I recently posted about the benefits of the single season and while I alluded to some of the challenges I worked through before coming to peace with my single season, I don’t feel like I addressed the struggles. Some people barely struggle with the single season but I struggled pretty heavily for a few months until I learned to embrace it.
I am a relatively new “true” believer. I was brought up in the church but never committed to Christ until May 2015, so I had a secular view of dating and marriage. I had been in a relationship on and off for several years but it just wasn’t progressing. I was watching so many of my friends get married and have children that I was eager for the next step and he wasn’t. When I quit my job and moved abroad you would’ve thought I’d be content but I was dissatisfied and jealous.
I really struggled watching people get engaged or get married or get pregnant because I was so focused on myself and how I was single. I wondered what was wrong with me or what I was doing wrong, etc. I was so focused on myself that I didn’t realize it’s not finding someone – it’s about being the right someone.
I reached out to a friend, who prayed for me and recommended a book called “Ladies in Waiting” which I highly recommend. It gave me a new perspective although I didn’t agree with everything it said. Reading some books by Corrie ten Boom inspired me immensely as I saw how she used her single season. I talked about the struggles I was having with friends, family and of course, God. Sometimes I discussed it nicely with God and other times I was like a cranky two-year old who hadn’t had her nap. (I really hope I’m not the only one who has conversations like that with God).
In my life group, a few of us were discussing our single season when a friend suggested we watch Andy Stanley’s series called Love, Sex and Dating. This was a great series but the most profound thing he said was about being the person that the type of person you’re interested in is attracted to; I think he said it more eloquently than that but hopefully you get the point.
It began with changing my thought process. I stopped looking at it from what am I missing to what can I do? I made a list of things I want to do but I also took a close hard look at what qualities I’d like to cultivate. I wanted to focus more on developing a servant’s heart, continually maturing in Christ, patience, humility, etc. Some of these were minor things but things I felt called to work on. Piece by piece, I felt God working in me and removing the anxiety and discontentment I had about being single.
Now I’m happy to say that I appreciate my single season and I celebrate the freedom I have to serve Him. I came to terms with the person in the mirror and discovered that I’m pretty great if I do say so myself 🙂 This peace and contentment didn’t come overnight – it was a process and some days it still is but 98% of the time I am happy exactly where God put me and how He made me (okay – I wish I could eat as many carbs as I want and not gain a pound but that’s one of the few things I can complain about).
It doesn’t matter what season you’re in but do you have any tips or advice for people in the single season? What do you think about embracing the single season? I’d love to hear from you.