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Beyonce, Single Ladies, and Jesus

Cue the music.

All the single ladies, all the single ladies.

All the single ladies, all the single ladies.

All the single ladies, all the single ladies.

All the single ladies, all the single ladies.

All the single ladies.

Alright, that’s enough Beyonce for one night. If I keep that song going much longer, there will be hip thrusts and gyrations going on all around and we certainly don’t need any of that.  You get the point….this blog post is for all the single ladies out there. Single guys too I guess. But, since I am a lady – and that point could be debated depending on your definition of a lady – I am writing to the single ladies from the perspective of a single lady.

I’m 28.

I’m single.

And it bothers me sometimes.

Sometimes it really bothers me.

There I said it. If you are even a semi-close friend or have talked to me for longer than about 15 minutes, you wouldn’t have to be a rocket science to pick up on the fact that I desire to be married at this stage in life. I’m not good at hiding my emotions. Or at not oversharing. Sometimes even with perfect strangers. It is a trait that some say makes me endearing. Some say it makes me look desperate, especially as it relates to men.

When I left for Africa two years ago, I had an inkling that most of my then single friends would be married by the time I returned. I expected it even. Of all the girls in my group of friends that I had prior to age 26, I am now the only single girl remaining, with the exception of one friend who is in a serious relationship. I’m so much the only single girl that I had to move to a new town simply to be in the presence of other single girls – well, that and to attend seminary in said town. And at seminary we hang out in this private little single girl clique that one must have very specific qualifications to join – namely, that you are single. And a girl. Yeah, I know, we aren’t likely to change our single status if we only hang out with other single girls. It happens.

Want to know what I didn’t expect in life? To be chasing after the age of 30 like it was a race I wanted to win, with no man in sight. Never once in my teenage years or my early 20’s did I even fathom that I would be in my late 20’s and single. The way I had it planned out (and trust me I had it all planned out), I was supposed to have 4 kids by now. A husband, a house, a career, and four kids. That was all. I didn’t think it was asking that much. At the time, I honestly didn’t even know that there was another option for life.

So, yeah, sometimes it bothers me that I am 28 and single.

The church doesn’t always help this situation. Everywhere I turn seminary students and my fellow church members are getting married and procreating as if they were commanded by God to be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth. The nerve. As if that weren’t enough, I am surrounded by well meaning Christians that spend their days trying to match me up with someone, informing me that the reason I am still single is because I am too picky, or that I just must not be ready yet, or that perhaps God can’t give me a spouse yet because I am not content in my singleness… as soon as I stop wanting to be married, then that is when it will happen. Right?

I believed that crap 8 years ago. I don’t believe it anymore. And I don’t think I should. I am single because God has seen fit for me to remain single during this time. As our pastor challenged us with today, I shouldn’t be squandering one blessing (singleness) by coveting another (marriage). Both are gifts given by God. Both have advantages and drawbacks. My singleness is not an inferior state to being married.

So, I should quit acting like it is. Easy to say, tough to swallow.

But what am I really saying when I am discontent in my singleness? Ultimately, I am saying that in this situation, God is not being good to me. That he is witholding something good from my life. That I am not getting his best for me.

And that is when I see the pining of my heart for just what it really is, a heart issue. Do I think that someone or something can fulfill me, or to quote Jerry Maguire “complete me” more than Christ already has? Does it take Christ + a husband for me to be fulfilled? Because if it does, then the issue isn’t one of being married or not being married, it is an issue of where I am placing my trust, my dependence, and my affection. And if it is not on Christ alone, then it is idolatry. Do I trust that He is good to me, single or married? That He gives me what is best for me even when it doesn’t look like I expected it to? Do I trust that He is enough?

God forbid I squander the blessing of singleness – and lets be real, it truly is a blessing most days – by coveting the blessing of marriage. God is good. Period.

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