Today was truly a day I will never forget.
It began with two amazing services at NewSpring Church. I was incredibly blown away at how God revealed his heart through the words Perry spoke. The crazy part was the topic was to men, but in it, I felt the protection and love of a Father like I’ve never known before. I began to see myself as a daughter again.
In my 25 years of life, all of which I’ve been single, I’ve never understood when a dad says he’d stand on the porch with a shotgun when a guy came around…I mean, had any guys ever come calling, maybe my dad would have. I don’t know. However, whether this happened in my past or not, the point is God would do that. And to hear the earnest truth from a man’s mouth, that I am God’s little girl, that He is always looking out for me in EVERY situation was HUGE!!! Fending for myself isn’t in His plan; defending myself isn’t in His plan.
I grew up in a home with a single mom who did her absolute best to provide everything I needed. Many of us in my generation have this story. I was near tears as Perry shared that it’s a man’s responsibility to lead his family, and found my heart crying out to know what that looks like. In a perfect world, we would all know what that looks like. There was so much goodness in this message that I will have to watch it a few times over. But what I think it taught me, right after the Father’s Love part, was that I have to utilize this time as a single girl to make sure that my past will not dictate my future, or the future of my children.
For most of us, this season lasts maybe 15-20 years or so. You start getting crushes and thinking about dating somewhere in middle school. Having a boyfriend seemed like the best thing ever, until I watched multiple friends date and break up and write notes and date and break up, over and over again. In high school, the talk of the choir department was who’d been with whom…and which soprano was trying to seduce the cutest tenor. I was an alto…so I stayed out of it. I guess I was weird. It’s not that I didn’t want a relationship, but from a very young age, I saw how completely pointless they were. Similar patterns were noticed in collage, and again, it’s not that I wasn’t hoping someone would ask me out one day, but I just didn’t have time. Don’t get me wrong here. I’ve shed many-a-tear over guys who broke my heart without even knowing it. The point is, it doesn’t last forever.
Maybe I’ve gained some wisdom at 25; maybe I’ve gained new perspective from bad choices I’ve made. The fact is, I now find that inner question growing louder in my mind: what am I doing with today?
I have so much to offer! I’m busy, but I don’t have a husband or a family. I drive a mom van, but don’t have kids to fill the seats. I’m busy, but not too busy to serve my church, or go to coffee with friends in need, or pray for a woman about to have surgery. I have time to discover who I am, what I like, what I need. Most of all, I have more time than I will ever have for God. Time to work on me, time to make friends, time to fix things, get healing…build a foundation…
…and then have the next 40, 50, 60 years to finish off the house.
This is a precious time for us! Girls, guys – all of us! What are we doing with it?
I find myself complaining WAY too much about the fact that I’ve never been in a relationship. But then I think of what I’ve done, and would I have done these awesome things if I’d been in a relationship? Am I even ready?
The other unforgettable part of today was watching a good friend make a difficult decision to call off a wedding she couldn’t follow through with. Although she’d been in this relationship for a very long time, I think she may have started to realize the need for this precious season. I love her so much and I’m ready to be a friend however I can, but God help me not to arrive at that place. Help me to embrace all I can; get wisdom from people older than I am as much as I can; mentor people younger than I am as much as I can. This is my prayer for her and for myself.
God has a reason for singleness as much as he has a reason for marriage. As I was praying tonight about this post, I heard the phrase “seasoning of singleness” in my thoughts. Not quite understanding, I pondered it and the Lord reminded me that it’s not just a period of time, it’s a time to flavor your life. The triumphs, the mistakes, the hard things, the tears…all of these experiences season the rest of our life. It’s my goal to take them for all they’re worth. If we don’t give ourselves this time to season, to build flavor, and infuse our lives, what will we have to bring to the table. I’m sorry, but stew in a can cannot trump my mom’s that sits in the crock pot all day. Does that make sense? Time is goooooooood. It pays off in the end.
I encourage you, my single friends, to really take this to the Lord if you find yourself struggling. I don’t care how old you are or if you feel like you should have been married by now. I don’t know why God takes His sweet ‘ol time with some of us, but don’t let it get you down. How can you allow Him to add flavor to your future? All I hope and pray is that all this time simmering will mean amazing things for my family and ministry down the road. I will give God all the time He needs so I don’t live life on mistake repeat.