About a year ago, I wrote a post called Single (& Bitter About It). That post outlined some of my struggles over time as a single with longings to love and be loved romantically. So far that has been one of my only posts about singleness and I’m actually surprised I don’t feel led to write about it more often (perhaps because I no longer view my relationship status as a part of my identity). But this week, love and singleness are on my heart.
See, I have never been in a relationship. I’m only 24 years old, but I’m sure we can all agree that no matter how young we are, the desire for love is still very real. People have been telling me for a long time “oh you’re young, it’s fine, your first relationship will probably be your only one, etc.”, but the truth is – I would still love for my future husband to stumble along now. I’m far better about waiting patiently today than I have been in the past, but trust me when I say I know the struggle. Being young and celibate, while watching what seems like everyone around me having kids and getting married, can be discouraging. Happy for them, but still sometimes wondering when my time is coming.
For the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a really beautiful man in progress. Before I met him, I had spent much time trying reach a place of true contentment with my singleness. After many convos with God, a ton of self-reflection, and being intentional about sitting still while God has His way, I thought I had made it. I was at peace for the first time. It was a feeling I couldn’t explain. A joy I hadn’t experienced before. I had finally placed my love story was in God’s hands. Then suddenly, it seems like as soon as I got there, I met a man. A good man at that. Imperfect, but far more genuine than any other guys I had met. We grew, and we loved, but God said “not yet”. It just wasn’t our time, no matter how much I wanted it to be. No matter how ready I was for my first boyfriend or how possible it was that he could be “the one”. God heard my prayers and He saw my tears, but it still wasn’t time. When God has a plan, our emotions and persistent begging don’t make Him change His mind.
My most prayed prayer is for God to have His way in my life. For His will to be done. For my desires to align with His plan for my life. For Him to order my steps. And if what I want isn’t what He wants for me, then for Him to intervene on my behalf and save me from myself. Knowing that He has my best interest at heart is what keeps me encouraged. Knowing that the wait will all be worth it and that He’s going to blow my mind one day is what helps me to persevere. Remembering His promises and having evidence that they’re true is what strengthens my faith. You know they say patience isn’t the ability to wait, but how you wait.
Even so, some moments are better than others. When I started this post a few days ago, I was on a high. I felt like I was on top of the world. I was really killing singleness that day. All I could think was “I’m single single and going to live my best life!” Then there are days like today when I want to run back to what I’m trying to let go of. When I want to just throw in the towel and settle for “good enough”. When I’d rather have the good enough, than to be alone, waiting for “one day” to come.
This post was supposed to be about how great single life can be and how being in a relationships isn’t my focus at all. How I’m not going to wait until my husband comes to live my best life and how at peace I am. How free I feel now that I’ve decided to walk forward alone until what I deserve comes along. How I’m going to continue traveling with my friends, coach a team of young girls to run a 5k, join women’s bible studies, develop tunnel vision and grow in my relationship with God, serve others, blog more, get flat abs and some upper body strength, learn how to cook more vegan meals and everything else I’m in the process of doing with my life.
But even while all of that is very true, the wait can be hard sometimes. There will be low moments in the midst of it all. Sometimes there might be discouragement, bitterness, tears, loneliness, and questions that only God can answer. Know that those moments are temporary and things can and will get better if you make up in your mind that you want them to.
Before I met this gentle-hearted man, I thought I was completely content with my singleness. Now having invested so much time and looking back over the experience, I realize how much more work I still have left to do in my journey to being complete in God alone. That isn’t to say that I don’t want love, but instead that I want God more.
I came across this passage on Pinterest and so many things that are said in it really speak to my spirit. It provides a sense of comfort in addition to revealing areas where I can grow in my personal life.
“You will never be able to unite with another until you are united with Me, exclusive of anyone OR anything else, exclusive of any other desires or longings. I want you to stop planning, stop wishing, and allow Me to give you the most thrilling plan existing. One that you cannot imagine. I want you to have the best……Keep listening and learning the things I tell you. Just wait. That’s all. Don’t be anxious. Don’t worry. Don’t look at the things others have gotten or that I’ve given them. Don’t toll at the things you think you want. Just keep looking off away, up to Me, or you’ll miss what I want to show you….until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me and the life I have prepared for you, you can’t experience the love that exemplifies your relationship with Me, and thus Perfect Love.
I know that these words were written by man and not by God Himself, but I can definitely feel Him whispering to my spirit every time I read it. I have longings for love and kids; for a family. I hear about pregnancies and my baby fever starts to get the best of me. I make plans mentally and always use wishful thinking. I say I want God’s best, but then I get anxious. I sometimes rush the process and even try to push my own agenda. I’ve been learning how to be still and just wait, but I haven’t perfected it yet. I think I know what I want, but I also can’t see the future to be sure. I don’t want to move ahead of God and miss what He’s trying to show me. I don’t want to stand in His way and block what He’s trying to do in my life. I want that perfect love. I know no one is perfect and if we wait for things to be “perfect”, we’ll be waiting forever; But if our relationship is rooted in God and we trust His timing, then it will be more amazing than anything we could have orchestrated on our own and we will be perfect for each other. I have to let God do His thing and prepare us both as individuals before He brings us together as one.
He is moving behind the scenes and His timing is perfect. While I’m waiting, He is working! And while He’s working, I’ll be learning, growing, and living my best life. There is so much more to this life than finding a mate. I have goals, and dreams, and a greater purpose to fulfill. I’m excited to use this time getting to know God on a much deeper level.
I’m single and I’m okay with that. ♥