Many articles call singleness a gift. What do you think? I think calling it a gift reminds me at times of Christmas gifts I used to get from my grandmother. When I would discover she had my name, I steeled myself for what was to come, because several times, she gave me white cotton underwear! “What sort of Christmas present is that?” my young mind would scream to myself as I tried to hide my embarrassment – and my present.
To me, singleness has sometimes felt like that sort of “gift.” Reading Psalm 37:4 about “delighting in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” didn’t seem to be working itself out in my life. Of course, I was concentrating more on the giving part, and not the delighting part. I still remember a time in my mid-20s when I realized that God is more interested in putting His desires in my heart than just fulfilling what I think I want. Hmmmm. Now, that’s a thought to ponder, isn’t it?
Actually, that’s an act of agape love. Agape love is not necessarily shown by doing what the person loved desires, but what the one who loves knows is needed by the one who is being loved. Now, God often surprises His children with things which bring them great joy – and other times, not so much. Learning to accept these surprises with trust that God really does know what our hearts long for is a lifelong journey.
A couple of weeks ago a friend asked me what I wished someone had told me as a young single when I expressed my deep longings for a husband. My reply was simple. I wish someone would have simply acknowledged the pain they heard in my voice and saw in my eyes. Too often, well-meaning words just left me with the message, “You shouldn’t feel that way.” And, so I spent a number of years not sharing that part of my heart with anyone. Not good.
It was many years before I was finally able to see that my longings had indeed been put there by God, and whether He brought someone into my life or not, it was my calling to learn how to respond to Him. I have often thought of these words in Daniel 3:17-18. My paraphrase: “God is indeed able to deliver us from the blazing furnace and from the king’s orders to worship something other than God. But, even if He does not deliver us, let it be known that we will not disobey Him.”
God is indeed able to bring someone into my life which will help ease this longing for a Godly spouse. But, even if He does not, I am determined to trust Him. I’ve decided I don’t want to have a life of perpetual waiting, but of living!
So, what are your thoughts? Where are you in this journey? If you are married and have a friend/relative who has been single a long time, how do you interact with them in this singleness thing?
I cannot wait to hear from you!