Kicking Off the Valentine's Day Series: On Singleness
As promised, we're tipping our hats to Valentine's Day with a series of relationship-oriented articles for singles and couples. God instituted marriage, and scripture tells us how to make it work; nonetheless, we still find it a very difficult terrain to navigate. We hope these articles bring you encouragement and point you to God's word.
We also want to make a small disclaimer. We don't want to imply with this series that people in relationships or marriages are more important than people who aren't. If this week's articles don't apply directly to you, we encourage you to glean what understanding you can from them. If you're single, don't skip the articles for marrieds. If you're married, don't skip the articles for singles. It's important that we learn about one another so we can better support each other.
Without further ado, we bring you our first installment, written by Sister Natalie Pezzenti.
I always thought I'd make my walk down the aisle when I was 25. I figured living a few years on my own after graduating college would offer independence and time to focus on myself.
But then I turned 25 and I didn't make that walk.
And I didn't walk at 26. Or 27. Or 28, either. I was officially over the national average for saying "I do."
I began to look around my world and see that nearly everyone else already had or was about to make that big commitment. They had the pretty shoes and the partner waiting for them. And yet, for whatever reason, I had neither.
To say those years were confusing for me is an understatement. It might sound overdramatic, but there were times that I felt like a leper plagued by my singlehood. I started to believe that because I didn't have a ring on my finger, I would never fit in to the marriage box everyone else got to check; I was still penciling in "single" for my status. Self-doubt and fear crept into nearly every thought, and I found myself asking the ridiculous question, "What is wrong with me?" And probably, even worse, I questioned God on the subject.
"Hello? Are you still there? I've been waiting for quite some time and he still hasn't shown up. What am I supposed to do now?"
If ever there was a lesson in patience, God taught me well during those years. While others were purchasing their first homes and welcoming children, I decided to bask in my period of waiting and keep the negativity as far away as possible. I tried new things (painting classes). I refocused some love (adopted a kitten). I splurged (too many trips to the bookstore to count).
But the biggest thing I did in those moments of solitude was to have frank conversations with myself and realize how full my life really was—even without a husband. I read a book about being thankful for the littlest of things—from the smell of my cup of tea to the breeze in the air. God was present from the most minute to the grandest of moments. As I focused my attention on the things that filled my spirit, I was able to push aside those things that pulled it down.
I came to realize that no matter how often I questioned myself or where I was on the continuum of life, that perhaps it just meant God was still working—that the flood wasn't over and He wasn't ready for me to open the door of the ark.
Some people find the loves of their lives in elementary school on the playground; others meet at a restaurant on a blind date. Some know in a moment; others need years to realize who is front of them. What's most important is to remember that God keeps each of us in the palm of His hand. He tells us to "be still" (Psalm 46:10) and "wait upon Him" (Isaiah 40:31). He reminds us that "to every season, there is a purpose" (Ecclesiastes 3:1)—even single ones. And, most importantly, He promised "never to leave us alone" (John 14:18).
If single is still your status, take heart. Remember that you are a child of the King and there is no greater title—not even husband or wife. If you've already exchanged vows, don't forget those who haven't—they still deserve to be included and loved.
As I take my last walk of singlehood in June down the aisle with my dad, I'll smile knowing those years afforded me much. I'll be ever-thankful that my God taught me that being single truly isn't a dreaded curse, but rather a precious gift.