I have spent the last couple years of my life envying girls’ #ManCrushMonday posts on my Instagram feed. I’ve prayed. I’ve fasted. I’ve read the Word. What I got from all of that… nothing. No knight in shining armor. No one to take me to homecoming . No one to take cute pictures with me. Nada. Zero. Zilch.
The last two years, I have especially struggled with this issue. I kept blaming myself. It was because I wasn’t skinny enough. I didn’t have six pack abs. My Instagram feed wasn’t cool enough. I didn’t have enough followers. I didn’t have enough likes on my posts. I wasn’t funny enough. I wasn’t smart enough… the list could go on and on. However one day, as I looked at myself in the mirror like I had done a million times before, I thought to myself “it’s not you, it’s God.”
This summer, my dear friend, Madeline Kennedy referred me to a book called Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age by Ben Stuart. To be honest, I was scared to read it. I was scared to be told into reality. That me getting upset because I can’t get a boyfriend was dumb and selfish. However, I can definitely say that I wish I had read it sooner. It would have saved me heartache that I caused myself. It would have saved my self esteem while it was digging itself into the ground. But most of all, it would have put me on the path to success a lot sooner.
When I say success, I don’t mean actually successfully getting a boyfriend. I just mean that my growth in my relationship with the Lord and the revelations of what He has in store for me could have been seen a lot sooner.
In the single section of the book, Ben Stuart talks about the “gift of being single.” When I read this for the first time I thought, “you have got to be kidding me.” How is being the only senior at my high school that hasn’t had their first kiss yet a gift? (Yes, it’s true. Publicly admitting this is all part of the journey) However, as I continued to read more into the chapter it began to list all of the responsibilities and destructions that came with having a special someone. At that moment, I felt a flashback to when we begged my mom for a puppy. She went on and on about how we had to take it out, feed it, pick up it’s mess, bathe it and how we couldn’t leave on vacations that often because dog boarding is expensive and taking a dog on a ski trip is just inconvenient. Apparently the same goes for a significant other. Stuart goes on to explain how less available you become when you’re constantly worried about a boyfriend/girlfriend to take care of. Less time to give to your family, your friends, your pets, but especially, God.
To summarize what the chapter says, God has made you single for a reason. Whether that’s because he wants you to devote more time to Him, grow in His word, or maybe He has someone special planned for your future that just isn’t quite in the picture yet. The biggest takeaway that I got from this is that God always has a plan *cue the overplayed Drake song.* Take the season of singleness in your life as a space for you to grow in yourself and the Lord. This a sign from God telling you that you need to go to church a little more or maybe even dive deeper into the Word.
If this is the only thing that you take away from this post, along with my sad, empty love life, it’s that there is a reason for everything. Don’t rush life. Every step that you take has been planned out by your creator. Let Him guide you and lead you into the life that He has laid out for you.