Single. Who ever thought a little six letter word could make you want to scream?
In the age of social media where it's possible to connect with people around the world, one would think it would be easier to be happy, instead it can cause discontentment to rear its ugly head. We've all been there at some point- some of us are still there, scrolling through photos of our friends living and loving life with their special someone and thinking, "Why am I still single, has God forgotten about me?" That's when you go in search of answers, praying, reading blog posts, asking friends and loved ones for advice. And that my friend is where you run into trouble.
Have you ever heard any of these phrases:
"Just be happy," one relative says. "It'll happen when you least expect it."
"Run after Jesus, if you're wrapped up in Him, God will send you The One."
"Have you prayed about your singleness?"
"Some of us are called to Singleness. Maybe you're one of them."
"You know, marriage isn't what it's all cracked up to be, you're blessed to be single."
It's enough to drive you mad, isn't it? And then it happens, you're looking through the Bible and run across the verse, the one that makes single women weep and snap the book shut.
"So I say to those who aren't married and to widows--it's better to stay single, just as I am." -1 Corinthians 7:8 ESV
What?! Certainly, Paul is wrong. There's no way anyone can be content being single...right? RIGHT? That's what I kept telling myself anyway, and I know I can't be the only one. I've been single going on 23 years now, some women have had shorter waits, others longer but it's a wait nonetheless and It. Is. Hard!
I don't believe God designed us to go through life alone and that's why we desire a relationship so ardently. There's nothing wrong with that, God himself designed marriage, but it's when we let that God ordained desire take over our whole lives that lie the problem. I know it sounds cliche but we can't put our lives on hold, waiting for The One to come along so we can live life. I used to get so angry when someone gave me that advice, especially the ones that were already married, but the older and more mature I grow I'm starting to realize just how true it is.
As human beings we have a myriad of emotions, some that are so strong they belie common sense and if God gave us what we want, how and when we wanted it, our lives would be one big mess. Take it from me, the girl who had the life plan at the age of 13. Find The One, date, marry, have babies, live happily ever after. Simple. Sigh. If only God had followed along with my plan. But wait... have you ever prayed for something, then years later looked back and thought, "Boy, I'm so glad God didn't answer that prayer."
Well, I have. Those are the moments I praise God, thankful that He knows what's best for me despite my ever changing prayers. He knows what I truly need before I even ask for it because He sees years down the road, whereas I can only see today, the hour and minute I'm in. Knowing that, it doesn't mean I don't still want a boyfriend or that I don't get sad every now and then. But it does mean that when I'm falling into discontentment that I reign it in and speak truth over my life. "If I need it, God will provide it," is my mantra and it's served me well through the years, reminding me that God loves me enough to say, "No, I've got something better planned. Just wait."
I didn't use to consider singleness a gift, if it were I'd want the receipt, but it can be if you accept it with grace. Singleness for me is a time to grow in my faith, laugh at my mistakes, to change my mind- multiple times, and invest time in the people around me because one day, if God blesses me with a husband and children things, will never be the same. Marriage, though wonderful brings with it a whole new set of priorities. Use your single years to prepare yourself for whatever God brings your way. You wouldn't go into the dark without a source of light, so why would you go into life or a relationship the same way? Let God be your light and you too can mark your path in the darkness and grow in ways you never even thought was possible.
"I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued by faithfulness to you." -Jeremiah 31:3
Sara Johns currently resides in Pensacola, FL. She loves to read, eat all things sweet, and take long rides in the country. Her passion for writing and fellowshipping with young women led her to start a blog called, 'Life By His Design,' where she hopes to share life lessons in a God honoring way. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and follow her blog as she discovers the joy life has to offer with God in control. Blog