Ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamt of being the leading lady in my own fairytale. You know how the story goes: The princess meets Prince Charming who rides in on a white horse, he sweeps her off her feet by writing her countless love letters using words like “always” and “forever” and “soulmate”, and the two gallop off into the sunset with a lifetime of bliss ahead of them. Roll credits.
Let’s come back to reality, shall we? I’m a twenty-something with no Romeos throwing rocks at my window and no prospects of a date on the horizon (unless you count the hot date that I’ll most likely be having with Joey, Chandler, Monica, Ross, Rachel, and Phoebe this weekend… Also known as the cast of “F.R.I.E.N.D.S”, the sitcom that I’ve been binge-watching all semester). I attend a small, Christian university where everyone seems to be pairing off and getting married, so suffice it to say that I often feel like the odd one out in the wonderful world of relationships. Now, hear me out: I am in NO way dissing those people who are in relationships, especially if they are stable relationships centered on Christ. In fact, that’s a reason to celebrate! What an honor it is to be surrounded by many couples who are demonstrating a glimpse of the way that Jesus loves us by the pure way in which they love each other. That being said, I would be lying if I said that there weren’t times when I struggle to stay secure in my singleness. Lately, I have found myself asking the Lord what His plan is for seasons of singleness in our lives, especially since our culture tends to treat the label of “single” as an unfortunate diagnosis to be cured by being in a relationship. As always, He has been abundantly gracious in giving me a renewed perspective on some of the blessings that He has in store for those of us who are single:
- Remember my identity. My identity comes from the fact that I am a daughter of the King. My worth is not defined by my relationship status, and I was beautiful before a man ever told me that I was, simply because God made me that way and He doesn’t make mistakes (Song of Solomon 4:7).
- Look for the “Best Yes”. For every “no” that I receive in life, whether that be a break-up or any other kind of disappointment, God has a greater “yes” in mind for me that will be better for me in the long run. He tells us “no” or “just wait” because He is protecting us from less than His best. ALL things, even things that are upsetting & frustrating, work together for our good and His glory, especially if we are willing to be patient and trust that He doesn’t let anything in our lives go to waste. (Romans 8:28)
- Focus on becoming the right person, not finding the right person. I need to focus on becoming a godly woman whose heart looks more and more like Jesus’, rather than being consumed by seeking out a godly man. Chasing after a person is never attractive, so I need to trust that God will lead me to the man meant for me in the right way because “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
- Pour into my friends more. I’m thankful for my singleness right now because not only can I focus on God with an undivided heart, I can also pour into my friends more intentionally. I would much rather remember my college experience as being spent with tons of friends than with one guy.
- Live for today. “Single” does not mean “useless”. I will not wait around to find a man and THEN pursue God’s calling for my life or “get started with my real life” or serve the Lord and His people with passion. We aren’t promised tomorrow, and every day that we are on this earth is a gift from God, so I will choose to believe that “this is the day that the Lord has made, and I WILL rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24) regardless of my relationship status.
As I reflected on my childhood vision of finding my Prince Charming, I was hit by an incredible realization: What if my Prince doesn’t ride a white horse, but a donkey? What if my Prince wrote me the most enticing and beautiful love letter in the form of the Bible? What if my Prince knows my heart more intimately than any man ever could because His hands were the very ones that formed it? What if the Prince Charming that my heart aches to love and my soul longs to know and be known by goes by another name: Prince of Peace? Of course, it’s not wrong for me to desire the earthly love of a man. After all, God Himself was the one who placed that desire in my heart. However, it is crucial to genuinely believe that Jesus’ love is enough to satisfy me, and nothing is sweeter than loving and being loved by Him. I have faith that God will honor my trust in Him because He promises us that when He alone becomes our source of delight, He will then give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4)… But even if He doesn’t bring a man into my life, He is STILL good, and being the child of a good Father is always a reason to be joyful.