Me: How long were you single?
Kelly: I got married when I was 34, so 34 years!
Me: When you think back on your time of singleness what is one word you would use to describe that time and why?
Kelly: One word: mine. I want to say “adventurous” because I did enjoy being on the go and doing things that were out of the box and a little risky. I want to say “free” because I could go wherever, whenever I wanted, the way the world views “free”. I chose the word “mine” because those other adjectives describe marriage too. Singleness was mine because that’s just it, it was mine. It didn’t belong to anyone else, it belonged to me. Views that were mine, my walk with God, what God wanted to do through me, the enjoyments that were mine, friendships that were mine, the family that was mine, time that was mine, decisions that were mine, the adventures that were mine, etc. It was all mine!
Me: What were some of the hard times of your singleness? What were some of the great times?
Kelly: A hard time of singleness for me was when God revealed whom He wanted me to marry and then having to wait (5 years to date, 2 more until marriage) for that time to come. Within that time it was the hardest to be single! I would go through ups and downs in the trusting and waiting. I would believe some days and not others. I would pity myself some days and be excited about this revelation other days. Some great times were in college, never dating anyone and pouring out my time and life for reaching high school kids with the gospel and living in community with some girlfriends in the city (“Daisy Girls”) while intentionally seeking God and relationships with our neighbors! So many significant memories in those times!
Me: Why do you think God incorporated a longer season of singleness in your story than some of your peers?
Kelly: Hmmm, I’m not sure. I read in a book years ago now, (quite paraphrased) that it’s easy to string a single person along and say there must be something God is working out in you and so you must surrender, etc.… that kind of encouragement, or once you let go of the thought of marriage you’ll meet the one! The book went on to say that, “No. Marriage is designed by God and so is singleness. One isn’t in preparation for the other, they just are. You’re single because God has it for you to be single. You’re married because God has it for you to be married.” Having that understanding helped me to embrace being single and gain a better idea of the purpose of each season. Both, no matter where you are, single or not, are purposeful and intentional simply because that’s where God has you. Both are wonderfully good. Outside of that thought though, I think both my husband and I would say we needed to grow relationally, personally, emotionally…but then I think about when I had our son and I remember thinking more holistically, maybe it was more about the timing of our son’s life? Maybe it had nothing to do with us and what we may have been waiting on/for, but more about the legacy God wanted to use us to put into motion and He had the whole picture in mind.
Me: What advice would you give to those who are waiting on God’s best and desire not to settle in their relationship choice?
Kelly: I would say, while it’s easy, like super easy, to compare and want what another has, waiting is the best. You’re single because that’s what God has for you. Your friend is married because that’s what God has for them. When you release the comparison, freedom comes. Freedom to be you, in the circumstance He created you to be in for that time. Don’t settle for anything but what God wants for you. He’s made you a certain way. Be patient for the one God will use to refine the crap out of you and bring out the best in you. Pray for that someone to see you as God sees you and pray the same for yourself, that you’d see them as God sees them.