Monday, September 10, 2012

The Wait is Over

There are LOTS of single people in the world.

Let me clarify- there are LOTS of single women in the world. Lots of single, Christian women. But, I think most of us are looking around, wondering why we're still the only ones who are single.

Or, maybe that's just me... or maybe it's just the bombardment of engagements and weddings and babies lately. Does anyone else feel like that's all their Facebook newsfeed has become? That and politics. It's cool. I genuinely love rejoicing with my friends in their moments of celebration and excitement...I love seeing them glowing and stepping into a new chapter in life.

I can't help but feel a little left behind though. My best friend from high school is pregnant with her third baby. My best friend from college is a happily married doctor. Almost all my other friends are married, pregnant, or have at least one or two kids.

I feel old. And young. Old because I know I'm the same age as them and they are in a completely different stage of life... it's sometimes hard for me to not feel like I 'should' also be in a similar stage. Young because I mostly still feel like I'm in my early 20's, enjoying no commitments and doing whatever I please. It's a weird place to exist in.

As I continue to talk to single, Christian women (usually college-aged)...I can easily identify with their feelings toward relationships and marriage. It seems there's always an air of waiting, or a bold proclamation that Jesus is their boyfriend, or an apathy toward the entire subject.

I remember myself in college, wrestling deeply with a longing to really be pursued by a man who loved Jesus wholeheartedly but never having it happen. I remember thinking about it constantly, or trying to constantly not be thinking it about it constantly. My freshman year I had a conversation with a sophomore girl who told me that every time she thought about guys, she immediately began to pray. She had also given up talking to guys--it was almost like a fast. I wasn't too sure about the latter, but the praying thing sounded good. It sounded in line with the whole 'taking your thoughts captive' idea. So, I tried it. From what I recall, it was good while it lasted....but it only lasted so long.

And I guess that's my point. We're always trying to find these ways to cope with the waiting process, searching for things to fill our minds and hearts as we secretly beg and plead for the Lord to bring that guy along. 'Cause somewhere within us, even though we might disappointed and defeated with our current reality, we still hope that it'll happen for us. We still hope that God will come through and bring someone that we can share life with...even if it's just a small shred, right now.

Here are my current thoughts on the issue:

  1. Don't put your life on hold because you are waiting for the possibility of marriage. Don't fill your life with ministry simply because you think that the more you give, the more you invest, the more you love others, the more you've 'done your time' that means it earns you the right to a relationship...that somehow God will be indebted to you. He's not. As one blogger put it, Jesus is the end goal, not our means to a life we think we should have. 
  2. I don't know if Jesus is your boyfriend...or husband...or whatever else. I'm not sure if us viewing Christ in a romantic light is even Biblical. If, when you say that, you're simply saying that you want Christ to be all-fulfilling and all-satisfying--that you want Him to be your everything, I can buy it. Maybe the confusion is in how we interpret the word 'love', and while we are deeply loved by, sought after, and saved by Christ...I think that the love of Christ is very different than that of a romantic love that we often think of in a romantic relationship. An eros type of love vs. an agape type of love. 
  3. Your apathy might be a coping mechanism for a deeper loneliness, or it might just be a that you genuinely don't care if you get married. Be willing to dive deeper if need be, but don't over-analyze and make up something that's not there either. 
Bottom line?
Be honest about where you're really at. 
Does it break your heart every time you hear of another friend in another relationship because you desperately wish it were you this time? Be willing to admit that, to cry about it...and then proclaim that this isn't your reason for existence and then walk in that

Check your motives for declaring vows of singleness. Are you doing it because you think, deep down, that if you surrender your hopes/dreams for a relationship that maybe then the Lord will see your faithfulness and award you with a man? 

When I was younger, I used to always feel sorry for the older women I knew who were still single. Now I am one of those women...and it's okay. I wouldn't trade one moment of my single years and the things I was able to do for a greater purpose, impacting more lives eternally than I could have ever dreamed of. I hate that younger women probably feel sorry for me...but I get it. 

I'll keep pursuing Jesus, I'll keep chasing dreams...hoping that each step I take advances the gospel more. Perhaps one of those steps will someday include a husband and family. It's not what I'm waiting for anymore, though.

I hope you stop waiting, too. I hope you stop looking, searching, coping...and acknowledge that He is the end goal, even when you don't always feel like it. 

He is. 

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