Until today, I never viewed being single as a gift. Sure I enjoy the fact of living alone (again finally yay!) – because I can come and go as I please without telling anyone. I can be as messy (or as clean is more like it) as I would like. I can eat whatever I want and when I want! I can pack up and catch a flight wherever whenever. If I decided to date someone, they can go home or never come to my home at all. I don’t have children so I don’t have to be concerned with the needs of another person. When I bring Parker up, he’s the only other living being I have to care for outside of myself (he is a grumpy old man of a dog that acts like a child). So I can say that being single and childless looks great on the outside looking in. And this is how I viewed it…that I’m supposed to say it’s a great thing when my feelings said otherwise.
However, I’ve always had a desire to be married. I’ve dreamed of my wedding day. I’ve imagined it extensively. I know the dress I want, I know what time of year and where I’d like to get married (given an agreeing husband to be), I’ve identified the participants, short of the groom’s side. So when I believed I heard God about a time period I allowed my already overactive mind in this area to consume me. Marriage became an idol for me.
When God showed me that, I had gotten to a point in several hapless relationships that I decided I wasn’t sure about it anymore. I realized I was attracting men that didn’t meet up to what I said I wanted. So I took a hiatus and focused on me and what I was doing to attract the guys. At that point, my focus shifted to law school and work and ministry so I wasn’t too pressed to date at all…truthfully I still don’t really like to date(the whole process of getting to know some stranger bleh).
Then something happened that I hadn’t planned on. I began to focus on my dreams and healing, forgiveness and living life, and really having a great relationship with God. As I began to change and evolve I wanted to focus on gratitude and gratefulness to God for each day. I’m certain now that this is as a result of praying for deliverance from a critical spirit and wanting to walk out this journey of focusing on embodying the way God wanted me to live with live as my focus word for this year.
I buy books any and everywhere I go. I got a book by Tony Evans – 30 days to Overcoming Emotional Strongholds – on my return from Atlanta two weeks ago and it has been truly a blessing. Today was a shift for me though. Today’s readings finished out the week of focusing on overcoming the emotional strongholds related to stress. The readings culminated with the instruction to focus on gratitude and being grateful for everything we have. Of course I was happy because that’s been my focus…more confirmation that I have been on the right path. This week ended with practicals that included listening to the following sermon: http://youtu.be/hYsXqysRXig. In it were several application points. It wasn’t a single focus on being married or single – but his words in the devotional and video collectively struck my heart majorly to the point of tears. Let me be real here. I have been spending the last 11 months with a focus on documenting reasons to be grateful. But today I realized a huge area of how I was being ungrateful. It was hearing this scripture, “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows…" – James 1:17, referenced in the sermon today that I realized how truly ungrateful I have been at points in this season of singleness. Everything that God does is good. I didn’t see my singleness as being good. In fact at points I’ve had thoughts and feelings that I was unworthy and undeserving for some unknown reason, or that because I was damaged as a child that I did not deserve love, or that my successes would continue to isolate me and prevent me from meeting my future spouse. In the sermon he drives home the fact that God is the Father of lights and is unchanging. As this scripture resonated with me today, I realized that God used this period to shine the light on the darkness that was within me as a result of being molested and many other things. He has used this season to love me and teach me His love by learning so many things, among those things how to love myself so I could properly love others. I could not properly love others or receive love by looking at life in a distorted way. Immediately 1 Corinthians 7 came to mind because it’s been in this season of singleness that I received this revelation and the healing necessary to receive God’s love in the many ways He has sent it. In looking to God – the Light – I have learned the truth, which is that God is abundant and because God is love, love is abundant and able to manifest however God chooses it to do so.
I prayed last week that God would help me to be content in this season and He truly has answered in a big way today. I repented yesterday for how I haven’t been grateful and how I have been indifferent towards God about how I felt. I recognized yesterday morning and actually before then that the feelings I allowed to linger were a demonic attack. I’ve been guilty of wanting to rush things along, especially in this area and a few others, and wanting things when I want it…but who doesn’t. I have had many moments of being happy in this season but I ultimately looked past this place in life – what I feel I lacked in being single – outside of working and traveling. In anger and indifference I would ignore how I felt…which was that there was something wrong with me because I felt that I had done everything that God told me to do. I gave the desire back to Him. I immersed myself in studying and preparing to become a wife. I wholeheartedly pursued my goals and dreams. I observed and took notes in the various learning situations He has put me in. But then I got mad because it really seemed that God was not answering my prayers, in this area and in others. I would be bitter at points that all of my exes have moved on to happy relationships and that I was still alone. I have constantly questioned myself on whether or not I should just settle for someone I don’t want rather than remain alone. I didn’t see how I could be content or happy when I had to suffer alone through the low points and difficult times, often not having people to talk to about it especially due to my life’s assignment. I felt like I didn’t have a person to lean on at any of my low points and I felt something was wrong with me, that there was still something left to be fixed.
Today the sermon helped me to see that I fell victim to a grand orchestrated attack to focus on the things I did not have versus those blessings I do have. My frustration in this season has even tempted me to give up on this desire and to just live life as I wanted since it has appeared to not be a part of God’s plan for me. I was very angry; very indifferent towards God about this. Fortunately I am wise enough to ask for prayer and I am grateful now that I pressed in and decided to continue to document my gratitude, even being grateful for these feelings because it forced me into God’s presence.
If you’ve ever been at this point, whether in your singleness or in any other area, this is where thanksgiving and gratefulness comes in. I am able to be grateful to God for all the things He has done and is doing in my life. By choosing to see this season through the lens of gratefulness, I can see the silver lining and the abundance of God’s love to be seen in this season. I often have to remind myself of the prayers I have prayed up until this point. I prayed that God would heal my heart and mind totally and deliver me from everything that would potentially be something I could negatively project onto my marriage and future children as a curse. I realize now that by seeing my singleness as a curse instead of as a gift or blessing, I was not being grateful. It goes directly against everything that I stand for now so I am so grateful for the light having been shined on this today.
I don’t what’s next for me, but going forward today, I will choose to embrace this season as a gift instead of rushing onward. I will savor the hugs and kisses from my nieces. I will savor sleeping alone across the middle of my bed that I haven’t slept in since 2014 😅 (yesss again in less than a month!!!) . I will relish in being able to travel and to live where I want to live, listen to what I want to listen to, sleep in super late, eat however, party, or be a hermit. I will cherish this time of getting into God’s presence and to His heart for me because when that time does come for me, my attention will be divided.
Love you lots!!