So, I’m starting a new section on the blog. It’s going to be all about “thoughts on:” whatever subject is most popular or whatever I’m facing right now. Let’s get to the point shall we…
Earlier today I posted a link to an article that a very young twenty-something wrote about singleness. Let me preface, I am a huge believer that singleness should be experienced in life. I believe that singleness is a great and wonderful moment in life that should be embraced. I’m not saying that it’s easy. Good Lord, it has it’s moments! But the point is, singleness is a moment in life that a person learns the most and experiences the most.
I am 27 and single and anytime my trusted and faithful magazine, Relevant Magazine, posts something on relationships (whether with God or humans) I read it. Why? Because I want to take advantage of every moment and opportunity I have to learn and grow. I was thinking, “Huh. ‘What God can do with Singleness’…Sounds interesting.” but as I read on, I was surprised. Here are my thoughts… (if you haven’t read the article, I recommend you do so you can see what exactly I’m talking about)
1. The Author is …. 23. Yes. You heard (read) that correctly. Now listen all you twenty-three year olds who think you know more than I do about relationships and singleness. There is no way in your short little life that you know more than I do. What you know is what you have experienced. If you have had the opportunity to experience multiple relationships, good for you. My question for you: what exactly have you learned about yourself from those experiences? I’ve dated a few guys in my life. Each of them taught me and showed me something about myself. The first guy showed me just how naive I was. I believed that I would fall madly in love and because he said those three words first, it seemed that my dream was happening at 19. Later that year, I experienced heart break. I learned that there are some guys who, like me, hadn’t dated before and saying the words didn’t mean they really meant it. It showed me I had to toughen up. The several dates I had after that were for revenge. I wanted to hurt that boy who exposed a weakness in me. Those dates actually showed me the desperation I had in me to be liked, to be wanted, and to be accepted by the male population. There comes a time when your experiences are trying to show you something. I like to think that it’s God’s way of saying “hey, do you see this? I can help you if you let me. I can mend those broken pieces and I can help you grow in a better way.” Whether you’re 23 or 33, what have you learned from your experiences? What have you noticed about yourself? Have you pushed those experiences aside because ‘I just can’t deal with that right now’ or have you been staring at it for awhile wondering what to do next? Experience is a HUGE teacher if you let it.
2. Sell by dates … Sell by dates. I hate this term. This was the point in the article where I really wanted to reach through the screen and punch the 23 year old author in her little face. When I read ‘sell by date’ I saw ‘dead on arrival’ or ‘SUPER EXPIRED’. This girl is 23 and she thinks she’s approached her sell by date?! Ummm, what does that mean for me? Good lord, you should purchase a tiny coffin for my dream of being married and having a family! I exaggerate obviously, but here is another problem. Who is this poor girl listening to? You know, most of the time, when I’m feeling bad about myself for being single it’s because I’ve been listening to my other single friends moan and whine about not having someone. Or I’ve been watching too many romantic comedies where the lead girl is struggling to find herself, but either way, the problem is with ME. If anyone tells you that you’re approaching your sell by date, they’re an idiot and should be slapped! God doesn’t believe in sell by dates. He doesn’t operate the way the world does. God sees someone who is messed up and thinks “boy, do I have a plan… They don’t even know what I’ve got up my sleeve!” When you listen to the people around you, you should be keenly aware of what is being said. What you let in your ears takes its place in your mind and whenever you’re resting, having a quiet, relaxing moment at home, that thought will come back and mess with you. The people you hang around with greatly determine your attitude and demeanor. Think about that next time you have a pity party. Make the necessary changes and move on.
3. Are you embarrassed? … If you’re embarrassed by singleness, I’m embarrassed for you. You are missing out on PRIME OPPORTUNITIES to grow, experience life and prepare for what’s to come. If you want to be married, you should be taking every moment now to start practicing what you want to carry into your relationship. For me, I want to be a great wife, but that doesn’t come over night. I pray for my future husband every morning and night. I read my bible every day and spend time just being with God. I want to be a great cook and baker when I have kids, so I practice! Even though it’s just me in my little apartment, I cook and bake and experiment and make notes on what works and what doesn’t. I want to be smart with money, so I live on a budget. I go over receipts and again, make notes for the next month. I’m not saying that “you should be doing exactly what I’m doing” but I’m using these moments to get things figured out. I live on my own and I pay my own bills. I’ve learned so much in the last year than ever before and the best advice my close friends keep giving me is take advantage of this time! So if you’re embarrassed about being single, you really have other things to be embarrassed about. Right now, I’m probably most embarrassed that I was crying on the gym floor the other morning because I was listening to a great podcast by Judah Smith and having a deep conversation with one of my sisters and I couldn’t finish my ab circuit. Who saw me? the entire group of Crossfit Sky people. Yeah, there are other things to be embarrassed about. Trust me.
4. the 5 things the young twenty-something says we can do vs what you really want to do… Listen, while the young author makes some good points, they are very elementary. Here’s what you’re really going to do…the same thing you’ve been doing. And that’s cool. If something works, why change it? Right? For me, I think it’s important to figure out just what you’re looking for. I have a double sided list of what I’m looking for in my future spouse that’s written on an old grocery list page. I wrote it after I felt like God was challenging me to trust him. I remember it perfectly. It hit me all at once, that soon, sometime in the distant future, me riding by myself in my car won’t just be me riding in my car. My car is my safe haven. It’s where I pray. It’s where I shout and cry and sing super loud and talk to God. And in a moment, my “trust challenge” escalated from I sorta kinda trust God to Holy Crap I need to get it together because I really want to trust God for the right person for me. When I wrote it all out, I had tears running down my face and lacing my fingers as I wrote. Figuring out what you really want in someone is a huge thing. It’s something precious and beautiful and sure, maybe not all the things I want will be in someone right off the bat, but I believe that God knows exactly what I want and need. Trusting God is hard but it’s beautiful and when you have a moment like that, you never forget it. My goal in life isn’t to get married and have kids, although that is at the top of my list. My goal is to know God. I want to know God more. I want to be so wrapped up in all he is. To have that happen I don’t need 5 steps. I just need God. Get on your face and figure out for yourself what you’re supposed to be doing right now and don’t let anyone take that away from you.
I know this was long, but these are my thoughts… If you disagree, that’s ok! I’m not worried about that. That article I read helped me remember what I believe about singleness. Let this be something that helps you remember what you believe about it. Have a conversation about it. Test the waters. Do something different. Living life is supposed to be fun and exciting. Don’t let the young twenty-somethings tell you any different.