All The Single Ladies (all the single fellas)

image


“I don’t wanna waste my singleness,” a dear friend of mine shared, as we poured over bowls of chipotle and bared our souls to one another, catching up on the previous few months apart.

In that moment, her declaration really resonated with me, probably because, throughout my life, I’ve continuously shared that same philosophy.

Sure, I’ve always been more of an independent, focusing more on my dreams and aspirations than boys, even in grade school, but this became more of lifestyle choice a few years back.

I remember it like it was yesterday – a crisp, fall, Sunday evening. My home had just been filled with the smells of fresh baked brownies and candles, and the sounds of good friends gathered around the television, as we prayed together and encouraging one another.

A few moments later, after I had seen each guest to the door and began to clean up from the evening’s festivities, I found myself alone in my room. The keyword being “alone.”

Loneliness has never really been a struggle for me. Being the INFJ, introvert that I am, I relish the time I get to spend alone. Time spent reading, writing songs, cooking; listening to music, even doing household chores set to the soundtrack of my favorite movie or Pandora station has always been my sanctuary. But suddenly, in this moment, after having just spent the evening with my friends, I felt overwhelmed with loneliness. I immediately picked up my phone to call my good friend to pray together. I’m so thankful for these sisters in Christ that God has so generously placed in my life, women that stand on the front lines with me and intercede with me and on my behalf. Our conversation and prayer time led me to a few verses from Paul’s letter to the people of the church in Corinth:

An unmarried woman or a virgin is concerned about the things of the Lord, to be holy both in body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the things of the world, how to please her husband. I am saying this for your benefit, not to place a limitation on you, but so that without distraction you may give notable and constant service to the Lord.[1]

Upon reading this scripture at that moment, God gave me a new affirmed sense of purpose in singleness, and to this day, I firmly believe this:

God’s purpose for your life is not found within your marital status. Marriage might be one of His many plans for you, but the imprint you leave on this world will not be defined by whether or not you are married.

Now before you freak out on me, I am a HUGE proponent of marriage and believe it is one of the most beautiful gifts God gave humanity. I am hopeful that the Lord will bless me with the gift of marriage someday, but just because I am single right now does NOT mean I have been forgotten. I believe I am single because that is God’s purpose for me during this season in my life. And someday, when I am married, God will have other purposes that can only be accomplished within the covenant of marriage.

I was blessed with some great friends in college – particularly some awesome, godly guy friends. When you are feeling down on yourself you can get frustrated by the sheer amount of people of the opposite sex in your life who are “just friends,” but I have chosen to view each of these guys and their friendship as another blessing from the Lord. Not only are they incredible brothers in Christ who are fun to be around, their extraordinary example has helped shape the image of the kind of man I’m waiting for.

One of these friends spoke a profound truth into my life during our senior year of college. Now, here’s a little back story: my first Alma mater was a university whose unspoken requirement was obtaining an MRS. Degree within the first two years. (Trust me, I understand the pressure). So with that in mind, he looked me square in the face and said, “Kayla, you have a purpose in Christ. We all do. If you meet someone who helps you better fulfill that purpose, and vise versa, then I would say that’s God’s plan for your life. If they are not helping, that means they are hindering, and you’d be better off single.”

I’ll never forget that and I hope you never will either.

You see, MY Bible tells me that Jesus came that we might “have life, and have it to the full,”[2] and that the Lord has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”[3] It does not say that His plans for you involve sitting at home pinning wedding dresses and watching the Notebook for the 23rd time while Sam Smith whines in the background. It also does not mean hitting up the local bar every night looking for Mrs. “okay for right now.”

I firmly, FIRMLY believe that singleness is a gift. But like any gift, it’s up to us how we use it. We can waste it, dwelling on past hurts and daydreaming about the future. Or we can get really serious about using the gift of time that God has given us and make the conscious decision to use it wisely.

So, now it’s your turn to ask yourself, “What is it that I believe God is calling me to do?”

Your single years are the best time to do that thing you’ve felt the Spirit nudging you to do your whole life. Why? Because your heart is not divided, and your time is your own.

So join that cause. Start that company. Go on that mission trip. Mentor that struggling kid. Get that masters degree. Whatever it is you’ve been telling yourself you’ll do “someday”…do that today.

And while you’re doing that thing, devote as much time as possible to growing closer to your Savior.

One of the things the Lord is revealing to me during this season in my single life is how much work He still has to do in me before I can come anywhere close to being “carried onto completion.”[4]

The older I get, the more the words of the old hymn “wretch like me”[5] ring true. I’ve got some (okay, a lot) of ugly in me that the Lord really needs to chisel and refine before I can be anybody’s better half partner in crime. So I am thankful that He is taking as much time as He needs to help make me more and more like Him. ‘Cause, ultimately, more than the kind of woman he molds me into so that I can have a lasting marriage, the most important thing in this life is my relationship with Him.

At the end of my life, no matter the final outcome of my “status,” I want to be remembered by one thing and one thing alone: Did I resemble Jesus?

So this Easter, when you are gathered together with your immediate and extended family, go ahead and congratulate your cousin on his new engagement, or your sister-in-law who is now an expecting mother. And when someone asks the dreaded, “So, are you dating anyone?” simply smile and say, “No.” :)

If they try to offer you advice or tell you about a new dating site, humor them. They think they’re helping. People never know what to talk about, so it’s either that or the weather.

[1] 1 Cor. 7:34-35, New English Translation

[2] John 10:10, New International Version

[3] Jeremiah 29:11

[4] Philippians 1:6

[5] “Amazing Grace,” by John Newton, 1779

***

For other resources/encouragement on singleness, check out these sermons from Kairos. I attended this Bible study in college and still love to listen to the podcasts when I can as I get so much from Pastor Mike’s teachings and thoroughly enjoyed the influence Amy-Jo had on my life during my time serving alongside her in the youth department.

https://vimeo.com/74873277

https://vimeo.com/74395319