Here’s a subject I know much about. I hope it has attracted many because I know how much of a wilderness this season of life can be and want to offer some insight. To start, I must say that I love my 20’s!! So much. And every single year and moment of singleness so far. I will be turning 27 this month. Though I desire to do life with a partner and love them with all of me, I wouldn’t take one of these years back. Not one. There have been definite times of lamenting and doubting but I can truly say that I'm happy and really love life. Really. I'm still hoping to meet that special someone, but I'm still enjoying life. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way..
Have a LOT of fun!
Do whatever it is you can dream up. Often when we have flexibility and free time we don’t use it! I’m telling you now…it’s easy to waste weekends, mornings, and late nights. I guarantee you, when we are married and have children we’ll look back and think, what the heck was I doing with my time! Make a list of all the things you would like to do. Plan ahead to make your weekends more epic. If you want to go to the lake, throw a big dinner party, or take a road trip then do it! Make it happen. And be sure to TRAVEL. Learn to save but understand the traveling is worth every penny. You've been given a special lot in life; don't waste it.
INVEST into your Friendships
Whether you're married or not, I feel deep down that people are the most important thing in this life and developing relationships is one of the most valuable things you will ever do, above your vocation. So, really be intentional about this area of your life. Choose good friends and make them a part of your life. Be dedicated to them. Have good guy friends in your life. You need them. (Or the opposite if you are a guy). Whoever you choose to dedicate yourself to, be vulnerable with them, laugh a lot, go out, do crazy things, and try to love them really well! Make your friends a priority in your life and learn how to really support someone. Have friends of all different ages and seasons of life. Hang out with your couple friends, and the ones with really big families; with your grandparents and your parents too. And be sure to always have friends that are single, you need people in the same stage as you. These are the people that you will say thank-you for as you fall asleep at night, and they will be the ones to help you get through the rough patches; they will be the ones you share your life with. After all, this is what life is made for, to share. Be the friend that you desire to have.
This is one of the most important things that I have realized in my singleness. It may be the key. Someone told me once that when you are waiting for something in life, take an example from a “wait-or” and serve. Serving others during a time of tenderness in your life takes your mind off of yourself and is the best healer. It is also a place for you to give your love. This is my advice - Choose families to be a part of and serve them! Whether you want to get married or are happy on your own, you were made to be a part of a family. Know that. I pray that at this time, God provides families for you to be a part of. The safety, security and nurture of the family structure is the greenhouse our hearts were meant to be grown in. I have dedicated myself to a couple of families, including my aunts and uncles that I throw everything aside to help out (babysit, attend ball games, birthday parties, take out for picnics), because I simply want to be a part of their lives. I know that my serving and presence is a blessing to them, but more than that, I need them. The support of a loving couple, the joy and innocence of children, a place to go to have dinner - They will give you much more than you can give them. Maybe a local orphanage, charity or church can be this family structure that you serve. Whatever it is, choose something to give your love and energy to that is not focused on you.
Do what you LOVE!
Several years ago, I broke up with a guy that I thought I'd tie the knot with and realized that my idea of a future resided in being married. So I made a 5-10 year plan for myself of all the things I wanted to be doing and where I wanted to be at along that time period (hypothetical of course, but realistic at the same time); and it was so good for me. It included reaching major financial steps and purchases, bucket list goals, as well as training, vocation and ministry I desired to be in. It made me realize that, even though I desire to do life with a partner, I didn't have to wait to find him to live my life. I wasn't dependent on him. That was important for my heart and my emotions. Finding a mate was no longer a necessity to my success and happiness, just a desire. So, force yourself to dream and decide what you want to do with your life, whether you get married or not. And then get started! Don’t put life on hold. Don’t wait to start dreaming. Some of you need to ask yourself what your dream is. What really makes you feel fulfilled and come alive. (See my post on finding your dream here). I’m a believer that our purpose in life should revolve around serving others in some way. If you don’t feel purpose in your job at this point, then maybe it’s time to make a change. So, what are you waiting for? Make business plans. Get schooling. Become an expert in your field. Host big dinner parties! Start planning for retirement. Save to get your dream space. Get involved in ministry. Plant a huge flower garden!
Love Everyday Life
I believe this is a word for everyone. It’s so easy to miss the vigor in everyday life. To let things become monotonous. To lose thankfulness. Single or not, rich or poor, I think we all know that happiness can fade. And that it is our choice to make more of life. I contend that there is the periodic longing in my heart for a dream I am waiting on or lamenting that it might never happen. There are periods of grieving in my life because of tragedies that have occurred. This is normal, and should be experienced! But not be the norm. Learn how to make the most of life. Make every day special. Do things that you love; that make you happy. Serve others. Make plans. I truly feel that this is the beauty of life. We need to find joy in the small things and purpose to celebrate the small victories in our lives and others people's as well. (Beauty in Everyday Life) If you love every day, you will love life, for the rest of your life - no matter your circumstances.
Above all else, trust the Lord.
Thank-you Jesus for the grace you have given me during this season of my life, for the special opportunities you have showered me with, for the kick-butt friends I have, and beautiful families who have taken me in. Thank-you most of all, for being my closest friend and the absolute joy of my heart. I trust you. I know that you have my dreams in mind even more than I do.