Today I am pleased to share a Guest Post with you from Erin at It All Matters Mom.
I had a plan.
It was a good one, too. I’d seen it work out so many other times, so I decided I was all in.
I was going to go to college, fall in love and then get married.
Should be easy enough. I was going to a large university so my odds were pretty good of finding my husband.
Turns out that it only increased my the odds of my dating mistakes. I was failing at finding Mr. Right.
But then I got to my senior year and I met someone.
Whew! Thanks, God! I thought I was going to come out of college single with no prospects. (Could you imagine?!) And that was not the plan. You really waited until the last minute, God. This is going to be it.
But four years went by and “it” wasn’t happening. Something obviously wasn’t right. So after lots of prayer and tears, I ended it.
Ending a long relationship that I thought would end in marriage was so not part of the plan.
Giving four years of my life to someone only to have it crash and burn wasn’t on my bucket list. It was on my “never” list. But you know what? It sent me into one of the most beautiful seasons of my life: singleness.
Here I am, a married woman now (see, Erin, God DID know what He was doing), with two kids and I am telling you that the years of singleness after that break-up were some of the best of my life. (I’m not saying that things aren’t great now; they are. I’m in a new season of beauty — and crazy.)
It also gave me a heart for singles because I lived it and breathed it. Singleness changed me. I experienced the highs and lows of not having a boyfriend/fiance/husband. I experienced the criticism and the questions of why on earth didn’t I have a boyfriend/fiance/husband.
I experienced a freedom that I don’t have as a wife and mom. I love my new roles, but it’s a different time in my life.
And what I learned the most is this: My worth is not tied to a ring on my finger. My worth and identity is tied to my relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I still get teary-eyed writing that.
Did you know that loving and serving God is the most important thing? Did you know that you are worthy of the love of our Heavenly Father? You are precious in the sight of the One who created ev-er-y-thing. And He wants you to want Him more than anything else this world offers.
More than kids, more than money, more than fame, more than friends, more than a career and more than marriage.
I read a book after that break-up, and it rocked my world. It was called “You Didn’t Complete Me” by JoAnna Harris. I felt like I was reading my story throughout the book and she helped me remember “whose I am.” (My jaw kept dropping as I would read: “This is my story! This is me!”)
Here is a beautiful excerpt from her book:
“Only Jesus. Only He can fill The Void, heal the ache, calm the storm. I think we’ve all said that once or twice, but is it how we live? Is it how I live? God created me to be exactly me, to show His character in a unique way. I am accepted and loved, period. Last Sunday, my pastor said, “You are meant to reveal something about God that nobody else can.” That means me. That means you. It means that you’re important and worthy and — accepted. Needed. Wanted. God wants you around … My pastor also says that there is no voice sweeter to God than your voice. In that case, maybe I’ll talk to Him when I feel lonely sometimes. When I’m feeling defeated by the quest to be pretty enough. When I’m temped to give in to the wrong guy just to be a part of two … maybe the fact that He’s never failed me once, not once, will sink in this time.”
*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. You are not obligated to make any purchases, but when you do through one of my links or the Amazon search box to the right, I will make a small percentage on the sale. Thank you for supporting my site.
Being single isn’t your identity. Being single is just the season you’re in. And only God knows how long that season will be; for a short time, or for your entire life.
I remember at one point talking to God and finally surrendering, telling Him, “God, if you want me to be single for the rest of my life, that’s fine. I just want to do what you want me to do.”
Getting married wasn’t important to me anymore. Did I still hope to get married someday? Yes, but I wasn’t going to let it control my thoughts. I had slowly turned marriage into an idol before and saw how skewed that thinking was now.
During my single years I:
Volunteered with community events.
Worked out a couple of hours every night. (Glory days …)
Ran marathons and half marathons. (Again, glory days …)
Read for hours at night in bed.
Got to sleep in.
Had a career.
Spent lots of time with family and friends.
Played piano once a week at a nursing home.
Now I’m not saying that I can’t do those things now, but being a wife and a mom is a whole new ballgame. I love where I’m at right now, but I’m so thankful that I chose to seek God and do things that honored Him during my singleness. I would have missed out on so much if I would have chosen to dwell on the fact that my plan didn’t work out.
“And although I wasn’t trying to listen, although I was shutting Him out, I heard God speaking into my life.
Telling me that my life isn’t always what I think it should be.
That things aren’t always as they seem.
That the marriage I was missing wasn’t the marriage intended for me.”
You Didn’t Complete Me
God didn’t take anything from me. He was waiting to give me someone who was beyond what I had ever imagined. Light years beyond what I had experienced before — because I had waited for His best and sought furiously after God instead of longing for a man.
I can hear some of you saying, “But I’m tired of this season. I’m sick of being alone — sick of being judged for still being single.”
I understand you completely. I had days where I would question God and was so ready to be done with singleness. I had people look at me quizzically like something was wrong with me for not being married. People thought I was faking being happy, but I wasn’t. I had found where my happiness was and the only thing that would complete me: Jesus Christ.
You may relate to my story, or you may still be single. If you are single, I just want to remind you to throw yourself into your relationship with Christ. He is the end-all to everything, not a marriage. Use your talents to bless others now; even on the hard days.
He promises that as you seek Him, you will be blessed beyond measure — always according to His plan.
Do you struggle with singleness? What gets you through hard days? What blessing do you find in being single or remember from being single?
Erin is a wife, stay-at-home mom to two spunky girls and a Christ follower. She writes about faith, homemaking, recipes and saving money, all sprinkled with a bit of humor. You can find her blog here.