I’ve been single my whole life. 27 years. Not just single as in I’ve never been married. I’m talking single as in never had a boyfriend—never been kissed kind of single.
Wanted to get that out in the open so you know that when I talk about what God is teaching me through my singleness, it’s not in a “man, I remember when I was single and it sucked, but now that I’m married, I realize God did teach me some things, and I want to impart my wisdom on all you poor souls still stuck in your singleness” kind of way.
I’m still right in the middle of my singleness—whether it’s for a season or a lifetime, I don’t know. But I do know it’s my today. And I also know I’m not stuck–I’m exactly where God wants me to be.
I used to live like singleness was a dungeon that I was stuck inside waiting for my prince to come set me free. I was Rapunzel sitting in my tower waiting for marriage so my life would finally begin.
Then one day a few years ago, God came and crashed my pity party…
Sarah, stop waiting.
And after I took a moment to get over the fact that God totally ruined my time of wallowing in self pity, I began learning how He doesn’t want me to wait for my future husband.
In middle school I was made fun of a lot for my glasses and eyes, so I never felt beautiful and those feelings of inadequacy burned into one’s heart at a young age have a nasty tendency to scar and linger.
So from high school on, I believed that I would find love and acceptance by finding my husband. Obviously, when I got married, I would be completely loved and accepted, and it would erase all those hurtful memories of being cast aside and passed over.
Well, I made it all the way through college without even having a boyfriend—a real accomplishment even in the Christian community.
As you can imagine, the fact that no guy was interested enough in me to pursue me even in a dating relationship only validated my insecurities. There has to be something wrong with me. I’m broken, unworthy and obviously undesirable.
So I kept waiting. Waiting for a guy to at least ask me out—then I would feel loved.
Until that night God told me to stop. Sarah, stop waiting to be loved. You are. Let me love you. Let me tell you how beautiful you are. Let me show you you’re wanted.
God began showing me that I’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to prove myself. But nothing I do can make God love me more or less. He loves me because He is good, not because I am good. As for other people, whether they love me or not is ultimately out of my hands as well.
And as much as I desire to be loved, I’m really terrible at actually being loved—because being loved requires being vulnerable.
And God in His wisdom and grace knows that being single is the best arena for me right now to learn to be loved by Him.
Evidently, I’m a slow learner, but as I press deeper into the heart of God, I’m learning to trust His timing. Maybe one day my dream guy will finally ask me out or maybe that will never happen. Either way, I’m not waiting for that day to be loved and accepted and wanted. I’m already all those things.
Now don’t get me wrong, it is a journey, and some days I’m better at not waiting than others. Even writing this I’m thinking—well, maybe God, I should wait to confess that I’ve made it this far in life without being kissed until after I’m married and an expert kisser and thus seen as desirable by the world’s standards. If I share this struggle with the world now, some people will think I’m still a loser. #thestruggleisreal
On those days that are a struggle and I feel like the I’m the biggest loser and that nobody will ever want me or love me, God reminds me that He does, and He moved heaven and earth to ransom, rescue, and win my heart.
And it’s a real possibility that I am in fact the biggest loser by the world’s standards, but then again, I’m called not to be conformed to the pattern of this world, but to renew my mind with the gospel. I am loved—fully and completely.
*Now before I get kicked out of church and so there is no misunderstanding, God does make it abundantly clear in His Word that He does want us (well commands us) to wait for marriage for sex. Jesus goes so far as to say that if you even look at someone with lustful intentions that you have already committed adultery with that person in your heart. So it starts, as all sins do—as a matter of the heart. It’s not an issue of how far can I go, but rather like Joseph with Potiphar’s wife, we should flee sexual immorality—not just because sexual purity is a beautiful gift to give our future spouse one day, but because sin is serious and dangerous and separates us from the God who sacrificed everything to win our hearts. But I digress—this is a discussion for another day.