Despite my declarations last week about learning to live in the balance of the goodness of singleness and difficulties of it, it’s not something I do very well most of the time. In the days surrounding those posts, I had moments of, “I’m so thankful I’m single” and “Oh how I want to be married.” Some days I had both of those thoughts, perhaps even within the same hour.
Because I absolutely believe that singleness is not something you “come to terms with” once and for all.
I believe there are times of complete contentment with it, and times of complete and utter despair over it.
In the span of a few minutes, it can feel like a beautiful blessing and an unshakeable curse.
I don’t think this is entirely uncommon among single people to feel this way, nor do I think it’s automatically a bad thing. Life has seasons, and I think singleness does too. Sometimes it’s a good season, of reveling in the freedom and spontaneity afforded by singleness, and it may last for days, weeks, or months at a time. Yet it can quickly become a season of sadness, of pining for something good that, for whatever reason, is not mine now and may not ever be. The time between the seasons may be long, or very, very short.
There may be some people, though I think them to probably be quite rare, that embrace their singleness wholeheartedly once and for all, and rarely think about it again. For most, though, singleness is not a wrap-it-up-in-a-bow and forget it deal. It is a wrestle, perhaps not constant, but frequent, of embracing the beauty of it and acknowledging that the desire to not be single is not inherently bad. It is a tension, a balance that so easily gets off-kilter when I see so many people around me with the thing I want but I don’t have it, not now, and maybe not ever.
The lessons to be learned in this struggle are many, but sometimes I get tired of looking for them. Sometimes it all just feels a bit exhausting, and though those in relationships are quick to remind me they are hard work, it seems a very different—and ultimately more enjoyable—type of work than the work of being single. I have glimpses of true contentment and they are good and lovely, but they never seem to last quite as long as I’d like them to.
I believe in finding the balance between these tensions, but actually living in it is a daily pursuit.
Til next time…
p.s. If you’re single but would prefer not to be, how do you live in the tension between your singleness and desire to not be? If you’re not single, will you tell me about it?
8 thoughts on “Continued Confessions of a Singleton”
Loving your recent posts/views of being single and finding contentment while still having the desire to one day be married!
It’s something I have struggled with greatly but I’ve come to learn that it is best to live in joy for the here and now. At the same time, praising God in expectance that one day my desire will be fulfilled.
Daily prayer is that it is a desire not a distraction!
Keep the posts comin’! 🙂
Thanks, glad to hear you’ve been enjoying them! You phrased it so well–that it’s a desire not a distraction. A difficult thing, but so important. Appreciate you stopping by.
I can honestly say in some ways being single in my 20s was harder than being single at 30. For multiple reasons I’m sure. One of them being I ended a serious relationship at 22 and love was awakened. As the years went on it was my desire for God’s will that kept me walking forward in his choice for me which included singleness. There are moments, days, years of pain. I read about them in my journal entries. There is also intimacy with Christ, worship and strength that stems from a surrendered life. I’m learning how much of a journey life is and how you can do the very thing you never wanted to with Christ. He walked out our paths before us and paved the way. Let Him have His way with you. Meet Him in the secret place and He will share with you His plans which probably include a Husband 🙂 God bless and Shalom.
Thanks so much for sharing your story, Nicole. It’s so great to be able to look back and clearly see the ways that God was working, even though it may not have felt that way at the time.
(And yes, here’s hoping a husband is in the plan. 🙂 )
You do an excellent job of describing the tension of singleness in this post. For me, one of the things that makes comments about the “work of relationships” sting is the fact that it doesn’t seem that many people affirm the work of singleness. Thanks for sharing your struggle and your thoughts.
You’re so right–singleness is absolutely work, but not many people talk about it that way. I may have more to say on this someday…we’ll see. 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, Michelle.
I think for me the hardest thing with being single is accepting the fact that having the desire to be married is okay. I used to always think that if I wasn’t happy as a single that meant I was content enough in Christ and until I got “there” God would never bring someone into my life. But the truth is, it’s a very normal desire and it’s okay to have it (as long as you don’t get “desperate” if you know what I mean).
What helps me with the tension between the ups and downs of singleness is coming back to the cross and remembering what this life is all about.
It’s not about changing my last name and my relationship status. It’s about serving Christ with my life and giving each day to Him to live for His purpose and glory. If today the best way that I can do that is by remaining single then so be it. There’s a bigger picture out there and sometimes I don’t see it but when I come to the cross it puts everything into perspective. It’s not about me and my desires but about God’s for my life. And sometimes that means not having my desires fulfilled at the moment.
It’s a difficult balance to find, of accepting that it’s okay to desire to be married but that ultimately, our lives are about serving Christ–no matter our relationship status. Sometimes it’s easier to remember than at other times. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Anna.