I’ve written quite a bit on the type of love that’s worth waiting for, but one thing needs to be clear: singleness isn’t just a stage to prepare for a relationship or marriage (though it can be, provided that marriage is your vocation). Rather, it is much more; singleness carries a beauty and purpose of its OWN. This is what needs to be discovered.
Mesmerized by the idea of love and relationships, it’s tempting to view our singleness as a temporary waiting period to “endure” until “something better” rolls around. We wind up unintentionally treating it like some curse, a disease to be cured, a ‘state of life’ brought about by our inadequacies. We conclude that if we weren’t inadequate, we wouldn’t be single, right? We wind up asking God why He hasn’t given us the relationships we desire yet. We end up haunted by the feeling that we are not currently where we should be.
But let me tell you something: You are exactly where you need to be. You are single because you need to be. Singleness is not God’s punishment to you; it’s a gift. You have a purpose. It’s not just a ‘default setting’ like the world tempts you to believe. It’s a stage God gave you with intention. It’s not the sign of a person who’s ran out of options; it’s the door to a wide array of options. But most of us are so focused on desperately knocking on the door of relationships that we don’t even realize other doors that are waiting to be explored; they, along with God’s plans for us, remain untouched. How unfortunate is that?
Examining the ratio between marriage and singleness in the span of our entire lives, singleness occupies only a small fraction of it (assuming, again, that we’re called to the vocation of marriage). This small fraction needs to be made the most out of; it’s only there for a short while.
SEEING THE BEAUTY …
The beauty of marriage is getting to share your life with someone else completely, putting their needs above your own, and nurturing your children to become the men/women God calls them to be.
But singleness is a unique time to focus on the self–on who God wants you to be, specifically. It’s a time to figure out your life’s purpose, to devote all your time, energy, attention, and devotion to whatever that is. As St. Catherine of Sienna said: “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” Singleness is a time to do that. It’s a time to set the world on fire in the way that you are uniquely called to, to run head-on towards the mission He has given you.
Rather than asking God why you are not yet in a relationship, ask Him why you are single and what to do with that singleness. Pray for the wisdom and courage to become who He wants you to be. Stop worrying about the future and what you don’t ‘have’ yet, and enjoy the present moment! There is so much in front of you at this moment in time; stop waiting for ‘better times’ to come around and realize that they have already arrived. Get creative and be excited. “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
As a fellow sister in Christ said last weekend, “I am alone, but not lonely.” Make that your truth too.