NOTE: This blog was written in 2016, before launching my new blog The Loveliest Balance. I deleted most of my old blogs because I was starting over completely and needed clean space to do so. However, the ones I chose to keep were very near to my heart at the time and still have great importance to me. So you can peek into the old Mel and see how that has shaped who I am now and The Loveliest Balance.
This blog specifically is so special. It was a major lesson I learned and a really hard time for me. I want to keep it posted so I can go back to it and remember this amazing milestone in my life. And maybe this blog can comfort someone else who feels the pain of singleness. That would mean so much to me if it could speak to someone else's broken heart.
It's almost Valentine's Day. I'm almost 28. And I'm still single. I never thought that I'd write a blog about being single, mostly because I didn't think I'd still be single. You see, I've wanted to be a wife and a mom since I was 11 years old. And over the past few years, I've really struggled with the fact that my deepest desires are unfulfilled.
This struggle is one closest to my heart, one of my biggest secrets, and not something I talk about often. Who wants to be known as "the girl who just wants to be married and isn't." Not me. But God has been transforming how I see my singleness and I just have to write about it.
I need to confess that I used to desire marriage in an unhealthy way. I idolized it. I wanted it more than I wanted anything else, and thought it was what would make me happiest in life. I dwelled on what I didn't have rather than where God had me. It's been a little over a year since I walked through intentionally removing the idol of marriage in my life. (I am not going to write about that experience in this blog, but it certainly played a part in my journey. It took a while to be free from that wrong view of marriage. Basically, falling more in love with Jesus was the secret).
After marriage was no longer an idol, I continued to struggle with still having that desire deep in my heart and keeping it in it's proper place. I knew that marriage itself wasn't a bad desire. Marriage is a beautiful gift from God, which He created to be a blessing.
How could I still desire this good thing (marriage and motherhood) yet live a full, God-glorifying life knowing that it could possibly never happen?
I needed to make some major changes. I needed to trade some unhealthy habits and mindsets for ones that would actually be helpful and good for me. Ones that would point me toward a full, God-glorifying life, single or married. God faithfully began to show me the changes I needed to make; things I needed to toss away before I could trade them in for something else.
I needed to trade discontentment for contentment in Christ.
The bible instructs us to give thanks in all circumstances. I'm pretty sure "all" includes singleness. I must remind myself to live a life of gratitude in everything, even singleness. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)I must remind myself to depend on Him to strengthen me to be content. (Philippians 4:11-13) I must remind myself that Jesus is my everything. With Him, I am lacking nothing. (Psalm 23:1)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
I needed to trade my anxiety, worry, and fear for peace.
Recognizing that God's ways are above my own really helps me to have peace in my heart. (Isaiah 55:8-9) And there is something so powerful, yet peaceful that comes only from surrendering everything to Him. This includes letting go of the crazy girl anxiety, fear of being alone, and worry that I'll be single forever. Once I surrender that to Him, he can give me peace that surpasses all understanding.
I needed to trade unthankfulness for gratitude.
When I pray and cry out to Him, I should pray with thankfulness. I used to think "how in the world can you be thankful for something that you are praying for? How can you be thankful for something that you do not have, but desire?" The answer is to trust that however God answers that prayer and request is the best possible. Trusting that God is good and sovereign is how I can be over-the-moon thankful that HE is in control.
I needed to trade my negative thoughts for Truth and Christ-centered thoughts.
Sometimes I picture myself as an old lady in a rocking chair on the front porch with a cat in my lap... alone. I shiver at the thought of having watched all of my friends become grandparents while I never got to become the mother I've dreamt of being since my childhood. My eyes fill with tears when I think of waking up alone every day for the rest of my life. I just think to myself "what if I never get married?!"
But that's when I need to stop myself! I can't let my thoughts go crazy like that. Because you know what? I may never get married. It's true. That's reality. Marriage isn't something that's promised in scripture. It's not a gift that everyone receives. It's uncertain, unknown, unpredictable, and totally unpromised.
Rather than sitting on this unpromised and unfulfilled desire, I wanted to dig deeper into what is promised in scripture. God promises so many wonderful things for those who love and walk with Him. It's overwhelming, humbling, and just plain amazing to think of all He promises. And my faith isn't only in those promises, but in the One who makes the promises; God Himself. He is the most trustworthy, faithful, steadfast, and sure thing I could ever know.
God will give what's best from me when it's best for me. (Jeremiah 29:11) He sees everything, he knows the future. (Isaiah 46:9-10) He's a good Father who knows and provides all of my needs. (Matthew 6:25-34, Matthew 7:9-11, James 1:17) He knows me inside and out. (Psalm 139) He loves me. (Romans 8:35-39) He doesn't withhold things He sees as good for me when I am walking with Him. (Psalm 84:11, Lamentations 3:25-26, Romans 8:28) He created me to glorify Him and as I seek His glory in my life, He will help me live that kind of a life. (2 Peter 1:3-8, Ephesians 2:10)
And if He thinks that I can best glorify Him without a husband then I have to fully trust and believe that, even if I can't understand it. If He thinks I can best glorify Him with a husband, then I'll be so thankful that my desires lined up with His and I can trust that He will bring along the perfect man for me.
Every day isn't easy. I still have moments where I cry. I still have the crazy thoughts of myself in the rocking chair alone as an old lady. My heart's desire is still to be married someday. But every day I try to make the choice to choose faith. Faith is trusting that God knows what's best for me! I have to know that God knows best. I have to remind myself of what I truly want the most; to live a life of faith and trust in God. What I want most is to glorify God with my life- single or married.