Last night kicked off the first night of our series on relationships in the youth group where I intern. Next Wednesday I am preaching on, yep, you guessed it, singleness. Oh, singleness. Yesterday in one of my classes we all had to introduce ourselves, including what our desired super power would be. (Of course I picked a lame super power, and if you read my “FAQs,” you would know what super power I choose. Be warned: it’s lame.) My professor took it one farther and shared who his arch nemesis would be. (He had a clever name for his villain, but I forgot it. It had something to do with being ignorant. Oh, that’s right. It would be Ignoramus, because he has no tolerance for people who are ignorant.) I didn’t share this in class, but if I had to pick my arch nemesis, it would be Singleness—a villain who lurks in the shadows reminding me of how I am single and has the power to make me feel absolutely pathetic about myself.
And a lot of time I do feel pathetic about myself. The times usually fall on those “must eat animal crackers and Nutella” kind of days. Maybe you know the ones.
While I was home, my mother and I were having a conversation about relationships. She looked at me and said, “You know, Andra, there are other ways to be happy. You can always adopt.”
Now I know my mother has not given up hope on me, but it brought to the surface an all too apparent truth: I am single. In a generation where people are getting married later in their lives, it shouldn’t be a big deal. After all, I’m only twenty years old. However, when you run around in Christian university circles like I do, the news of people even younger than you getting engaged is often thrown in your face. And you begin to question: “What is wrong with me?” “When will my time to find someone ever come?” “How many calories am I consuming with eating all this Nutella?”
I grew up on fairy tales with shiny white knights and having my mother call me “princess.” I grew up dreaming about what my wedding dress will look like. I grew up thinking that someday my prince would come. Some of the best advice I received from my cousin was, “Do not ever think that your life should look a certain way by a certain age because it will never work out the way you imagine.” It’s interesting because I know she is right, but it still doesn’t make it any easier. I even know logically that I am supposed to be single for this time in my life because realistically, I am thinking about my career too much to give any significant other the priority he would need. Still there are nights when I do not receive any text messages or phone calls and it feels lonely.
For another confession: I will admit, I really enjoy breakup songs. But the best breakup songs are the ones where the person gains strength and moves forward. I know it is corny (and so are the things I sometimes tell myself to reassure myself that it is alright that I am single), but there are lies that the Enemy tries telling us (that we are not pretty enough, that we are only a six, that we will never be good enough for a man, that we might as well go buy more cats) and there are truths that we must cling to. There are a lot of voices that whisper into my ears on those lonely nights, but there are other voices that need to speak louder than the rest. Those voices are telling me:
I am complete in Christ.
So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. –Colossians 2:10 NLT
Everything is beautiful in its own time.
He has made everything beautiful it its time. He has set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done. –Ecclesiastes 3:11
You have been accepted, just as you are.
Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. –Romans 15:7
You are blessed. Yes, little ol’ single you, are indeed blessed. And we are united with Christ.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. –Ephesians 1:3
Even when your Facebook status still says single and what seems to be all of your friends’ statuses say “engaged,” you are chosen by God. Even when your cell phone never rings, you are called by God.
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. –1 Peter 2:9
And, then, those nights when you have no one for whom to get “fancy” and you cry out, God hears you.
In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the LORD!” But you heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help. –Psalm 31:22
We are carried by a God who will be our God of the good days and the bad.
I will be your God throughout your lifetime—until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. –Isaiah 46:4
And who needs a white knight when we have the Lord fighting for us?
The LORD himself will fight for you. –Exodus 14:14
We are called and are his. So, when the day comes with I am no longer single (and my mother has not given up hope that day will someday come), I will still know that I am called and I am God’s. There won’t be this desire to be complete in my husband, because my completion is in Christ.
But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.” –Isaiah 43:1