Saturday, February 9, 2013

Embracing Life as a "Single Lady"

We live in such a crazy world with mixed signals thrown at us  We are told to be happy and content with where we are at each phase of life.  But on the other hand people are always asking, “Are you dating anyone?”  “When are you getting married?”  “WHAT?  No kids yet?!?!”  This post has been inspired by a joking comment from some people that had great intentions by their statement but it really struck a nerve.  I’m finally, finally, finally in a good “place” with where God has me and all that He has revealed  over the last several years so I can't help but laugh at comments like “You better hurry up and find a man because you’re not getting any younger.”  It was meant to be an encouragement I suppose but it struck a nerve.  That won't bring true joy.  It won't bring sincere happiness.  It won't "complete me."  So because I have to really sit & think before I speak sometimes, you get a blog.  Congratulations!

I absolutely LOVE Disney.  I think in part it’s because I’m still 4 at heart.  But despite my love of Disney and its movies, I hate the lessons that young girls are taught.  For example, “we need a man to save us, to complete us, to fulfill our every dream and etc.”  Can you hear the song from your favorite princess movie?  I can hear Giselle and Edward from “Enchanted” singing, “I’ve been dreaming of a true love’s kiss!”  No, we don’t need a man for that.  A wedding won’t bring us the most sincere and meaningful joy that we ever thought possible.  How do I know?  Because I have many married friends and that part of life is just as tough as this one.  It’s all about perspective and how hard you’re willing to work on something, in any stage or season.  That said, I will admit, I long to be married and it’s tough at times with it all around me but the thought of it doesn’t complete me.  I haven’t always seen it that way (& some days are still tough) but thankfully, I’m aware of that now.

At the age of 27 (28 in less than a month), there are so many people around me getting married.  Over the last 16 months I have been invited to at least 10 different weddings that I can think of at the moment (7 of those were from March 31 – August 11).  I honestly can’t even begin to tell you just how much it blessed me to attend most of those.  The opportunities to do hair and make up, read scripture, be a bridesmaid, and sing in others were such an honor and wonderful memories!   It just made me tired and broke.  Ha!  Now, some of those that got married are having babies.  While that is glorious and a blessing (I sincerely am happy for them), it’s not where God has me so stop pushing.  I’ll be the first to admit, there has been a time or two where I thought God was bringing me to that place but He isn’t…and I’m surprisingly thankful.  Even recently, I thought there were some big changes coming but alas, they are not and again, I’m at peace.  God is faithful.  God sustains.  God completes.  God is good. Not just story book good, I mean whole hearted, pure, sincere, and deeply overwhelming to the point of tears good!

My parents are incredible.  Not once have they ever pushed the marriage or grand kid card with me (or my sister).  They have always wanted us to obey God, be happy and complete in Him and to be married once-for keeps.

The last year has actually been a lot of fun!  I’ve had the opportunity & freedom to travel more and if I were married and “settled down” I wouldn’t have been able to do that on a whim.  For instance, Florida trips to visit friends that are serving at a church in Jacksonville, a few trips last summer to Nashville for bachelorette party weekends and etc.  I’m also getting ready to possibly go to Costa Rica with my family this summer for a mission trip and am ecstatic to share the love of Jesus to the girls at the home where we’ll be serving.  A lot of these wouldn’t have been possible if I were married and/or had kids. 

Is every day a bright and sun shining day in the life of singleness?  Nope.  Some days flat out suck and hurt but there are so many that are fun because I can come and go as I please and serve where I feel called without have to worry about how it will effect my husband/kids.  Is every night filled with a party downtown or drinks by the river?  Nope.  Most end in sweats and TV or a book.  Do I long to get married and have a family?  Absolutely!  I look forward to being and serving along side my future husband and raising a family together, in whatever fashion God has in store.   

Let me end with this.  Am I “owed” marriage and a family?  No stinkin way!  The only thing that any of us are “owed” is hell but by the grace of God we can be free.  Looking through scripture there are so many people that didn’t live an easy life or a life of what they expected but they knew that our God was faithful and true.  A new friend recently preached on how God wounds us for His glory and our good, like a surgeon.  I immediately thought of my neck surgery.  It hurt, the recovery was tough and the scars are still there (along with all the others from the accident) but they are a testament to just how mighty our Creator is.  I know that it won’t be easy and that some days will suck just as much as the gloomy single days but God is still faithful and completes me. 

I rambled and ranted some in this but most of it is just about where God has me and what He’s doing…so let me embrace being a “single lady” and where God has me.  I have let myself worry about the future for too long in the past and I’m done allowing that to define me or make me happy.
Now what?  Live life to the fullest.  Be thankful for the gifts that God has so graciously given time and time again: salvation, forgiveness, redemption, grace, restoration, family, friends, employment, health, happiness and joy that can only be found in Him.  The list goes on but you get the idea by now.  J