There are periods in all of our lives when love appears to be all around us, but not for us. The times where it seems God came and gave the gift of relationships and apparently skipped past you, leaving you single, feeling as if you are drowning in a sea of couples. The great capacity for love you have feeling wasted, spent on ice cream and cosy nights in with your duvet and dog.
This time of being so surrounded by love, but not in love can be tough, and it’s a stage most of us will encounter at some stage in life, whether that was past, present or future.
For those who’ve been there or are there – you dread the next time one of these blessed friends will utter the phrase “Don’t worry there’s someone out there for you” or a phrase to similar effect. You end up resenting this someone that they speak of, and your tone becomes accusatory, questioning God why on earth he or she is not here yet, wishing He’d tell them to hurry up.
Watching your closest friends, and all those around you get swept up in whirlwind romances creates a special sort of whirlwind for you. You get caught in-between lovey-dovey crossfire and you get a front row seat to watch their relationship go from the initial teasing smiles and giggles to something so serious and real that it makes your heart content. Yet it feels like you’re being thrown all over the place unsure where you stand anymore, as all your friends get into relationships and you are still very much a one, and you have to learn how to navigate this all over again even though you’ve been ‘a one’ before.
When everything in you says singleness is not a gift. What part of staying alone on a night in while your friends go out on romantic dates or cosy movie nights is a gift? Were you to receive it wrapped up in a bow it would still be a bad deception of any form of gift.
And yet I’m coming to believe that it is God’s gift to us. That He knows the seasons of your life, in fact before you were even born He knew what was written on each page of your book, that tells the great tale of how the wonderful story of your life plays out. So if this chapter finds you single, it was God’s great plan, and He knows when the chapter comes when you will no longer be.
And so I am learning that not only is there a joy in being single, but there is joy to be found in being so surrounded by love. I’ve learned to appreciate instead of resenting something that I don’t have. To let the occasional bragging and happy chatter of someone in love go over my head. Rather to actually let their relationships teach me about love, to appreciate the smiles it brings to my friends’ faces, and to appreciate that it’s their time to be in love and to grow and it’s my time to be by myself and grow in a different way.
And if God has not given me the gift of a relationship yet, it’s because I’m not ready, so I can only hope and pray that He’s shaping me and helping me grow into exactly the right version of me for that person. And I hope He’s doing the same with him whoever he is.
So even though love in our society can become a word of definition, a status given to someone with countless connotations attached to it, I am learning that it doesn’t define me. The only love that defines us is that of our heavenly Father, whose love doesn’t waver, nor fail us, nor disappear when times are hard. This is a love that we can allow to define us – a love we should be proud to let define us.
(image via CreationSwap)