**Disclaimer: this post has been in my drafts for a few — ok more like six — months. I really didn’t want to post it because of the perceived stigma around the subject of singleness. But I thought about how encouraged I am whenever I read something along the same vein and I realized that maybe, in my pride, I was stuffing some things down for fear of appearing “needy” or “desperate.” There’s no shame in voicing these thoughts, friends. Not out of a desire for attention or pity but out of a need to be real and honest. So here we go…

When I saw that my reading for the day was from Song of Solomon, I inwardly groaned and rolled my eyes. I knew it was inevitable when I committed to a one year reading plan but my cynicism was getting the best of me that day. What is a single woman like me going to get out of a book about two lovers? And then I know people say to read it as if Jesus is loving you but was it really written to be read that way? (another discussion for another day).

I wish I could say that I gave myself a pep talk about scripture being the inspired Word of God and how I should be respectful and listen to how the Spirit would speak to me through these words, but I didn’t. Instead I read it while trying not to imagine anything too vividly.

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.
~Song of Solomon 8:4

Of course, as the single woman, this is the one that stood out because is almost seemed the only one I could apply. But it struck me that this verse is repeated three times throughout eight chapters. Almost like an overarching theme…

Then, the next passage in my reading plan was from Ecclesiastes. It was interesting to see the juxtaposition of these passages— especially this verse.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
~Ecclesiastes 3:11

It was reassurance that God has me and His timing is perfect. He’s the God of immeasurably more and I don’t have to strive to figure it all out.

Exodus 14:14 also came to mind
“the Lord will fight for you, you need only be still”

In a recent sermon I listened to, my pastor mentioned that what may seem like a delay to us is God’s patience that all might come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).

Maybe the reason, my spouse and I haven’t met yet (or have we?) is because God has more things for me to accomplish as a single woman. Maybe He wants to use me to point to Jesus that I wouldn’t otherwise interact with in another season of life. He’s got a plan. Something bigger than I can foresee or imagine. Beyond the scope of my little brain.

Not saying I haven’t shed many a tear over the state of my “love life” (or lack thereof). Not saying I haven’t sat through many a wedding and asked “When will it be my turn?” Not going to deny that there’s a sort of bittersweetness when friends get engaged. Not saying I haven’t asked, “God, why does she get a boyfriend and I don’t?” Not even going to deny a phase of reading an excess of relationship books in order to “figure this thing out.”

The problem with the thoughts mentioned above is that they start and end with me. The above perspective takes a good desire (one that I believe to be God-given) and twists it to become inward-looking discontentment. In a word, it’s idolatry and takes our eyes off Jesus.

But only Jesus can truly satisfy the longings of my heart. I know that. I truly believe that. And if my desires are pointing us to Him + causing us to rely on His strength and grace more and more, then it’s not a bad thing at all. When I sit back and consider the past few years I am SO grateful for His faithfulness in my life. I am SO glad He’s provided these opportunities and scenarios that could not have been possible otherwise. As I learn to delight in Jesus, He’s shaped these desires in ways I could have never imagined.

Yet, to be completely and vulnerably honest, one of my greatest fears is being single past a certain age. Just going to publicly call that fear out. I know that no man is going to solve all my problems or cause me to never be lonely (and I pray I never put that expectation on anyone) I know marriage will not make this Jesus-journey any easier. But the desire for intentional companionship is real. The desire to have a family is real.

God doesn’t promise me a husband. But he does promise to never leave me nor forsake me. He does promise to supply all of my needs. He does promise a hope and a future and to work things together for my good. He does promise abundant life in Him. And those are things I wouldn’t trade for the world.

People tell me to try a dating app. “You’re an amazing girl,” they say, “you need to put yourself out there” “Thanks for your vote of confidence” I say with a chuckle, “but I don’t think I have the bandwidth for that right now.”

And you know what? If marriage was THE goal, then yes, I’d do everything in my power to meet a man. But if the goal of my life is to bring God the most glory, I should leave the pen of my love story in His hand and on His timing. Given the current state of world affairs, I’ll admit, I’m tempted to think the situation is pretty dismal. But I also know that our God is bigger. And I trust Him. I will be patient. I will be brave. I will not compromise. I will steward this time to the best of my ability and giftings. I will not be cynical but hope{full}. The best is yet to come (regardless of if that includes a husband or not).

Praying for you, dear friends, in this season. May we rest in His perfect plan and faithfully steward the now in light of eternity. May we delight in Him so His desires become ours. Let us not become bitter or cynical but remember that He’s a good God who longs to be gracious to me and give good gifts to His children. And if/when the time comes for us to join forces with a life-adventure buddy, may we point each other and those around us to Jesus.

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