I am content in my singleness.
If you imagined me saying this while taking a deep sigh of relief, then you hit the proverbial nail on the head.
If you gasped when I said that, then you have probably witnessed one of my meltdowns about being “forever alone.”
This blog is not easy for me to write. I am not one to bare my soul easily. I wish that weren’t the case because I often wish I could be raw and vulnerable in front of others. The truth, however, is that such emotion gives me anxiety, and I begin to look for the nearest exit out of Hormone-Land.
But I am going to do my very best to be raw and vulnerable in front you today, friend.
Being single is no easy feat. It’s the obvious loneliness mixed together with plenty of social pressure, and it’s exhausting. Really, being single should be an Olympic sport with all of the anxiety and pressure tied to it.
I’ve been single for a LONG time.
Because, five years ago, God asked me to step away from dating. Mind you, when He asked, I laughed out loud because I have never even had a “real” boyfriend.
Ouch, that hurts to admit.
There were two boys I considered “boyfriends,” only to find out too late that they never considered me their “girlfriend.” It all seems rather technical, but what I mean is that I was committed to them, but they weren’t committed to me.
At 24, I realize how foolish I was and refuse to count those as viable relationships. In my head, I chalk this up to a WIN on my part.
Back to the point, when God asked me to step away from the dating life, He asked me to step away from men almost completely. He encouraged me to cultivate my friendships with my female friends rather than the male ones I was cultivating by being their caregiver, homework helper, dinner cooker, etc.
He showed me very clearly that my friendships with males (one, in particular) were unhealthy because I was allowing myself to play the role of “girlfriend” without ever asking or demanding the same in return.
I was a doormat.
I couldn’t appreciate the real friendships I had with males and females because I was focused on the unhealthy ones. So, I had to step away.
What I’ve learned:
1) How to be a friend
This is one of the biggest lessons I have learned through this process. I once let a boy so consume my mind and time that I let almost every single one of my friends slip through my fingers. I let him say terrible things to one of my best friends and break her spirit. I thank God every day that she showed me grace and forgave me and welcomed me back. I’ve learned that friends are more than someone to shop with or change my tire because I’m delicate. I learned to surround myself with people who love me for who I am and not what I can do for them. I learned to be open to new friendships but also that sometimes we need to be picky about who we share our life with.
And, most of all, I learned to be a friend to myself. It became so clear that I was expecting a boy to love me when I didn’t even love myself. That is flawed logic. I was setting a poor standard and a low expectation for him to meet. Essentially, my relationships with boys were doomed from the very beginning.
I had some changing to do. I started with treating myself with respect, and doing my best to honor my body and mind with my words and not tear myself down like I had spent the majority of my life doing. I prayed that God would change my mind and spirit to view myself as He does. That was revolutionary. I began to love and appreciate the body, mind, and soul that He created. I began to love myself. And it has been a truly beautiful experience.
2) I learned how to be a woman
Of course I knew how to be a girl. What I mean is that I grew up. I became an adult. I became a woman. I became a Godly woman. I became the woman who God had created me to be.
I learned that I’m a bit of a feminist (who knew?) and that I am more passionate about encouraging women to reach their potential and know their worth than I have been about anything else in my life. I learned how to stand on my own two feet and be independent. This included not running to Daddy every time my car made a funny noise or my credit card got a little out of hand. I still call Daddy, but now I call to ask how his day was. That blew his mind. Independence changed me and, because of it, my relationship with the Lord grew and flourished in real and tangible ways.
I might not have ever learned any of this if things had worked out the way I hoped they would when I was 19 years old.
3) It’s all worth the wait
What a cliché thing to say, right? If you stopped just then and thought “I am so sick of hearing that,” I’m with you. It’s trite and usually not at all helpful when coming out of the mouth of your blissfully happy married friends’ mouths when it seems they didn’t have to wait at all. Trust me, I’ve been there and still am, honestly.
But God is not a God of tradition. He doesn’t map out the same life plan for all of us. And hallelujah for that!
Truthfully, some of our friends have bounced from relationship to relationship, seemingly unscathed, to find the man or woman of their dreams easily and early. And we have those friends that have been dragged through relationship hell and are still married before us. (We’ve all been a bit angry about this.)
And it’s frustrating.
It’s frustrating to understand why God hasn’t chosen that for those of us cooking dinners for one and asking our pet dog, cat, or fish if our outfit looks good. I spent five solid years harboring a deep bitterness toward Him for this.
Ouch, also really hard to admit.
But His plan is just plain bigger than mine. And while I don’t always understand it, there is a reason I’m single.
I’m thankful that He has held my heart so preciously in His hands. Despite my greatest attempts to give it away to someone undeserving and the damage and ugliness I have put it through, my heart still matters to Him.
I am content in my singleness because being courted by the Lord is unlike anything I have ever known before. He unfailingly has my best interests at heart. He loves on me when I’m downright rude to Him. He forgives my mistakes and washes them away. He encourages me and is always my biggest cheerleader.
He has set the standard for what my husband will be in my life because now I can never accept love that doesn’t mirror His.
The Lord has created someone especially for us. We don’t fall together by chance or coincidence. He has betrothed us since birth to the one person that will fit to us just like a puzzle piece.
I hope you know how beautiful and wonderful you are. And how worthy you are of being loved recklessly and passionately. Please don’t settle for a love that doesn’t measure up to the quality of person you are. Please wait on His timing. Please love yourself.
To wrap it all up, waiting isn’t always fun. But in this waiting period, I’ve learned to love myself, love others, and how to be a bit of a badass.
So, yeah, I’m pretty content with being single.