Last Thursday, I had the epitome of a perfect evening. After work, I went for a short walk while talking with my brother on the phone. Then, I made dinner and finished a gripping memoir I’ve been enjoying. I made some tea, I watched some Spanish Netflix, and I spent time in prayer. And then I went to bed.
Depending on your preferences, that either sounds delightful or horrible. For me, it was one incredibly satisfying evening! And as I headed to bed, I wondered to myself: “Will I ever want to let someone in to my quiet little life? Do I really want that?”
My answer is undoubtedly: “Yes!” It’s always been “yes,” ever since I was a little girl playing mommy and trying on my mommy’s wedding dress. That’s what what made the situation all the more confusing. In that blissful evening, without a man or a child, I felt very content. In fact, I was lamenting that fact that, God willing, I won’t always be able to do what I want with my time.
That’s when my Type-A brain went ahead and made it even worse: “What if this contentment is actually God trying to change my mind about marriage?! What if He’s trying to make me happy with singleness so He can fulfill a plan in my life that lacks marriage altogether?!”
I was floored, and angry! No way, I am not about that! A life of singleness is NOT going to happen! So, in order to thwart this divine conspiracy I’d just uncovered, I began admonishing myself. I started recalling all the ways my life would improve once it included a man. No, not really. But I did throw myself an impromptu pity party.
It was in that woeful reflection that I realized how silly– and unhelpful– this whole situation was. Yes, I desire marriage. Yes, I trust God with my future. Yes, only God satisfies me. Why does it have to be harder than that? But it is, friends. It is.
I’ve felt the roller coaster emotions of singleness before, but this particular experience lingered in my mind. The next morning, as I ran along the lamp-lit streets, I reflected on the night before. As I did, I decided that I needed to write about singleness. I could write about the complexity and the confusion, the selfishness and the fear. Yes, I definitely needed to write about singleness… Once I was married, of course.
See, here’s what I’m thinking: I should wait until I’m out of this season, before I announce it to the world. Diverging from that path is most certainly a disaster waiting to happen.
Yes, I definitely need to write about singleness… Once I’m married, of course.
First off, writing about singleness when one is single can be seen as a dot com cry of desperation, a massive “HELP WANTED” ad (which this isn’t, by the way). Second, I’m not entirely sure I want to step onto a platform of singleness. That seems very definitive, very confident. And I’m neither of those things.
The third reason, however, is what really gets me. For so long, I’ve avoided explicitly writing about singleness because it is a very vulnerable thing. I regularly combat the lies that say “you aren’t wanted” or “you aren’t good enough to love.” Why would I want to share that unworthiness with others? Why would I want to brand myself as “lesser?”
But, somewhere between mile five and six, as the sun was cresting the skyline: I realized why. I am compelled write about singleness for the same reason I was compelled to share my battle with anorexia: It magnifies Christ. No, not everything is beneficial to share, but for the things that are: How can I stay silent? How can I, when there are millions of others who face the same confusing, who crave godly encouragement and a fist-bump of solidarity.
I am compelled write about singleness for the same reason I was compelled to share my battle with anorexia: It can magnify Christ.
Friends, some days I am 100% satisfied with where God has me. God has been faithful in bringing me into a season of contentment this past year. I can honestly say that most of the time, I’m in a state of trust and joyful expectation when it comes to my relationship status. But not always. Sometimes, I am overwhelmed with the sense that I am forgotten, undesired, or unwanted. Experience tells me, I’m not alone.
But WHY is singleness, much like an eating disorder, taboo to discuss in Christian circles? Don’t we believe that we, as singles, are undergoing just as much spiritual growth and refining as our married counterparts? Or have we, somewhere along the way, bought into the lie that being unmarried means we are less than, something we shouldn’t really talk about, lest we hurt feelings.
You, and I, have full permission to dive into this rad, sanctifying, confusion thing called singleness. And in doing so, let us encourage one another– married or not– to continue pursuing Christ as our first and foremost love.
Ps. Stay tuned! Next week, I’m planning to dive into the issue of selfishness and singleness. Married and dating friends: This is relevant for you too! I promise!