Valentine’s Day is never easy for a Single, Unattached Person. I was in a relationship for half of 2016 that ended under extremely abrupt and traumatizing circumstances, and while I’m confident now that things turned out for the best in the end, it’s still easy (occasionally, anyway) to feel sorry for myself and wish I wasn’t once again so thoroughly single.
God has been good, though. He’s shown me several truths that have bolstered my hope and courage over the past few days as we get closer to Valentine’s. I really hope they’ll encourage my fellow single girls who might be reading this!
1) God loves you more than you will ever know.
“Faith,” Ann Voskamp writes in her book The Broken Way, “is confidence in God’s kindness no matter the confusion of circumstances.” God loves his sons and daughters so much, and He’s in the business of drawing us closer and closer to Himself. He works all things for our good…even when we can’t see what or where that good might be.
Back in October, minutes after that relationship crashed and burned, I slammed my hand against my steering wheel and screamed into the quiet of my car, “Why, God–why?!” I still don’t have all the answers, but I can rest in one certain thing: He was already pulling me into his arms and whispering, “Shh, it’ll be all right. I love you more than any man ever could. I’ll be with you even when everybody else fails you, and I will give you peace.”
The Lord knows what it’s like to be broken because He made Himself broken for us. He knows the pain of loneliness. He knows what it’s like to feel betrayed and forgotten–because He felt all those things as a carpenter of Nazareth. It’s okay to take your broken hallelujahs to Him because He understands, and He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). He takes great delight in you, quieting you with His love and rejoicing over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17)
2) You are RIGHT where God wants you to be right now.
I’ll be 25 in a month. My mom was married with two babies by the time she was 25. I know an 18-year-old who’s getting married this year. I have two friends around my age who are married, and one of them even has the most beautiful baby I’ve ever set eyes on, OH MY STARS.
So yeah, of course it’s easy to think that I’m way behind schedule…if I forget about God’s timetable. There’s a reason I’m unmarried at 25. I don’t know what it is, but if I believe that God planned out my life to the exact second before the creation of the world, worrying about it does seem pretty pointless.
Maybe God has me in this place because He wants me to be so grounded in His love and goodness, I’ll be able to better handle the challenges of marriage. Or maybe it isn’t His will that I get married at all, and He’s just molding me into exactly the kind of woman He wants me to be anyway. It doesn’t matter. He has a reason for everything He does and every reason is good and holy and kind.
3) Invest in yourself and your relationships with God, your family, and your church.
I didn’t always think self-care was important. I thought it was selfish. Of course, there is a self-obsessed, navel-gazing kind of self-care, but there is nothing wrong with taking the time to make your soul happy. You’re investing in, equipping, and strengthening yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally–which, in turn, will make it so much easier for you to focus on serving God and others.
Fill your head and your heart with God’s Word–that’s the most important thing. Try to spend some time outside every day. Enjoy stories (the real ones as well as the imaginary ones) of kind, noble heroes and heroines. Fill your head and your heart with God’s Word! Create something, even if it’s just a pan of cookies–but not too many cookies, because your body needs nutritious food, too! Fill your head and your heart with God’s Word!! Find a way to serve your community or your church, even if it’s just serving in the nursery or bringing a meal to a new mama. Try to get a good night’s rest. Belt out your favorite songs in the car (did you know singing out loud for an hour can boost your immune system?). Fill your head and your heart with God’s word!!! Hug someone (did you know hugging can boost your immune system, too?). Count your blessings and write them down (gratitude can alleviate depression!). Did I mention filling your head and your heart with God’s Word???
Take the time to embrace what God says about you, to enjoy your beautiful life, and to “do your little bit” in your corner of the world. And remember, you don’t have to be a politician, a missionary, a pastor’s kid, or even a mother to make a difference. All you have to be is you.
4) You don’t need anybody but Jesus to be truly happy.
The 2015 Cinderella film ends with a song called “Strong.” I disagree strongly with the admonition to “Trust in your heart”–but there’s one line I do think is true, at least to a certain extent:
“A bird all alone on the wing can still be strong and sing.”
Of course, we are never alone if Christ lives inside us. We have to cling to that truth, especially when we do feel “all alone on the wing.” But we must also cling to the truth that we Single, Unattached People really can “be strong and sing” right where we are, because of the fact that Christ lives inside us.
You don’t have to wait for your life to begin, because your purpose-filled life began a long time ago. You don’t have to sit around waiting for your real-life Steve Rogers or Clark Kent (or, if you’re me and currently obsessed with Band of Brothers, your 21st century Dick Winters) to come knocking on your door. If that person exists, he’ll come when the time is right. In the meantime, there’s plenty for you (and me) to do…and learn.
And those cruel, cutting thoughts creeping into your head about how nobody will ever love you for who you are, or how you’ve been totally forgotten? They’re lies, all of them, because God loves you so much and He will never forget you.
In the light of that truth, we really can be strong and sing our little hearts out.