Seasons of Singleness
“If you are single, your singleness is not just where you happen to be right now. It’s where God has you right now, and there’s world of difference between those two outlooks?” -Dr. Tony Evans, Living Single
The second outlook is the best outlook!
I just turned 40 years old and I am still single. I am not new to the idea of being single. I have never been married. Every single season in my life of singleness has been different, and ordained by God to make me into the person that I am today. Let me explain why I say “every single season.” The word “season” indicates a shift in attitude, a change of pace, a change or place, or a different vision or purpose. I would like to talk about two very contrasting seasons of my single life that I know anyone can relate to if you’ve been single for 1 year or 10 years. My purpose in sharing these is to give you, child of God, hope and inspiration that you can walk out of one season and into a new one!
The Season of Woe-Is-Me
If you’ve been single for any amount of time, you know exactly what I mean. It’s that kind of a wanton emotional state that doesn’t seem to ever go away. It’s the season when everyone was getting married around me – both of my sisters, every friend I’ve ever head, etc. etc. BUT NOT ME!
After about the 10 engagement announcements or wedding invitations I received I felt like I wanted to wallow in self-pity and stare into the pit of despair. I felt some amount of happiness for everyone getting hitched, but yet found myself at home by myself saying, “Why, God, why? And when God, when?!” The questions ranged from – “What is wrong with me?” “Do I smell?” “Do I need to dress better?” “Am I too picky?” Not a pretty season.
I’ve hit this season more than once. Lasted several months to even a couple of years. And possibly no one would ever know it. I am a good actress.
I can remember watching a baby dedication at church one time in my late twenties and crying crocodile tears. Not because I was touched, but because I was feeling sorry for myself and like – “I will never get married and have a baby. It’s over for me. It’s just never gonna happen.” And then on top of it, every relationship I ever had was dangled like a carrot in front of my face by the Enemy of my soul, as He taunted me with lies and more lies….. “You missed out.” “You can still have that guy, if you really want him.” “You really screwed that one up.” “You missed your last chance. There will be no more opportunities for love or romance.” To top it off a lot of anger and resentment towards God really crept in, which completely rob me of my peace and joy for days on end. Yeah, those haven’t been pleasant seasons, and usually I’ve gotten so miserable being miserable that I’ve crawled my way out of the pit and back into the arms of Jesus where life truly makes sense.
The Season of Being Enraptured with Jesus
That’s kind of a dramatic word, but I can’t think of a better one that more suits this season. It’s the season where I cared for nothing but being with Jesus, loving Him, serving Him, and knowing Him. The season where I could care less if I got a date on a weekend night, cause being with Him was enough. He was all that I needed. I remember one of these seasons succeeded the end of a relationship in my twenties. I can remember someone saying to me, “Wow, you are so glowing. You look amazing. What’s going on with you?!” My response, “I just feel so in love with Jesus.” I wish I could remain in that season forever, but the desire for marriage does eventually pop back up again. I am probably more in love with Jesus than ever now. That love has matured and grown in each one of these seasons. I became a different person in many ways. More purposeful, more loving, more creative, more adventurous. It’s the one where I relished my single days of having no other obligations to anyone and often spent a whole day or morning with Jesus with nothing pressing on me. Tremendous security, confidence, peace, and joy grounded me in these seasons. Why? Because I didn’t get to know myself better, but I got to know the One who made me better. In that intimacy with Jesus all things were made new. He made the Word come alive in me and it truly changed me from the inside out.
Next time, I can tell you about some other seasons that I’ve walked through, and all the wisdom that I’ve learned through them.
What I want to leave with you today is….
You are not alone. You may have feelings of feeling lonely, but you are never alone. Bare your heart before the Lord, let Him take all the shame and the blame. Surrender your heart and your life to Him in this season of singleness. It’s where He has you right now. He’s not punishing you. He wants you to want Him more than a mate. He knows that this is the key to your life. Don’t be mad at Him, yourself, or anyone. He loves you enough to have given you this gift of singleness for a season. It’s divinely ordained state.
Will you embrace it?
I highly recommend Get a Love Life by Michelle McKinney Hammond. I’ve read a number of her books over the years, and her insight has helped me so much.
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm;
for love is as strong as death, its jealousy a unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. b
7Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away.
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 NIV