On Mondays at lunch, we fast and pray for men and women to be shaped uniquely by God into God’s image, and for marriages to be created for those who desire it.
I could pretty much stop here. Need I say more?
We entered the halls of grade school and found a classroom filled with potential friends. Notes were passed, friendship pins exchanged, sleepover parties attended, and “See, see my playmate” sung. There seemed to be a wealth of friendships to be had, and enough time on the play ground to last a lifetime.
Before we realized what happened we walked across a stage, received a piece of paper, and were booted out into the world to forge our way as adults. Some of us ducked back into the halls of institutional learning to earn a stamp on another piece of paper, and to form deep bounds of friendship over the shared collegial experience.
From here, people began to pair off and enter marriage, start families, and build careers. Suddenly the dynamics of friendship changed. No longer was there a throng of people our same age with shared life experiences waiting to befriend us (unless you went to work at a college), now forming new friendship and maintaining old ones required greater effort.
As more friends married and had children, it became harder to find single friends to hang out with and fill our Friday nights with activity. This week I was talking with someone in her late 20s and she commented, “It’s just as hard to find single friends as it is to find someone to date/marry.”
Sure, I appreciate my friendships with women across all generations, married or single, with kids or without, but there is something for having a (or more if you can find them) single friend to do life along side. You can call them at 11pm because you know the call won’t wake a spouse or child, they are free to travel, and share in the frustrations of dating (or the lack there of). Let’s face it; there is comfort in knowing you are not alone in singleness.
When a good friend of mine recently started dating, it ripped me apart and sent me into a world of emotions with which I was unfamiliar. I felt alone, abandoned in the desert with only my tears for water (and I’m not prone to exaggerations). I’ve been through this transition so many times before, but this time I looked around and didn’t see many single friends left that I shared similar interests with and who would join me on adventures.
Somehow, I feel better about being single when I can look around and see other “normal” single women around me. I’m not a misfit! When you’re seemingly the last single woman standing, it’s easy to adopt the leftover mentality and begin to examine your life for a “reason” you weren’t picked by a man. There has to be a reason EVERYONE else was picked to play in the game, after all that’s how it worked on the elementary school kickball field (those chosen last had no skill).
There is a message by Tim Keller entitled, Sexuality and Christian Hope, where he declares adult singleness is revolutionary. We have the opportunity to rise above cultural norms and expectations, and shout, “Jesus is enough!” We don’t have to adopt the leftover mentality of not being picked by a man, because we were chosen by Christ to be His joint heirs, lavishly loved by Him (Romans 8:17). Being single, content and complete is revolutionary! Equally as revolutionary is being married, and staying married, content, and complete. Human relationships are not what complete our lives; we are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)
The dynamics of friendships will constantly change, but one thing I know to be true… in the times when I felt the most alone and abandoned by human relationships and I’ve turned towards God… He has not disappointed.
Enjoy the blessings of today, because tomorrow there will be new ones.
Single, but not alone!