I realized October marks my two-year anniversary of being single. Unless you count that one awkward double date I went on, which I don’t since I paid for my own meal. (And duh, that’s how you characterize a date. Just kidding. I don’t actually think that.)
Anyway, it’s my two-year anniversary of being
single awesome. I think this means I should buy myself some flowers.
I mean, right?!
My friend sent me a link to this article. It really struck a chord with me. Especially this line:
I’ve not fallen in love; I’ve learned to practice love. Because the truth is, real love isn’t something passive that you “fall” into; rather, it is something that is active. Love is a practice; it’s something that you do every day, not something that you sit around and wait to show up on your doorstep in the form of one human being.
Maybe you’re thinking: oh no, not another post about being single. Well get off it. This is about singleness, but really, it’s about more than just singleness. It’s also about CATS and whether or not I should create a pinboard on Pinterest entirely dedicated to mac and cheese. Just kidding. It’s not about cats. I’ll let you read on to see about the mac and cheese part.
I write about singleness because I am single. I write about it because it’s my way of processing how to live faithfully as a Christian and as someone who is currently single. I’m not an authority. I don’t even have awesome stories like one I heard recently about someone’s parents setting him up on a blind date only to have his entire family join him on his blind date. Which I think is actually a really great story. So anyone, please feel free to set me up on a blind date because if it doesn’t work out, at least it might end up being a great story. I write about singleness because I think it’s really a key time in life when we need to learn the importance of trusting God.
I also write about being single because I feel like I’m the token single friend. When I was being interviewed for my district minister’s license (which happens annually), the members of the credentialing board asked me, “How would you feel if you never got married?” I don’t think they are asking everyone these questions. I NEED TO KNOW IF ANYONE ELSE IS GETTING ASKED THESE QUESTIONS.
When at a recent job interview, the pastor asked me if I was dating anyone. When I told him that I wasn’t he asked me, somewhat hesitantly, “But you have dated before, right?” Although I am not entirely sure that’s an appropriate question for a job interview, I laughed and told him I have dated before.
I guess I just wanted that to serve as a disclaimer that although I talk about being single, it’s not like I haven’t dated. And honestly? I’m grateful for my experiences. I’m also grateful I’m not dating, engaged or married to anyone I’ve dated in the past. Actually, fun fact: one of my exes just recently got engaged. I am happy for him. Maybe this sounds weird, but I do continue to pray for my exes. I’m not really friends with any of them, but I do pray for their happiness. The relationship has changed, but in order to continuing to be loving, I continue to pray for them.
I believe love should be our defining mark as Christians, so we should constantly be looking for ways to actively love God and others.
Moving toward selfless love (and don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we always love selflessly one hundred percent of the time) will influence the way we live as singles and influence our relationships once we date. Instead of entering into a relationship looking out primarily for our needs, we look for how we can serve the other person.
Being single is an opportunity. It’s not a sickness, and it’s not the plague. It is an opportunity to learn to love and serve others.
I was in elementary school during the rise of the popularity of the internet. I remember the first time I heard about Google. It was in the library, and my classmate said to a whole table of us: “Have you heard about Google?” I think I was in fourth grade. Less revolutionary than Google, I also remember a website with a bunch of smiley faces. People would then comment on these smiley faces. I don’t know. I was in fourth grade. I can’t explain these things. Anyway, the first thing I commented on was an angel smiley face. A lot of people were commenting about themselves. I don’t really remember anything anyone said, but everyone must have been pretty narcissistic because I commented something along the lines of “get over yourselves.”
Alright, so fourth-grade me was a little blunt. However, that’s the same advice I give myself when I dwell too much on being single. I tell myself to get over myself and look for ways to love others. Do I always do a great job of loving and serving others? No. Do I continue to improve? I think so. I try to.
By continuing to trust God with everything, we are being made whole. Marriage or relationships–another person–will not make you whole. We need to come to terms with that and continue to grow deeper in our relationship with God.
Corey Copeland posted an article entitled “Being Single is Okay, OK?”:
“Being single for a season, so that we can be worked on and molded into something lovely and whole, is wise and responsible. Once we do meet the lucky individual who gets to marry us, wouldn’t we rather be that rounded, emotionally stable, fully evolved person they deserve?
“I’m content in knowing that I can be fulfilled in God and in my own path without having to desperately cling to another beating heart.”
“We can breathe easy in knowing that, while we may ache for the completion of another, being single is actually OK. Within those somewhat lonely nights full of painful growth, we are being made whole.”
If you’re single, you’re not broken, empty or incomplete. There isn’t anything wrong with you. But please, please don’t waste this time. This is the time to trust God. This is the time to give our doubts to God. Take a deep breath. Go serve and love.