All the Single Ladies? Put your hands up! Nice ‘n’ high!
So, most of my single friends sit at either end of the spectrum, which is really unfortunate. There are flaws in both being lonely and free. When you’re lonely, you’re only running on empty and constantly going through this vicious cycle of discontentment, bitterness and jealousy. When you’re “free”, you think you’re full for a moment and high off life, and then you feel suddenly empty and constantly feel the need to refill with people, events or sex to fill that void.
I’m saddened when I hear retorts such as “well, it’s easy for you to say, you’re married!” or “you don’t know what it’s like!” Well, I’ve been there and could sincerely resonate with both feeling lonely and ‘free’.
Honestly, I think marriage as a whole has been greatly idolised by young women. With the thanks to Pintrest, Instagram and the likes of this, we’re bombarded daily by engagements, weddings etc on our News Feed. Well, if you don’t have a man in your life, and you’re constantly seeing/hearing engagement/wedding stories of those you know, of course it will awaken jealousy, bitterness and loneliness within you, whether you admit it or not! “Why does she get to have a man but I don’t?!” “She’s younger than me and married already?! What is so wrong with me?” Sound familiar? Do you feel like right now in this very moment you’re just wanting the next? Whether it’s a boyfriend, a fiance, a child, a bigger house, a car…Do you just feel like the season you’re in is never, ever good enough? You’re not alone in your feelings, I too have been there – but there is hope!
Let’s rewind back 7 years ago. I was 17 years old and had already experienced the feelings of being cheated on, lied to, along with being abused in all avenues and after all that, rejection. I had in my mind that I was damaged goods and I’d never find true love. I went through strings of failed relationships where longevity was not a motive on their part, and for me it was all just about having a relationship status change on Facebook to look otherwise taken, whether it was really “official” or not!
From the ages of 14-19 I toyed with the idea of finding true love – I mapped out my life on how I wanted it to go – meet a man at university, get married at 20 and have kids by 22. I had my future kids names’ ingrained in my mind at 15! (I’ve since scrapped them!). I was always told I had a mature outlook on life so wanted to grasp that fully, and I just couldn’t wait to settle down and find true love. I laugh and roll my eyes writing this, as it was so immature and I genuinely regret wishing my life away for 5 whole years, when there was so much I could enjoy in that present moment, like, travelling and really investing more time in friendships and family.
I was single for give or take a solid year until I met my husband. I actually became so content in my singleness I stalled a relationship with him for 3 months as I just didn’t want any distractions! I just loved staying up till 1AM crying out to God, writing journals and fasting, and I knew I’d have less time for that being in a relationship. I recall my first year of Uni being the most memorable year of my life as my faith grew to another level and I just had a real journey with God. I began to find healing in things I didn’t even know I was still hurting from and found so much hope in scripture. I began to love myself as described below and I just saw beauty in me that I’d never ever seen before. I truly felt re-born again and that feeling still resonates true with me to this very day. It is so liberating when you find true peace and satisfaction in your current season, and I owe a lot to these feelings of freedom to those beautiful 12 months I dedicated to God.
“Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.” Song of Solomon 8:4.
Most people read this and interpret it as only applicable to women in relationships and not delving into sex before marriage. That kind of rubs me the wrong way, as you’re equating the word love to sex. Sex doesn’t equal love, never has and never will…But that’s a topic for another day and time. The word simply says love, the KJV says “my love” and it’s just that – a pure, passionate, undefiled and innocent love expressed between two people. That mutual feeling requires dedication, maturity and understanding – but first and foremost from your part! You need to love yourself, honey! I’m not talking about a vain, narcissistic, selfish type of love where your Snapchat story is 10 different filters of yourself(!) but a confident and brave type of self-love where you don’t need social media ‘likes’ to determine your worth, but a true love within, by simply looking yourself in the mirror and loving the beautiful woman God designed you to be – without the make-up, the weave, the clip-ins or the lace front closure and all of that. Just plain as Jane but feeling empowered and gorgeous at who you see staring back at you! That kind of love and appreciation you have for yourself will over-spill and you’ll be able to pour it into your future partner, as well as stripping off the ideology and constraints you have for them wearing certain branded clothing, having a certain hairstyle, being a particular height or from a particular country and just see them for them – that awesome man of God, set apart and created for you! If you have these ideals or lists, I’m sorry to disappoint, but these prerequisites and expectations aren’t of God one bit (cheesy, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts!) and will contribute to your feelings of loneliness, as you’ll idealise “the perfect man”, put him in a box and expect God to just work his magic! No, honey, it doesn’t work like that! Burn the checklist today and focus on you and only you – trust and have faith God will bring the right man into your life, in His time.
They say the best things in life always come when least expected! There is no time like the present, I urge you ladies to just take a couple of minutes now to thank God for how He made you, to thank Him for the season you’re in now and ask Him to show you what He wants you to do in this season. Divert all of your worries and care to Him (Psalm 55:22). If your true desire is to be married one day, God will meet you at the point of your needs according to His riches and glory. (Philippians 4:19). It’ll be in His timing, and He’ll write a beautiful love story for you, but for now you just need to enjoy the season and find contentment, joy and peace in the fact that you have unlimited, uninterrupted time with the King! Make each moment count!