I just turned 29…and I’m STILL single.
This was a reality I had to wrestle with and a struggle I know far too well. The struggle of praying, of longing, and of surrendering into trust over and over again.
If we’re not careful, struggles like this can get the best of us. They can take over our life and rob us of our joy. So by God’s grace, I took on the struggle and today I can honestly say I am loving the single life. No it’s not what I expected (but really, how much of life is?) and yes I still cannot wait until I meet that guy I’m gonna live the rest of my life with, but I’ve also learned that this season has so many perks! Here are a few things that have helped me love life along the way:
#1 I have learned to fully know and love myself.
One thing the season of singleness affords you is plenty of alone time. Sometimes more than you want! But if you use it well, you can learn the answers to some pretty important questions that will help you settle into this awesome mystery of your unique life. Take this time to truly answer questions like: Who I am? What do I love? What are my strengths? Weaknesses? How am I made up? Personality? Preference? Life style? What’s my purpose? What experiences have shaped me? What bothers me? Why? What parts of me am I not accepting? Why? Where does that come from?
One of my favorite “ah ha’s” from the book True Love Dates was Debra pointing out that Jesus advising us to “Love your neighbor as yourself” implies that we must love ourselves first before we can love our neighbors – friends, family, coworkers….future spouses. This learning to love yourself thing is important. It will impact how well you give and receive love. Don’t miss it!
#2 I have become emotionally healthy.
Now no one is emotionally perfect – so don’t put that pressure on yourself. But becoming emotionally healthy is of incredible value. Without it we live isolated, afraid, lonely, closed, disconnected lives whether single or in a relationship. With it, we can learn how to heal, to love, and to receive love.
Warning: Becoming emotionally healthy is not a quick process. But it is so so worth it. Use this ample alone time to focus on healing whatever thoughts, emotions, and past experiences your mind is throwing at you. Go to counseling, find excellent mentors, read some great books (see my favorites below), and process, process, process through. If you don’t feel grounded or able to find hope, joy, love, peace in this season please give yourself the gift of seeking how you can become the you you desire to be – healthy, faith-filled, whole, grounded, alive! You got this! There are ample sources to get there. You just need to take the bold initiative to reach out. You will never regret any investment you make in your emotional health.
#3 I can live fully toward my purpose.
I love the verse that informs us “we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Isn’t that truly awesome?! Single reader hear me – you matter… and more than you know!! You’re a masterpiece created to do good things. Never again in all of creation and all of history will there ever be another you with these genetics, in this culture, with these people you live near, these gifts, desires, and past experiences to draw on. All of it matters! Once you get that, this whole single thing is pretty awesome.
Because I’m not tied down I can wholeheartedly enjoy investing in my gifts, talents, and passions along with getting to know and love God and His people around me more and more – our universally main purpose.
#4 I know that I’m loved
The hardest thing to remember (when you’re single and you go home to an empty house on a night when the longing to share life with someone is especially strong)… is that you ARE loved. So use this season where there is a lot of alone time to learn how loved you are. Learn God’s love for you – maybe by deeply studying His Word on your own, in a group, or in prayer. Learn others love for you – intentionally seek out life-giving relationships whether with family or friends. Then (here’s the key) learn how to internalize that love. Let the truth that you are indeed loved and lovely sink down deep into your bones, your mind, your soul. The truth is you are loved whether you’re with those who love you or not and whether you feel God’s love in the moment or not. You’re loved. Learn it. Live from it.
#5 I remember that this is exactly where I should be!
Lastly, if I’m really loved by the giver of all good things, that must mean I’m exactly where I should be – singleness included! I realized this week that I’ve prayed for over a decade (over a decade! How am I old enough to say things like that?! 😛 ) for a spouse and the reality is I do not have one yet. God is a good good Father. God has compassionately heard every single prayer. His choice to not answer how I’ve expected Him to does not mean I’ve been unheard, it’s not His will, or a desire I should not have. It simply means God knows best, and best must be this. Single friend, trust that. And whatever you do… never give up.
I truly hope and pray reading this makes you excited – excited to be you, excited to know you’re full of value, your moment is full of meaning, full of love, and full of opportunity. Now it’s your choice to do the work and learn to love your single life! Will you take on that challenge? From my perspective I can say you’ll probably be much happier, healthier and even pick a better spouse than you would have before if you choose to do the work.
Favorite Books to Read in this season (once you’ve finished reading True Love Dates of course!):
Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are , Daring Greatly , and Rising Strong – These books are the best avenue to learning how to be your full self, live in that reality, and get back up after every life defeat – dating world included!
Donald Miller’s Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy – Excellent wisdom in how to be real, vulnerable, and truly connected to those you love.
Rachel is a graphic designer and loves living in Lancaster, PA. She thoroughly enjoys using this single season to spend time with family and friends, inspire people through teaching fitness classes, have fun growing her design skills, blogging on her own website, being involved at church, and making her home inviting. Her downtime is filled with discovering excellent new music, being active, cooking, reading, gardening, going to concerts, her cute cat Ellie, day-tripping, doing life with her roommate, and the exploring the art, music, and dining scene in her little city.
Welcome to the guest post series at TrueLoveDates.com! This month, I’ve invited some of my faithful TrueLoveDates readers and subscribers to share their heart with the rest of our blog community for my #GuestPostSeries!! There are some AMAZING singles out there, people!!! I’m choosing 10 guest posts to share with you over the summer. I’m so excited to get to hear their hearts and share their messages with you as well! Enjoy!! And leave them some love in the comment section below. — Love, Debra