“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Last weekend, life sucker punched me in the gut. Here’s how.
A huge group of us after church last Sunday had planned to go peach picking in Fredricksburg. Cheesy, right? Well, it was an AWESOME time.. for the most part at least. (stay with me) Until we all had finally gotten to the chosen destination, I really had no idea who all was going to be there, and honestly wasn’t concerned. I was determined to have an amazing day and nothing else really mattered. It wasn’t until this one moment.. that I realized I may not be enjoying this trip as much as everyone else.. After about an hour of our peach adventures, my friend Elisabeth screams, “Hey! Let’s take a photo with all of the girls! And then the guys next!” So then we all follow along and stand together as one group, and all of the girls are handing their phones over to the guys because, there can’t just be ONE photo taken. Everyone has to have the SAME photo on their own device because we’re girls and we enjoy being ridiculous. I then go about handing my phone to my friend James and say, “Hey! Will you use my phone??” Which his response is that he already has his wife’s phone, Katie’s. I pause.. and look around at all of the men standing with phone’s in their hands.. and then it hits me.. like a flock of deer just trampled over me..
I’m the only single girl here. Not just the only single girl, but the only single PERSON out of the entire group of thirteen.
Now, usually, I don’t ever notice these things. To me, I’m just hanging out with a large group of friends that just happen to be already taken, I never think anything of it. I rarely notice or compare my “status” to anyone else. The times I do notice the differences in relationship status, I shrug it off, recite the Gospel to myself, and I’m fine. This time though.. something strange happened and I felt this deep loss of connection.. this aspect of relateability that seemed foreign to everyone else. I just kept hearing repeatedly in my head..
“You have no one here with you. You’re single.. you’re defective.. you’re a freak..”
And the whole way home, it wouldn’t stop. I couldn’t get over it. While still at the peach stand, after everything had already wrecked me, I had no other way of pulling myself out of it, so I just made stupid comments about the lack of “man” by my side, like making fun of my situation was my defense mechanism when it wasn’t even something to defend in the first place. Something about that moment brought shame.. and made me feel like I was missing something. I was defective, incomplete and I needed to figure out how to cope without being that typical needy single friend.
The thing is, I’ve never felt that way. I’ve always been so grateful to be single. In fact, I genuinely love being single. All of the time to grow and develop who I am in Christ is what’s preparing me for what’s to come. Marriage or not, I’m okay. I was fine with where I was in life, but suddenly it seemed like I was believing this lie, “You’re single, so you’re not complete..” Just because of that small moment in time, a deep sense of loneliness came over me like never before.
See, I think mainly for girls, we have this desire to be loved, to be held forever and cherished beyond words. There’s this space in our hearts that we save just for our future husbands, and if we don’t ever fill that space, we feel incomplete. In our heads, we aren’t living life well enough if it’s not with a significant other. There’s a pause in our stories because a man is supposed to come along and complete the book, you know, make it more exciting. Because marriage is what most see as the “Bob The Builder” of life and a husband as the hammer and nails used to fix everything.
Sometimes loneliness steals my attention away from God’s great grace, and my lack of a boyfriend can sometimes make me feel inadequate. But the truth tells me I’m not incomplete, that because of Jesus, I’m whole. The truth tells me that I’m loved and there is joy all around me. The truth is, I deserve hell but God saved me by sending Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. That feeling of inadequacy and that nudge that says something is missing is false and you shouldn’t believe it. We’re basing our self worth off of our relationship status, or in other words, lack of, and then expecting a man to come along and fill that space that only Jesus can fill. Think of how much pressure you’re putting on your husband to complete you, when you’re only setting yourself up for a rude awakening.
So I’m going to make this very clear. My joy isn’t dependent on my future husband’s arrival. Yours shouldn’t be either.
I mean, since when did being single become lame? Since when did singleness look like the ultimate waiting game or survival of the fittest? I’m an advocate for finding joy in where God has you no matter what that looks like. I’m an advocate for young girls finding worth in the truth of the Gospel and not of the world or in the midst of their surroundings. I’m not an advocate for how we’re intertwining our identity and worth to our relationship status.
My hope in God’s timing isn’t invested in who I’ll date or when I’ll meet this “other half”. What I’m realizing is that we weigh our lives on worldly scales that will continuously tell us there’s something missing. We’re forgetting about who we are in Christ and basing our significance off of our capability of finding a husband. When I begin to feel like something’s missing from my life, which is easy to do, it always leads back to how grateful I am for everything God’s done for me already. When you’re not investing your time in who you are in Christ, it’s easy to feel like you’re defective, or that you’re doing something wrong. When I was stuck in that moment, I had to wholeheartedly tell myself this over and over.
You are not defective, you are His. And He is enough.
I had to push back the lies with truth, and reevaluate where I found my purpose and value.
I’m not saying by any means that singleness is the greatest gift to mankind, because if you ask me, sometimes it sucks. A lot of the time though, we put too much pressure on our significant others to complete the grand puzzle. We invest too much of our hearts desires in WHO we’ll marry or WHAT that looks like. I do this, and it’s a burden. Think about all of the expectations you have, the hope in filling that hole in your heart one day because life told you something was missing.. Can we please stop putting so much emphasis on our “future husbands” and start resting in God’s perfect timing and complete sovereignty? Your husband won’t save you, Jesus already did that.
A husband doesn’t solve all of your problems. A husband isn’t even complete enough to confidently cure your deepest sense of loneliness. A husband isn’t this life source that comes along and makes everything easier. When you see marriage as something that adds value to who you are and where you’re going, it takes the glory away from Jesus and what he already did for you. If you still feel like something is missing in your life.. trust me, it’s not a husband. When you have Jesus, you have all you need. Everything else is grace, including marriage, which we don’t even deserve.
You were made for more than marriage, and you were made for more than chasing after a title. You were made for Him and through Him, and He is what completes you, not man. You are no less, and no more important than anyone else simply because of your relationship status, or lack of. God is good all the time, whether you’re single,engaged, married, or dating. You are complete, so live like it.
Can I get a hallelujah? HALLELUJAH, LADIES.
For His Glory,