Dear Single MeKnow this: God is too good and His plans for you are too great for you to ever be lacking in love.
Dear 20-Year-Old Single Me,
It’s November 14, 2012. Someone you know just got engaged, and you feel pretty proud that you’re not the one who just watched their dreams disappear with the pop of a question. But I know that deep down, you are actually wounded and hurting. I know that just a few months ago, your heart was wrapped up and your mind was set. You’re masking your pain with pride and covering your loss with lies.
With everything I know now as an older and wiser you, there are things I wish I had known then. Here are a few truths about singleness you don’t know—and frankly, you don’t want to hear:
1. Being single isn’t about you. In fact, life isn’t about you. You’re not the star in this little fiesta called “life.” You want to think you’re the main character, but life isn’t a movie and it doesn’t revolve around you. Culture is telling you to use your single years solely for yourself—to explore, adventure and escape. While I don’t disagree that you can and should discover yourself in a healthy way, I want to propose to you that the most important thing your singleness offers is time to develop a close and intimate relationship with God.
Your primary goal and focus in life should be to know God more, but especially in singleness, focus on discovering His purpose for you and fall so in love with Him that a love for any other person could never even compare to your love for God. Your singleness is a time in life where it’s just you and God and no one else. Don’t waste it! Don’t wish it away!
2. It is better to be single and lonely than married and lonely. In “The Sacred Search,” author Gary Thomas says, “Every counselor—indeed, every married person I know—will tell you that it’s far better to be lonely and single than lonely and married. The cure for lonely and single is almost always less painful and more hopeful than lonely and married” (p. 40).
When I read that for the first time, I was mind-blown. I couldn’t believe I was once willing to settle just so I wouldn’t be alone, without ever considering how lonely it might be to be trapped inside of a wrong marriage. So gripping is the fear of being alone that we often overlook major faults and red flags in someone just so we can have them by our side.
The time is coming where you will experience moments of fear and loneliness. There is an undoubted ache for companionship when you’re single that shouldn’t be ignored. But listen to me now: this ache is far better than the desperation and hopelessness found in a lonely marriage. This may sound odd, but you’ve got a much better end of the deal with your loneliness right now. Being lonely sucks, I know! But please, don’t settle.
3. Singleness is a gift and a season. Singleness is one of the greatest gifts the Lord is giving you. To have this time to grow, learn and be satisfied fully in Him will mean more to your life than anything else.
You’re not perfect, and you may have moments of sin, lust, pride and greed.
But don’t squander this gift. Embrace it, and learn the valuable lessons offered to you in this time. Don’t waste it away wishing for what is yet to be. God’s plans for you don’t start the moment you say, “I do” to someone else. They start when you say, “Here I am, send me” to Him.
4. Marriage is not our purpose. Our main purpose in life is not to be wives, husbands, fathers or mothers. Our number one purpose in this life is to know and be known by God (Isaiah 43:7).
But the biggest lesson I’ve learned in singleness is…
5. To “Matthew 6:33” my life. “But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33, NKJV). Make this the mission of your life, of all that you do. Seek Him first above all else, before anything and with your whole heart. This will change you from the inside out.
I know that right now, your desire to be loved runs so deep that you will throw boundaries out the window and escort red flags out the door just for a glimpse of that love. But please believe me when I tell you that the most love-filled and satisfying relationship you have and will ever have in your entire life is the one you cultivate and develop with Jesus now, not one that is yet still to come.
Know this: God is too good and His plans for you are too great for you to ever be lacking in love. Be excited about that precious day He has waiting for you, and of course you should look forward to it with hope. But God’s got a lot for you to do until then. And until then, set your heart ever on Him.
Future Single Me
For Further Study
The Sacred Search by Gary Thomas
The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy and Kathy Keller
*This is a reprint from Tiffany’s blog, tiffanyrogers.co, where you can read her original article.
Tiffany Rogers is a feeler, writer and sharer of personal stories and experiences on her blog, tiffanyrogers.co, and via Instagram @tiffrogersmex. She is an avid friend-maker and would love to e-meet your beautiful face, so shoot her a DM and say hey!