Singleness - How I’ve Learned to Enjoy it Instead of Endure It
Singleness is NOT something to be endured. But I know it feels like itsometimes.
If you’re single, I’m right here with you. I haven’t been in a relationship in 6 years. I’ve gone on dates here and there, wasted time on some foolishness, but I’m still waiting to meet God’s best for me. I know what’s it like to feel like a second class citizen, to avoid social media on Valentine’s Day, and be less than happy when someone else gets engaged because it’s not me.
It’s been a journey but the biggest lesson I’ve learned is this: Singleness is something to be enjoyed.
This wait has been... a journey, and I’ve grown tremendously. I haven’t always been content not having a boyfriend, or at least someone to text (let’s be real). However, it’s gotten easier. Although I still have my moments, I can honestly say I’m content.
It’s not that I no longer desire a relationship, cause I do. But I don’t idolize it anymore. I realized it’s not the end all be all. Through the counseling of the Holy Spirit, and help from my Christian community, I’ve learned to navigate this season with joy instead of dread. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have the principles that have helped me along the way.
1.Knowing My Season
Rather, Knowing and accepting it. I’m not just talking about the season of singleness. Within singleness, there are seasons: ones for meeting new people and going on dates, and others for being alone and preoccupied with other facets of life. God may want you to spend more time with your family, get healthier, go back to school or start a business. Focusing on dating when He wants you to focus on something else is only going to cause delays in both areas. Your future spouse isn’t going to come any sooner than God ordains, so rest! His plan and timing is perfect. Discover your calling, travel the world, move to a new city, get in the best shape of your life, etc… This season has a purpose - Walk in it.
2. Realizing There is No Formula
I have godly friends who have met their mates by swiping right. I thought, “It worked for them, so maybe it’ll work for me.” WRONG! Now, there’s nothing wrong with meeting someone via online dating, but I was not led by God. I was led by feelings of loneliness.
As I see more and more of my friends’ love stories unfold, I’m assured that everyone’s path is unique. Some people meet through the internet, some randomly at the grocery store, and others at church. A few didn’t like each other as friends, let alone romantically, at first. Instead of trusting and following God, I was trying to follow a formula that didn’t exist.
God knows the end from the beginning and everything in between. Who I want may not be who I need or what is best for me in the long run. I’ve learned to trust God’s infinite wisdom instead of my limited wisdom.
3. Guarding My Heart and Mind
Censoring what I watch, listen to, and who I follow on social media have helped me a lot. For a few months, I had to stop watching Vlogs of couples because it was fueling my loneliness and discontentment. With each click all I would think about it when I would have that.
You may think it doesn’t take all that, but is what you’re currently doing solving your problem? Seek God and ask Him to reveal what you should guard your heart against. It may be for a few weeks, it may be for a few years. It sounds inconvenient, but how bad do you want it? Do you always want to struggle or do you want to overcome? You’ll be surprised how quickly discontentment dies when you began to starve it, and embrace the blessing that you do have.
4.Embracing the Freedom
Nothing makes a wait seem longer than doing nothing during it. We find ways to preoccupy ourselves when we wait for flights, concerts to start, or to see a doctor - with books, conversations, or our phones. The same should be true during your wait for a relationship.
This time of your life should be exciting. It’s a blessing that has it’s own unique benefits that marriage does not. Right now, you can spend your time and money however you desire. I’m using this time to do the things I love the most. I’ve traveled to 4 countries on 3 continents, picked up new hobbies, made amazing friends, and served in different ministries at church. I’m no longer counting time because I’m preoccupied. My life is exciting because I choose to make the most of every day God has given me. Singleness isn’t boring, it’s what you make it.
5.Building a strong foundation
God once said to me, “How can you be faithful to an imperfect person if you can’t be faithful to Me, who is perfect?” This came at a time when I wasn’t being obedient to His instruction. I was trying to make a relationship happen, and my disobedience resulted in unfaithfulness to God.
Our relationship with God will be reflected in our future marriage. If we cannot be faithful to God and submit unto Him at all times, how will we (as women) be strong enough to submit to our Husband? If we let our joy and worth be determined by a status, what happens when you’re married but renting instead of buying, or not able to conceive in the timeline you want? What about when your spouse isn’t making you “happy” and you don’t feel fulfilled? Will you still trust God and depend on Him? Or will you take matters into our own hands like you did when you were single?
Now is the time solidify a strong foundation in God; to grow in the fruit of the spirit and find all of your peace, joy, and hope in Christ alone. Life is hard no matter your martial status. Having a mate won’t make the tests easier or the trials disappear. However, having strong relationship with God will ensure the tests don’t break you, or break-up your future relationship.
This is the season to strengthen your faith and discover that Jesus is truly enough. I know holidays get lonely, family members ask too many questions, and it feels like you’re the last one to be picked for kickball, but don’t lose hope. Stay in God’s will because it’s worth it. A bit of waiting now will save you from a lot of heartbreak and loneliness later on. I know our culture, and especially some churches, don’t make singleness feel valued so let me end with this truth.
You are not waiting to be loved, you are loved.