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Attitude of Gratitude: Thankful for Singleness {Guest Post}

November 21, 2014 by

Thankful-for-singleness

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.

Yes, 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.

zephaniah-verse

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-Headshot

 

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.

 

 

Sharde at A Look At The Book, A Little R&RFaith Filled FridaySoul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysCornerstone ConfessionsI Choose Joy!, & Serving Joyfully.

23 Responses to Attitude of Gratitude: Thankful for Singleness {Guest Post}

  1. Emily O

    Erin was one of my best friends in high school & college. I was sad to kind of lose touch with her around the time she was in that long-term relationship that just didn’t work. But she returned to my life as a blessing when she was single and I was home alone with my baby all day. She volunteered to make dinner for my family a few times! What an awesome reason for us to get together!

    • Heather

      Thanks for reading and for sharing that, Emily. I only know Erin from our “online” relationship, but I think that we would be great friends in the real world. I think she has a wonderful heart, and I am thankful to have her share on my blog today. Blessings to you and yours.

    • itallmattersmom

      Thanks, Emily. I had actually forgotten that I use to do that! I still take people meals now, but now I have to plan around family and don’t feel like I always get to spend the time I want with people. I was happy to help!

  2. Rick

    Being a man who has been married 3 times, sober 22 years in AA and now in Celebrate Recovery in my church, I should be the last person in earth reading this post you would think! My lovely daughter Heather however makes sure her dad gets fed a never ending diet of exotic spiritual food from around God’s globe throug her myoverflowingcup site. I was absolutely blessed by reading this. I also have a girl in our bible study I plan on sharing this with. I heard a saying many years ago in AA: Grateful people are happy people… and those who aren’t, aren’t. May we count our blessings this day. Thanks

    • Heather

      Thanks for sharing that, Daddy! I have to admit that I didn’t think you would even read this post, but I am thankful that you did and that you were blessed. Thank you for sharing Erin’s encouraging words with another as I know that they bless me. Her reminder that Jesus Christ needs to be the center of our lives is an important reminder for all of us. Love you!

    • itallmattersmom

      Rick, I love that Heather is giving you a healthy diet. 🙂 She is a wealth of wisdom for sure. I am so humbled that you enjoyed this post and would love for you to share this with your friend. I have such a heart for singles since I know it can be such a beautiful, yet difficult time, and that everyone walks that path at some point. I wasn’t born married! Thanks so much for the kind words and for reading.

  3. Marie

    Erin – thank you! I had a 10-year period where I learned to be the Bridegroom’s Bride. It was a glorious time for me too! One of the things I learned was how to love as never before, which is what I try to bring to my marriage with my God-chosen husband! The Lord even gave me my new Hebrew name, which I pray to legally change one day. Again, thank you and abundant blessings upon you and your family!

    • Heather

      Thanks for reading and for taking the time to share that with us, Marie. I am so thankful that Erin wrote this beautiful post and chose to share it here because I think that putting Jesus Christ first in every aspect of our lives is the most important. I’m so thankful you were blessed by her words. I know that I am!

    • itallmattersmom

      You are so welcome, Marie! It’s such an awesome time if we choose to focus on God. It is a time of preparation for being the woman God needs you to be in a marriage, too, if that’s what works out. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts!

  4. Tara

    Tears falling from my eyes! I AM tired of this season of singleness. I do trust in God but it’s still hard. I’m so ready and I’m trusting in Gods timing not my own. But somedays that is so much easier said than done. Your story gives me hope!

    • Heather

      Tara, I am so blessed to know that Erin’s words have given you hope. One of the difficulties in encouraging one another in our walks is that sometimes our words make it sound so easy. We can trust God will all our hearts and still find our seasons and circumstances difficult. Praying for you!

    • itallmattersmom

      Tara, I have been right where you are: wondering why it’s not my turn yet; wondering if I’m doing something wrong; wondering if all the good guys are really gone. I know it’s easier said than done, but just dive into scripture on those hard days. A scripture I use to have in my car was John 14:18: “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you.” He is with you all the time, working all things for good!

  5. Jane ( Limeade Gal)

    I agree there is absolutely nothing wrong with being single. I am currently going through a divorce and although it is stressful, I know I am right where I am supposed to be. Everything happens for a reason.
    Thank you for posting on this topic.

    • Heather

      Thanks for taking the time to read and share your thoughts with us, Jane. I can imagine that what you are going through is extremely difficult, but I am glad to hear that you have a good attitude about it. You will be in my prayers.

  6. Joyce

    When I begin to feel sorry for myself during the hard seasons of life, the Holy Spirit reminds me of Joni Eareckson Tada and I listen to one of her teachings or testimony and I feel so ashamed of myself for complaining about anything. She is the most selfless Christian who radiates God’s glory through suffering and never ceases to bless me beyond anything as I listen to her. What an example to all of us to be strong in the Power of His Might and yield to what He has allowed in our lives for He has such a glorious purpose in our sorrows as well as our sunny days to cause us to grow greatly in Him. It seems as though those who suffer greatly in life have the greatest glory of Him shining through them. He bore His Cross so wondrously, and my heart’s cry is that I might bear the cross bravely that He has given me to carry. Oh that I might bless His heart with joy, and not live my life just to have Him make me happy.

    • Heather

      Amen, Joyce! Very well said. We are to count it ALL joy for His power is made perfect in our weakness. It isn’t always easy to remember that at the time, but it is true, nonetheless. In my list of 31 things I thank God for (http://myoverflowingcup.com/31-things-i-thank-god-for/), I listed trials. They are never fun when we are in the midst of them, but if we allow them to, they will bring us closer to God and teach us to trust Him more. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I pray that you and yours are well. Blessings.

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