Perspective is, indeed, everything. This is how I know…
So I went to my first ever Singles Conference at my church last weekend. And it was definitely everything I thought it would be…a 250:1 women to men ratio (ok, maybe a tad less than that😊) and a LOT of anecdotes, quotables, and I Corinthians 7 that I’ve heard before. Nothing against the conference because it was great…it’s absolutely me. I turned 39 less than a month ago and I’ve been a ball of emotions leading up to it and since. I really want a family and, although I can always get married, I can’t always bear children. And people totally mean well with their, “Pssshhh…you’re young you still have time. My friend ______ was (insert any age over 40) when she had her first child.” *smiles politely* Like most women, I’ve dreamt about being swept off my feet and living happily ever after w/the man of my dreams in holy matrimony for the rest of our lives. But I didn’t see the timeline being taken this far and, to be honest, no parts of this feel like “fairy tale” material anymore. The reality of getting older brings with it the realization that it’s kind of crunch time and there’s actually an expiration on having kids naturally.
Before I go any further, let me preface my comments with this very important point. Since I got here, my parents have prayed for God’s will to be done in my life…and since I’ve grown and come to know Him for myself, my own prayers have followed suit. I’ve invited God to have His way in every other area of my life and He has far exceeded my expectations. That’s a whole ‘nother post…one day I’ll share. So when it comes to marriage, seeing my parents enjoy marriage to each other for almost 40 years and other couples I admire stick it out with each other, I so value and appreciate the beauty, intentionality and sacredness of God’s design. So much so that if it can’t be done God’s way, I don’t want it. Accordingly, I’ve asked Him for His will to be done for this area of my life. In my own way, I’ve tried to make things happen, but by and large, I’ve seen God’s hand at work…mostly in what He’s kept me from.
So while I was at the conference, one of the speakers referenced this article, “Singled Out For Good” by Paige Benton Brown. I went home and checked it out and it was such an amazing read. But one point she made jumped right off the page and into my spirit:
“I am single because God is so abundantly good to me, because this is His best for me. It is a cosmic impossibility that anything could be better for me right now than being single.”
Wow. I’ve been chewing on this idea for a whole week now. I can’t speak for all singles who are looking to God, but I think that we often see and treat singleness as a transitory state…a season to be endured and gotten through. A “holding cell” for marriage, if you will. Personally, outside of time to “do me” and draw closer to God without distraction, I can’t say that I’ve ascribed much purpose to singleness. And even more revealing and ouch-worthy…while on point and of the utmost importance between the two (ok, the first isn’t even it), I can’t say I’ve excelled at the latter. Man…how much have I missed looking at my current station through such a foggy, self-centered lens?
When expectations go unmet and hopes are deferred, it often calls God’s goodness into question. It’s interesting…I can be so assured of God’s goodness in every other area and in everyone else’s life. However, when faced with the aforementioned, it doesn’t always feel like God is being good to me. But just like marriage, singleness is it’s own station in life with major purpose and infinite value. Like I said before, I’ve asked God for His will to be done and He is never slack on giving me what I’ve asked Him for. Why would this area of my life be any different? Maybe a lack of congruence, in my mind, between my desire for God’s will and my faith in Him and, specifically, His goodness. The value of being in God’s will is solely derived from His presence…He is here and He is working. Every moment that I’ve spent longing for where I’m not is a moment that I’ve missed out on the opportunity to experience His presence, appreciate His work in my life and to increase my knowledge of who He is. Every move that He makes is steeped and saturated in absolute, unequivocal, uncompromised goodness. And because of this fact, wherever I am in life is His absolute best for me…because He is unquestionably good. His goodness is the driving force behind all that he does or doesn’t do. There is no such thing as “crunch time” with God. Only appointed times. Our lives, a microscopic piece of God’s intricate plan for humanity, have a series of carefully appointed plots along this time/space continuum. It’s His plan and He is always on time…we are the ones who show up.
How different would my life be if I would commit myself afresh to the will of God and taking ownership of my part in it’s doing in my life? If I really would surrender my life in obedience to His Word and be intentional about only attaching my affections to the things HE gives life to? The clarity and the vision. He’s so near and He’s so present and He’s so committed to my good because good is not merely something He does, but it’s who He is! Regardless of what He decides to do and how He responds, it is well because He is the One doing it…He is the Mover and the Maker of my little world. I’m super thankful for the goodness of God and the fact that as long as I’m in His will, where I am is His best for me.