So, you’re a single person and you don’t want to be. I wish I could say I wasn’t familiar with that feeling. I’ve been single for two years now, and I’ve spent 90% of that time believing my future husband was right around the corner. Thinking about him, wanting to meet him. Thinking I’d start really living my life once I met him.
Let me tell you, that’s no way to live.
Recently God gave me some serious vision for my singleness–or, freedom, as I’ve started calling it. I want to share what He’s told me with you in case you’re still stuck in the trap of thinking life begins once you meet “The One.”
1. You Are Enough.
No, really, let that sink in. When you are alone, you don’t need to feel lonely, because you are an incredible human being with a universe within you (let alone the fact that when you have a relationship with Jesus, He is your constant companion). Other people enjoy being around you, so why shouldn’t you enjoy being with yourself once in awhile? You deserve it, especially since no one knows you like you do. You can’t always be comfortable around others the way you can be comfortable around yourself. Relax. Let yourself breathe and enjoy your own thoughts; enjoy where they take you.
Along with that, when you are with other people, you don’t need to doubt yourself. Don’t mold yourself into what you think those around you want, because you are cheating them out of being friends with an original and instead giving them a shadow of themselves. If they wanted themselves, they would have chosen to be alone. They want you. Don’t be afraid to be different. This might sound like something I should be telling middle schoolers, but I know I need to be reminded of this a lot, personally. It’s okay to not be like anyone else. God made you the way you are because He loves the people around you and knew they needed someone like you. Don’t deny them His gift.
To connect this back to the issue of relationships, you are a whole person all by yourself. Be confident in who you are without feeling like you need someone to partner with. If and when the time comes, you will be ten times more attractive if you are content and confident where you are.
2. You Are Free.
Your heart is held by the God of the universe and you are walking in relationship with Him, and that means there is nothing holding you back. It is for freedom that you have been set free. Had you been in a relationship today, in this moment, as fun as that might be, you would have another human to answer to. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it would mean having ties. You would probably be molding your plans for your future based on their dreams and desires, whether or not you realized it. Every decision you make for the foreseeable future would be affected by them in some way. There would be no dropping everything and deciding to move to a different city; no spontaneous road trips with just you and your best friend; no taking that overseas internship–not with some amount of reluctance.
You have the ability, right now, to do absolutely anything God is calling you to do, to go wherever His is calling you to go. You aren’t tied down. You have the freedom and the time to do some incredible things for the Kingdom. You have time to just sit and be with God so much more than you would otherwise. Your potential effectiveness level is at an all time high. Don’t waste it. Steward this time well. Steward your thought life well.
3. Your Life Isn’t On Hold.
Life doesn’t start when you get asked out/ask someone out. Go do things you love. Deepen your interests, pursue your hobbies. Spend time with friends and family. Pour into people. Serve. Play. Answer to no one except God. Do things for the sake of doing them. Work hard. Study. Get ready for your life in ministry/teaching/construction/engineering/whatever it is for you. Get ready to make a difference in this world in God’s name.
It’s go time. Stop moping.
If you do get married (I say if because nowhere in the Bible does God promise that we’ll get married–in fact, it’s better if we don’t), that person is going to be there for the rest of your freakin’ life. You’ll love it, but you might have days where you just want to be alone. Enjoy it now. The grass on this side of the fence is pretty green, too.
4. Hold Out For What’s Good For You.
It’s so easy to get lost in comparison when it seems like everyone around you is in a relationship, getting married, whatever. Trust me, I know. I’m a junior at a conservative college that’s basically one rung below a “ring by spring” school. 99% of my female friends from my heavily LDS hometown are 20 years old, married, and pregnant. It’s easy to feel like everyone else is somehow better than you if you’re among the still-single minority. But the truth is, you don’t want that other girl’s/that other guy’s relationship. What makes someone else happy might make no sense to you. There’s a reason why they’re with that person and you aren’t, and it isn’t because they’re better than you. It’s because that is the relationship that is good for them.
Hold out for what’s good for you. If that comes along, you’ll know, and it’s going to be good for the rest of your life. Don’t settle for someone else’s good just because you’re tired of being alone. It might come along later than you would prefer, but that will always be better than longing for–or worse, jumping into–something that isn’t right.
I’ll let you in on a little secret: what we’re expecting is so rarely what God knows we need. There’s really no point in designing a dream girl/guy in your mind, because that person doesn’t exist. When the real deal comes along, it’s better to not have created a fantasy beforehand. Experience and appreciate it for what it is. It won’t be perfect, but it will be real.
Also–if you don’t take anything else away from this section, remember this–be happy for those around you without feeling sad for yourself. Love isn’t a zero-sum game. When someone finds it, that doesn’t mean they’re taking it away from you or that you’re falling behind. It just means they’ve been given an incredible gift from God. He hasn’t withheld anything from you from the moment you were born.
5. You Are Seen.
The fact that you are single is not going unnoticed by God. He knows it–in fact, He ordained it. We can always trust what comes from His hand. If you feel lonely, it’s God’s plea for time with you. Don’t ignore your King. Use this time to get to know Him better. Focus on the possibilities. I said it earlier, but I’ll say it again: Steward this time well.
Never let the enemy tell you that you need anything.
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So, there you have it. God has really pounded all of this into my brain over the last few days. It has actually changed my life. It has changed the way I see the world, and it has especially changed the way I see guys my age. I know it has already made me a more interesting person to be around.
Realistically, you can read the things I listed above all day long and they won’t ever change your life. Please, please, please, if you’re crippled by a desire to be with someone, pray and ask God to let those things sink into your heart. Don’t let the enemy have a hold on you like this. Jesus rose from the grave for a reason. Let’s let the tomb stay empty.