“Are you married?”
“No” (Seriously, is this guy going to get it?!)
“Interested in anyone?”
“So you are single?”
“Yep” (Would you like me to spell it out for you?)
Awkwardness paused as a gigantic “why”? hung silently in the air.
Without making excuses for my singleness, I smiled and gently excused myself to take care of more wedding details. I actually chuckled as I walked away. How was I supposed to respond to situations like this?
In the past I would have tried to explain my singleness away, embarrassed and overcome by feeling inadequate. I may have also walked away and had a good cry, or silently responded with sarcasm “I’m still single because I eat small children!”
This time as I walked away I was amazed by the fact that I was amused, unaffected and even more surprisingly, I did not feel the need to give this stranger a reason for my singleness. (Yes, I’m a recovering people pleaser turned confidant, pre-approved woman in Christ!)
The last time a guy asked me a similar line of questioning, it was followed by an invitation to get a beer after his work shift was over. But in this instance the guy was in high-school. Now I guess he could be hitting on me, but more than likely he was just trying to wrap his mind around the fact that an intelligent, passingly beautiful woman was single, with a much younger sister getting married first. I think this was more the case because he was simply echoing the sentiment my own brother expressed earlier in the day when I came out in my bridesmaid’s dress:
“Dang girl! Why you still single? You’re smokin today. Are all the guys blind?”
Chuckles. “Well thank you bro, – you look like a stud muffin yourself.”
My brother’s compliment warmed me and again I smiled as I gave him a hug; choosing to not answer the question and see his heart and the compliment behind it.
People’s opinions and genuine concerns of my love life (or lack thereof!) rarely bother me anymore (praise you Jesus!). This is because I have learned something vitally important – everyone’s story is unique, and there is not a hierarchy of “better -ness” in God’s plan for each of us.
Your story is and will be as unique as you are. We are so vastly different, with different needs, different personalities, love languages, passions, callings, and giftings. I love hearing people’s love stories. Love the way each story is different and yet the same. And the only thing that is the same about each story – is that there is a story. The script is different each time because our God never runs out of creativity.
Can we trust God enough to let Him be creative?
I used to feel guilty and confused when everyone would share with me the way they met and married their spouse. To me it always sounded like ‘If I just did this, or believed that, or had more standards, or less was picky, than I would get married.”
While all of their advice was good, legitimate, and even true, I finally realized that it rang true for their stories. It was what the Lord was doing in their life at the time. This is what made their stories so powerful, and also why it was so easy for them to be convinced that this was the answer for everyone else who was single and wanted to be married.
But what was God doing in MY life? With my story?
If you have listened to more than one person’s love story you will notice that they often contradict the next person’s
– “When I was finally content in my singleness, I met someone right away”
-“I prayed and prayed and prayed, and the Lord is good and gives us the desires of our hearts, He brought so and so to me”
-“I didn’t have high enough standards, and once I realized I was worth being treated right,_____ came out of the woodwork. They were there all along! You gotta look at what is in front of you.”
-“I was so stuck on what I wanted. I never would have looked at_____ but it’s because of her that I know the Lord. She took a risk in marring me. Thank you Lord”
-“I felt the Lord asking me to wait, so I did and then in the right time the Lord brought him along”
-“I realized I was waiting around hoping to meet someone and the Lord showed me I needed to start doing something about what I wanted … and then I met______”
The Lord is faithful to meet each of us where we are at, and to stretch and grow us in the areas that we as individuals need to trust Him. Friends, there is no one-sized-fits-all formula for love.
Trusting the Lord to write my story has been the biggest adventure I have ever embarked on and it’s not over yet – and neither is yours. Let Him be creative with you. Your story is and will be just as precious as everyone else’s – because it’s yours. Written by Him – for you.
Being single and fully alive is about learning to recognize what truth and goodness the Lord is weaving into your story. If you would like to read more about love formulas please check out a more extensive look at them in “Spirit Led Relationships” .
“When You Say “I Do” You Get Me Too“ is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.