Dear Single Woman,
You are right where you need to be. You are not lacking. You are not unworthy of love. And you are not missing out. God sees you, whether you tangibly feel that in this season of your life or not. I know the feelings of loneliness or doubt that can sometimes go along with living this life as a single person. And I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how Christian culture responds to and handles single-hood, especially among those who are single well into their late 20’s, 30’s, and beyond. I spent the majority of my adult life single. In fact my first serious relationship wasn’t until I was twenty-seven. In the past six years since then I have dated a bit more and am now in a loving and committed relationship, but my single years aren’t too far behind me. Neither are all of the thoughts and feelings I experienced during that time. I remember so often being made to feel like I was single because there was some sort of lack in my life or because I was being too picky. Often I would hear well meaning friends and acquaintances say things like, “As soon as you are satisfied with God alone, He will bring the right man into your life.” Or “Before you can marry someone incredible, God has to make you someone incredible.” Although those are well intentioned comments, they are misleading because beneath them lies the premise that single-hood is a state of deprivation for those who are not yet ready for marriage. Nothing could be further from the truth. First off because, who ever said that marriage was the goal? Or that it was a better way of life than single-hood? In fact, Paul in 1 Corinthians discourages singles from marrying so that they are more free to focus on the matters of Christ. Secondly, every single person enters marriage broken and imperfect. We are human after all. God’s gifts aren’t only granted to those who have reached a certain pinnacle of holiness. Nor are His blessings earned by our contentment in Him. Your single-ness has nothing to do with you either not being spiritual enough, or you being too spiritual for marriage. It has nothing to do with you being too strong or not being strong enough. It has nothing to do with you not being pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, funny enough, etc. It has everything to do with God, in His goodness, granting singleness to you in this season. Just as much as God, in His goodness, will grant marriage when His time is right. Your single-hood isn’t God’s back-up plan. It is His plan and that plan is so beautiful, and perfect, and wonderful. No matter how hard (or not hard) it is for you to see that right now.
The reason I think this truth is so important to grasp is because, often believing those lies about yourself and about God, is the very thing holding you back from making the most of your life right now, as a single person. The truth is, you only get this time and this freedom once in your life and it can be gone much sooner than you expect. One thing I will never regret is being fully present and making the most of my life during my single years. I was fortunate enough to travel the world, pursue my passions and dreams, pursue hobbies, and volunteer with missions organizations that took me into some pretty risky territory. Really the only regrets I have from those years are the times that I didn’t trust God with my love story. And I definitely had those times. Marriage seemed so impossible to me sometimes because of what I had experienced in past relationships. But then thirty one years into my life, God caught me completely off guard, which He is often in the business of doing, and He brought the most incredible and loving man into my life.
Everyone’s story is different and I don’t share mine to suggest that the same will happen for every woman out there, but instead to suggest that God is in control of it all. In His goodness, he lavishes and withholds, he heals and doesn’t heal, he gives and he takes away. And through it all, He is still good. When good things come our way in this life, it is not His goodness that changed, it is merely our perspective of Him that changed. Our image of God is the most important thing about us. It determines our relationship with Him, with others, and with ourselves. We all have the choice to see God for who He is, a good Father, and to respond in trust. We also have the choice to doubt Him and live our lives in fear and discouragement when things don’t go the way we plan. That choice will direct our lives. It will affect our joy. And it will change the way we live this one life we’ve been given on earth. So my prayer for any of you single women out there reading this is that you will see and trust the story that God is writing over your life, even in this very moment. That you will see your unspeakable worth and value. And that you will move toward tomorrow in trust and confidence knowing that God has you, He loves you, He’s not going anywhere, and He has your best in mind.