All the Single Ladies
The following post was written by friend Krissie Allen. She can be found messing around at http://www.kraedesign.com/blog. She wrote this guest post many, many months ago while I was in South Africa. I decided to re-post her entry today because well, it is totally resonating with me right now. And is something I am finding myself thinking about more and more—the closer I get to my birthday next month (the big 2-5). I don’t know if there are any single ladies reading today this who can also resonate, but I hope you find encouragement here. You’re not alone.
Thirty, Flirty and Thriving
I have been in 9 weddings that I can remember (27 dresses here I come), I was a bridesmaid in 3, I sang in 3, and I read scripture in 3. In two of those weddings I was asked to read that ever popular wedding passage from Ecclesiastes, how 2 are better than 1, and if 1 person falls down who is there to help them… in other words it’s really horrible to be alone… I found it rather ironic, that they asked the token single person to read those verses. Like here’s some salt, why don’t you go ahead and rub it into your own wound in front of a large crowd. Now I’m pretty good natured, and it wasn’t a major deal to me, but I’m not gonna lie, it did sting just a little.
Being single is something that I struggle with and I imagine I always will, until God willing, I find the right man. Now I just want to say this for the record… It’s okay to want to be married. For some reason in our society though we’re not supposed to admit stuff like that. We’re supposed to be thirty, flirty and thriving (anyone see 13 Going On 30?). And I’ve definitely played that game. We’re often told to be content in our singleness, that we need to focus on God, and that somehow magically when we aren’t looking, then it will happen. I remember hearing this quote in college, and to some extent buying into the lie that there is a formula to it. “God is like the sun, men are like trees. If you stare at the sun, you’ll run into a tree.”
In the past several years as I’ve seen my friend’s love stories unfold, I’ve observed that there is absolutely no formula to it. So read all of the Christian dating books that you want, but just so you know if you follow all of the steps, stand on your head, put your finger in your ear, and “date God” for a year, it’s not going to move you any closer or further away from marriage.
Now I’ve also learned that there is a big difference between being content and being complacent, and I think we get these ideas confused, which is some of the problem. I am content, I love my life, I mean really enjoy my life. I have some stellar friends, a great church and ministry, an incredible job, etc. etc. I’m happy, but that doesn’t mean that I’m complacent about my single state.
I have to find that balance as does everyone between how much effort I make, and how much I rely on God to provide. I think it’s appropriate to focus on bettering myself as a person, enjoying life, and being the right person, but I also think it’s appropriate to put myself in the right place and be open to meeting single guys. Trusting that God is going to provide the right one for me, if I’m faithful to make myself available.
Great post and timely! I am 38 (soon to be 39) and single. Not exactly my life plan….but trusting that it’s been his. Made a move to Nashville as part of my story….
Thanks for post!!
Great post, and she is right on. I would like to offer another encouragement that flipped my perspective of my own singleness at 26. This is a link to John Piper sermon about singleness. I have never listened/read anything more encouraging than the Truth-filled message here: http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByTitle/2162_Single_in_Christ_A_Name_Better_Than_Sons_and_Daughters/
I really liked the post, especially the part about not thinking in terms of formulas. I have a number of problems with the “Jesus is my boyfriend” mentality.
Your title reminded me of a video I saw recently…here is an indie remix of All the Single ladies…
i couldn’t read any of it, cuz all i was doing was singing “all the single ladies…” over and over again.
well, it’s the only anthem we got!
We sing our whole life to Single Ladies…or inappropriate variations thereon.
I remember very clearly (even if it was over 16 years ago) how difficult it was to turn 25. It made me think back to my younger days – I know I expected to be “grown up” at 25, and in my mind that included marriage and possibly kids. The good news is that 30 and 35 (other “big” birthdays) weren’t as difficult, because by then I began to feel like a “grown up” even though I was still single.
Admittedly, 40 was tough, because it represented the symbolic (if not literal) end to my hopes and expectations of being a mother. But now that I’m in my 40s, I so greatly appreciate the confident wisdom that is just beginning to make me feel at home with God’s sovereign direction for my life.
I may be single, but I refuse to let my singleness be the defining and dominant characteristic of my life!
(And I second the praise of Piper’s messages on singleness.)
This is so great exactly where I’m at right now!!!