There are many ways to live the single life. By single, I don't just mean: the one life we live (that too), but I mean a life unattached...not married or romantically involved with another. You know....single.
I have lived my single life (65% of my life has been a single life) in many different ways.... seeking/aching, footloose and supposedly carefree (may have been couple months in there) and a big chunk waiting. That last catagory, waiting, is how I see a lot of single women (and perhaps men too, don't see them as much) living their single life. With life on hold, almost, waiting for God (or life) to bring along that special someone to fill their heart and life. I did that too.
Yet, sometimes, that wait turns into years. And expectant hope, prayers, trusting, cools to dissappointment, confusion, and maybe resignation...with an occasional dreamy wish back to hope that may not last for long.
There is another way to live this single life. I call it fully single.
Here is something that as a single you might now want to hear: (Feel free to skip ahead. :) )
God only gives good gifts. God's only feeling toward you is love, cherishing....love. Knowing the best life. So our logic (my logic) might say, well, of course God would want someone to love me, cherish me...He started this whole thing with two, didn't He? But that is our logic. His ways are higher (often harder) and better than our ways.
In Isaiah 14:24 God is clear that He is in control. Not just the big monumental moving of the nations stuff, but the small, tender, aching of the heart stuff. "Surely, just as I have intended, so it has happened, and just as I have planned, so it will stand."
Our all powerful, all loving, all wise and fully orchestrating God is not stumped by this one.
So, maybe waiting on God...resting in His love and will, is not necessarily, sorry to say this, waiting on a spouse. He has a FULL life for you NOW. Not 10 years from now...
The ache for love in our hearts can be filled with our maker as our husband. "For your Maker is your husband— the LORD Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth." Isaiah 54:5
He pours His love in our hearts...so we can pour it out. Roman 5:5 "..., because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
And we are able to love God and love others, because He first loved us and poured His love into us. 1 John 4:19 We love because he first loved us.
I remember this conversation in an older movie (Marvin's Room...not necessarily recommending the movie, but the thought spoken rang true). In it two grown up (single) sisters are discussing their life choices and living situations. The older sister has her aging parents living with her. The younger sister has lived alone and lonely. The younger sister tells the older one that she understands why she is content..why she has her parents living with her, because that way she is being loved by them, feeling loved. And the older sister tells her, no, that she has missed the point. It is not to be loved..... it is the joy and contentment of loving out...of loving them.
That is our true love fullfillment, loving out. And as a single, we think that long awaited spouse is our (only) loving out opportunity.
There is another way.....
There are 147 million little orphaned hearts in the world just dying (literally) to be loved. To be loved by you. To be loved into his kingdom.
...well shouldn't they have two parent families, is not that God's design? I will be doing a disservice. Yes, it would be a blessing if they could have two parent families. BUT there are more orphan hearts needing love poured in than their are two parent families lining up.
...well isn't it hard to be a single parent? Yes, it is. It is also hard being a married parent. But we have not been called to a life of ease. But a life folded into Christ.
...well what if there is a spouse in my future and would they want me, if I have kids? God has the plan for you life. And if this future person is a person of God, then your heart poured out to these orphanged hearts is an enhancement to your beauty. If they do not see it that way, they are not the one.
As singles, I believe truly, we need to quit putting our life on hold. We also need to quit loving these orphaned hearts from afar, or not at all. We need to get our hands dirty with love up close.
When I was waiting to find out if I would be approved to adopt my little Mary Beth, (way before I read and clear articles like Linny's) I prayed to God asking, is it your will and surrendering my desire to His will. Two things he brought to my heart when I prayed. The first was, that when both my son's were born, from my womb, God knew even at that moment, that in their future, I would be their single mom and that it was "good enough" for them...even being used by God in them.....then it was good enough for Mary. The other was "if not you, then who?" You who wants to love. You who has the passion and vision. You who is willing to take the steps....
our single life can be full by filling it with loving the least of these.
This morning I dropped off at school one "stupendous man", one Pittsburg Steeler, and two bat girls.... and my heart could not be more full.
O God, I have tasted Your goodness,
and it has both satisfied me
and made me thirsty for more.
I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace.
I am ashamed of my lack of desire.
O God, the Triune God,
I want to want You;
I long to be filled with longing;
I thirst to be made more thirsty still.
Show me Your glory, I pray,
so I may know You indeed.
Begin in mercy a new work of love within me…
Give me grace to rise
and follow You up from this misty lowland
where I have wandered so long.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Some would gather money Along the path of life Some would gather roses, And rest from worldly strife. But I would gather children From among the thorns of sin, I would seek an ebony curl, And a wide and toothless grin. For money cannot enter In that land of endless day ,And roses that are gathered Soon will wilt along the way. But oh, the laughing children ,As I cross the sunset sea, And the gates swing wide to heaven ,I can take them in with me! ~Author Unknown~
“God wins us, not by shouting, beating us up, or starving us into submission, but by asking for an invitation to enter.
We are loved into surrender. The more we accept that he operates out of love for us, the more we will entrust ourselves to him.
Fénelon expresses this truth beautifully: "God is not a spy looking to surprise you. He is not an enemy lurking in the shadows to hurt you. God is your Father who loves you, and wants to help you if you will but trust in His goodness."