Growing up in the church culture in the 90’s, there was a projected emphasis on waiting for ‘’the one’’. This seemed to foster a significant misunderstanding of my faith, particularly in regards to how I should be practically ‘’waiting’’ and it was there I missed the mark. I thus, spent the early years of my young adult life on the ‘hunt’ for ‘’the one’’. I know, it sounds embarrassing but I was desperate to be what society and the church culture had emphasized in my life; a mother and a Christian wife. It seemed that is where my goals in life ended. And instead of focusing on my relationship with Christ and finding my purpose in Him, I found it in guys or at least in wanting them.
With unspoken expectations from the church and society, I was the one that my friends would call, ‘’boy crazy’’. When I was younger, I had such an outgoing and vivacious personality, that I would inexplicably ‘fall in love’ with all the boys that I thought God was saying, were, ‘’The One’’. And to be honest, I think there are many girls today, like I was, but we are just not willing to admit it out loud.
As a student of Biola University, in 2005, I would start my freshman year, hearing things like, ‘’’Ring by Spring’’, or ‘Welcome to the Bridal Institute of Los Angeles’. There was an unspoken amount of pressure that if you weren’t somehow engaged by the end of your college years, well, that you were in some ways a failure. I talked to many of my friends who were disheartened that they hadn’t gotten married after their 4 years at college. They were now facing the real world; single, alone and in slight dismay.
Many of us gain our projected identity from our culture instead of Christ. Being a mother and a wife seem to be emphasized as a big part of our Christian culture. But what if it doesn’t happen in our timing and what if it doesn’t happen at all? The reality is the world is the world. We will experience pressure from society and at times, from the church but we must look to God’s word to flourish in a genuine and palpable understanding of our faith. We are not less than or undervalued because we are single, because singleness in and of itself is a gift. I was talking to my best friend who at 35, is also single. And we were talking about the uncomfortableness of reunions. With questions, we so often embrace like, ‘So where are you in life?’, ‘Are you married yet?’, ‘Do you have kids?’, ‘Is there a ‘’special’’ someone in your life?’. However, that is not where our identity lies, because our identity lies in Christ. When I answer, I can say, ‘’I am joyful in the Lord, serving in my church, and living out my purposes for Him’’. The reality is at 35, I am single and I don’t know my future. But I know I have a God who does, and a God who I can trust, because He loves us with an unceasing beauty. Therefore, I am actively living out my purposes for Christ, not sitting around waiting for my life to start.
Hope in God’s Timing
I truly believe that God’s timing is best and instead of constantly being on the look-out for ‘’the one’’ we need to focus on who we are in Christ. Focusing on developing our gifts and purposes in Him will help us to bless others. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I truly found my purpose in Christ through writing and women’s ministry. And by knowing my purpose, I am single and content living my life for Him. I understand the desire to be married and have children, and I still so dearly have that desire, but as Rick Warren so rightly said, ‘’God always gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him’’. So, I am leaving the choice to my loving heavenly Father, trusting that He knows the desires of my heart because He so genuinely wants His best for me. Trusting the Father means, I sit here today living out hope and it is in my today, where I will not focus on ‘’the wait’’ but I will focus on living. From experience, I can say that, when we focus on ‘’the wait’’ we miss the opportunities of truly living out our purposes in faith. Therefore, embracing the spirit of living will uphold us in living out our purposes for Christ. So today, let’s embrace living and living in Him.
‘’For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’’ Jeremiah 29:1