True North – Gladly Choosing Singleness

These past two months have been laden with new experiences and an awakening of once hibernating fears.

My 25th birthday came and went and so did my first real date.

Yes, I am 25 and have never been on a true date. I’m sure your asking, “How is that possible?” To answer that I’ll have to go back the the 8th grade.

In the 8th grade, one of my closest guy friends asked me out. He had liked me since the 6th grade, but I only saw him as of my dearest friends. When he asked me why I had to turn him down, I relayed to him a decision I had made a few months earlier.  I had realized that unless God was my true love and my sole satisfaction in life I would be miserable with or without a guy loving me. With God, I made a decision to not to date till college. The root of this decision was this: I want to be completely satisfied in God before I look to a man to fulfill any part of my heart that God created to be filled by a man. 

When I explained this to him, his response caught me off guard, “No one can ever be completely satisfied in God.” I firmly disagreed, and I believe on that night it was as if a prophetic word was spoken over my life, one that would come to prove his statement false.

Highschool came and went. I fell hard for a boy but kept my distance. I pushed him away because I knew it wouldn’t be a God-centered relationship, and I held my commitment to God first. I cried and cried, like every other teenage girl, but God’s hand protected me and strengthened me.

In college I felt released from my commitment. However, looking back I see I was not yet satisfied solely in God, but God held his side of the commitment.  There were a couple guys who captured my heart. Through different events, God shut those doors. It was deeply hurtful both times, but I know it was God’s protection again. God’s grace may seem bitter at first, but friend, it is the sweetest salve to every healing wound.

I thought my commitment was done, but God held me to it. Nothing in all the crushes and pursuits ever worked out for 25 years. I so see His grace in that. The past two years, since college have been a journey that I never expected. Never have I felt so pursued and delighted in. Never have I felt so beautiful and wanted. HE pursues me. HE wants me. HE delights in me. HE loves me. I can honestly say that I have truly fallen head over heels in love with Him.

He makes me giddy. He gives me butterflies. He makes me laugh. He listens to the deepest thoughts of my heart. He lets me cry with Him. He lets me just be still in his presence. He doesn’t ask anything from me. He just wants to love me and be loved by me.

Last Christmas, I gave up marriage and all the incredible gifts that come with it, like having a home together, having children, growing old together, etc. It hurt so badly, as if a deep part of my heart were being torn from me. But I laid it upon the altar, and felt for the first time in my life freedom from that desire. I felt free, like a burden was lifted from me. And you know what? I LOVE BEING HIS ALONE. 25 years. 11 years since that night I talked to my dear friend, and I can say this with my whole heart…

I am completely satisfied in my beautiful Lord and Savior. 

Yes, I still struggle some days. Yes, I still cry some days. But He always brings me back to this place of complete satisfaction and joy in Him. He is so faithful.

I gave up “looking.” I gave up “praying.” I just let it all go.

Well, in late August, my friend began fasting and praying for me to find a husband. I had told her I would be doing it for her and she in turn did the same for me. I told her I didn’t really want to get married, but she probed, and I said that if God wanted me to get married then I would gladly. Do I think that I have the gift of singleness? I believe that I have it for right now and however long God wants me to have it. But do I think I have it for my lifetime? I would say probably not, but I leave that to Him.

Well within 2 weeks of my friend praying, a sweet guy asked me out. We had fun and laughed a lot those couple of weeks we talked, but something was not at peace in my heart. Yes, he was everything on “the list,” but something in my heart was just not right. I remember crying one night. I wept before the Lord. All I could say was, “I just want Jesus. I just want Jesus. I just want You.”

And here’s where I get to my main point.

To all the single girls out there who only hear marriage promoted, who never get acknowledged in sermons because singleness is seen as bizarre and foreign…if you do not feel led to get married or you don’t want to date yet, IT IS OK. IT IS OK to not want to date for a while. IT IS OK to just want Jesus. I promise.

There is so much social pressure, even from the church, for single people to find a spouse. AND FAST. If singleness is addressed, it is in the context of a marriage sermon. “God will bring your spouse to you. They’re coming. Guys go pursue girls till you find the right one. Girls be open to guys who love Jesus because you never know.” Singles are treated as a sub-par half-person. Singles are not valued in the church, and are often times pitied. And that is not right in the eyes of the Lord.

That’s going down a trail that could take me far far far from my topic…but I just want to let any single person out there to know this: YOU ARE COMPLETE AS YOU ARE.

I believe with all my heart that everyone should be completely satisfied in God before they get married. Can you even imagine a marriage where both people are already completely satisfied in God? They come together, not looking for identity, confidence, affirmation, or comfort, but to overflow one another’s already-filled cup. If I do get married, that’s the marriage I want.

I enjoyed going on the dates. I enjoyed having deep theological talks. I enjoyed being liked and pursued by a godly guy. But I also know that what God wants is best. I believe in God’s plan for my life. I believe that His will is the best, even if it is completely different from everyone else’s story. I believe in His goodness.

Those few weeks I was being pursued by this great guy were fun, but that’s not what God is about. In the end, I felt like a burden had been placed on me. Not a bad burden, but one that slowed my race towards the Lord. My eyes kept going to the sidelines or behind me. I was called crazy, told my standards are too high, or that I didn’t give him a chance. Why? Because being with ANY guy as long as he loves Jesus is better than being single. Atleast that is what the world says. But I don’t agree.

I would rather be single for the rest of my life and forever than be married to someone who hasn’t forsaken the world in single pursuit of the Lord.  I would rather glorify God in singleness than have a marriage that does not glorify Him.

So, these past two months. Lessons learned. Truth seen. Freedom felt. Eyes refocused. He is my True North. And I aim to seek Him at all costs. Even if it costs me marriage. He is all my heart longs for. He is all my heart runs after. I may be deemed bizarre, arrogant, foreign, aloof to the world, and a million other things looked down upon. But I know this truth:

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.  Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” Phillippians 3

“My people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.”

Jeremiah 31:14

I believe in marriage as God’s beautiful gift. I would love to get married someday, but my purpose in this post is this: I pray that we may all grow in our satisfaction with God. I pray that each Christian may devote themselves to the Lord first and foremost. I pray that our greatest desire is to do God’s will, including in relationships. Whatever season God has you in is good because it is His will. He loves you and has the best planned for you. Ask Him to help you find joy in it today.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic or on what I’ve written. Blessings,

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