So, I am the only single girl out of literally all of my close friends. Every single one of them is dating or falling in love or already married and I’ve been single for what feels like forever now.
So what does this mean? It means that all of my first priorities, AKA all of my best friends, have their own first priorities. Read: I am literally no one’s first priority. I come second and third and fifth place to the other important people in their lives, and as much as they love me they just don’t have as much to give me as I have to give them.
Not to mention that I’ve learned recently the pain of being excluded simply because of my singleness. With all my friends having SOs, who wants to invite a single girl to a couples night? Who wants to have an awkward fifth wheel at the friend group picnic or hike when it can just be all married and dating people, to keep me from being uncomfortable of course. I’ve learned that it’s easier to exclude the lonely than embrace them and be the body of Christ that includes the outcast and the less-than and the foreigner.
And let me clarify here that singleness does not equate to being an outcast or being less-than. A lot of us single mid-to-late 20-somethings and older are not single because we have to be, but because we choose to wait for the right marriage instead of just a marriage. Not to mention that we singles are not less-than or secondhand citizens of heaven. We are needed members of the body of Christ and called to live in the fullness of God’s joy with our lives just as they are, because we have purpose in our singleness, even if it’s unwanted.
But truthfully, God’s purposes in this season do not negate all of the loneliness. Being all alone in the world with no one, aside from your mom, to actually care how your day went is not for the faint of heart. Neither is watching all of your people find their people and leave you, a lot of the time, abandoned and fending for yourself in the hardest season of your life to date. I am thankful for the couple of friends that I do have in this season who really do try their best to reach out and show up, but humans fail and I am learning that I cannot have the expectations that I used to. And that’s okay. But this season of disappointment and grief and exclusion has quickly turned God’s promises from hypothetical Christian bandaids into the oxygen I breathe. His promises have become precious to me, His presence cherished, His wisdom the soothing aloe to my burned and shattered heart, and His words the hope that get me through my day.
“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”-Psalm 73:25-26
I am not going to tell you that I like loneliness, or even that in this season that I like singleness. But for where my heart has been, as much as it hurts me to say this, I think they have both been necessary. I think that they are tools in the hand of my God who is molding me and teaching me that He alone can bear the weight of my soul, especially in this season where I’m often discouraged and downcast. Not to say they will be necessary forever (or hopefully even soonish hehe), but that they have done deep and hard work in my heart and I’m going to be better because of them.
And if you’re in a season of loneliness, whatever the cause may be, I want to encourage you to decide to choose Jesus with me. Because when we’re lonely, we have a lot of options. We can choose distractions, bad decisions, bitterness and anger at God’s timing, and self-destructive impulses… all of which I have chosen at one point or another, and can attest that none of which helped in the least LOLZ. OR! We can choose to trust Jesus even when it makes literally zero sense, and turn to His promises and His truths to reassure us and do our heavy lifting. We can choose to let go of how we hoped life would be, and choose to see the faithfulness of God in our current season, even if we wished it looked different, knowing that our lives are simply vapors and that God alone is our Rock and our portion forever. We can use this season to teach our fragile, wayward hearts how to truly find the comfort offered in Christ and how to love Him even as our dreams are shattered, disappointments abound, and our hearts grieve losses even still.
Though this is a season my heart deeply longs to leave behind ASAP, and yours probably does too, my prayer is that we will not leave this season more bitter or cynical… but rather that we would leave this season with a heart renewed in the hope that comes only from heaven and a joy that is deeply rooted in the streams of living water that flow from the heart of our good, good Father even through the barren lands. May we teach our hearts that there is nothing on earth to desire besides Him, and lean on Him as the strength of our heart and our portion forever.
All my love,