This is not an ordinary Friday night. It’s Friday night of the “love holiday”– Valentine’s Day. If you happen to be reading this on Valentine’s Day, maybe this Friday night IS actually ordinary for you since you’re home reading a blog post!
It is for me. This night is no different than a normal Friday when I’m too tired from the week to do anything less than low-key. But don’t stop reading – I promise this will NOT be a post from a bitter, cynical single woman lamenting the woes of the lonely hearted.
I’m not good at waiting. I don’t like waiting in lines. I don’t like waiting in traffic. I don’t like waiting for elevators. I don’t like waiting for the microwave. I don’t like waiting on delayed planes. I don’t like waiting to open presents – I may have unwrapped Christmas presents once, tried stuff on, wrapped them back up and put them back under the tree. I’m not good at waiting.
But today –I wait.
Today I wait as I have for the last four decades. WHOA. That’s a long time – I totally relate to the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years! They wandered and waited for the promised land. I wait for a husband – you could say I’m wandering in the desert of singleness. But actually, in THIS topic of waiting – I’ve become quite good at it. Today.
I absolutely love my life. I’m grateful for where God has me and how He’s allowed me to serve Him. I’ve told the Lord that until I can serve and glorify Him BETTER with a spouse than by myself – I’m okay being single. And I really am, I promise. Today. Why do I keep saying that? Well – that’s literally how I maintain a joyful and hopeful heart in this topic that wrecks so many single women. In my 20’s I had so much fun I didn’t even think about marriage. In my 30’s I definitely thought about it and had more of a longing and even did eHarmony. I would love to have a companion to do life with and serve the Lord together – but for now…single desert.
Being that I’m always asked to be the “content single woman” on panels – I guess I’m doing okay in this area. I want to share with you a message God gave me years ago that has helped me cope and even thrive in my singleness. I pray it helps you, too!
Remember that problem I had with unwrapping presents? One day when reading 1 Corinthians 7, verse 7 hit me like it never had before:
“I wish that everyone were like me, but each person has his own gift from God. One has one gift, another has another gift.”
Uh-oh. Conviction set in that day that I could choose to either be a BRAT and whine and complain that I hated my “gift,” or I could receive this gift from the Lord and be grateful and rejoice that God loved me so much that He gave me a gift! I hadn’t viewed my singleness as a curse, yet, but I realized then and there that I had a choice. God tends to reveal lessons to me in acrostics – so here’s how I’ve handled my gift of singleness all of these years: (I encourage you to look up the verses!).
Grace | 2 Cor. 12:9 | God’s grace IS enough for me.
Influence | 2 Cor. 3:2 | Favorite ministry verse. I have time for influencing others in ministry in ways I couldn’t if not single!
Focus | I Cor. 7:32-35 | I get to have single-hearted devotion when I choose it
Today | I Thes. 5:18 | Often, BY FAITH, I have to choose to give thanks – but for TODAY, I am single and I will take it 1 day at a time.
A gift is something someone gives you because they care about you. I didn’t do anything to get this gift, I didn’t ask for this gift – but I’m going to cherish it day by day until God replaces it with another one! I want to cherish the gift I’ve been given and be grateful for it because I believe my God loves me and knows what’s best for me. Another verse that gets me through this season of wandering in the single desert is James 1:17 which tells me that every good and perfect gift is from God. God loves me and gave me this gift – I will be a grateful, excited, joyful recipient because I believe God has the bigger picture and is in total control of my life.
I still hate waiting for most things in life. But with the topic of singleness, I have grown a “choice muscle.” Every time it’s hard (and it IS sometimes, but that’s for another post), I CHOOSE BY FAITH to trust God and my faith and trust grow stronger. With this many years of waiting and using that choice muscle, I’m like a trust body-builder by now!
As you spend this weird Hallmark holiday either with friends or hanging out alone, please think about the GIFT you have today. What kind of recipient have you been and do you want to be? I’ll close with some of my favorite responses to stupid things people say to singles! Enjoy!
“Why are you still single?”
Because apparently no man on earth deserves to be as happy as I would make him.
“Do you think you will be single forever?”
Since I don’t know forever, TODAY, I’ll only know that if I’m dying on my deathbed and I’m still single, it was forever. (In my less spiritual state of mind, I’d like to say, “Will you be stupid forever?” – but I’m not allowed to do that).
“When you’re fully content in the Lord, He’ll bring you a husband.”
Really? Because I’ve observed all the married people I know to be fully content? No more words, or I’ll be in sin.
Happy Valentine’s Day – enjoy your GIFT!
Millie Welsh, Executive Director