I was standing on the edge of the dance floor. The lighting was soft and romantic waltz music wafted from a hidden speaker. A few dozen people had coupled off, including most of my friends and siblings. I watched as they danced and laughed and looked each other in the eyes and didn’t even try to hide their affections for each other. I was trying not to look desperate or lonely, because I didn’t exactly feel that way. More aware of my current life position, yes. But not in a negative sense.
Had this happened a few months earlier I know I would have felt just awful. Autumn and Winter were painful for me. I allowed the negative feelings and thoughts to overcome me, and the hurt and bitterness poured out of me in the form of tears and sharp words. I was surrounded by people falling in love and yet for some reason God decided to withhold it from me. It felt personal. And. It. Hurt.
For as long as I can remember I have wanted two things: to be a wife and to be a mother. And I wanted those things as soon as possible! I remember thinking I’d probably get married at the age of eighteen and have my first kid by age nineteen or twenty. My parents and grandparents had all gotten married young and so I thought this was extremely normal. If you told twelve year old me that I would turn nineteen without ever going on a date I probably would have freaked out a bit! I prepared a lot to be a good wife and mom, but I didn’t really prepare for being absolutely single.
To make a long story short, singleness turned out to be a much bigger struggle than I anticipated. And while I am dealing with it in a much healthier and God-glorifying way now than I was a few months ago, I did not, by any means, come to this place easily or of my own power. Three things brought me to this place of contentment that I am currently resting in.
- God’s wisdom pouring out of those around me
- God’s wisdom in the form of books
- and God’s wisdom from His Word
I have a few amazing, Godly, and wise older girl friends who have poured into me tremendously during this rough season. They understand where I’m coming from but provide a different perspective and give me Biblical encouragement and advice. Reading the same things out of a book would have been good too, but I think having people you’re able to go to with your frustrations and heartache is important. Just be sure they are the right people: people you can trust and people who are kind but firm in their convictions and won’t let you wallow in self pity.
Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot was such an encouraging book to read. When I was younger I read a lot of books that talked about how to be the kind of woman a Godly man would be on the lookout for, and they were good books! But I wasn’t really equipped for unwanted singleness. This book is, in my opinion, a must read. Whether you are in a relationship or want to be, you should read this book. Page after page of gut punchers that were also somehow healing balm for an already sore heart. Elisabeth Elliot tells it like it is, there is no beating around the bush even when it comes to sexual struggles. I wish she could’ve been my best friend, but I’ll have all eternity right? 😉
The Bible is full of promises of God’s will for our lives. It says again and again that He has a plan in EVERYTHING and thinks so high above how we think. It tells us to be content in everything, to be patient, to not be self centered and focused on our own personal struggles. If you don’t or can’t get wisdom from the aforementioned places, get it from here. God’s Word is true and raw and undiluted. Convicting to your core but also comforting and healing. When you find yourself wanting to dwell on hopeless, joyless, and anxiety-ridden thoughts and feelings, remember these promises and remember Who is the ultimate Author of your life story.
Has singleness been a bigger struggle than you had anticipated? What has helped you grow through it? Leave a comment!