KG singleness

I am waiting for someone who’s worth waiting for or no one at all, and that about sums up my thoughts on singleness.

At least, that’s the simple version of my philosophy. I am twenty-one years old and waiting. Waiting passively in one sense, actively in another. I am passive in the sense that I am not seeking a boyfriend. I am not doing anything with the sole purpose of finding a spouse (no singles Bible studies, no e-Harmony, and I don’t even know how to begin flirting, so that’s off the list!). But just because my “love life” is dormant, doesn’t mean I don’t love life. This is not another article telling you to be happy about being single. Rather, I want to tell you to be happy. Period.

I am single, but that’s not keeping me from living my life. As a matter of fact, and I don’t just say this to make you and I feel better, singleness enables a more active life. Even if I’m not actively in the dating game, I’m active in many areas. My last year has been a full one. I’ve been able to work, volunteer, pitch a book, attend conferences, create personal challenges and reach personal goals and spend a lot of time and energy on my family and friends. It’s been rich and I didn’t need a boyfriend or husband to make it so.

Does that mean I don’t want a boyfriend? No. Well, actually, I’d prefer a husband! I’ve never hidden the fact that I want to get married. I have always wanted to be a wife and a mom and I think I always will. When and how and even if that dream comes true, is in God’s hands. Sometimes I go for long periods of time hardly thinking of my singleness and other times I feel a loneliness I think I can only be filled by a husband.

But the point isn’t that singleness is “so much fun” or that singleness is a curse. The point is, I’m single, but I’m still alive. You see, singleness is not a disease. I’m not “suffering from singleness”. I don’t have to find ways to keep myself busy while I’m trying to recover from singleness. (Sending flowers and crossword puzzles is unnecessary!) And I am not going to start a Singleness 5K. Really, I’m going to survive! Singleness isn’t terminal, it’s just life. There is nothing about marriage that could increase my joy or complete my soul. I am whole as I am. I am a girl who happens to be single. Is there really anything so ominous about that?

But what if I never marry?

Sometimes the question strikes me like a bolt of lightning. Yikes. You know what bothers me about this thought? It’s not the fact that I’ll be alone, but the fact that I’ll have to find something to do with myself that isn’t the norm. If I get married in three years and have three kids three years after that, I’ll be good to go. But if I don’t marry and I end up doing something completely different, I’ll be a freak.

That’s what scares us, isn’t it? That we’re single because we’re weird. That nobody wants to go out with me because there’s something different, something wrong with me. That, even though they seem nice enough, my friends are whispering behind my back about how I’ll never get married. That when I’m forty and sitting alone at a conference, a little wrinkly around the eyes, a little plump around the thighs, people will call me “sweetie” and ask me to work another shift in the nursery because heaven knows I can’t do what normal women do! I can’t mingle and giggle and talk about how silly my husband is! I can’t chat about honors students and bottle-feeding! I am going to be a weirdo all my life because this day in 2013 I have diagnosed myself with SINGLENESS!

That, my friends, is why we hate being single. That is why we have to write books and articles to be ointments on the wounds of those who have been fatefully stricken down. Those who were born into their twenties deformed and missing the critical part of “the other half.” That is why we have our own Sunday School class and our own small group and our own blogs and magazines, because we’ve bought into the lie that there are normal, healthy Christians and then there are those who just didn’t quite make the mark.

I know singleness can stink. Chances are, I’ll know that even better as the years pass. I know that it can hurt to see your friends move into a sphere of marriage and leave you behind. I know it feels like not getting picked for the dodge-ball game on the playground. I know you have desires that don’t go away by reading your Bible and putting yourself into your work. I know you feel like you don’t belong anywhere, but that’s not true.

Our society is one of shunning, worse than that of the Amish, I’d say. We shun the oddballs with a sweet smile because, obviously, they wouldn’t fit in with us. I worry that if I’m still single when I’m fifty, I’ll be seen as creepy and parents won’t let their kids around me. I get that. But that’s society. Since when have we trusted societal norms as a lens for reality?

