A few weeks ago I talked about the “Gift of Singleness“, and how it’s not really about the gift at all, but all about the giver.
Another stigma that I believe goes along with this gift of singleness (that mainly non-single people talk about) is that it’s a forever thing.
I remember when I was sixteen and in the youth group, we talked about the possibility of being called to singleness*. No thank you, God.
I was going to be married probably during college so I wouldn’t even have to really worry about what to do after graduation except being a wife and mother too hopefully. That was my plan at least. God obviously had other ideas. And as a little side note–His plans are always much more beautiful than what we could ever hope or imagine.
But the possible forever-ness of being single has always frightened me. I’ve talked with God about this several times, and in college (when prince charming wasn’t knocking at my door) God began to change my heart towards this aspect of singleness as well.
I meditated over Matthew 6 a lot during college because I tended to worry a lot, and one day verse 34 stood out to me. After Jesus had beautifully explained we don’t need to worry because God takes care of the birds and flowers, so he will most certainly take care of us, he says:
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
I was worried about my singleness that day, and it was as if God spoke to my heart, “Sarah, I’m not calling you to be single forever. I only give you one day at a time. You can’t get caught up thinking about forever because you’ll miss the plans I have for you today.”
God lifted a huge weight of anxiety from my heart. I don’t have to worry about being single forever because God only gives me today.
At first after this epiphany, I would get up each day thinking, “I wonder if I’m still called to be single today?” But that kind of thinking was still focused on my fears of being single forever.
So God has taught me not to think “Oh, I’m called to be single today, but hopefully tomorrow things will be different.”
Instead, when those fears of being single forever come up, God reminds me that he only gives me today, and his grace is sufficient for all my needs today.
At sixteen, if God would have told me, “Sarah in ten years you will still be single,” I would have pitched a fit and whined and complained. But looking back on the last ten years of my life, I can’t imagine anything else more beautiful than what God has written for me. It’s so much better than my feeble little mind could have even dreamed up.
And yet at the same time I would still whine and complain and be fearful if today God said, “Sarah, you’re going to be single for the next ten years.” But he doesn’t. He just gives me one day at a time, and today I’m single.
But I do believe that if I am still single ten years from now, I will be able look back and be overwhelmed with the mercies and beauty of my amazing God–who has a beautiful plan for my life and only requires me to live it out one day at a time.
*I don’t know that God actually “calls” people to be single to begin with anyways. I used that language in my post because that’s what I grew up hearing, and I didn’t know how else to describe what I was talking about. God calls us to love him with all our hearts and love our neighbors as ourselves. He calls us to seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with him. He calls us to make disciples and declare his glory to the world. We should be doing those things regardless of our marital status. But maybe I should save this rant for another day…