31 and Single

As a 30 something single with no children, my adult life experience has been lived out within the boundaries of these demographics. It is only now, in this season, that I have some sort of understanding as to WHY this has been God’s path for me (because I so didn’t want it). For nearly 10 years, I walked by faith, trusting Him one day at a time. I did not do it perfectly. I struggled and fought and cried and waited. I fell and got up, fell and got up, then repeated the process. I not only struggled with this desire for marriage to be fulfilled but for so many others to be met. There was already pressure by my culture (both American and the Church) to complete x, y and z milestones during x, y and z time frames but I put additional pressure on myself. Simply because that is my personality to do so. It is my personality to achieve and accomplish. I’m learning now that it was my folly to measure my worth and my value by my accomplishments. 20-something year old Nicole was notorious for it and when she fell short by her own standards (not God’s by any means, but her own), she was extremely hard on herself. I can see now the fear and anxiety running fluidly underneath the surface of these desires for what she would deem as achievement. I am more aware now of their existence (fear and anxiety).

What was/am I afraid of? Being left behind. Not being enough.  Being a failure. If I did not experience these milestones at the time my peers experienced them, well then, I was a failure.  Interestingly enough most of my peers are waiting right along with me…

My waiting has not been cut and dry. As an older single with no children who desires to progress in this area of her life (in every area really), I daily desire to submit my emotions and my will to Christ. I am not always successful at this, but I do desire it. And in what Christ would call my faithfulness (I would call His grace) He has given me time to learn and grow and mature. For most of this season I have looked at time as an enemy. It frustrated me and worked against my desire to accomplish and achieve. But maturity has revealed time has been working for me. Every time I felt God’s promises were being delayed in my life (in many areas in addition to relationships), they were actually times He was intentionally preparing me for them.  Could it be the same for you?

I received many lies about marriage. I believed another mere human could complete me. I believed they could meet my needs and fulfill me and make me whole. I believed my purpose was to be someone’s wife and someone’s mother. I even functioned in this dysfunctional way in platonic friendships and founded my identity in someone else’s acceptance.  But even with walking in the freedom of these truths, (long term satisfaction could never possibly come from a mere mortal) there is still pain.

There is still dying to self.

There is still surrender.

And I’m learning that this is quite alright. Because we all have our own journey. We all have our own lessons that Christ is teaching us so that we display His image in the earth.

And even though it’s been a challenging road, I’m so grateful for His constant companionship and faithfulness. I know that He desires our trust as well as our love. We demonstrate trust in Him when we choose His way over our own. I am only able to take those steps of faith and trust when I reflect on Him as a Person.  He is trustworthy.  He has proven that over and over again in my life.  I’m sure He has done the same in yours.  It is who He IS.  But one only sees that by doing life with Him.  One only discovers Him and gets to know Him when they choose to yield and obey.  Even when it hurts.  Especially when it hurts.

I found the following radio broadcast on this topic encouraging. Maybe you will as well: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/popups/media_player.aspx?MediaId={86930859-7F9D-4FEA-8C06-D0F4CB0A5101}

SHALOM

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