Ring by Spring!
I never heard these words proclaimed before until college, and then spring time rolled around and then I completely understood why. It is an epidemic! The amount of people who get engaged in college during the spring is strangely ritual. Around this time for the past four years my Facebook wall has blown up with engagements, baby pictures, and weddings, and I couldn’t love it more. I absolutely love it! Call me crazy, but I love seeing my friends so happy over the joy that love brings with it. I am both a girl and a romantic. I get sappy watching people hold hands as they walk, my emotions stir as I watch heart-felt romantic movies, and I can’t help by say “That’s so precious!” whenever a guy opens the car door for his girl. SO show me a ring and I will melt inside and ask for all details about how, when, and where, and gush over you like a fangirl (depending on how well I know you). And yet for some reason, it is not good enough for me to share in their joy.
You see, the other day I had someone approach me. They had good intentions, but they decided that I must be heart-broken and devastated over all my friends moving on in life, while I am “stuck in a slump”. You see, this person learned that I am single, have always been single, and don’t see myself changing that status any time soon. In their mind I have not been fulfilled. In their mind I can’t move on in life, because, well, until I have a “man” I won’t really have a life. In their mind God has not provided for me. In their mind they are COMPLETELY missing it. It can make me sad, seeing all my friend’s dreams coming true and I am still jobless, and probably going back home after graduating, but the single life…eh it hasn’t brought me much sadness in awhile.
I love being single. And it took me a long time to get to this point, but I enjoy being selfishly single. Now don’t get me wrong, there are days I wish I had someone to cuddle up with in our onezie’s while we watch Parks and Recreation while downing some good food, or someone to go whack around a tennis ball on the courts with acting like complete idiots, or someone to jam out with, or someone to pray with as we seek the Lord’s will together, but I don’t see my singleness as God not delivering. It just isn’t. It is actually quite the opposite. The Lord blessed me with this opportunity. Pardon me while I close off my filter, but I LOVE where I am at in life. I am selfishly single. If all I want for dinner is a can of Italian cut green beans, no need to ask. I can just open the can and be content. If I want to have some girlfriends over for the night, no need to check with anyone. I just need to call them over. If I, for instance, want to apply for jobs all over the world, pack up, and move there, it is fair game ladies and gents (I’m still job hunting so this literally is fair game. No current job has been committed too). Or if I want to host a Bible study, go to a friend who is hurting at two in the morning, babysit some kids while the family is away, have some alone time, etc I don’t have to be considerate of a significant other. I can just act. Wherever the Lord leads me I have the freedom to say yes with my time, my space, my life. You see, my life has been called to a specific kind of ministry. It requires a ton of time, dedication, passion, and work all of which I can do a little bit easier while I am single.
I may be off base here, but since I once was afraid of being single, I assume most people are afraid of being single. The single life really isn’t something people should be afraid of- I wish I had understood this earlier. People, I think, fear the single life because they are afraid of being alone forever. I know I was. Guess what? You aren’t! Now, I’m not going to go all “throw back holier than thou” Christian on you and say that with God you are never alone. But here is what I find when I talk to most people and what I found out about myself, it’s not alone time that scares us, but rather loneliness. Now it is true that you aren’t ever alone, because God really is with you, but you can feel lonely, and let’s be honest, that feeling sucks! And it does happen. We were not created to be alone. In the garden God created Eve for Adam, so that he wouldn’t be lonely. Noah, rejected by his whole town, had his family to guard him from that feeling of loneliness. Job had “friends” in the midst of loosing everything else. Jesus had his disciples. The church has an entire body of believers. And Paul always had a companion, and writes to us in the majority of his books at some point saying to stay in community with one another. I don’t think that loneliness is a battle that we are meant to face. But often times now our friendships, and even families, don’t go past a surface level, so much so, that people have begun to believe that the only way to combat loneliness is through marriage. Well that is just all kinds of false. Marriage can combat it, but it is not the only way. I am just going to pause and rant for a minute:
Marriage is NOT a promise. You can read the Bible backwards and forwards, but not once in those pages is there a promise to be married. It is a blessing. It is not the means to all ends of joy, happiness, feeling of wholeness, or lack of loneliness, and it is not the best of all blessings granted to those who are most deserving. That’s just nonsense. Marriage and relationships are absolutely beautiful. I thoroughly enjoy them! They seem like fun, intimidatingly intimate, like a lot of work, but filled with joy and laughter. But marriage won’t fix you. I can’t attest to any of this personally, but I’ve heard it said that marriage can bring out the worst in you as it refines the best in you. So it has both good and bad, just like anything else in this world. But we have set this idea of marriage on a pedestal-especially in the traditional south- so much so that many people don’t know what to do when their dream of getting their M.R.S. degree is crushed. And it really does get crushed for a lot of people. Now this is not the case for everyone, but for some they compromise themselves, not always in sexual areas but in personality areas, just so that they can get that ring. But why?
God has created each and everyone of us, so intricately and with a purpose and design that images His name in such a beautiful manner that we can’t begin to imagine the depth of the unknown that is in store for each of us. Our futures, our presents, they aren’t worth throwing away because what we desire is to never be alone, or because we believe marriage is the only way to life- if this is your idea then buddy please go make a bucket-list for this year filled with all sorts of crazy things, like learn a new instrument, write a song and perform it on stage, run a half marathon, bungee-jump, speak at an event that you are passionate about, rock climb, witness to someone, volunteer, travel somewhere only by public transportation or walking, and go out and accomplish them. It is rather entertaining. There is life that is worth living and work to be done even in being single. Though the title of this blog is called selfishly single, I am not single by choice. I am just going to enjoy the time I have to be single, and if that does wind up being forever I can’t say I’ll sit around moaning about it. I can say that I have used, and hope to continue to use, my time wisely, live, love, and enjoy it all.
If I ever wind up in a relationship and get married, I know we will both come along side of each other with God leading us, and the ministry that He has placed on our hearts won’t be hindered but better fulfilled through the presence of each others help. We will be furthering God’s Kingdom all for the glory of His name. It won’t be through compromising each other’s calling, it won’t be by trying to fill voids that marriage won’t ultimately fill, but it will be something worth going after because it would be better to be together instead of separate. Until then, I refuse to waste my time. I will be faithful to the ministry, and I will “selfishly” enjoy the single life with all its perks and trials. Though that person truly had the best of intentions ( we laughed, chatted, and talked over each others views), I rather enjoy this time of life and I don’t see that changing 🙂
“Now to him who able to keep your from stumbling and present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, be majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time now and forever more. Amen”~ Jude 1: 24-25