancing in my head, and truth be told, marriage is only one of them.
Sometimes that dream dominates my thinking, and it’s all I want. Sometimes I hardly think of it because I’m too busy with all the other things God has called me to do.
I might not always be happy that I’m single, but I can always be happy that God has given me the richest of gifts in my single years. The secret – like Paul says in Philippians – is to learn to be content no matter what the circumstances. You learn to love what’s right in front of you, and not gaze too far into the future.
Because, well-meaning friend – even on my sad days – a man won’t solve all my longings. He might solve some of them, but only God can go to the core of me and salvage my broken parts and give me deepest satisfaction.
Besides which, I’m most definitely not looking for any guy just to fill the space. I’m not grabbing for any available Christian man (as I wrote about here) – if a relationship is in my future, my soul will be inspired by his in a way that isn’t always visible to the outside world.
If a relationship isn’t in my future, please don’t feel pity for me as though my life were second-rate. God’s plans for our lives are never second-rate – and I fully believe He is giving me His best right now – which is more of Himself, completely unhindered by anything else.
And because of that, I can say with confidence, absolutely yes – it is possible to be happy in your single years.
There is more happiness in single years than we ever dared dream was possible … as long as we’re willing to open our eyes and see it as God designed.
As long as we are making the choice to see the blessings instead of the burdens. The wisdom over the wanting. The hope over the hardship. The greatness of God over what the world calls the grimness of reality.
Because the way that God designed it, that which we struggle with the most often draws us the closest to Him. And if our life is a single one right now, that was never an accident – it was always part of the plan to make us the happiest in Christ we could be.
If you’re married, you might not be able to understand how this could be possible. But please trust me when I say that God can and has opened floodgates of blessings in this single person’s life, and I hope to daily live to proclaim them.
It’s not always a joyride – but neither is it a vale of tears, either. It’s simply sinking into the rhythms of a life God has called me to, embracing the beauty of full days, and leaning into Him on the weight of empty ones, knowing that God has designed them all for His glory.
His beauty brings the deepest happiness – even deeper than any dream I’ve ever wanted. And for this, I am eternally grateful.