Just because you’re single, doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Maybe it means that, unlike much of society, you don’t base your worth on what other people say about you. Maybe you didn’t jump for the first guy who gave you a second glance, because you were waiting for someone else. Maybe you gave up dating because it was distracting you from things that mattered more to you. Maybe you broke it off with a really great guy out of pure obedience. And maybe it still hurts. Maybe he thought you would make an awesome wife, but you chose a different path. If that makes you a freak, then wear that badge with pride! Because to me, that makes you a hero. A woman who has a heart, but knows how to use her mind. A woman who listens to God and looks at reality through a clear lens, rather than basing her entire life on a sitcom lifestyle.

I haven’t seen the end of my story or yours. I don’t know what’s going to happen in one, five or fifteen years. But I do know this — there is nothing more satisfying than loving your decisions. Don’t do anything now that you wouldn’t want to tell your husband about when y’all are side-by-side in the nursing home. Don’t do anything now that won’t contribute to the Kingdom. You’re not sick; you’re alive. You’re single, but you’re not alone. Carry on!

21 Comments

  1. This is a great, honest article, Everly.

    If I may just share…I married my husband after years of attending the same church and being “just friends.”

    When friends recently found out I had been interested in him all that time (6 years), they said, “we KNEW there was something keeping you at our church!” Nevermind teaching Sunday school and playing on the worship team with all my heart, there just HAD to be a guy involved. To make matters worse, I’m a missionary. It just made my whole “ministry” sound so cheap (though, of course, once you’re married there is no shame in going all out to please your husband).

    That comment stung, and for the past few days I’ve been struggling with wanting to please God instead of wanting to prove myself to others. I have no regrets about my single years (though I cried a lot of tears), and I have no regrets about being home with my baby and currently having zero ministry outside of the home.

    P.S. I was 29 when I got married.

  2. What a refreshing drop of water in a sometimes stale pool of society…..where people find it odd that some young person has not got a ton of dates or married off already by the time they are in their 20’s. I am a mother of a soon to be 30 year old son….and I hear so many people keep asking him why he doesn’t have someone in his life or dating or something must be wrong with him…..and even though I know that God may have or have not “someone special” picked out for him….I know it will be in HIS TIME FRAME….and my son is fine. I see so many young people around me that ARE NOT dating and yet so many people do just what so many have shared….pick and pick on them and think they are odd or it weird that they even choose to be single. I find it refreshing to know that many are waiting on the right person and if not……fine, they have the love of the Lord in their life and are doing what they know God wants them to be doing. Enjoy that freedom and the joy of knowing you are right where you are supposed to be in your lives with the Lord. We all have different seasons in our lives….and we come to each of them at the RIGHT TIME with God.

  3. Thanks so much for this article! I am a 23 yr old single girl, and your article was just what I needed to hear today…
    I was also happy to discover that there are others out there who see and understand that while being single all my life is not something I desire, it can be, and is, an amazing life all the same. You definitely hit the nail on the head tho, with your point about us being afraid of singleness because it might mean we are too weird for anyone to love. If only we could learn to face that fear for what it is – fear. Satan has a great tool in that approach. :/ blessings as you continue to reach out to those around you, and learn to live a full and rich life – single or not. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Everly, you hit the nail square on the head! I am reminded of the Apostle Paul and what he said – Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. As I would agree, I would love to be married, a wife and mother and maybe the Lord has that somewhere in my future, I don’t know. But at the current time, He has placed me where I am. If I cannot be content as an unmarried lady, I will never be happy married. If He calls me to be unmarried, there is so much that I can do as an unmarried, unattached young lady.
    Thanks for sharing your heart!

  5. You’re only 21 years old. ๐Ÿ™‚ You have plenty of time.
    I’m only 20, I’m not worried, and I don’t even think a lot of the thoughts you’ve shared here. Don’t get me wrong, I used to. Every.single.day (no pun intended). But then I decided that life was too short to waste time worrying, doing silly things, pining, “preparing for my future husband,” hoping, or being foolish in other ways.
    At the beginning of this year, I chose to embark on a “journey” of sorts, to make life full, be content, and have a satisfactory life by serving Christ, studying His word and going outside of my comfort zone. So far, I’ve not stopped maturing, I’ve not stagnated, and I’ve only had a few days were I’ve felt sad about being single. Future husband? Not worrying about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s too much life to be lived!!

