Hi, my name is Faith and I’m single. Now, before you go emailing me about your cousin’s neighbor’s goldfish who is single… it’s really okay… Ahem. Moving on. Last February I showed up to a local high school’s Campus Crusade event. I was there to see my students and support a friend who was on the Valentine’s Day panel. They were chatting about all things love, marriage, dating, and singleness.
As I sat down, I heard two adults chatting and asking the question no single person particularly loves answering.
“Excuse me, are you single?”
“No, I’m not,” she answered.
Then, I felt it… the tap on my shoulder. I instantaneously broke out into a heat flash. Beads of sweat began to drip down my forehead and I could tell I was getting nauseated… Just kidding – none of that happened, I just like the drama.
“Excuse me, are you single? We need an adult to represent single people on the panel.”
As we started down the panel, each person gave their name and their relationship status. Each of the speakers were married, engaged, dating, or somewhere in-between. I was the last person to give an introduction.
“Hi, I’m Faith and I represent all you single friends out there! Woo!”
Y’all, the students broke out into shouts. Single people got it.
First, to some of you married folks, stop acting all weird around single people. Sorry, someone had to say it. Some (and notice I’ve said “some”) of you may feel sorry for your single friends. It’s really okay. In fact, Paul viewed his singleness as a gift, so help single people embrace their singleness as a gift! This week invite a single friend out. I know I’d be happy to eat your food.
To my single friends, the truth is, we’ve got to lighten up. We’ve wasted so much time chasing our tail over the fact that we’re single. Far too often we’ve missed the wondrous world of possibilities the Lord has set before us. These moments consume our thoughts and lead us to giving up the thrones of our hearts to something other than our King.
I’m disappointed at the thought of there having been moments where I’ve spent more time preparing myself for my future husband, a simple human, over preparing my heart for the coming of my King. When did we – I, start allowing marriage to become a permissible idol in my heart? This self-made idol, like any worldly one, is a thief in the night who longs to steal my joy, kill my relationships with people, and destroy my trust in Jesus.
The truth is, when I allow God to step into my situation, He uses my singleness for His glory in ways that are different (not better) than if I were married. Start thinking, how can the flexibility of my time, availability, and circumstances be used for His glory? I’ve stopped wasting time trying to bargain with the Lord over how I’ll glorify Him better if I had a husband (particularly one who can kill bugs, will watch the Hallmark channel with me, and can cook… maybe a charming accent as well, please). Rather, I want to start begging God to make me sit in a posture of availability to be used today. He’s asking me to glorify Him today and I waste a lot of time harping on tomorrow’s dealings.
As a single person, I’ve walked with the Lord in a variety of adventures. I’ve lived in three different states, trekked across the Himalayan Mountains, served alongside Beth Moore, experienced and grieved with the nation of Haiti over an earthquake, traveled back to Haiti four more times, and directed camps for thousands. I’ve also sat down for coffee with women who simply needed an ear at all kinds of hours of the day, stayed up way too late into the night writing and chasing after passions without borders, and said “yes” to another trip because an empty home is okay.
My life has been FULL. Full of mountains climbed, tears shed, days colliding with miracles, fellowship with the most lifegiving people, lament, and friendship with my King. Friends, when I look back, surrendering my singleness to the Lord has been the ride of a lifetime.
Hear me out, this doesn’t mean this walk is without longing. It’s there when I’m at a wedding and I don’t have a partner to float across the dance floor with. I celebrate with absolute abandon, but feel the quiet ache, when the girls I mentor become engaged. I wonder if my time is running out when friends I went to high school with are about to have the most breathtaking babies you’ll ever see (can you feel the drama rising in this one?). I have nights where I wonder what it would look like to come home for dinner to a party of two.
Dear friend, I feel it. I allow myself to feel it and I bring it to my Savior. I fight and I wonder, and I rest, and I move on with Him. I look back and see the journey I’ve been on with my Savior; He’s never left me in need. I should be left wanting more of His presence.
Listen to this,
“Lord, you are my portion and my cup of blessing; you hold my future. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places’ indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. I will bless the Lord who counsels me – even at night when my thoughts trouble me. I always let the Lord guide me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my whole being rejoices’ my body also rests securely. For you will not abandon me to Sheol; you will not allow your faithful one to see decay. You reveal the path of life to me; in your presence is abundant joy; at your right hand are eternal pleasures.” – Psalms 16:5-11
In the verses before this, the writer describes “the sorrows of those who take another god for themselves will multiply” (Psalm 16:4 a). My single friends, my question is this: has the concept of marriage so consumed you that it has taken the rightful throne of Christ in your life? To my married friends, I beg the same question: is the Lord the delight of your life over your marriage and family? These can be tough answers to sit with, but the reality is real. Psalms says the sorrows of those who take another god will multiply. Friends, other gods in your life will leave you empty and unsatisfied.
In Psalms 16, we see the writer delighting in the presence of God. He knows His inheritance and the fullness He walks in when he has the nearness of Christ. With Him there is joy. With Him we are full. Do you believe that? Marriage isn’t the only adventure God has up His sleeve (and thank goodness for that). Truth be told, I’m single and it doesn’t seem like the world is burning down over it.
Wherever you find your status in marriage, will you set aside yourself in order to live a life available for God to use? This song (below) has challenged me in this concept. I hope it brings clarity to your soul like it has mine.