When I was in high school, I used to be bitter with God every time he made me wait for something, especially in the realm of boys. I am 19 years old, and I have never had a boyfriend or been in a relationship. At times, society makes me feel like an anomaly for being single, that where I am in life is wrong, that I am “behind”, or something about me is messed up.
One of the most valuable lessons I have learned throughout my first year of college through a lot of prayer and seeking after Christ is the beauty of singleness. Being single was something I once resented, but is now something I understand is being used to shape me into a young woman of courage and conviction.
Every girl in the world is constantly being fed the lie that her worth lies in her outer beauty or sex appeal, and that without a boy, she is worthless. I have seen girls of all ages fall prey to this lie time and time again, and it breaks my heart, because I, too, know what it’s like to feel empty, and to seek worth in other people.
Looking back, I realize why God didn’t let me date the boys I wanted to- He was protecting me. Quite honestly, looking back on it… I was looking for all the wrong things in boys, and was becoming the wrong person trying to win them over. After coming to a really raw realization the guy I had the intention of dating my freshman year of college was not the one for me, and a lot of the guys I had met were steering me in the opposite direction of where I wanted to be going, I realized I needed to make some changes.
There’s something really humbling about God not giving you the things you want. It puts you in a place of childlike trust, and reminds you that He is God, and you are definitely not. Even though I wanted a boyfriend my first year of college, I realized God was clearly steering me in a direction of bring single. Being single these past four months, not the way I have been my whole life by looking for a boyfriend, but truly single, have been some of the most incredible times of growth I have experienced in my life.
I have learned a lot about myself this past semester and have made leaps and bounds in my faith because I have stopped seeking worth in worldly things and have placed my worth and aligned my pursuits with the Biblical truths I know to be true. Here are some of the verses that have encouraged me, and that have given me a new standard of what it looks like to be a godly, faithful woman, whether I am single or not.
Luke 1:42: “Blessed is she who believed the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
Proverbs 31: 25-26, 30: “She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”
Psalm 139:13: “For you created my innermost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb”
1 Timothy 4:12: “Don’t let anyone look down on your because you are young, but be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity“
Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things there is no law”
1 John 4:12: “If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”
In the eyes of Jesus, we are Forgiven & we are Loved.
This season of life has allowed me to begin growing into the person I have always wanted to be. I am less jealous of others, I am able to love others with my full heart, and am no longer afraid to let people in or mistrust their intentions. I don’t live my life with this nagging feeling that people dislike me, and if they do, it won’t be because I gave them the cold shoulder. Recent circumstances in my life have showed me how important it is to love your loved ones well, but I have found that it can be hard to do unless you yourself are in love with Jesus and are seeking him above all else. When you love Jesus and spend time letting him soften your heart, it is so, SO much easier to love others, despite who they are.
I would have never realized these truths if I was in an unhealthy relationship or still hanging on to the hope of one. I realized a lot of what hindered me from growing was trying to change myself for a boy. Now, instead of trying to change who I am, I have tried to grow into the person I was created to be. Here are the things that have helped me grow, and maybe they can help you, too!
Ways to Grow as a Single Woman
1.) I have focused on surrounding myself with positive, uplifting friends who build me up, make me feel important, and who challenge me to be better, rather than focusing on friendships that are unhealthy and dwell on unnecessary drama and boys.
2.) I have channeled my energy into serving and loving others instead of feeling sorry for myself for being single.
3.) I have focused on cultivating inner beauty– becoming a woman of faith, virtue, and wisdom, rather than outer beauty- a woman a vanity, insecurity, and materialism.
4.) I have set a standard for the guys I will date (write it out!), and have close sister-friends to keep me accountable.
I am still in the process of growing, which I know will take a lifetime. However, during this process, God is beginning to help me understand what to look for in a man to date someday- but not to settle, and to wait for his timing. Now, I know there is nothing wrong with me for being single at 19… it’s just that God is still working in my heart, and the heart of the guy I will be with one day. We aren’t ready for each other right now, and that’s okay. When we are ready to walk alongside each other, encouraging and challenging each other in faith and in life, it will be the coolest adventure ever. But until then, I am still young, and I am going to chase the dreams and passions God has placed on my heart while becoming the woman He has made me to be.
Relationships take up A LOT of our time, whether they be romantic or not… surround yourself with good ones. Do not dwell on the bad ones. Love others relentlessly, but use good discretion when allowing others in your heart for a permanent stay. And above all, trust God’s timing.
The waiting phase can be viewed as a burden or a blessing… what you choose to do with that time is entirely up to you. Use it wisely.