Grab a cup of coffee. Let's chat.
No, this is not a formula for how to live the perfect single life. It's not a prayer that you can say that will instantly dry up the tears or suddenly make it hurt less that all of your closest friends are getting engaged or in happy relationships.
For me, the words "single" and "content" seem to go together about as much as sandpaper and cashmere sweaters. Vera Wang and dirty sneakers. Pregnant women and alcohol. I could go on.
I could also compare it to celery and peanut butter, for while some seem to have no problem with it, and even, dare I say, to enjoy it, I, on the other hand, believe it bordering culinary apostasy to even have the two foods in the same room together.
I've read all the books. The one's about praying for your future husband, about waiting for the right one, about trusting God's timing, about preparing your heart for his.
This is an open letter to the woman who is losing hope, to the one who thinks her prince has somehow fallen off his white horse, been attacked by bandits, and is currently lost in the woods somewhere. This is to the woman who can't even bear to watch romantic comedies anymore because of how lonely they make her feel, to the woman who has to force a smile to her lips every time her girlfriend flashes her stunning two-carat engagement ring.
You are not alone.
You are not the only one who feels this way; you are not alone in your suffering (what, suffering? Yes. suffering). Your prayers are not being ignored, they are being attentively heard and stored up for the day in which our Father will make good on his promises to you.
But I am learning (again. and again. and again) that God's promises--they don't always work out how we expect them to.
That's our God. We know he is faithful; we know he works out everything in the believer's life for good, but that "faithfulness" and that "goodness" may look completely different from an all-knowing, divine perspective than it does from our own fragile, limited human perspective.
How many times I've asked God to just let me see his hand, to let me see how everything will turn out. Funny thing about faith though, faith actually means that we believe God when everything around us makes it looks like we shouldn't. Faith is "hoping against hope" as Paul would say.
So to the beautiful girl who feels that she has been waiting for longer than she should, to the woman who feels the need to settle because she doubts that the "right" one will never come, to the one who is beginning to doubt her own self-worth because no one seems interested in her--our God is faithful, plain and simple. And we must trust.
We have every single reason to trust Him. Adam, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Rachel, Moses, Esther, Daniel, Israel, David, Solomon, Paul, Samson--read the Bible--our God is the one who fulfills his promises to us. We have no reason to not trust him.
then we don't have to fear.
We don't have to worry.
We can bring our doubts, our worries, our fears, our insecurities, and we can let him shoulder the weight of them.
Because of who he is, we can hope against all hope.
And that doesn't mean that everything will go well with us, that doesn't mean that being single isn't a form of suffering, that doesn't mean that as soon as our hearts get right that a significant other is soon to follow.
It means that even if we hate the waiting, our hope and trust in the Gift Giver can far outweigh the pain that comes when our plans don't work out as we would like them to.
The more we focus on Him, the more we learn to trust him. The more we trust his plans, the less we rely on ours.
And don't get me wrong, I'm not telling you that if you really believe these truths about God that being single will no longer be hard. This also doesn't mean that something is wrong with your attitude or your heart if being single is hard for you. Guess what? We are actually promised suffering in this life, but the good news is that suffering is not the end of it.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.Is something wrong with you if being single is really difficult? If it's lonely? If it hurts?
But is it worthwhile to let our Father do his work in your life so that your suffering can become endurance, which then transforms into glorious hope? Most definitely.