*This is a two part series. To read The Single Life – Part I, click here.
Like most young girls, I dreamed of growing up, getting married, and having kids.
Being single in my 30’s, one of the biggest lies I find myself dealing with is the thought that I’m “behind” in my life. Most of my friends are married, with several kids, and their kids are now in school, yet my life looks nothing like that. Sometimes it feels as if the world is spinning around, but I’m “stuck.”
The truth is I’m not “stuck.” It only appears that way because I’m comparing my life to others. Our stories are uniquely beautiful - no two are meant to be the same.
God’s creativity can be seen by looking at the stories around us, but sometimes I think we’re so consumed with comparison that we miss out on the beauty and joy right in front of us.
Have I questioned God about why I’m still single? Yes.
Do I still trust that God is good and His timing is perfect? Absolutely!
Have I prayed for my future husband? Yes, but my prayer has changed in the last several months. Recently, I’ve been praying….
“God, you know my desire is to be married and have kids. If that is not your desire for me, change my desires to match your desires.”
The first time I prayed that, it was honestly a little scary. At first it felt like I was giving up on my dreams, but the more I prayed it, the more God changed my perspective. I’m not giving up on my dreams, I’m giving my dreams to God. There’s a difference.
Has God changed my desires? No…not yet, at least. He may at some point, but I never want my desire for a husband to be greater than my desire for following God.
Being single in my 30’s has forced me to become independent, but at the same time it has helped me become more reliant on God. He is the one I turn to throughout the day. He is the one in whom I find my identity. He is the one who loves me unconditionally.
My joy, worth, and sense of purpose do not come from a person, they come from my Heavenly Father. And I know that if God wants me to be married, He will bring me someone who also knows this to be true.
Whether you’re single, married, divorced, or widowed, know this: Our relationship statuses may change, but we will always be valuable in God’s eyes.
I’ve discovered that being single in your 30’s is very different than being single in your 20’s. In your 20’s, many people are moving to new cities, starting new careers, and it’s easy to find other singles to hang out with. As you approach the late 20’s, it’s common for many of those single friends to start getting married, which was the case in my experience. You know you go to a lot of weddings when the people at the Bed, Bath, and Beyond Gift Registry recognize you and say, “Welcome Back!”
Being single in your 20’s is expected. Being single in your 30’s, however, is completely different.
I’m not sure if this is true for all singles in their 30’s (or older), but the following has been my experience….
Whenever I meet someone new they typically ask me, “How many kids do you have?” or “How old are your kids?” At first I found it surprising that they skip the whole, “Are you married?” question and go straight into asking me about children. Now, it doesn’t surprise me, because it happens so often. They assume that since I’m a woman in my 30’s, I’m married and have kids.
When they ask me about my kids, how do I respond? I often say, “I have 23 seven and eight year olds.” And then I watch their jaws drop and the look of shock and awe take over their faces (which I find quite amusing). At this point, I explain, “I’m single, but I teach 2nd grade, and I consider all my students my kids.” Smiles and laughter always follows, but they still appear surprised.
Sometimes, I will even get this response, “Wow! Really? I’m sorry…I don’t know what I would do without my husband.” (Just to be clear, this is NOT the best way to respond.)
Society has caused many single people to believe they are less valuable than those who are married. If you don’t believe that, I encourage you to ask your single friends what their experience has been.
Social media, TV shows, movies, and even the music we listen to, try to make us believe that our lives can’t be fulfilled unless we are in a romantic relationship.
That is a lie.
Being single is nothing to be ashamed of, so please don’t apologize to your single friends.
What have I done without a husband? I have moved to a new city, started a career, bought a home, and have pursued the calling God has on my life. Would it have been nice to experience those things with a husband? Absolutely, but I haven’t put my life on hold just because I’m single. And you know what? My life is still full of happiness, joy, and a sense of purpose.
The truth is, though, it isn't easy being a single adult.
To read more, click here: The Single Life – Part II
I'm an ordinary introvert who loves an extraordinary God.