Singleness Story

January 2007

My story of “Singleness”…

(while having a desire for marriage)

During all of my growing up years I never really had a strong desire for “boy” relationships. I was never “boy crazy”, never HAD to have a boyfriend, never liked the party or “going out” scene where guys and girls would pick each other up…..
However, I did experience my “first kiss” at the age of 12 with a classmate from school up in our family’s tree house in the woods.

And, as an 8th grader — 14 years old, I had my first “boyfriend”, we called it “going together”, which usually was established through friends assisting in the process through note passing… very few at that age would communicate verbally. This relationship lasted for about a month, I think, and consisted of walking each other to class and writing his name on the cover of my notebooks.

Then, for a year and a half at the end of High School, I dated my softball coach (who was about 4 years older), we went to movies, out to dinner, went deer “shining”… you probably know what this is if you grew up in the country. We basically had a fun, but not deep or serious relationship in any way, unless you call hand —holding (which is what I felt most comfortable doing) “serious”. Then before heading off to college I felt God was giving me the “opening” or “opportunity” to officially break up. Not because I didn’t like him or that I thought I’d meet “Mr. Right” at Ball State University, but because I had dedicated myself to focusing on my future in studying for my profession in Education and participating in Intercollegiate Athletics, both of which demanded an incredible amount of time. Bottom-line, at the time I was 2-years old in my Christian faith and didn’t think God planned for us to spend the rest of our lives together.

While in college I had 1 or 2 dates, which was fine but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted as far as relationships went and I still didn’t like the partying or bar/dating scene to pursue other options. And even in my circle of friends through a college ministry, nothing seemed to develop beyond some nice guy friendships.

When I graduated and moved to Ohio for my first job I had 1 date with the brother of my assistant Field Hockey coach who wanted to “set me up”. It was uncomfortable, awkward and didn’t go anywhere. I wouldn’t have wanted it to, knowing he wasn’t a Christian.

And, finally I’ll wrap up sharing about my “dating experience” (or lack thereof; by God’s grace) by saying that sometime around 1996 I went to dinner and walked around the city a bit with a friend’s husband’s brother who happened to also live in Orlando and they wanted us to “meet each other”. For me, these types of situations never really worked…

But, what happened in my heart in 1987 (yes, over 20 years ago) was that God instilled the desire for marriage. I specifically remember the enjoyment of a friendship I had with a few guys from my church in Cleveland and feeling as if I was ready to consider what it might look like to get married and raise a family. Actually, I thought about it a lot, scoped out several potential “catches”, and grew in excitement over the possibility… anyway I was 24 going on 25 and isn’t that what’s supposed to happen during that time frame in the spectrum of life?

The next year I moved back to Indiana and with my new job (while also going to school full time for my Masters degree) I had a daily commute of about 45 minutes one way by car. I had all kinds of time on my hands while driving and chose to pray and worship God to help pass the time, but to also grow in my relationship with Him.

During that first year (1988) I was inspired through another’s example to begin praying for my future husband. What an honor and genuine faith-building opportunity to give this part of my heart’s desire to the Lord regularly.

In those first few years of praying for my future husband, there were 2 men whose character and interests I was attracted to, but they each began dating other women and later married within the next year or so.

So, now it’s been nearly 25 years since that first “deep desire” arose in my heart to be married …. And yet that’s not the path God has placed me on… at least not yet. In hindsight I can see many ways the Lord has been able to use my life as a single. And, yet at times that doesn’t quench the desire or longing to be in an intimate/committed marriage relationship.

I’ve experienced many years of loneliness through
– going to movies alone,
– not having someone to share my “day” with or my ups and downs,

– having a lot of difficulties with my emotions and heart pain during special holidays and especially loathing the 14th of February,
– having my heart strings pulled and a sort of sadness or desperation in unmet desire rising up inside when observing a couple walking hand in hand or seeing the warmth and comfort a woman receives when around her “man”,
– hearing questions from my family and others about why I’m not looking for somebody or getting out there to meet that person. Or why I chose to go into youth ministry where I was older than everyone else.

– … the list goes on.

My deep longing has been for companionship and someone to share my life with.

What I’ve learned through this long process and how I’ve endured is by seeing Jesus as “who” He truly is… my Bridegroom. And, understanding that God is my “All in All” and great Provider!
I don’t want the rest of my “story” to come-off as religious or overly spiritual, BUT to be quite frank, it’s only because of my relationship with God that I can even experience peace, patience, belief in His Goodness and that He has a wonderful plan for my life…. which according to what I feel in my heart, still includes marriage.

I don’t know when or at what age or that He intends for me to ever bear my own children, BUT the desire on my heart, which began 20 years ago remains as strong as ever.

I wish I had more time to share scripturally what God has impressed on my heart and in my soul over the years regarding my singleness. At this time I will highlight a few things which I hope will provide encouragement for those of you who are “still waiting”, as I am.
“Singleness” is the reality of my life at this moment and in order to thrive and live this life abundantly “in the Lord’s Presence” I believe it is necessary to apply the following:

S – be satisfied with God (and where He has me at this point in my life)

I – be independent to choose joy, peace, righteousness (don’t allow the world around me to dictate or sway my emotions into determining my happiness)

N – be nearer to God (as I do this I know He will draw near to me/us)
G – be grace-filled (see God’s goodness and receive His grace in my faith walk each day)
L – live in the hope of God’s plan
E – be eager to follow His Will

These principles spell the word “SINGLE” — I believe being single is not meant to be a curse, but a blessing, however the amount of joy we experience is dependent on how we choose to live out our day to day lives.
I’ve had to make the decision on whether I am living in God’s Presence and focusing my life on my relationship with Jesus OR being concerned about my needs in life.
Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” The question I’ve had to ask myself is “what am I hoping in?” If my hope is in finding a spouse and having a marriage relationship, then because this “hope” has been deferred for 20 years I should be “sick” emotionally. But, if my longing is for trusting in God for His provision, and pursuing joy in the Lord, not in my circumstances then my life will result in having purpose, growth and multiplication into others’ lives (as a tree of life).

Therefore, in waiting for the fulfillment of my heart’s desire, I have to put my trust in the Lord —

Psalm 32: 10,11 – “…the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man (or woman) who trusts in him. Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!”

Galatians 5:5 – “But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.”

Psalm 130:5 – “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits and in his word I put my hope.”

We can have assurance that God will fulfill the desires He has placed in our hearts:

Hebrews 6:11-12, 19 — “We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. … imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…”
How can we be assured of our hope? Through diligence and being in pursuit of God. It takes action on our part to deepen our relationship with the Lord.
In the mean time, God wants me to grow more deeply in love with Him, be available to be used by Him in growing His Kingdom AND to develop a fullness of JOY right where I am.
Psalm 16:11 — “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
God has revealed the “path of life” to me one moment at a time. So many times I’ve pleaded with him to show me the future, give me a time frame for when He will chose to fulfill the desire He put in my heart for marriage. But, no. I’m asked to trust in Him and be content in my current circumstances. By His grace alone am I able to do that.
Living life as a “Single” has it’s advantages and disadvantages, ups and downs, good times and hard times, …. But God never changes. He calls me to seek His Kingdom first and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33) and then all the other things will be added unto my life. With God’s help I can be patient while waiting on Him.
Not only do I need the Lord Jesus during this time, but I also need encouragement from my sisters and brothers in Christ, to learn from His Word and others who write on the subject. Two resources that have blessed my life in the area of relationships are:

Falling in Love with Jesus, Dee Brestin and Kathy Troccoli
Gift-Wrapped By God, Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus