This week has been absolutely nuts, friends.
In more ways than one, I have been an emotional wreck. From napping every day, to snoozing my alarm for an hour, to eating nothing but homemade cafeteria pizza (yes, it’s a real thing), let’s just say I haven’t exactly been on “top of my game”. So much so, that I didn’t even post this week on Sunday, as usual.
I just… I didn’t know what to say.
Sometimes, I feel as if I have nothing good to say at all.
But today… today I realized what I want to say to you all. You are my friends, you wonderful people who read what I write week after week. I feel so much comfort in knowing I can share my life with you all, and I am so encouraged when I hear from you, about how your life mirrors mine in some way. And through this journey together, I feel as if it’s most beneficial to us all if I’m just honest with you guys. And so, in the midst of my “hot mess-ery”, I want to share with you my heart.
This is to all the single girls out there. (Or guys.)
Today I grabbed lunch with a dear friend of mine. We eat together every Monday at noon, and I have found through our Mondays that it is so rewarding to walk through life with someone on such a regular basis. While we’re talking, (and I’m, of course, eating pizza), we get on the topic of dating and update each other briefly on our personal dating lives. (Because, let’s be real, it’s a dang good juicy topic.)
My portion lasted maybe 27 seconds, if that. (Translation: it’s nonexistent.) And so I asked her about hers. As if on cue, a smile lit up her face and she proceeded to pour out her previous week and the incredible experiences she had. Within the last 7 days, an incredible guy sought her out and treated her well and made it clear that he wants the relationship between them to go somewhere. He’s tall, mature, witty… you fill in the blank. Oh, and he loves Jesus. Like a lot.
In other words, as I downed my pizza, I sat there and listened to everything I’ve “ever wanted” happen to somebody else. Somebody I love dearly and want only the best for.
And yet.. as you can imagine, that was hard. Really hard.
I’m going to be 21 in a month, never dated, never experienced what it’s like to be cherished in a way that is only present in a romantic relationship. In my natural, fallen state, it is so easy for me to feel bitter towards those who are handed the life that I so desperately want- even my closest friends.
And so, as we finished our lunch, I headed back to my room and tearfully began to pray.
And what I felt God whisper to me was not what I was expecting.
As I curled into my bed, closed my eyes, and allowed quiet tears to trickle past my nose, wise words spoken by my friend came back to me:
“Maddie, there is so much blessing in being single. I wish I could tell every girl that, including myself.”
Blessing. Alright, real original, God. Singleness is a blessing. I’ve heard that before. But He wouldn’t let it go. As I lay there, cuddling my teddy bear, I rolled over and begged God for a different answer. But none came. God didn’t remind me to pray for my future husband, and He didn’t say “Just wait… you don’t know what waits around the corner!”
Instead, He emphasized over and over in my heart that I have been handed a gift. For the first time, He began to open my eyes to the endless possibilities of being a single girl on a college campus. And, even more so, He began to challenge me to accept the fact that I may not meet my future husband during my college years. (Of course, I can’t be the one to tell you how my life is going to go. But it was important for me to give that possibility over to God.)
And so, after much wrestling and whining, and through many tears, I allowed God to begin a work on my heart that I had been holding back from Him since I stepped foot at college.
How often do I value my single years as a gift? If I’m completely honest with myself, I have viewed singleness as a waiting room for over 2 years now. A valley. Somewhere I have to be for a time, but not somewhere anybody wants to stay for very long.
And yet, God tells me to rejoice daily. To find joy in any and every circumstance. To cherish my days here on Earth, because they are few. And so I began to pray, but not for circumstance or opportunities or even contentment.
I began to pray for happiness.
Happiness in being single. An oxymoron according to my past vocabulary, and yet the only truly good way to live these days in front of me, in recognizing the gift I have been given.
Because I am loved by the one true God. Loved, pursued, and promised. And therefore I am not in want, not today or in any day to come.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.