    1. Oh Laura, are we traveling buddies? I’ve been on that same journey. The past year to a year and a half have been so fulfilling. I feel like I’m learning and growing so fast and getting to know God better all the time. I see myself becoming a more devoted Christ-follower, a better daughter, sister, friend, servant and leader (little by little, of course!) I am busy and happy. I don’t think about “singleness” enough to write about it very often, but when I was thinking about what to write for KG next, I decided I did have a few thoughts. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Everly

  6. Everly, thank you for this article, I really needed to hear that. I’ve been meditating on I Corinthians 7:17 (“Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him”), and it’s been encouraging to recall that whatever our stage of life, we’re called to the same whole-hearted devotion for God and single-minded service to God. Thank you for reminding me that I’m not sick, I’m alive, and I have a glorious calling to live up to!

  7. Stacie Storrie says:

    I wish there were more young ladies out there that had this same perspective!! You’re mom did such a great job with you guys! Level headed, sincere, confident and comfortable!! Proud of you girl.

  8. This was an interesting post! My husband was single until he was in his thirties, so he went through the happy-sad-content-discontent cycle several times. In fact, even though we’ve been married for several years now, he still goes through that cycle. We both do!
    Something I personally would like to add to this article though, is this…
    I got married before ANY of my peers. But I don’t look down on any of them for being single longer than I was. I don’t see them as freakish or not “as ready for marriage” as I was. I just think that God had a different plan for me than He did for them. There are some intense difficulties and frustrations to marrying young, that is for sure…
    I guess my main point is… please make sure you don’t look down on those that married before you. Not all of them are whispering bad things behind your back about you. Some of them, like me, respect your choices to the hilt.
    Married people and unmmarried people are not rivals. We are different parts of the same team. We have different functions in the body of Christ. And that is a very special partnership.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jessiqua! Your perspective is very valuable. I definitely don’t think all of my married friends talk behind my back. What I was saying is that we fear being single because of what others might think about us. I love what you said at the end (as a matter of fact, I took the liberty of quoting you on Twitter!) You are right–we are not in competition, nor are we enemies. My own sister married young (she was engaged at my age) and I know that that was right and best for her. I thought it would be right and best for me to be engaged at this age too, but I am seeing every day how God’s purposes are specific to each of us and His ways are higher, and better, than my own. Thanks for being on the team. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Everly

  9. Everly, I love it felt as if you were telling me exactly what I needed to hear today (and kinda sorta what God showed me anew in my quiet time this morning)!

    “God works hard to get us alone.” These words by Shannon Primicerio whacked me upside the head earlier today. She was making the point that God shows up when we are shut out.

    Love!

  10. I couldn’t agree more with you, Everly! And I also agree with Victoria above. I choose not to dwell on my singleness because where I am is where God wants me right now and that IS a gift! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Plus, I’m not single because I’m with my family and there is no better place to be ๐Ÿ™‚
    and I’m certainly not ‘suffering’ in my singleness ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Love this quote: “I am waiting for someone whoโ€™s worth waiting for or no one at all, and that about sums up my thoughts on singleness.”

    I’d rather never marry than marry someone who isn’t worth the waiting…. I have a pretty clear picture of the type of guy I want (as far as character, lifestyle, and morals go).

  11. I am a boy and am happy to be single,I agree to what everly said to me is like a fact!

  12. One thing my dad told me once is that I’m not ‘single’ (and neither is anyone else)! Unmarried, yes, but not single! I have a family to love and contribute to – how can that be single? “Single” is one of those modern terms that is used either to feel sorry for ourselves, or elevate our position so that we feel better about being unmarried! Single-ness is a choice we make. We can either mope along by ourselves or we can contribute to those around us.

    I really enjoyed this article! You hit the nail on the head with the reason why we’re scared to be single – it’s because we don’t want to be ‘shunned’ in society, and we don’t want to try to figure out what we’re going to do with the rest of our lives! I’d never pinpointed that before, but you are completely right!

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Victoria,
      I totally agree. I may be unmarried, but I’m not alone. Thank Jesus. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Ev

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