Like every other girl in the universe, I used to dream of prince charming. I had my wedding all planned out… my favorite color was (and still is) blue, so my wedding colors were going to be shades of blue. My man would be wearing a classy tux, we would vow our love to each other in front of family and friends, honeymoon in some tropical paradise, and live happily ever after. We were going to have two kids: a boy, and two years later a girl. I would stay at home with the kids until they were in school, but then I was going back to work… I was never one to want to stay at home all the time. Every week we would go to church, and then our kids would grow up and go to college, and my husband and I would travel the world together.
Twenty-five years later I haven’t even found prince charming! There have been boyfriends, of course, but nothing that screamed forever. I used to think there was something wrong with me. I used to cry myself to sleep at night wondering why I couldn’t find “forever love.” I was even engaged… but it didn’t work out. I accepted this man’s proposal because I longed to be married, but I didn’t really love him like a wife should love a husband, so we ended up breaking things off.
The past couple of years have been bittersweet for me. God has shown me in hard ways that life doesn’t always turn out the way we plan for it to (the bitter part), but that if we trust in Him and devote our lives to Him, His ways are better (the sweet part).
I am 34 years old and I am single. I don’t know if God has marriage in my future or not, but I can honestly say that it doesn’t matter to me! It’s funny, to me, being the single girl on the church campus. There have been so many times when someone has tried to set me up with a guy. I go, of course! I’m not going to slam the door in God’s face if marriage is what He has for me. But I’m not that girl sitting out there pining away, waiting for Mr. Right.
Here are the lessons I’ve learned about being single vs. being married. The questions I have asked myself are: What does a husband do? A husband can provide for us… but in my years of being single I have been blessed beyond belief! No, I don’t own my own home. But I have the privilege of knowing the love of families who have opened their home to me. Is it a permanent thing? No! But the more families I get to spend time with, the more I am blessed by seeing how God loves us through each other, and how He calls us to be the body of Christ.
Biblically, a husband is supposed to be a picture of our relationship with Christ. No, I don’t have that… but I get to go straight to the Source! I have a HUGE ministry! If I were married with kids there is no way that I would be able to do what I do at the church. The long days and nights wouldn’t happen, because I would need to take care of my family. I love being able to serve! That is a huge blessing to me! And guess what? Husbands are human. Some men can struggle with pride or their egos or jealousy of their wives’ time. My Groom just loves the fact that I’m serving Him!
Someone made the comment awhile ago that it was sad that I didn’t have a husband to spoil me on my birthday. Guess what? This was the best birthday ever! Somehow, word got out that it was my birthday. I received more cards and letters than I ever thought possible. My facebook was filled with happy birthday wishes. My WOW group held a surprise party for me. I got to go to a play (the first one I’ve ever been to). I got to eat pizza (My favorite food, for those of you who take notes). And I got little whispers of love for well over a week from those I love the most. I definitely didn’t need a husband to make this birthday special. In fact, holidays are often amazing for me because my friends make a point to reach out to me BECAUSE I’m not married.
I’m not saying that being single is better than being married. I have known some great marriages. My point is not that I get the better end of the deal by being single. My point is that I have learned to rest where God has me right here, right now. Many of us, actually, most of us, get married in life. And that can bring joy. But if God calls us to be single, who are we to say that there is less joy in that?
I have to tell you, one of my biggest pet peeves is when I am viewed as less than a complete person because I am single. You might as well grate your fingernails across a chalkboard if you are going to suggest marriage as the answer to my problems. And it happens… a lot!
Being single is not the life I signed up for. This is not what I imagined my life would look like at 34… it’s way better! And somewhere down the road, if God puts Mr. Right in my life, that will be great, too! But now, if that happens, I can rest knowing that Mr. Right will be my partner, not my savior… I already have a Savior… a Groom… and it’s sweet!