Let me start out by saying this: no, this post won’t have all the answers you are hoping for, I can promise you that. But what it will have are honest and vulnerable things that I have learned myself, just in these last few months.
That’s right, I said it- only the last few months. Now I am someone who is an open book with everything, but since my past breakup is so recent, I want to respect that and make this short and sweet: my ex was my best friend and was wonderful to me for the 5 years we dated. We had a lot of plans, but The Lord had different ones. So I am not writing this from a period of “I know everything about dating and marriage and what it means to find the perfect man” but from a place of brokenness, frustration, and doubt because I was’t ‘planning’ to be here.
I thought I knew everything about my future in my past relationship. I had it all planned, I had it all dreamed up, and nothing was going to stop me from getting what I wanted.
Then God stepped in.
And when God steps in, you have to step back.
So I did, and I what I realized was that I don’t know how to be myself. I don’t know what it means to only care for me, what I want and where I am going. What I realized was that being single was the farthest thing from wonderful and invigerating.
I had my future planned. I had security. I was staying pure, I graduated from a Christian college, and I was probably going to be married by 23. I thought I had it all.
But here I am now, with my plans drastically changed. And in those changed plans, my heart has been racing. I want to share what I have been struggling with in my few months of singleness so that whoever is reading this can know that they are not alone.
So here we go:
Fear. I am scared out of my mind that I will be single forever. It sounds stupid, but it is a legitimate fear that Satan is really tugging at and that I am really trying to let go of. And with having anxiety, my fears are a little more heighten than usual. I have been sitting in this fear for awhile mostly because God doesn’t promise you a spouse- that ain’t no where in the bible and I sure wish it was- but what I keep reading and keep hearing from my loved ones is that singleness is a gift, a gift empowered by the Holy Spirit for His glory:
Singleness doesn’t give me the things that I want—companionship, security, sex, kids. So singleness can’t be a gift. But in this, I failed to see the beauty of God’s charisma. I failed to see that this kind of gift, whether singleness or marriage, isn’t necessarily about personal preference or self-fulfillment.
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:4-7). There are various gifts, services and activities, but one God empowering them all for the common good. That’s the point of charisma.
The focus here is not that a believer receives a gift, though true, but rather that all gifts are given freely by the Spirit to serve God and benefit others. The gift itself isn’t an end, but a means to make much of the Lord. We don’t choose our gifts, nor can we take credit for them. We accept them as from the Lord to be used for His glory.” –The Village Church Blog
Uh that knocks me off my feet- who the heck wants singleness to be a gift? Well thats the thing- God gives us gifts that can be used for His glory. So whether I am single for the rest of my life or for the next year a half, I am called to use that time as a gift, bringing others to His kingdom.
Finding a spouse is a good thing, but it is not the epitome of human existence. Don’t squander your singleness by focusing excessively on your waiting. Waiting is not the same as wasting away. Your usefulness to the kingdom does not begin on your wedding day. Pursue the things of the Lord and work diligently at all He’s given you to do. You may never get married, and that is okay. You may get married a long time from now, and that is okay, too. God is not looking at you and saying, “Oops.” Whether you marry the love of your life or you faithfully sustain your singleness, He is your loving Father and He knows how to give good gifts. He is trustworthy. –The Village Church Blog
Sorry about all the text for that one, but I just have to keep speaking these truths over myself, and I hope they can help you too. We have a loving Father, who knows how to give good gifts, and I don’t want my fear to squander those gifts.
Security. Man was my security in, around, and through my dating relationship. I found so much security in my plans, my dreams, and what I wanted, and once it ended, I felt my knees buckle at the loss of what I thought was everything. Through this time of singleness, God has been showing me where my security truly was. He has been showing me who my True Anchor is, and He has been whispering to me that I don’t know it all, but He does, so let go and trust in Him.
‘Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.’ | Hebrews 12:28
I am forced to focus on my needs, my passions & where the Lord wants me to go. Now please don’t hear this as if I was in a relationship that held me back and didn’t allow me to be myself, because that is far from the truth. But what is true, is that with being in a relationship so focused on the future, I was doing all that I could to make that go the way it “should” and I lost sight of who The Lord wanted me to be in the process. I didn’t realize this until someone else’s opinion and life wasn’t really mine to hold anymore. I suddenly had the freedom to do whatever, whenever, for however long, and man was that a weird weird feeling. But that is the thing about singleness and how it is a gift from God- we get to come crawling (literally) back to Him, asking Him what He wants for our lives and where He wants us to go. Relationships and marriage should add to this, build you up in this and keep you steady in God’s calling, and what I have found is that I was no where ready to take that on because I barely knew myself anymore.
So how do you be single, a Christian, and a college graduate all at the same time?
Well first off- stop living in the fear. You don’t have to be 21 and married to have a beautiful, Jesus filled life/marriage- you can get that anywhere, anytime, so stop waiting and starting pursuing Him.
Second, God is the only constant, the only One who truly knows you, the only One who will always be there. If you’re single (or a believer for that matter), find Him as your anchor and hold on tight, because He ain’t going anywhere.
Third, don’t be scared to think about you. Take this time to focus on your dreams and your goals for yourself. Take this time to further God’s kingdom and find contentment in your Anchor in your time of singleness. Think and explore: where is He taking you? What is He doing in your life? How can you fix your eyes on Him?
I’m not saying it’s easy. All I am saying is singleness isn’t the enemy we Christian college graduates make it out to be. It could be a short or long season, or forever, but whatever the Lord is doing with it is for your good and His glory.
See you soon,
Image by Morgan Judge Photography.