Why Is Being Single So Hard?
As I sit here writing this article, on a topic that hits very close to home, I didn’t know where to begin. Every article, podcast, and conversation I’ve had about singleness, is with someone who is no longer in that season. So, I wanted to write from the point of singleness.
My name is Ashley Shrader, I will be 20 years old in October and I am not in a relationship. Between the ages of 17-18 I was in a relationship, and that’s something the Lord asked us to step away from so we did.
I think it’s most every person’s dream to be cared for by another person, to feel safe, and desired. But right now, I am not looking to get married, so I am not going to enter into a relationship that should be leading towards marriage. Now, that being said, the Lord’s plans could include me getting married in the next couple of years, but until He provides that opportunity, I want to serve Him in this season.
I’ve always been told that singleness in a season of waiting, and that’s almost right, we just need to make sure it’s the correct kind of waiting. We cannot be passively waiting, we need to be actively waiting. The best way to think about this is, waiting at the doctor’s office vs. waiting for guests to visit your home. In the doctor’s office you are passive, aimlessly passing the time, maybe playing solitaire or reading, nothing super significant. But, when you are waiting for people to come into your home, you are cleaning, preparing food, maybe getting activities ready to do together when they get there. And when they do arrive, your waiting has produced results.
Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting expectantly for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ for eternal life. -Jude 1:21
But how do we wait correctly? What does expectant waiting look like? How do we serve, find encouragement, and be encouraging to others in this season? I suppose to answer those questions we have to know what waiting should look like. Here are a few examples.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, pray constantly. Spending time in communication with God is an amazing thing. It allows you to find peace in His presence and trust in Him deeper.
Bring God into every aspect of your life.
In all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:6
Make sure that Jesus Christ is found in every aspect of your life, not just the pretty parts, or the ones you think people want to see, but all of it.
Be in fellowship
Surround yourself with other believers who encourage can you and help you ask big questions, and then help you find the answers.
Allow yourself to be single
Take yourself out for coffee, explore somewhere alone. A season of singleness is not a time to dread. Serve people in your church, try new things, appreciate your singleness. That is not an easy task, but you can do it with God!
Make your desires known to the Lord
We all know what we are looking for in a relationship, but do those desires line up with the Bible? Allow yourself time to ask God what He wants for you.
There will be people who come into your life looking for a relationship, but make sure that they line up with God’s desires for you. It is easy to settle on the first person to show interest in you, but sticking to the desires that God has placed in your heart is difficult, but so worth it.
This article took me a long time to write, many hours were spent in prayer and many hours were spent at the coffee shop writing. Throughout the whole process I kept asking myself, am I really qualified to talk to people on this topic? Am I living out what I’m saying? Am I actively waiting? The answer to the first question is yes, I needed to hear this message as much as the next person and the Lord knew I needed to discover how to wait well. The answer to the second two questions is, I’m trying.
It’s hard to admit that I am not actively waiting. It’s not out of ignorance, I know what I’m supposed to be doing. But I am not living out my waiting correctly, not 100 percent of the time. I would love to justify it and say it is because of a million insignificant things, but I can’t.
If we really spend time in God’s Word we see that most every person that God used in the Bible had to wait. They were called to wait, called to trust on the Lord. So, I think we should start trusting, we should start listening whole heartedly listening to God, we should start waiting well. It won’t be easy, but it is going to be so worth it. And we are in this together, you may not have that special someone but you are surrounded by young women to lean on. And you can be encouragement to someone else. Be open to God’s plans, they are always breathtaking.
If you are also in a single season, what does active waiting look like for you?
Starting April 16, we will be doing a three-month small group Bible study on relationships, including an entire month on the single season and how to figure out God’s will for you in your single season. We’d love to have you join us!
In the second quarter of the year (April-June), we are going to study what the Bible says about love. We’ll start with studying God’s love, and then move on to discovering God’s heart and intentions for the unmarried and married seasons of life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hello, my name is Ashley Shrader. I’m 19 and absolutely in love with sharing joy and love. I am so thankful that God has given me the opportunity to serve Him through my life.